LOST BUMPKINS IN THE CITY
We tried to follow the rule: spit into the middle of the sink and swipe the toilet seat just to make sure.
Natalia: Before arriving to Robin Hood airport in Sheffield, we said bye to my family who took us to the airport. My mum made sure we would eat all the rissoles (faširky in Slovak), so typical for Slovak mums. The flight to England was late and we missed the bus to Doncaster city. The rissoles came handy after all. After a long journey from the airport, astonished by English countryside, we came to Sheffield where our couchsurfing friends were waiting for us. It still didn’t feel completely like England because we stayed with a Slovak girl and her English boyfriend. We were impressed by the hospitality of this multicultural couple.
Shoshana: We came in the middle of the night and they picked us up from the bus station to their home, where mango juice and chocolate muffins were already waiting for us. They showed us around and said good night, that we will see each other in the morning. We didn’t know at the time but the situation that was about to happen was going to be so typical of us. Nata went to the bathroom first but returned after a couple of minutes laughing about her own stupidity. She couldn’t turn the light on. I came with her the second time, but even together we couldn’t figure it out. Fault of the English system obviously. However, we stayed in the bathroom together, imitating blind people, cleaning our teeth in the dark, swallowing our laugh in order not to wake our new friends, the owners. We tried to follow the rule: spit into the middle of the sink and swipe the toilet seat just to make sure. With the ache in our belly after 15 minutes of laughing, we went to sleep.Natalia: In the morning, we found out the last night was not our last embarrassing moment of the trip. I went to the shower, which looked like a completely common shower. It wasn’t. Until today, we still don’t know how to turn it on. I had to throw water on my body from bottom taps in the bath tub that were on the same level as my knees. When I felt more or less clean, I passed the relay to Šošana and hoped even her scientific mind wouldn’t figure it out. It didn’t. Fault of the English system obviously. Shoshana: After the morning trouble, we went to explore the city. Sheffield is quite a boring city if you are a tourist. Howewer, it was an interesting introduction to the English culture. We spent quite a nice day chilling at different historical spots. To finish the “exhausting“ day, we wanted to reward ourselves with the bottle of cider (three percents of alcohol, oh my god!!!). My silly young looking mate, didn’t take her ID J. So when paying to the cashier I offered to pay her cider. But, this is not possible in England. If you are in the group, all the people must prove their age to drink alcohol. Fault of the English system obviously. What a silly system we thought, we will just find another shop, we thought. But we couldn’t. Fortunately we spent a nice evening with our new couchsurfing friends as the top of our day.
Hitchhiking for two girls is extremely easy in England. When we finally got to the spot, we had been standing on the road only 10 minutes...
Natalia: Next morning, we went on for new adventures. I was going to hitchhike for the first time of my life so I was both excited and a bit worried about it. We had the directions to the best hitchhiking spot, the only thing left was to get there by bus. Naturally, while searching for the bus stop, confused by the English traffic directions, we went the other way that we were supposed to. We eventually found a stop but the bus driver told us we have to go the opposite direction. However, there was no bus stop on the other side of the street. It took as around two hours to find that. When we eventually got on the bus, the same bus-driver was gazing at us with a surprised look. Obviously he managed to do the whole circuit already. We were laughing our asses of, Šošana had to put her sunglasses on to hide her tears. We always have to get noticed by people, everywhere we go.
Shoshana: Hitchhiking for two girls is extremely easy in England. When we finally got to the spot, we had been standing on the road only 10 minutes when a truck driver from Manchester stopped for us. He confirmed some of the British stereotypes, about the kindness of people. We got to talk with him about the nice English countryside, discovered that Aldi is the cheapest supermarket in the country and found out he started to smoke when he was 8 years old. The goverment wasn’t so strict about drugs at that time. In the end he got rid of us in the Manchester city and asked for a selfie with us.Natalia: After saying bye to our new best friend, we got lost again J this time in Manchester. Hence it was almost the evening when we got back on the road. A police officer gave us a ride to the village near Liverpool. We were her first hitchhikers ever and she was very worried by our safety. It was very nice talking to her and we discovered that the best fish and chips are served with gravy sauce. At the end she gave us five pounds, to buy ourselves a fish and chips next day. We didn’t want to take it but she didn’t take no for an answer. We were a little embarrassed, but again totally amazed by the nature and kindness of the English people.
The girl that took us there was very beautiful and later we discovered that she is an actress that performed in few British movies and theaters.
Shoshana: We got to Liverpool when the sun was still shining. The girl that took us there was very beautiful and later we discovered that she is an actress that performed in few British movies and theaters. Hope she gets famous one day! We checked in at Everton backpackers hostel where we stayed with 8 other people in the room. I have never been in such a hostel and didn’t know what to expect. However, I was amazed by the atmospehere of the place. The friendships are born by the cup of coffee or over shared breakfast here.
Natalia: We still had some time to explore the night life in Liverpool and we went for a walk to have a beer or two in some pub. What suprised us was that in Britain, many people aged 50-80 years, are spending evenings in the pubs.Shoshana: Even in the pubs with the loud modern music turned on. Dancing, chatting, drinking.
Natalia: Like the young people in Slovakia.
Shoshana: Anyway, we didn’t go to such a loud pub. Maybe we are too young for that :D. We choose a quieter place, a pub that was huge and lots of free tables to sit in. They even had a cider festival, with 40 different kinds of ciders.Natalia: But as it goes with cider festivals, we could choose only from three available ones.
Shoshana: Immediately, after we bought the drinks, two Irish guys wanted to start a conversation with us. As we were open to find out about different cultures, we thought to ourselves, whatever.
Natalia: But after few exchanged sentences, it was obvious that the conversation will be a problem. You see, the Irish accent is quite hard to understand. Normally, you understand 99% of the conversation if your English is excellent. But we couldn’t understand even 50% of it.Shoshana: Due to the differencies, the conversation went as follows: First it was funny, then it was weird and eventually it was emberrasing. We took off at that point.