Wednesday, 2 September 2015

So Long... Farewell...

Well, the time has come. The submission deadline has passed and it's finally starting to sink in that pretty soon I won't be seeing all of the people I've been sharing air with over the last year. It's crazy. Actually. I mean, it seems like only a few weeks ago I was panicking (ha! Imagine...) about getting my visa on time, and here I am packing up my things before I vacate my Manchester home this weekend. It's not quite the end of my UK stay, but it's certainly approaching quickly!

Monday night I had the pleasure of celebrating my friend, Lisa's dissertation submission with several friends. We did the usual - drinks first, slug our way to The Curry Mile and find a spot to eat. Usually, though, we end up in one of two or three places. This night, however, was different. We ended up at a spot I'd never been. And, to my delight, FINALLY encountered some of the spiciest food I've had  in Manchester, and possibly ever. It was awesome. My face looked sunburnt pretty much thorough the entire meal. I'm also pretty sure at least half of the staff stood at a distance and watched me, in amazement/disgust, consume the hottest item on the menu - chicken vindaloo. It's not very often I eat something that makes me sweat - like beads of sweat down my nose - but this one did the trick, and it was awesome!

(Photo credit: Khalis Noori) 
I'm gonna miss this guy...
(Photo credit: Khalis Noori)
It was on our way back to uni, when we started parting ways that it began to click - this is going to be the last time I'm going to see most of these folks. For a while anyway. It's weird, because you spend a lot of time wishing for the day to come when you get to pack up and head home, and then all of a sudden it happens, and you sit there wondering how it all happened so fast!

Last night was rough. Not just because I was out WAY past my bedtime, or the fact that I accidentally flashed a good majority of Manchester (Note: shorty, flow-y dresses and wind tunnel-esque cities are not a good combination...), but because it meant saying goodbye to a lot of great people I've met along the way. Oddly enough, there are not many pictures from this night. There is some video, but that will be released later on, perhaps.

Anyway, it was fun to get all gussied up and go for dinner, drinks, and then an end-of-year bash. While most people continued on, I opted to head to my beddie. But, it was a good night. It was a solid final send off for those I won't be seeing for a long time, and possibly ever.

You dress me up, but you (obviously) can't take me out! Oh boy...
A few of the GKH/IDMP gals!
(Photo credit: Sarah Illingworth via MaCris Gutierrez Cottle)
(Photo credit: Sarah Illingworth via Sae Yamamoto)
I do feel I need to give a shoutout to my pal, Mohammad. He was my first friend here in Manchester. We met at a mandatory "how to use the library" session, and afterwards we looked at each other and said, "I need a coffee." This is how I knew we'd be friends. Last night he informed me that aside from finishing his dissertation, meeting me was the second greatest part of the year - which I totally called him on as being full of...bologna (I have video evidence of this 'confession' in case anyone doubts it). But being as he followed it up with I read all of your blog posts, I felt it only right to dedicate this one to him.

May or may not be an accurate depiction of Mo.
Also - hope you don't mind my swiping this from the book of faces!
(Photo credit: Mo's awesome friend - not me - via his FB page)
Actual picture of Mo - laughing as I called him out on saying I was the 2nd best part of this degree!
I'm gonna miss hearing that laugh, my friend!
I will say this though, when I came here, like my undergrad experience, I intended to have my head in the books, and not be worried about making friends. And, once again, I'm really thankful that this was not the case. There are many people that I will be sad to be parting ways with. There are several that I know I'll stay in touch with off and on. And there are a few that I am certain that I will see and likely be working with on whatever, or perhaps wherever, this crazy world takes me. I'm so thankful for all of these friendships, regardless of which category they fall under. It was this aspect of the experience that made it for me! Congrats to all of you/us - we made it! All the best to each of you, and I honestly cannot wait to see where you go from here (...aside from home). Here's to (re)entering the workforce!

And with that, this sappy Orange Canadian needs to go to bed!

-the Orange Canadian

(PS - Fellow IDPMers, post your pictures so I can add 'em to this!)

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