HoneyTrekking into Leeds
Nowadays, I pretty much upload a new blog entry every Saturday afternoon – just after completing the Park Run. Of course, something amazingly exciting could happen the same day after uploading the blog entry. But if that’s the case, I guess I have to wait to upload the news.
But guess what? Something exciting did happen last Saturday (after uploading the blog entry). My favourite travel bloggers, Mike and Anne Howard, are in England now and they were in Yorkshire last week. First, a little word about them: They got married a couple of years ago but instead of taking like a two-week honeymoon, they decided to travel through South America, Africa, Asia and now, Europe. They’ve been travelling for 600-plus days, and they’ve documented their journey on a website named HoneyTrek. I’m addicted to travel blogs, and their blog is my favourite. I’m not sure how I found it, but I’m glad I did. Anyway, they say I’m one of their biggest fans, and they were hoping we had time to meet up.
Fortunately, we did. They had some time to spare in Leeds en route to Exeter and Mike asked me if I wanted to meet up and of course, I did. So I caught the bus to the station, and met up with him and Anne shortly after getting out of the bus. The three of us went to a pub in the station, and we chatted about their travels and my life in the U.K. Mike and Anne visited my favourite country in Asia (Hint: its English name begins with a “J” and ends with an “n”), and she mentioned a friend of hers currently living in Hokkaido was a member of the JET Program. They also mentioned an interesting tidbit about the Rail Pass (which I won’t mention on this blog). Anyway, it was so great meeting them in the flesh.
Speaking of my favourite country in Asia, I was able to meet more 日本人 this week in Leeds. Satoshi told me that the Japanese Society of Leeds Uni was holding a nice casual gathering at The Eldon (a bar) in town. The first two Japanese people I met there were two very pretty 大阪出身の人(Osaka natives), but I spent a lot more time talking to a gal named Leona (rare name for a Japanese person, but that’s her 本名 – real name). She’s from Nagoya, and came to Leeds as part of an exchange program (She studies English Literature at Konan University). Leona told me she got a ticket to see Manchester United play Southampton today at Old Trafford (Unfortunately, for her, she probably won’t get a chance to see Shinji Kagawa play. But that’s another story).
Normally, on a Friday after my Marketing Responsible Tourism lesson ends (at 5 p.m.), I’m either wasting time online or preparing for a night out. But last evening, a Jamaican-born poet named Kei Miller came to Leeds Met as part of the school’s Black History Month festivities and that was great (Yes, there is a Black History Month in this country, but it takes place in October). Mr. Miller read several of his poems, which dealt with his experiences in Jamaica (He did tell me has written poems about his life in the U.K.). Usually, I get the most out of poems when I read them (not hear them), so I have plenty of motivation to borrow his books from the library (if Leeds Met has them). Last night was no different. But I am very happy there was a decent turnout to hear him, and I met several interesting folks afterwards (Including someone from Montpellier. I have barely spoken French since I’ve been here. Actually, one of my coursemates is a French-speaking Swiss woman, and I should speak French with her more often).
As for today’s Park Run, I can’t say it was my best one, as I ran 17:46 – roughly 20 seconds slower than last week. Anyway, I had hot chocolate at Opposite (like last week) with several Park Runners, and I learned something surprising. Nicola (a regular participant) told me she co-hosts a podcast devoted to the parkrun. It’s totally rad there’s a podcast devoted to it (It’s also totally rad she completed a marathon – it may have been the London Marathon – while pregnant).