Anyone for Scouse?
Think Primark; now think National Express ticket prices online. Similarities? Yes, both are stupidly cheap. Now forget about Primark because it’s rubbish. The five hour bus journey from London to Liverpool passed quickly. I had a taste of Liverpool for the whole journey with some scouse chav sitting behind me, rambling on because the bus was running late. I got off the bus with a sigh of disappointment; yet relieved, as I knew full well that Liverpool had much more to offer than those potty mouthed cretins.
After a long walk in the rain along the dock road I arrived like a drowned rat at my hostel – the YHA Liverpool. Peeking out from beneath my hood, the beauty of the building took me by surprise. Surely this can’t be ten pound per night? But it was! Shortly after, I opened the door to my room, revealing a spacious interior with modern furniture, an en-suite bathroom, and an eight bed dorm all to myself! Lucky me! I remember that night clearly; my Dr Martens had got an absolute soaking yet I put them back on and made the most of the night by going into the city and watching a game of football in the pub. Munching my way through pie and mash, all washed down with a cold beer was like receiving a big, warm hug of English tradition – a welcomed home comfort.
The next morning welcomed yet another home comfort as I prepared an English breakfast in the hostel’s well equipped kitchen. Full to the brim, I set out to do some sight seeing. I visited the newly built history museum on the docks. It was really fun to walk around; in particular the bottom floor where you could listen to voice recordings of old diaries documenting working life on the docks before its closure. I hung out in the Cavern Club – made famous by The Beatles, and took a walk in the university quarters, stopping quite conveniently to buy a four pack of beer from yet another Tesco Express – there everywhere in London. Why was I drinking on a weekday? Well I was attending a very big party that night at the most popular student haunt in Liverpool – Medication. Four cans of beer later; I was in – I used my student card for entry of course! An all round good night, apart from that special someone who stole my shirt – the shirt was over a t-shirt (I weren’t naked). I waited by the entrance at the end of the night to see if I could spot the culprit but he never materialised so I ended up walking back to the hostel in a shivering hunch. Who steals shirts?
The next day; surprisingly not hungover, I set out to do some clothes shopping. Note to all women: Men DO like clothes shopping really, they just prefer to do it alone! Late afternoon, I was strolling around the city, styling in my new black skinny jeans when I stumbled across a very unexpected sight – a Moroccan culture market. Morocco had followed me all the way back to Liverpool – talk about wanting a sale! Luckily I didn’t see any of the items I’d bought in Morocco – that would have been a bit of a dampener eh? I was keen for a bit of comedy that night so I booked a seat at the Slaughterhouse – I got the last ticket before sell out! It was a brilliant night of comedy; my beard got a bit of stick, and telling the comedian I was a traveller was a bad idea as I got gypsy jokes fired at me all night. I felt sorry for the new girl behind the bar who was serving me quadruple vodka and coke instead of doubles – I didn’t really. I also managed to get in half price with my old student card which lacks an expiry date – the amount of money I’ve saved with that over the last five years is amazing. What better way to end my time in Liverpool than with a good laugh, I thought, as I made my way back to the hostel for the last time.
I bordered the train early morning; destination: Ormskirk. I had thought for many weeks how best I could surprise my mum, as I had not told her I was coming home. The plan all came together on the train, so I put it into action immediately. I rang her work, and found out she was finishing in the afternoon at 1pm. I went to see if she had parked her car in the usual place – she had. I then went to buy a nice bunch of flowers, and returned to put them on her car window screen. I hid behind a van, and awaited her arrival. She took me by surprise as I didn’t see her walking down the path towards the car. She picked the flowers up, and then looked around confused, before getting into the car. I made my move, walking slowly past the car to see if she recognised me – she didn’t. Saying that, I did have a beard; blacked out shades on; and my hood up! I approached the car window, and she rolled it down. “Are you selling your car love”, I said, in a funny voice. She looked at me confused, so I lowered the shades. “Oh my god, it’s you, Oh my god!”. The plan had worked, a brilliantly executed surprise! We embraced after thirteen months apart – I sure did miss my mum!
I think that’s a nice way to mark the end of my journey. It’s been a roller-coaster of emotion, where many memorable experiences and friendships have been gained. What lies ahead? I’m unsure, but what I do know is that I have grown as a person, and I am more than ready for what awaits me.
Backpackers Tips and Advice
Use National Express online to buy cheap tickets to places all around the UK.
All around Concert Square is good for a night out on the weekend.
Medication is a big student night on Wednesday – it’s located not far from Concert Square. Don’t forget your student card (if you have one)