Leeds, Yorkshire, England

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Despite not being the county capital, Leeds is by far the largest city in Yorkshire. This, along with the fact that it’s got several big historical buildings built when it was filled with coal money (see Billy Elliot for what happened to it), and I guess also that it’s usually quite cold, makes it the real-life Winterfell.

It wasn’t a terribly eventful place, but good enough for a short excursion to the north. The buses were hella confusing though: we kept trying to pay but not sure how. As it turned out, there’s a staff selling tickets to you after everyone’s on the bus, but since it was so incredibly packed, he never managed to get to us.

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One of the malls even had real reindeer! None of them had a red nose tho.

Instead of staying in a proper place, we were a bit more adventurous and stayed at a bathhouse (they’ve got actual rooms). I will spare you the juicy details of our night, but it was quite unsettling the next day, when we learned that the cars parked outside were all smashed  – an actual hate crime – and that the establishment increased security due to a homophobic attack (literally a mob trashed the reception) a few years back. So I guess it was also a bit like King’s Landing.

Manchester, England

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I was rather fond of Manchester, actually.

We got there the day before pride – not a good thing, as everything was empty – and my friend from Manchester happened to not be around so once I went out alone. In many ways, my Mancunian experience was quite familiar. I liked it for its historical buildings and I went clubbing on my own, just like I did in Melbourne.

Initially, I found someone on the app who agreed to go with me, who just broke the promise after getting what I suspected to be what’s wanted all along…So I got into several clubs without a company.

There were two cute encounters – I was on the dancefloor, or in reality, leaning against the wall going on Facebook whilst looking at a dancefloor (mostly empty). Some people approached me saying their friend wanted my number, and all I could say, repeatedly, was simply I was only there for the night so there’s no point. Could’ve said something more but oh well.

Then while I was walking on a street some people came near me and started playing with my braces/suspenders (I don’t know why I didn’t run away), and were extremely apologetic when one of the ends got released (no actual harm done).