Wednesday, July 24, 2002

This afternoon, I went into town to accompany R CJ on a recce of the karaoke bar booked for her birthday this weekend. As you've probably noticed, it's the first day of the Commonwealth Games, so I was a bit worried about getting stuck en route. But I have to say that first impressions were good - buses are running smoothly, and perhaps even a bit quicker because of the no-car zones on some of the major roads like Deansgate and Whitworth Street.

The city centre felt quite buzzy actually, and I must confess it was exciting to see loads of games officials, limos carting VIPs and new faces wandering around looking curious. I'll have to keep an eye out for my Canadian synchro girls!

The best bit, though, has got to be the extended shopping hours. I'm still not used to everything packing up by 6 pm - in Canada, we could often shop 'til 9 or 10, which strikes me as logical when most people are stuck in the office until 5 or 6 pm. But for the duration of the games, lots of shops will be staying open until 9 pm every day - and Cafe Nero opens at 5 am every day!

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