Tuesday 20th January
I'm standing in Albert Square in Manchester City Centre talking with Phil. It's 12:15pm (around midday). Phil lives in Warrington at the moment which is why we don't meet up as often as we'd like to.
It's a sunny winter's day with long shadows, and it's nice here in Albert Square.
Me: "It's hard to find people who I can go out with and have people skills."
Phil: "I know. Lot's of people are great to meet up with in the day or chat in the evening at a bar, but you can't take them out to meet people."
Me: "When I meet random people in bars and nightclubs one of the guys I might be out with comes over, joins in the conversation and blows it by saying silly things or telling bad jokes."
Phil: "I know exactly what you mean. And how do you teach them?" he says with an expression and tone of voice to say it's not our job to teach them."
Me: "They need to go out regularly themselves to learn it."
We discussing how on nights out we need friends who have social skills.
Me: "Also, the people I meet on a night out. If I'm out with a guy who's rude or not polite then the next day the people I meet will be thinking back how they didn't have a good night out."
Phil: "Yes." he says agreeing.
Me: "A big part of the problem is a lot of guys just want to pick up women. They don't enjoy the conversation, the event of being at a bar or club, discussing hobbies or interests. Also they don't improve with practice."
Phil: "That's what I find too."
Me: "Once I was in the pub and met a lady in the pub who has played netball for Wales. It's interesting to meet people who do activities like that. We would have swapped numbers but then a guy I was with came over when we were mid conversation and acted uncool."
Phil makes an expression that the guy shouldn't have come over in that situation.
Phil: "It doesn't surprise me. I've had that kind of thing many times when I used to go to Tiger Tiger. And the guy you were with, will you ever go out in the evening with him again?"
Me: "No. He's a nice guy on his own but not on a night out."
Phil: "I have some friends who have been very good friends to me, but I can't go out with them to a bar."
It's good point – just because friends aren't cool in bars and chatting to people, doesn't mean they aren't good friends.
We also discuss how people are losing social skills. It's because they don't socialise. I'm finding that people who use online social networking regularly start to think they have to be more and more zany and crazy to be liked. It's probably something to do with all this posting pictures of themselves online. As a result many people are coming across as loopy or unstable.
We talk a while longer then walk towards Peter Street.
Me: "There's an organisation called Common Word set up for writers to help them publish their work. It's around here."
We take a look around the back of the Quakers building. We ask a council worker directions and find the entrance doorway – it's around the back of the Quakers building. I press the doorbell a few times and there's no answer.
Me: "That's often the problem with these kinds of organisations. They claim to help but don't"
We walk around to the front of the building.
Me: "Let's take a look in there."
Phil: "I'm not going in there." he says wondering why I want to go in the Quakers building.
Me: "It's meant to be one of the oldest buildings on Manchester."
I walk up to the entrance doorway and notice a sign.
Me: "Look, there's an art exhibition."
We go inside and take a look around. There are meeting rooms leading off the main hallway. We go through some doors at the end of the hallway that lead into a large room with a stage and tiered seating. It's an old theatre.
Phil: "It's a good room for events."
We go out into the hallway and ask someone there about how much it costs to hire. The prices are about average for this kind of place.
We go out onto the street and over to the top of King Street. We find a venue that serves an Indian Buffet. We might come back here in future.
We meet up with Alex K, take some money out of the casino and go to Chinatown. We go to the China Buffet on the corner downstairs in the basement.
In the past China Buffet used to be very good. Today the service is poor, the food is a lot less tasty and not as quality as it was, and there's less choice than usual. I wouldn't recommend this place.
It's the natural cycle of Chinatown. A place opens or gets refurbished, offers quality and becomes popular. It cuts costs and becomes low quality so the customers have to find another place that offers quality, until it cuts costs and so on. It's kind of like the stockmarket.
During the meal we discuss a range of topics.
Me: "What's your take on this. Is it better to have a German car or one from another European country. German cars stand for quality engineering and function, while there's Swedish or Italian cars which give you a more European image."
We finish the meal and go out onto the street.
Now we're in Manchester Arndale and I get approached by a lady who works on a promotional stall – she's selling a range of health and beauty products. Her name is Alex and she's moving to Manchester in a few weeks. At the moment she's commuting from Sheffield every day.
After she's done her sales pitch I say:
Me: "Can I get your opinion on something?"
Me: "We were discussing how people don't go to bars to meet people as much nowadays."
Her: "It's because at the venues people are often aggressive."
We chat a while and get on well. We swap telephone numbers.
Another lady in HMV who I get talking to gives me her email even though she's at St. Andrew's University studying Medicine. She says we can meet in Manchester when she's at home during the holidays.
Since it's going so well meeting random people. Me and Phil try to spot if there's any guys who could join our social group, as I'm saying how we always end up approaching women. It's mostly scallies, guys in the city aren't so approachable.
It's an enjoyable day looking around the old building, taking money out of the casino for a free Chinese buffet, and meeting some people.
Summary and venue reviews: Tuesday 20th January
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Notes: There are some historic buildings and bars. It's nice standing and talking in the square.
Notes: Someone once said it is one of Manchester's oldest buildings.
Medium busy. Decor: 6/10.
Notes: Using the £10 matchplay offer it's possible to make free money every week for going out.
Busy. Clientele: smart casual, smart. Decor: 7/10.
Notes: Used to have good value. Now the service is poor and the food low quality.
Notes: An indoor shopping mall in Manchester city centre.
Manchester Arndale Centre
Medium busy. Clientele: smart casual. Decor: 6/10.
Notes: A place where it's possible to discuss music with people there.