59. Opportunities

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” – Sir Francis Bacon

It’s snowing heavily outside (properly this time round, not just a mehhhh kind of snowfall like what Manchester has been having for the past couple of days) so I’m content with staying inside my room and keeping warm. I did, however, stay in the courtyard for a good 5ish minutes earlier, to feel the snow falling onto me. It is quite magical to experience snow for the first time but after a while, the cold gets to me and all I want to be is in a warm place.

Anyway, I had quite a day today, having gone on a little city tour guided by a true blue Mancunian. It was definitely interesting to revisit some of the places I’ve explored on my own, this time with new information and fun facts that places things into slightly different perspectives. I love guided tours as much as I love going around on my own. The city tour basically just proved to me that choosing Manchester over London as a place to study for exchange wasn’t such a bad decision after all. Of course, I’ve not been London yet but you know, I’m falling more in love with Manchester by the day! 😀

Before I share with you about my trips to the two hugely popular stadiums, there’s one thing that I believe will be worth digressing for. It’s something that a friend mentioned earlier today during the tour, about grabbing/making opportunities. Have you ever wondered, why some people seem to always have more exciting things on their plate? I was thinking about it and came across a great write-up about it here. Here’s a short extract:

How many opportunities do we miss in life? Sometimes we are so engrossed in our problems or day to day lives that we let great opportunities pass us by. Other times an opportunity may be jumping up and down in front of us shouting “Hey guys! I’m here! Great opportunity time!” but we choose to ignore it as it is just embarrassing us with its ridiculous behaviour and we don’t want to look silly or make a mistake.

Another point to remember is it helps to open yourself up to more situations that allow for opportunities. Talking to people anywhere and everywhere increases your chances of meeting the right person for a situation. Getting out and about instead of staying at home creates more possible winning situations. Consider why networking is successful. Think about what you can give or offer to others rather than what you receiving as this will more likely make you feel like a winner too.

If anyone asks me how I got to where I am, I’d say one of the key components of the equation besides faith is proactivity. You’ve got to take ownership of your life and be proactive with the decisions you make. There are so many opportunities out there but they’ll not be of any use if you don’t grab it!

So that’s my little dose of enlightenment for the day. 😉 Moving on to the stadium visits!

I’d gone to both Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford within the span of a few days. The former, I’d gone alone just because.. I felt like a solo trooper for the day. The latter, I had two other exchange students with me. Both times, I’ve got to say, I was equally amazed at the sheer size of the stadium! They are HUGEEEE! Old Trafford is of course, the bigger of the two but you know, Etihad is by any standards, ginormous too. Oh and it’s easy to get to both places from the city center’s bus interchange: I took a straight bus for both!

I did not enter both stadiums, merely admired the external infrastructure (did I mention that I love looking at buildings?) and entered the merchandise store. I’ve yet to enter the stadiums because I’m leaving that till the Easter break when the mister’s here, inshaallah! Let’s just keep the football stuff to then because hey, I’m not exactly here for the football. Yes, kill me. In Manchester and not for the football?! How absurd! 😛

Etihad Stadium

Did you know that Etihad Stadium is actually part of the Sportcity which was built initially to serve the 2002 Commonwealth Games? Post-2002, the stadium was refurbished with extra seats so as to be turned into a football stadium before Manchester City FC moved in. Kinda explains the less appealing structure, I think.

Old Trafford

I’d gone to Old Trafford quite late, well, at 4ish in the afternoon, as the sun was setting so I didn’t really get to take much pictures. I’m definitely going again soon to take a look around and search for the statue of Sir Alex Ferguson so keep a look out for more pictures of Old Trafford in future posts! 🙂

Let me tell you, ANYTHING that can possibly be merchandised as Man U merchandise, has been merchandised. It’s ridiculous, some of the things sold there! Hahahaha!

Oh and RVP is everywhereeeeeeee.

I really enjoyed visiting the stadiums, despite not being a fan of both clubs. (You’ll find out in due time which team I support. 😉 ) I’d really want to see a soccer match one of these days and soak up the atmosphere! I heard the fans here are kerazeeeee. Confirm gerek! And the Student Union at UoM sells tickets for a fraction of the price most of the times so hey, we’ll see! You’ll definitely know about it if that happens! 😀

So there you have it, the two stadiums in Manchester! I’ve got quite a fair bit to do this weekend too so I should probably get my rest now. Till the next time, stay safe and grab as many opportunities as you can! 🙂

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