Call to prayer in England: A bell rings* from a big communal building called a church - now, if it is noon (and Sunday) you can duck into the church and participate in church services.** Like that sound?
It is sweet, isn't it?
Makes you think a bit.
Enjoy a vestige from a more religiously minded England's past.
* Could also be marking the hour or half hour on the clock.
** Muslims, Buddhists, other non-Christians from anywhere in the world can sit in because Christians are cool like that.
Gardens are a state of soul in England, and no less in Stockport. The blue collar feel to a great deal of this town doesn't cancel out the love of gardening, which is found everywhere. You can use garden compliments as good icebreakers.
(and let's not forget that about fifty percent of Stockport is greenspace...)
In Stockport, they are free to dress as they want - and many men choose the tracksuit. The tracksuit is the jellaba of Stockport. Many natives here feel comfy in clothes that resemble their neighbors clothes, and many youths spend their years of rebellion and nonconformism looking exactly like the youth next to them. I have a tracksuit that I wear as Stockport camouflage.
Some bars will refuse entrance to tracksuited men - which could be the beginning of a civil rights movement for tracksuiters everywhere. "First we take Stockport, then the world..."
I tried to take these pictures within 3 minutes to show the ubiquity of the Tracksuit.
Coming from "more-sexist-by-a-kilometer" North Africa or a just a place with more conservative dress and customs? Well, seeing a 60 something in a miniskirt is not going to be out of the question in Stockport and Greater Manchester. Seeing a teen girl smoking or a girl with over generous amounts of flesh hanging out is pretty bloody likely.
Note to my touring male friends of a more conservative or macho upbringing - none of the above descriptions of women imply an invitation to hiss, whistle, flirt, or speak.
JAM SEZ: Respect them. And no laughing at the naughty granny in the go-go outfit.
Yes sir, you can and will call her Miss Manchester 2005 (since she is) - but Stockport's celebrity girl is a local point of pride and worship. May the A6 rise with you, Gemma.
Keep up with her here for when you are passing through Stockport -
height: 5' 6" bust: 32B"
This is not New Orleans, boo. And you surely ain't in Morocco. So, for your sake (if you are warm blooded and gregarious) consider not saying 'hi' to people if they aren't saying 'hi' to you - unless you get off on being anxiously ignored and causing nervousness (like I do) You will notice a strange attempt of most of them to avoid eye contact as well.
They are warm, loving and intelligent once you get to know the Stockporters, the Stockportians, the Stockportly, the Stockportugese, etc., but man, you gonna be 'OUT IN DA COLD' if you don't know them.
So leave 'em alone.
If you insist on contact - there is a further tip for breaking the ice below.
The advert implies it all - the beer you left behind is waiting for you over in Germany. The kind of efforts that are made for the unification of governments, churches, armies are made for beer drinkers - don't underestimate a man's need for beer or you will have failed miserably at seeing England.
There is no pressing need for religion in an alcoholic country. Put beer on the illegal substance list and this country will explode like a kosher deli/disco in a Hezbollah controlled ghetto.
One thing Marx should have said after his famous "Religion is the opiate of the masses" would have been "and it's beer" so that so English people could feel part of it. Then he could add "And beer is the religion of the masses" to drive another type of point home to the 'rational' Brits.
Just an early observation - people seem to form deeper bonds with their pets than with other people.
Open for revision.