Matthew Barnett reflects on his first experience of life in Leeds.
Leeds | li:dz | : A place in England proud of its reputation for gritty, red brick house parties, motorways that run through the delightful city centre, and, of course, more students than you can shake a stick at. I recently visited Leeds for reasons quite unknown to me. Sheer enthusiasm from my school friends to ‘come up north’ somehow convinced me to make the four and a half hour drive to the infamous party capital of Yorkshire.
It was about quarter past four on a brisk February afternoon when I stood outside my friend’s house on the Magalufian ‘Brudnell Road’, located in the student area of ‘Hyde Park’, Leeds. I had forgotten my jacket; a grave error considering that anywhere above Oxford is usually at least five degrees colder than South London, and, annoyingly my nominated host was neither picking up his phone, nor answering the door. Being a practical young man, I walked around the end of the terraced road, past the mosque (which appears to be some sort of reference point for many students when asking for or giving directions), and up the Billy Elliot-esque back road which, lined with rubbish bags, fridges and the odd mattress, led me to the back of my friend’s house. I promptly climbed through the kitchen window, walked up to his room, past many expensive laptops and games consoles (which I would have had the picking of had I been a burglar), to find my old school friend asleep and half-naked on his floor using his dirty washing pile of boxers and socks as a pillow. It did not take me long to work out what had happened as the evidence was laid out for me: half a crate of Fosters lying half a metre away from his body, three different night clubs’ stamps on his wrist, three boxes of half-eaten fried chicken, and, finally, two ladies (fully clothed) in his bed.
‘My dear friend’ I thought, ‘you assumed that if you brought these two charming ladies back to your very humble abode, let them drink your beer, and eat from your local chicken shop, that you might be in with a chance of sleeping with one, or both of them. How wrong you were.’
It was a shame really, to see my friend, so pitifully naïve, sleeping on the floor whilst these two ladies, dressed almost identically, slept soundly in his bed. So I roused the women, discarded of the evidence of their presence, made the bed and put the kettle on before waking him to find that he had no recollection of the previous night’s events. ‘Brilliant’, I thought, ‘his self-esteem may stay intact, unless he bumps into the ladies again.’ After a restorative cup of tea (Yorkshire, of course), we got on with our weekend seamlessly.
Leeds is a fantastic place. If you want to take a break from the claustrophobia of London, hear a friendly northern accent, or even attempt to have a threesome with people you will never see again, by all means, go.