From the city centre and all the way to Fallowfield, you only need to go along one road. In the city centre, it’s called Oxford Street, near the University, it’s called Oxford Road, and beyond that, it’s called Wilmslow road, or more affectionately among the locals: The Curry Mile. Almost every day, I walk or take the bus down Wilmslow road, and it continues to be a fascinating journey.
All the students leave the ghetto of Fallowfield every morning and take the bus to the university. To cover the pendling needs of so many people, the many bus companies of Manchester have decided to pull double or triple shifts along this route, and there are more busses along this road, than I’ve seen anywhere else. You’d only have to wait for a minute or so for a bus. This is all well and good if you’re just buying a single ticket, as you can pick any bus that might come by, but if you, as I have, decide to save some money by buying a weekly pass, then you can only travel with the buses of the company whose weekly pass you’ve bought.
This leaves you in the absurd position of waiting for exactly the right type of bus, rather than just any bus. And since there are 6 (six!) different companies who have busses operating on Wilmslow Road, you can see a lot of buses pass by, before one of your exact company comes along. This of course means that you have to carefully consider which company you want to put your money on. Should go for the expense, but reliable Stagecoach pass? Or rather save some money with the flimsy Magic Bus pass? Or maybe the Finglands pass that also allow you take the night buses, or the UK North pass, or the Arriva pass or even the R. Bullock pass?
It’s absolutely ridiculous, but as the locals rationalise: “Well, it’ll probably keep the price down.”
Anyway, the reason why it’s a fascinating journey isn’t so much because there are a silly amount of buses (I guess you’d have to be a bus-spotter to appreciate that), but rather because of the neighbourhood of Rusholme.
Rusholme is home to the greatest concentration of Indian and Pakistani restaurants in northern England. They offer all sorts of variations of vindaloo, phall, kebab, naan, and equally strange dishes, and they are all packed with people after 2 am on friday and saturday night when the pubs have closed.
A German friend who goes by the name of Grobi (the name of one the characters on Sesamstrasse, in fact his real name is Torben) has been in Manchester since August and have spent a lot of time and effort testing the offerings of the various kebab shops in Rusholme, his verdict: King Kabana is the best. So now you know.