This year is the year of Tiger, it reminds me of “The Ryan House Four Tigers”
Ryan House was the name of the student block of flats that I have stayed with three others during my 2nd year at Uni. It is located on Cavendish Street in Hulme. The three other Tigers were Adam, Edward and Pedro.
Edward and Adam were my fellow hallmates of mine at Weston Hall during the 1st year. I got to know them through playing Basketball. Pedro is Edward’s coursemate and he also tagged along to play basketball too. Needed to find a place to stay for the 2nd year, I was open to a few options. I was going to rent a place with my coursemate Lester but needing to find others to make up the number for a house shared. A fellow UMIST football teammates & ChemEnger also asked me to join his houseshare in Didsbury. Well I took the third option when Edward asked me whether I would like to join them. Edward, Adam and Pedro were looking together and have found this new build private student hall. All they were missing was me the fourth person to make up the number for the flat. So I joined them and Ryan House.
Ryan House was privately owned. It was going to be built just in time for us to move in. It was charging £60 per week similar to that for Weston Hall. We were at Flat 7 on the third floor. Not surprisingly there were alot of South East Asian students too. The flat opposite also came from Hong Kong but study at University of Manchester. The flat above was Singaporeans and the flat below was Malaysians. One of the attraction was the claim that Ryan House will have an internet link with the University similar to University halls like Weston. But this claim never came true, so slow death dialup it was then. The guy who owned the building didn’t really have alot of experience of running a student hall. They splashed out on new Ikea furniture everywhere. One mistake was he didn’t bring in comerical coin-operated washing machines and dryers. He just installed normal domestic ones. This meant that there was no way of recharging us the students. So hurray for free laundry!
We had a cooking roster. That was the fun part of living together that year. Pedro didn’t really want to think about cooking so he volunteered to do the washing up (everyday that is!). So the cooking roster was between us the other three. Basically we rotated to cook for everyone. Proper Chinese dinner that is, no oven or microwave rubbish! We were quite traditional in that sense, having RICE everyday!!! There would normally be three dishes, two meat ones and one veg. Funny enough we had our own different style, so dinner was never dull.
Edward’s style was “Choppy”. He chopped and cooked everything in small chunks and bites.
Adam like Chinese style steam water-egg and other very homie dishes.
Not surprisingly I was the extravangant cook who would try anything and was also the messy one!
We normally finished Uni at around 4/5ish and would come home to cook. I don’t think many other people did it like us. But religiously it went on throughout that year.
Our local supermarket was Asda in Hulme. It was about 20 minutes walk from our place. Again we would religiously go together during the weekend. We would take out two trolleys one for shared food and one for personal stuff. It is normally the case that Pedro and I were buying too much for our own personal indulgence. Edward has to in many occasions stop us the children!
We would then wait for a taxi to take us back. When we got back I would be the one to interpret the receipt and we would work out who owes money to who etc. We kept a noticeboard in the lounge for tracking our debts.
Dinner Time TV
Although there was no fast internet, the owner of the hall was kind enough to set us up with then called ON Digital. They funded the basic package but we had upgraded to get the Sky Sports channels. I remember one period we were watching Dragon Ball Z on cartoon networks, then series of Friends, NBA basketballs and football of course. Adam being a ManU fan, Edward is a Liverpool fan and me the Gooner!
Every Saturday morning we all went to play basketball together at Sugden Sports Centre. And again we had our own different style of play too. Adam’s Jordan fadeaway, Edward’s all round brilliance, Pedro the unorthodox and me the big slow shooting rather than layup centre.
Rubbish & Micky Mouse
I was lucky that day when it was my turn to cook. So I watch the event unfolded from upstairs. There were a big pile of rubbish building up because other flats were not dumping rubbish properly into the bins. They just trunked out onto the backyard. We the sensible lot put up a notice to ask everyone to join in and clear the rubbish. Unsurprisingly no one came other than ourselves. With me watching on from upstairs’ window, Adam, Edward and Pedro went about clearing the rubbish. They form a human line and started to transfer the rubbish bags into the big bins. After a few bags were removed. A frightened Micky Mouse dashed out. He first bumped into Edward’s right foot then bounced on to this left before going through his legs and ran towards Adam. Who was then shouting “Mouse Mouse Mouse!” in a shocking voice and jumped immediately onto one of the concrete pillars. I was have the best of time watching from above. The mission was then abandoned and we reported it to the managing agent. They got a professional guy out and murdered Micky. As a lesson for our fellow residents, Micky was hanged on the wall immediately behind the back door to reminder others. Well it definitely reminded Adam & Edward for a second time. When they took the rubbish down and were shocked to see the hanging Micky clearly displayed in front of their faces. I would definitely have nightmares if I was one of them.
There were many other memorable stories but I will keep them until the next time.
Take Care of yourself and each other