This was my week off after two weeks of travel. So… No photos. (Featured image by newkemall via wikimedia)

But I’ll describe what a week in the suburbs of Birmingham was like.

I stayed with a woman from Malaysia who’s lived in the UK for over a decade. She was an amazing cook of all sorts of Asian cuisine, from a host of different countries. It was some of the best food I had eaten across my entire time in Europe, though she insisted on stuffing me into a food coma nearly every single day. One of the days I was there, I joined her for a trip through the city, stopping at multiple groceries, including ones in an area populated mostly with immigrants from Asia. It was a really cool experience to explore her culture and that of many of the city’s other immigrants through the lens of a daily errands.

On another day, one I had free, I walked a four hour round-trip to visit a climbing gym in the next suburb over. The trip via public transit would’ve been two hours round trip and wouldn’t have let me explore, so it was an easy choice to just walk. Part of the way, I followed a canal lined on one side with a walking path and on the other with houses that backed into piers for their boats.

Birmingham is known for its canals, having 35 miles of them (which is said to be more than Venice.) The one I followed originated in the city’s old industrial center, but I met it at a point far into the suburban spawl.

I didn’t see much of the city center, except for what I encountered on my way in and out of town. From what I saw, however, the city is very modern feeling, as well as quite literally young. Most of the city’s history dates only to industrial revolution, in that way making it feel a lot more like an American city on the east coast.

I know Birmingham deserves more attention than I gave it. I was too focused on taking things slow, remote working, and climbing to explore it properly. Next visit, I’ll do it right.



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