Depart is an ongoing personal project….

Waiting for my train to Birmingham at London Euston Station
My hotel in Birmingham

I did a little shopping

I then took a taxi to New Street station

Waiting for my train to Manchester
I boarded my train to Manchester and sat on my suitcase

My 24 hours in Blackpool have been amazing. 

Wearing my niqab in Blackpool left me feeling nervous. I have, however, found the people here to be very welcoming. It has been a pleasure to be treated with respect by everyone during my stay. There has been a great deal of kindness shown to me by the cafe staff, taxi drivers, and local shop employees. Quite a few people have stared at me, but that is to be expected. 

Blackpool is home to many good and decent people. Even though I am a minority here, I feel comfortable. 

In front of Primark, a man of color shouted “Batman” as he turned around. In spite of the fact that it did not upset me, I was surprised by it. It is my goal to become accustomed to such comments, but I am having difficulty doing so at this time.

The Imperial hotel Blackpool. The staff were amazing 🙂
Bingo in Blackpool

The sea water on my feet felt amazing

Washing my niqabs in the sink

I had to change hotel again. This is my fourth hotel in Blackpool. My charger and perfume were stolen from one hotel and the last hotel couples kept knocking on my door. They found it funny. Sadly moving around has been challenging and stressful. Although majority of people are nice here. I experienced some harassment. It was to be expected.

I decided to go to Blackburn to do a little ethnic shopping. Blackburn is only 45 minutes by train from Blackpool. My experience in Blackburn was fantastic however I feel more comfortable in Blackpool. I have my reasons which I will discuss at some point.
After several years I made it to this shop to buy samosas Alhamdulilah


Blackburn Market

Whalley Range Masjid

Working on my university project. I’m still in Blackpool at the forth hotel I checked into. Although the lady that runs this hotel took one look at me and said “we don’t have any rooms available” her husband kindly said “yes we do” the truth is they had 5 rooms available. I think the lady was startled by my niqab. Since that initial interaction the couple that run this hotel have been welcoming.

Many are asking “why Blackpool” Well I spent a lot of time here growing up as my sister lived here. Blackpool also has a lovely beach and the hotels are affordable.


It was finally time for me to leave Blackpool. I took a train to Manchester, followed by a train to Birmingham. Unfortunately, I missed the last train to London Euston, which was scheduled for 11.10 p.m. Due to my desire to eat Pakistani food, I took an Uber to Ladypool Road and missed the last train. There was no choice but to book a hotel for the night.

The Comfort inn Birmingham

Air drying my niqabs at the hotel

I decided to go and see an exhibition called “Backlash- Racism and the struggle for self defence” at Birmingham Museum.

Visually the exhibition was powerful with some graphic photography.

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