Here's the beginning of my essay:
A Love Letter to Norwich, England
The number 25 double-decker bus threads its way through the narrow two-lane streets. Coughing and burping without a hint of embarrassment, it carries us from the train station, with its cheerful round clockface and neat front of red brick, over the weeping-willow-lined river and up the road, past the Tesco and Superdrug and a handful of pubs, past the castle and the mall and Poundland (my favorite store because everything only costs a pound.) Climbing the stairs behind the bus driver's seat and choosing a seat up top will remain a novelty no matter how many times I ride this bus. The front seat up top is best—the huge panoramic window makes me feel like I'm part of the sky, cloudless and carefree, tracing the peaked gray rooftops with outstretched fingertips.
The bus stops four times on its way through the city centre. At each stop, I peer down at the people walking along the cobblestone sidewalks: young mothers pushing bundled-up babies in prams; old women wearing small flowered hats pinned primly to their hair; groups of teenage boys, their legs lost in the billowing fabric of their trousers, hurtling their way toward the bus. The boys pay their fare and stampede upstairs. I don't look back, but I can picture them, each one sprawled out across two seats. "Joe, don't be a bloody twat!" one of them says. I can't help a smile from spreading across my face—the novelty of the dialect makes even curse words sound lovely.
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