Friday, 29 November 2013

265 miles South.

So what is it like being a northerner living in London?


It is very different.

Where I come from, I look out of my window and see fields up on fields, cows and tractors. I wake up to the sounds of birds tweeting and when I want to buy some chocolate I have to walk to the little post office in the village.

In London, it’s all roads and buildings, I wake up to the sounds of sirens and there is always a Nisa or little supermarket in walking distance for my chocolate bar.

So where am I actually from?! I am from good old, sunny Teesside. To make it easier I tell people I am from near Middlesbrough, but I am actually from a smaller town called Stockton and within Stockton I live in a little village called Stillington, and no, I am NOT a Geordie. Geordies are from Newcastle. I am what we like to call, a smoggie.  

Up north you can jump on a bus, and you will most likely have a conversation with the person you are sharing a seat with. In London, try and speak to the person sat next to you and they look at you as if you have 3 eyes. We are a lot friendlier up North, or so I find. People in London have somewhere to be and that is that, no time for conversation.

Travelling in London is so different. Obviously we don’t have tubes but we do have busses, but they don’t run as often as the ones in London. You are also very rarely sat in traffic like you are down here. When I lived at home, we always drove places because it was easy too. I don’t know how much I would dare driving round London because the traffic is crazy. I think it would be far too stressful.

Everything is so much bigger down here!! Yeah we have big buildings, but not as big as the Shard or Canary Wharf. They are just your average big building, and we don’t have big double decker busses really either. I think there are a few but only a hand full. So it’s pretty overwhelming moving here.

One thing I miss that Teesside has, that nowhere else has is a parmo. What is a parmo I hear you ask? Well, it is a Teesside delicatessen, it’s greasy, cheesy and one of the best things you will ever eat, especially when you are drunk or hung-over. It’s a deep fried breaded chicken breast, smothered in b├ęchamel sauce and cheese. Served with chips, salad and some often cover it in garlic sauce. MMM, YUM DELISH.

Another huge difference is the accent, obviously! When I first came down I used to have to ask people to repeat what they were saying sometimes, just things like towel and tail. When a southerner says them two words, they sound the same to me, but I found it pretty easy as I got used to it.

For me however, I wonder how long I will live down here and have people asking me to repeat words or have them repeating me. Yes, I speak differently, but sometimes I feel like a performing monkey. ‘Say that again Beth’, ‘sorry, what was that’. I do find it funny sometimes because I say things totally different and people get so confused. I like to think my accent hasn’t changed since I moved down here, but my family seem to disagree. When I go back home for a little while, they always say how I have softened my accent and I say a few words in a southern accent but after being home, I always come back with a broader northern accent and I feel better.

And last but not least, one of the biggest things I miss is HOME BARGAINS! Home bargains is a little shop, that sells big brand, bits and bobs and for really cheap. London doesn’t have a home bargains L they are starting to get them in some Essex areas, so I am really hoping they are going to branch out. Every time I go home I leave a little bit of space in my case to go to home bargains and stock up on cheap essentials.

So moving down south was a scary change, not just because I was miles from home, but because I felt a little lost and I have only met a few northerners down here. But you get used to it and it starts to feel more homely. Even though you can’t get a parmo, I suppose it makes it a little more special when I go home. 

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