Birmingham isn’t all that bad
I’m not a northerner, nor am I a southerner
The default question when you come to university is ‘where are you from?’, and as soon as you say you’re from Birmingham they respond ‘ah I knew it’ – well no you didn’t if you had to ask. Anyone south of Birmingham calls you a northerner, but all the northerners call you a southerner – neither of which are correct as I’m actually from the Midlands, yes that is a place and it’s on my address.
People tell you you’re posh if you’re from Sutton Coldfield, but you daren’t tell them you live on the end of Chester Road where if you cross the road you’re in Erdington.
Wolverhampton is NOT in Birmingham
The most despicable behaviour is when someone tells you they know a Brummie who lives in Wolverhampton – that my friend is not a Brummie, what you have there is a Yam Yam: someone from the Black Country who sounds like they have an even lower, more drawn-out Birmingham accent.
You get used to the constant look of befuddlement when you’ve said a Brummie word that no one at uni understands – my favourite is to say “I’m doing a gambol” and see the look on their faces as they think it’s a disease. Or asking someone to get you some “tuthpaste” – then sit back and wait to see what they come back with.
Are our football teams worth talking about?
You can’t refute the dominance that football has in Birmingham, with most people supporting Aston Villa or Birmingham City – but if you support Villa, is it really ‘football’ you’re watching? Then if you support West Brom you tend to keep yourself quieter about the team’s achievements and distance yourself from those pesky football hooligans.
We grew up dreading match day train journeys into town, just waiting to stop at Aston so all the rowdy people going to watch the game would leave the train. Then you stop at Duddeston and wonder if anyone actually lives there. The tumble-weed rolling across the station would suggest not.
Trips into town can involve anything from shopping in the Bull Ring and Selfridges – that orb covered building that looks like Noo Noo from The Teletubbies, lunch on the canal-side Brindley Place or visiting any of the museums.
Snobs is the perfect Insta background
Going out in Birmingham is wrought with high expectations of looking hot in your new outfit and snapchatting every minute of the night just to let everyone know you’re currently sipping your £9 double vodka coke…along with every other person in Snobs.
Unless you’re staying local and just going for a cheeky few in The Bottle of Sack then going to Molloys for the inevitable reunion of everyone you once went to school with – you could count on seeing more recognisable faces there than actually in registration.
The morning after the night before is always very touch and go, but even more so when you’re hoping your favourite club won’t get shut down for the narcotic fuelled fight that occurred in the night.
Did you actually go to school to learn?
The inter-school rivalry was formed of many elements, where some schools aimed to beat the others in terms of grades, namely the likes of Sutton Girls, Bishop Vesey Grammar and Plantsbrook (just about). Other schools preferred the abstract achievement of beating the previous year’s number of pregnancies. Then if you went to Highclare and had more STI’s than GCSE’s you were practically a BNOC.
Yes I grew up in Birmingham, and yes I still have all of my teeth. Too many people saw Benefits Street and assumed that was the general picture of Birmingham. Certain areas may resemble a ghetto much too closely, but other areas are nothing short of beautiful. You can be right in the city centre immersed in the mayhem and energy, but then come fifteen minutes out and you take a walk through Sutton Park with your dog. You’d never know you were in a city.