Cecily Sheppard

I’m a Southerner…Get Me Out of Here! – How to Survive the North if You Say Bath THAT Way

Map of UKSo you’re coming to Liverpool – fantastic! But, as I hope you’re aware, Liverpool is in the North West of England, and some things happen differently up here compared to down South. As a fresher from leafy West Sussex, last year I learnt some things, and so I’m here to advise you on the ways of the North.

1) You ARE posh

Wherever you went to school, and I mean WHEREVER, doesn’t matter as you will be told you’re posh. Unfortunately, those of us from London and directly south of it have the misfortune of sounding a bit like David Cameron. So just calmly tell your Geordie flatmate that you don’t know the Queen and appreciate ASDA rollbacks just as much as the next student.

2) No one will know where you’re from

My housemate has lived with me for over a year. He still thinks I’m from Surrey. That’s like saying a Liverpudlian is from Manchester. NOT THE SAME. Basically, anything south of Birmingham is London. Period. Unless you’re from the South West, and then you’re a farmer.

3) The way you speak will be mocked

Think you haven’t got an accent? Think again. Ask somebody where the baaathroom is and not only will you be looked at like you’re from Mars, but you’ll be imitated for about an hour afterwards.

4) A bread roll is not a bread roll

Buy one, and ask your new friends what it is. Then sit back and watch the carnage unfold. Welcome to the Game of Loaves – Bread Stark will win here.

5) The weather’s not that bad

People make out that there’s more wind and rain in the North. The fact is, if you’re on the South coast, it’s just as grim. That being said, sometimes it does snow up here – hurrah!

6) Scousers are friendly

On the whole, anyway. They’re just happy you’re here, loving their city just as much as they do. Be prepared to engage in conversation with strangers, however. Within a couple of hours of moving to Liverpool, I found myself sitting in a chip shop, listening to a Scouse lady telling me how much she loves ‘Columbo’. Situations such as this can be a shock to the Southern system.

7) Gravy is THE condiment of choice

Especially on chips. If you can’t stomach the idea of drowning everything in gravy, don’t be surprised if someone points out the lack of it. Sometimes saying you like ketchup lessens the judgement slightly.

8) Beer is cheap

Forget about paying a fiver for a pint. Gorge on the delights of the North. Actually, most stuff is cheap. In the South, a seven-minute train journey is about a fiver. Up here, you can get on a train for forty minutes for the same price. Lack of money is no longer as valid an excuse to not go outside.

9) Tea means dinner. Brew means tea.

Down South, your daily munching routine is probably referred to as ‘breakfast, lunch, and dinner’. Up here, you’ll be told you’re eating ‘breakfast, dinner, and tea’. It’s best to not argue. You will probably be ganged up upon. Personally, I’ve found the happy place of ‘breakfast, lunch and tea’.

10) The news is called ‘Look North’

It’s not quite the same as being welcomed to South Today. And it also won’t tell you about how someone’s been stealing from the village church’s vegetable garden.

11) The locals are very proud

The strong sense of local pride is what I find most refreshing about Liverpool. I’m used to people picking holes in the village next door, but people up here love their city. And, well, it’s just really, really nice.

12) People will call you ‘love’ or ‘mate’

Regardless of their feelings towards you, at some point you’ll probably be called a pet name by a complete stranger. People in Liverpool also often say ‘ta’ as opposed to ‘thanks’. So the general exchange in a shop ends a bit like ‘Ta, love!’ ‘Erm, thanks *awkwardly shuffles from shop*’

13) It’s normal to wear your rollers in public

People never believe me about this. But you will, at least once, see someone walking around Liverpool One with their rollers in and pyjama bottoms on. I have actually sat next to someone in the cinema with their rollers in. The horrible thing is, you can’t laugh because it’s the norm.

14) The Cumfybus is a thing

I am still yet to find out why anyone thought this spelling was acceptable.

15) The Beatles are EVERYWHERE

If you don’t care about either the Beatles or football, pretend that you do. Or at least don’t outwardly express hatred towards either. If you walk into Waterstones, the first things you’ll see are a Liverpool FC section, an Everton FC section, and a Beatles section, all accompanied by the option of a matching themed Monopoly set. It’s actually a bit scary.

“That bright and fierce and fickle is the South, and dark and true and tender is the North.”

– According to Tennyson, anyway.

(Feature image credit: Google. Article image credit: Buzzfeed)

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