Saturday, 28 January 2012

"This better be in your blog." (I) Brum.

Birmingham, aka Brumland. Why is it called Brum? I've been here for three days, and still have no clue. I've even asked my friend who studies here AND my Brummy flatmate back home; both have no idea. I told my friend I was going to Brum for a few days, and she replied: "Brum... As in the yellow car with eyes?"

So that's the first mystery and as yet unanswered question about this place. The second is: why does everyone love chips and gravy so darn much? Those two are at the forefront of my mind as I roam around campus at the University of Birmingham, along with: "why is everyone here so beautiful?" and "why oh why do I find the Northern accent so irresistible?"

I've always had a restlessness inside me; I hate staying in one place for too long. Which admittedly sounds a little hypocritical as I could quite happily spend hours, days, weeks, months cotched on my sofa at home watching CSI:NY and eating nothing but cream crackers. However, contrary to my parents' beliefs (that I am a lazy TV-loving couch potato who occasionally provides them with a few laughs), I do loathe to be stuck somewhere for too long. I spent a significant amount of my first semester at uni travelling all over the place visiting friends and family, and even when I spent a weekend at uni I needed to get out of my tiny room and DO things. I went to Brighton, Canterbury, London, Southampton and of course my beloved little hometown and the surrounding area. These occasional adventures broke up my term time nicely, and gave me many things to look forward to.

Almost one month ago, I was packing my bags to go back to uni after spending the Christmas holidays at home. I wasn't that thrilled to be going back, if I'm honest. I love home comforts, and my family and friends, but also the thought of spending another three months in just one place terrified me. My family sensed this and we planned which weekends I will be coming home, and the dates when they will be coming to visit me, and this comforted me a lot. But I also needed some time away, somewhere new. So I made plans to visit two of my favourite friends who are both at uni in Birming... Sorry, Brumland.

Which brings me back to the present: sitting on a stool in my friend's kitchen, listening to Mumford & Sons, the remnants of our student-budget lunch in the sink and the friend in question lying on the sofa holding a bottle at arm's length above his head and dribbling water into his mouth (providing me with giggles aplenty when he misses and gets splashed).

The nightlife in Brumland puts Winchester and Eastbourne to shame. The main strip of clubs, Broad Street, is like a slightly smaller-scale British version of The Strip in Vegas (no exaggerations of course). Thursday night was spent in Vodbull, dressed in animal onesies and going from room to room, bar to bar in the massive club. Standing in the disco room "Rewind", whiskers painted on my face and boiling hot in a cow/dalmatian-print onesie, watching tigers and monkeys fraternize on the dancefloor was definitely a "I'm not in Kansas any more" moment. Friday night was a comparatively chilled and classy night in Pitcher & Piano on the waterfront, a "pretty dress, high heels and lipstick" event, which had the potential to be more awkward than the previous night as I was actually talking to people I didn't know, rather than dancing and communicating via the "wanna drink?" gesture.

I've been pleasantly surprised by the people here. It had suddenly hit me on the train journey up here that the natives might not take well to a stranger in their midst; I had a moment of blinding panic and seriously thought for the first time since starting high school, "what if they don't like me??!" I needn't have worried. Everyone's been lovely. We all share a love of laughing at my friend Alex, and of alcohol (although I'm not sure I'm quite up to their drinking standards just yet).

So, I'm leaving tomorrow and I have several post-Brum resolutions: download more music (they have good taste up here), find a decent end-of-night place that serves excellent "drunk food" (not that I think anything will beat Pit Stop), generally improve my drinking abilities and alcohol tolerance, and finally, visit here more often. Oh, and find out why this place is known as Brum. x


  1. Nice read, enjoyed this entry considering i live right next to Birminghammzzz. (:

  2. Hi, I'm from Birmingham and I think it gained the nickname Brum from the old name Brummagem (or Bromwicham) :) xxx


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