Not having everyone say BIIIIRRMMINNGGHHAAM at you
“Where are you from?”, “Birmingham”, “BBBIIIRRMMIINGGHHHAMMMM”.
Yep, haven’t heard that one before. As grating as it can be ten (million) times later, there’s something in that kind of back and forth that you’ll miss when you leave.
Birmingham is the epicentre of the country’s canal network and even has more miles of canal than… (if you’re reading this as an outsider, yes we know you know, as everyone from Birmingham has probably told you a million times already. It’s Venice if you didn’t know. But you did). Anyway, just look at how beautiful the canals look in the summer months!
Okay, so this is a sweeping statement as it applies to pretty much anybody who moves away from home, but bear with us! Despite its modest 1.1 million population, Birmingham is amongst the cheaper of the larger cities in the country so moving away can often be an expensive process – particularly if you’re heading south. Say goodbye to those cheap pints…
Mocked by many, the Brummie accent is definitely either something you either love or hate. It’s only when you move away that you start to miss the Brummie twang and the generally friendly people you used to encounter on a daily basis. God forbid you strike up a conversation on the Tube in London…
Known as the city’s creative quarter, Digbeth is home to all kinds of surprises. Whether you’re after a pint in one of its many (and we mean many) Irish or historic pubs, you’re looking to hit up a warehouse rave or simply find a space to work for the afternoon, it’s got it all.
It sounds odd, but nobody is better at self-deprecation than Brummies. While you’ve got the likes of Mancunians proudly blowing their trumpet about how great their city is and how they are really the second city (they’re not!), Brummies are modest towards their city. Quite an attractive trait, some might say.
What goes hand in hand with the Brummie accent? Its endearing dialect, that’s what bab. It’s going to be a long old slog for you in another city if you try and speak the famous Birmingham slang with your new peers.
Birmingham’s most revered nightclub, Snobs, celebrated its 45th birthday this year and is more popular than ever. Despite moving from its much-loved, sticky-floored venue a few years back, Snobs is thriving and is probably the best alternative club in the city.
Scallops from the chippy
Those from Birmingham might not know what we’re on about here, just like every chip shop owner north and south of the West Midlands! We don’t mean fish when we ask for a scallop, we mean a fried slice of potato. This may be called a potato fritter or other variants across the country, but it’s definitely a scallop and everyone else is wrong.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Birmingham’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade was the first in Britain and dates as far back as the 1950s. More than 80,000 people line the streets of Digbeth each year to watch one of the biggest parades in the country. Other than Ireland itself, you won’t find as passionate an Irish parade as this one.
The Frankfurt Christmas Market
It’s an annual Brummie tradition to visit the German Market at least once every Christmas for a Glühwein and a pretzel. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to this popular attraction which offers quaint market stalls, traditional German food and truck loads of beer. You might think it’s too crowded while you live here, but once you’ve left, we guarantee you’ll miss it.
The Balti Triangle
Honestly, you won’t find a better curry than in Birmingham. Okay, other than in India itself. Birmingham is famed for its Indian food (the balti was invented here don’t ya know?) so you might end up missing your favourite dish from the Stratford Road. You’ve been warned!