7 things you notice when you move from way down south to Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
I moved to Norfolk from Hampshire three years ago, when I started my degree at the University of East Anglia and have stayed to work. Moving east from the M3 corridor to the middle of nowhere was a real culture shock. Here are the things I learnt when I moved to Nelson's county, 165 miles from home…
Everything is cheaper
Travel, housing, eating out, you name it. When I moved to Norwich and heard you could get a taxi for £6 for the three mile journey from university to the city I had to check it wasn't April Fools Day. In the south it costs that much to turn the engine on.
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There are tractors everywhere
In the Home Counties you're more likely to get stuck behind a Bentley on your way through Surrey to walk your dog at Virginia Water. (Huge lake on the edge of Windsor Great Park and Prince Andrew's playground)
In Norfolk any trip to the North Norfolk coast is undoubtedly accompanied by the march of the tractors that make motorists angrier than finding out Mel and Sue are leaving Bake Off.
People actually support their local team
The idea of watching a football match to me is equivalent to sitting through the whole Emmerdale and Coronation Street hour on ITV, but I've got a lot of respect for you Norfolk folk who get behind Norwich City FC.
My nearest club is Reading FC; 12 miles from my house, but only a handful of my friends support the Royals. When you can get to any of the London stadiums in under an hour, you've got a whole host of teams to choose from. Almost every person I've met from Norfolk is a proud Canary, even if the only reason is to avoid a two hour journey on a rickety Anglia train.
Phone signal is dreadful
No wonder there's so many bars in Norwich, because they're certainly aren't any wifi ones. Norfolk seems to be the forgotten afterthought of phone companies, with some rural areas lucky to get internet at all.
With intermittent signal the norm, it's a good thing you've got a beautiful coastline and tourist hotspots to get out of the house when the internet is driving you crazy.
People are friendlier
If someone talks to you at a bus stop in the south there are two thoughts that go through your mind: 1) Are they going to rob me? 2) Did I meet them at a family party aged 15?
In Norfolk you can expect to leave a bus stop encounter with enough information to write their biography.
Cyclists are welcomed (sort of)
The Avenues in Norwich might as well have a giant neon sign saying 'No cars welcome!' with half the road taken up with generous cycle lanes.
In the south, cycling is strictly a leisure activity, confined to holidays in the countryside, including South Downs National Park and the New Forest. No one really cycles to work, instead taking the sardine tin commuter train into central London, where seats are more sought after than Beyoncé tickets.
Norfolk has some interesting characters
Everywhere has its interesting characters, but none more so than Norfolk.
From the Puppet man to fictional Partridge, eccentricity shines through in Nelson's county. We may have the Bearded Lady of Guildford (Don't ask) but you have Stephen Fry and Delia Smith.
You can keep Ed Balls though.
Have you moved from the south to East Anglia? Let us know in the comments