An Aussie’s second impressions of Norwich: Roundabouts, tea-bags and train fares

Australian reporter, Josh Hanrahan, front, celebrating Australia Day with members of the Britain Aus

Australian reporter, Josh Hanrahan, front, celebrating Australia Day with members of the Britain Australia Society at Les Garrigues. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A whole month-and-a-half has passed since I swapped Australia's sunshine for England's lack thereof, and while I'm having a ball, there are a few things to consider.

Josh wants to know why there are not strings on every tea-bag in this country. David Parry/PA Wire

Josh wants to know why there are not strings on every tea-bag in this country. David Parry/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Firstly, I've seen Norwich City win just one point in the Premier League and I'm worried it's my fault.

Consider this – I first arrived in Norwich on January 2, stepping off the train about 20 minutes after the final whistle signalled a 1-0 win for City over Southampton.

Since then, it has all gone downhill.

But while I may have put a curse on your football team, one thing I have done right is bring an improvement in the weather.

And why are our town planners so obsessed with roundabouts? Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And why are our town planners so obsessed with roundabouts? Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016


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I wrote in my last column that I found it laughable the way you all describe the weather as 'mild', but only a few weeks down the track and I have to say I now understand.

Recently I passed the half-way mark of my stay in Norfolk and there's a few things I'd like to point out that you locals may not have noticed in your hectic day-to-day lives.

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Towering cathedrals, ridiculously old pubs and half torn down walls make English culture and history about as hard to escape as being trapped on a boat and sent to the other side of the world...

Speaking of which, while the local knowledge of Lord Nelson is immense, it's clear England doesn't know a whole lot about the place they sent all their crooks to a few centuries ago.

That's the only conclusion I could come to following the repeated questions I've been asked over my six weeks in Norfolk, by anyone who identifies me as Aussie.

Alone at the top of the list of questions most commonly asked is 'you all right?' I can confirm I am.

That's closely followed by any question regarding the weather back home and how I must be missing the sunshine and the beach. Again, while it's not as bad as it was, I can still confirm I am.

But the topic that comes in at third place on the list of most commonly asked questions is something I frankly seem to know less about than most of you – Neighbours.

Aussies haven't watched the show since Kylie left and if it wasn't for everyone over here, Harold would've seemingly been out of a job years ago.

So unpopular is the soap back home that it has been shifted to a second rate channel, where the theme song is no longer played in its entirety.

I'm sorry to break your hearts guys, but it's no longer cool to watch Neighbours.

But as much as British people love average soap acting, there's one thing I know for a fact you all love more.

Roundabouts.

Middle of town – roundabout.

Middle of a highway – roundabout.

Middle of nowhere – you guessed it, another roundabout.

England, it's time to admit that you have an addiction. Your town planners need to be sent to roundabout rehab.

But it's not only on the roads where England falls down in terms of transport.

What is up with your train fares?

Seriously, you charge me 5p for a plastic bag in an effort to save the world, yet discourage anyone from using public transport so they can leave their cars at home.

Some may say you're a bit backward, but it seems to me you don't really want to save the planet, and would instead rather go round in circles like you're on a never- ending roundabout.

Now, I know it may seem like I'm an angry little Aussie in the Ricky Ponting mould, but I promise that's where the rant ends. OK... so that was a lie, but I mean what do you expect from a kid who's undoubtedly related to a convict?

Seriously England, where's the string on your tea bag?

For a nation that prides itself on its tea-making abilities, Australia could teach you a thing or two.

I burn my hand every time trying to get the thing out of the cup! And don't tell me to use my spoon, because then I'd have to dry it off again when I go to use sugar and that's completely unnecessary.

Now my new mates, please don't take this column the wrong way. I'm here as a counterpart and a friend, simply trying to show you what you're missing out on and where you may be able to improve this great country in ways you may never have realised.

Building an enormous heater in the middle of the sky could be a good place to start...

•Josh Hanrahan is an Australian journalist on placement with the EDP

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