10 things a northerner should know to fit-in in Essex (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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10 things a northerner should know to fit-in in Essex
An important part of moving to a new culture is learning to speak the language.
You wouldn’t move to France without learning bonjour, merci and ou est la toilette, and Essex is no different.
In order to assimilate thee must be able to communicate.
Here are a few translations of common Essex phrases to get you started.
Shut up! = That’s amazing, I almost don’t believe you, but I do.
Well jel = I’m very envious
Reem = Nice, good.
Listen! = Shut up.
Of the 18 political constituencies, 17 are Conservative.
The one which is not coloured blue, Colchester (hang your heads in shame!), is yellow.
Despite its majority in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber regions, Labour does not have a single MP in Essex.
Unions don’t exist in Essex.
3. Economy and major industries
As you chug down the M1 or M6 on the Megabus* you will leave behind the smoking stacks and pollution-filled industrial towns of the north and enter the 4x4-laden, nail salon-lined, diamante-clad streets of Essex.
A true fact about the workforce in Essex is that 99.9% of the working women are employed in fashion, be it nail, hair or pets.
Whoever you are you can be improved by the addition of hot pink colouring and fake nails, eyelashes or hair extensions.
There is also a burgeoning television industry.
*A northerner's preferred form of transport. A cheaper version of National Express
4. House Prices
If you want to own a house in Essex you will have to go without food every other day and work three or more jobs in order to afford a mortgage.
This will continue for the length of the mortgage.
Another option is to purchase five properties in the north and sell them, which should enable you to buy a modest bungalow or bedsit.
An alternative to buying is to work as a chimney sweep in one of the big houses, i.e., any of them.
It appears strange that the North of England does not suffer for more flooding seeing as the average weight of a Northerner is almost twice that of their Essex counterpart (Source: Rugby League** crowds).
This is because every northern meal is made up of high calorie, pastry-based dishes and alcohol is drunk by the pint rather than the half.
Most of the population north of Birmingham are only saved from morbid obesity by financial constraints which only allow them to have a single meal per day.
Essex boys and girls tend to graze on low-calorie middle class treats such as hummus, sushi and carrot sticks and would NEVER contemplate consuming chips with gravy.
If someone offers you a bottle of liquor, on no account drink it. It is water that eels have been stewed in.
Any benefits to their complexion as a result of a diet of fresh vegetables and omega oils are negated by the trend of Essex people to spray a sort of orange dye called Fake Tan over every inch of their person: a far cry from the blackened coal dusted faces of folk up north.
The inhabitants of the second most coastal county also dress differently. None of the full tracksuits have made it down from Liverpool nor have flat-caps from Yorkshire.
They do have wellingtons, but only brightly coloured ones which they wear as if they were trainers or normal shoes.
Fox hunting. (See politics)
No rugby league**.
**A game popular with northerners
8. Attitude towards northerners
If you say you’re from the north, Essex folk immediately believe you to be less well educated, friendly and poor.
They will often recount their own memories of northern towns at you telling you how they remember fondly the slow pace of life but how the cold, wet weather somehow marred their experience.
To a lot of southerners the north is a little like a living museum of the past.
Essex is full of the fast paced, go-getting city types.
The men are all about pinstripes and big money mergers while the women are all hairpins and big hairdos unlike the bumbling tailors, thatchers, miners and millers of the north.
You are more likely to see a pet tiger than a pet ferret.