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19 Welsh Habits I Lost When I Moved To England

Bags for Life. Everywhere.

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1. Automatically filtering out half of all public signs because you can't read the language they're written in.

Whether you're reading in English or Welsh, signs in Wales = 50% wastage. And let’s not even get started on listening to every single announcement at the train station in two languages.

2. Considering “drive” to be a person rather than an action.

Bus journeys are far more peaceful without the “THANKS DRIVE” chorus as people get off. In Wales it's default is to treat anyone who works on public transport like your favourite aunt or uncle.

3. Pronouncing Primark like “PREE-mark”.

Apparently it’s “PRY-mark” across the border. You’ll scoff at this for several months, and then find yourself using it.

4. Pronouncing Adidas as “A-DEEE-das”.

Now pronounced “AH-didas”. See above.


5. Striking up conversation with anyone who spends more than 10 seconds in your immediate vicinity.

Lifts are for making new friends, right? Wrong. Try chatting to your neighbour on the London underground for evidence. Best advice: Pretend you haven’t noticed anyone else is there, even when they’re using your head as a bookstand.

6. Buying these little dudes all the time in Spring.

Apparently daffodils first became popular as a Welsh symbol because people didn't want to wear leeks in their button holes (can't think why?) In most people's opinion, daffodils also make better centrepieces for tables.

7. Being unexcited by green grass, rolling hills, and mountains.

When you’re in Wales, it’s just everywhere, isn't it? But that just means that when you come back you’re like, “Oh my God, this country’s bloody beautiful and I never even noticed.”

8. Throwing random Welsh words into conversation.

For those of us who aren’t fluent in Welsh (even though we tell our English friends we are), Wales offers the joy of being able to chuck a random “wrth gwrs” into discussions without getting funny looks. Not so in Lloegr.


9. Stockpiling Bags for Life.

Because AS IF you’re going to splash out 5p on a carrier bag. N.B. English folk, the bag charge is coming to you this October.

10. Trying to fit a quite frankly RIDICULOUS amount of shopping into your handbag/pockets when you forget the aforementioned Bags for Life.

The only time you end up doing this in England is when you visit Lidl. Who're you calling tight?

11. Wildly celebrating the National Saint Day.

In Wales, you can’t walk out of your front door on St David’s Day without crashing into a giant leek, a bonneted child, or a model dragon. Ask an English person how they celebrate St George’s Day and they probably won’t even know when it is.

12. Always, ALWAYS carrying an extra layer of clothing and an umbrella*.

It might be 25 degrees outside, but in Wales you just never know where the next gusty rain shower is coming from.

*This habit it less likely to be lost if you move up North.


13. Factoring in extra travel time in case of animal interference.

Forget leaves on the line, Welsh people have cows in the crossroads, sheep on the bus, and seagulls nesting on top of the car to deal with.

14. Getting really excited when you see a new chain restaurant.

Ever heard an English person say, “Oh my god, I can't believe there’s a Pret here”?

15. Eating chip and curry combos every Friday night.

In Wales you can order chips with your chicken tikka masala at the Indian takeaway, or curry sauce slathered all over anything from the chippy. Happiness in a polystyrene tray.

16. Talking about Folly Farm and the Black Nun at Llangrannog as if everyone knows what you’re on about.

Because in Wales, everyone basically had the same childhood.


17. Singing along to the national anthem really loudly because you know someone else will cover the words you don’t know/notes you can’t reach.

Try doing this alone in an English pub and you’re really going to very quickly disprove the idea that “all Welsh people can sing”.

18. Just rocking up to the cinema/ice skating/exercise classes because you know there’ll always be places left.

And then you move to a city in England where trying to get into your local pilates class is like bagging Glasto tickets.

19. Owning a wardrobe that’s a 90:10 split of winter:summer clothes.

Prepare to make that 80:20, people.