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44 Things That Excite All Brummies

Beating Manchester at anything.

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1. The smell around the Cadburys factory.

2. Getting rid of a fistful of coppers when paying your number 50 bus fare.

3. Telling the driver you're going to "town" not the city centre. Never the city centre.

4. Finding out there's a spare two seats on the top deck, at the front.

5. And miraculously nobody's smoking on the bus.

6. Thanking the driver to the point of excess - like he's just delivered your first born - when getting off.

7. Doing your shopping at the Bullring markets and NOT a supermarket – and feeling like you're Mother Theresa for it.

8. Islands not roundabouts.

9. Finding out you can fly direct from Birmingham Airport to your holiday destination of choice.

10. Riding the MagLev when you reach the airport. Whether you need to or not.

11. And steadfastly calling it the MagLev even though it's not been called that for over a decade.

12. Spotting an Indian restaurant when you land at your destination and knowing, if the worst comes to the worst with the local food, everything's going to be okay.

13. When Glynn Purnell hosts Saturday Kitchen.

14. Traversing Spaghetti Junction with the SatNav off and the radio up.

15. Standing, alone, if only for a minute, at the highest point of Lickey Hills.

16. Watching Peaky Blinders with a knowing "that's right, we're bad" smile.

17. The surprise on out-of-towners faces when you show them a Birmingham they never knew existed.

18. The first four chords of UB40's "Higher Ground".

19. Watching Ocean Colour Scene live, once a year, with absolutely no sense of irony whatsoever.

20. Two words: Old Snobs.

21. Two more words: Mr Egg.

22. When journalists call us the "Second City".

23. Then muttering to yourself "Pffff… Second to none"

24. Reading an article about Birmingham that, at no point, compares our canal mileage to that of Venice's.

25. And when articles about Brum DON'T start with something along the lines of "Hey, guess what, Birmingham's not as shit as you might think".

26. When England play at Edgbaston on a Friday and you've got tickets and booked the day off.

27. Joe Lycett's refusal to move to London.

28. The first time you're called "bab" after you've been away for weeks.

29. Street art.

30. When the Bullring bull isn't dressed up in ludicrous clothes. You wouldn't see a Santa hat on Nelson's Column.

31. Pointing out the "hidden bull", beneath the cylindrical bit of the the Rotunda, but on top of the squared base.

32. And knowing that technically it's a cow, but not giving a shit.

33. Knowing which pubs are actually quieter because of the German Market and which become unbearable.

34. Criticising the German Market then going for elicit currywurst after four pints, by cover of darkness.

35. Black Sabbath.

36. Beating Manchester on Michelin stars.

37. Beating Manchester at anything.

38. Watching the chaos of the latest tube strikes from afar, grinning ear-to-ear.

39. Knowing someone on BBC Midlands Today.

40. Casually tossing into conversation that Tolkein's Two Towers are in Brum.

41. And that we built the spitfire and therefore, essentially, won the Second World War.

42. Oh and that thanks to the Lunar Society we're pretty much responsible for science, industry, and philosophy. You're very welcome.

43. Gambling on a place you haven't been in the Balti Triangle and that gamble always, always paying off.

44. Having lived here long enough that calling it "Brum" doesn't feel forced or fake.

Tom Cullen is the founder of “I Choose Birmingham”, a free weekly email about the best things to do in Brum. Subscribe here.

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