Country Boy To City Slicker
McDonalds, myth. Cinema, myth. Decent nightlife, myth. Welcome to growing up in the countryside.
I recently moved to big ol’ beautiful Bristol, and to be honest I’m absolutely loving it.
There are so many differences between the sticks and the city so I thought I’d list a few things you guys missed out on (or didn’t). Growing up in the country is a very different experience to you city slickers, I was raised in the basin that is my hometown of Dursley.
Days were frequently spent wading through fields of stinging nettles and thistles, exploring abandoned buildings, camping in the woods and tearing up the tracks on mountain bikes or mini-motos.
I’ve been in Bristol for almost half a year now and it’s definitely helped me become more confident in myself and grow up hella fast, it’s made me a better person so far and I’m planning to stay here for a while. So here is a small insight into what life is like growing up in the sticks and a basic breakdown of my childhood in the countryside.
In the country, especially in Dursley, the whole town shuts down around 6pm. Shops close, people retire into their houses and an eerie silence falls upon the town. So one of the most awesome things about living in the city is actually being able to roll shop at midnight and get a midnight snack. It was always an annoyance living in the country when I was dying for something sugary and all the shops were shut.
Pizza delivery as well, that’s a new thing to me. Pizza Hut didn’t deliver to Dursley so all consumed pizzas were Sainsbury’s basic. Now I have one at the end of my road, it ends up being my tea three or four times a week, for better or worse.
Stuff To Do
One of the best thing about moving to the city for me is that there is now stuff for me to actually do. I cannot get through to you how boring growing up in the countryside is, and I’ve seen how boredom can leads to crime, drug abuse etc… All too prevalent in my home town. Dursley is the smallest town in the UK to have a riot van, and we have four of them.
An exciting day in Dursley during my childhood would probably consist of one or more of the following:
A small car meet in Sainsbury’s car park, where the local boy racers and petrol heads all hang out and argue over whose BBS wheels are better.
Hanging outside Lidl (once Kwiksave, then Somerfield) staring down passers-by and hoping one of the older guys in the pub will pop shop and grab you a 20-pack of Lambert and Butler.
Sitting in my shed, which became a local hangout spot, as my parents are pretty chilled out. It attracted a lot of attention and not always the best kind, but it was something to do.
Now I’m in Bristol, there is an endless number of things to do. THERE’S A CINEMA. The closest we had to the silver screen was a projector in a barn, which upon consideration is actually better than the cinema because you can bring in your own food and throw yourself 15 feet into the hay bales below while watching ‘Die Hard’ and feeling like a badass mini Bruce Willis.
Following on from my point about countryside towns shutting down at around 6 o’clock, another thing Dursley failed to have was a nightlife. Sure there was Capones, the one and only nightclub (thankfully) in Dursley which has a history of violence and antisocial behaviour. Now I could break down to you what Crapones is all about, but that’s a whole article in itself, so I’ll just link you to some reviews and news stories
Now Bristol’s nightlife is something very different. Since moving, I’ve experienced most of the nightlife here (apart from places like Motion and Lakota, you aint gunna catch me there bro) and I must say I’m loving it. It definitely beats hanging in some dingy flat or freezing to death chilling out in the woods.
One of the biggest changes I found when moving to the city was dealing with the number of people here. Dursley only has a population of about 7000 so I’m definitely not used to seeing the streets packed as daylight hours fade out, especially with half a million people in the vicinity (the population of Bristol). Another thing that comes with more people is more cars.
Back home, I can walk across the road at any point in the day without fear I will be mowed down. This is possible because if there is a car in Dursley it’s gunna be heard over the complete silence of the countryside. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible in Bristol as I’ve now found out, motorists will speed up to try and hit you and zebra crossings are rarely acknowledged as a fundamental way of crossing the road. But I will still walk across the road weaving in and out of traffic narrowly dodging oncoming buses because that is what I’m used to. I aint letting no green man tell me when I can and cannot cross the road.
Now, the country didn’t really have much traffic apart from tractors and horses but seeing as there’s only one road through Dursley, when road works were being done the town came to a standstill. Much like Bristol does, except a much, much smaller standstill.
Oh and you’re all a lot less racist here.
There are definitely things I miss about the countryside, the quietness for example. In Bristol it’s hard to escape the drone of city life, there is noise pollution everywhere and at times I take a train back to the sticks for some peace and quiet. Being able to walk the full length of Dursley at 3am and not see a single soul was one of my favourite activities and one that I will miss very much.
What was your hometown like? Did you grow up with around any of these things? Let us know @rifemag
If you, like I, have just moved here, you might be looking for stuff to do. Check out this handy guide