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Friday, 3 February 2012
As an exchange student, I find myself constantly plagued with the question, "Where are you from?" It's a perfectly reasonable question, really. If I were a Canadian who suddenly found him/herself in the presence of someone who, to quote Nicole, "sounds like Harry Potter", I'd be interested. However, as a Brit who isn't from London (shocking, I know), I find myself faced with the dilemma of exaclty how specific to be. Thankfully, Canadians are neither stupid nor ignorant (I'm looking at you, America) and are generally familiar with the concept of Wales. Or they're too polite to say otherwise. This does give me a certain level of confidence to safely say, "Oh I'm from Wales," and if they look particularly thick, I'll stick "in the UK" on the end, just to be on the safe side. This is all fine and well for introductions, but as I find myself getting to know people, there are always those annoying few who insist on asking, "So where exactly in Britain are you from?" We both know that this conversation is only going to end in a hapless grin, awkward giggle and shrug of the shoulders from both parties, but we've reached the point where I'm obliged to respond: "Just outside a city in South Wales called Newport." Now, when I tell people in Exeter that I'm from Newport, I'm usually greeted with a look that screams "I'm so sorry" and a flippant remark about how they once had a train change at Newport. I defy you to find a person in Britain who hasn't been to Newport train station. Here, however, the word Newport means absolutely nothing, so after this rather lengthy and unnecessary introduction, let me give you Canadians a taste of exactly what kind of classy, sophisticated and cultured town Newport really is: