We took the train from the airport to our new neighborhood, Stirchley. The first thing that happened to us as locals: still lugging our suitcases only a block or two from the train station, a car pulled over to ask us directions to "that store that sells homemade bread" (referring to Stirchley Stores, which currently sells bread baked by next-door Loaf bakery and cookery school). We already knew the answer and were able to help her out! Just before pulling away, she asked, "Are you Canadian?" The first of many.
I think the reasons we already knew about the bread shop are some of the same reasons this move felt so easy and we felt settled here so quickly. First, because we were living so close before the move (compared to our US-to-Germany move), we could actually both came over to visit three times before moving here. On two of the trips, we came to Stirchley to look at apartments. On the first of those we became interested in the area and could focus more on it the second time around - when we started to notice things like the cute side-streets and the cookery school. On the people front, D's new mentor set us up with a few people he thought we should meet, and we saw them on all the trips so we already knew them a bit by the time we arrived.
|My first-ever Stirchley picture: while visiting in February 2013.|
|We caught this exhibit at BMAG on its last day after hearing about it on Twitter.|
And those are my theories as to why Birmingham felt like home so quickly.
That and English.