There’s this road where I live that everyone knows. It’s a main road and if there are any accidents, too much traffic or need of a meeting point, it is usually at the centre. It’s a main road, very long, and at certain points changes its name, but everyone knows it to be the same road. I don’t think there are any aesthetically pleasing sights along this road, in fact, I might go as far as to say it is rather an ugly road. And this is the reason I wanted to write about it. As I stood waiting for the bus, a stop along from my usual bus stop, I was struck by the sheer amount of rubbish surrounding me. And that’s when it hit me, literally hit me, a flying empty crisp packet, right in the face.
I don’t think anyone noticed, or if they did they had their own issues to deal with without bothering with someone else. The traffic was a constant flurry of lorries and trucks passing and creating miniature tornadoes of rubbish rotating around an overflowing bin. But it wasn’t just empty crisp packets that flew towards me, the air had picked up cigarette butts, dust and anything else unhygienic it could lift. And, as I looked around I saw what everyone else does at they drive down this long road that runs through my town. Shit, everywhere is covered in shit, dog shit, pigeon shit, and chewing gum; of course there has to be chewing gum.
All this shit got me thinking about how important it is within society where you come from. For me, being from a rougher area of Manchester has meant that throughout my life people have had preconceptions of the kind of person I am, because of the place I come from. A judgement I am sure many other people face. And a judgement I was projecting myself.
I never really understood the full reputation of the outskirts of Manchester until I got to university and people were shocked I came from there. ‘Isn’t it, like, really rough round there?’ Well, yes, it can be. ‘You don’t sound like you’re from there.’ So, how should I sound?
In most cases people widen their eyes and try to move on from the subject because they are shocked that someone like me could come from such an ‘impoverished’ place. And, if I were in their shoes I might feel the same. But I do come from a rough area. I come from a place named after a dirty, bloody river. A place where the only noticeable thing there, besides from crime, is a Monastery. A place where people aren’t afraid of a broad Mancunian accent but embrace the brashness of it. And a place where, contrary to popular belief, is full of friendly people.
Yes, it might look a bit messy. It might have a bad reputation. But it is, after all, my home.
Published by Harriet Olivia