I was surprised to know that BBC Radio Ulster is not very well regarded within the intellectual circle. To me it sounds like any other local radio station: local news, lots of talking, corny jokes, some hosts more annoying than others, etc. I find this lack of context or historical background from my part interesting because it skews my perception of everything, from brands and shops to TV channels and newspapers or even people.
When I first moved to London I didn’t know which was the cheap grocery story just by looking at the logos above the storefront. I didn’t know Morrisons was cheaper than Waitrose: they were just across the road from each other in Holloway. I thought Pizza Express was a nice pizzeria in St Christopher’s Place. I assumed everyone carried an ID card at all times. And this kind of situation still happens to me all the time. I am, lots of times, wary of saying something that will betray how little I actually understand about what’s going on around me, that will reveal how very simpleminded I am.
It’s odd to live somewhere and not understand the jokes about some TV show presenter from the 90′s, and it reminds me of what I’m missing from not being in my own country, where I would make a joke about a TV presenter from the 90′s. When (if) I go back, I expect I will also be missing the context of more recent things that are happening now. It’s a thought that makes me a bit sad.