London is very different to other places you may have been, and there are certain things that are essential to London living that you really ought to know. We wouldn’t want you to embarrass yourself by actually talking to another person on the tube, or announcing that you’re going to Green-which. So take notes newbies…
1. Walk faster.
Whatever your ordinary walking pace is, multiply it. We’re all in a hurry and you’re probably not going fast enough.
2. Try and learn how to pronounce everything properly.
Marylebone, Holborn, Greenwich, Southwark, Ruislip…
3. But also don’t worry if you can’t.
None of us are really sure…
4. Memorise the tube map. Or download an app.
Surviving without Citymapper is a challenge, even when you’ve lived here for years.
5. You’ll hardly have any money left after you’ve paid rent.
But you’ll keep buying expensive coffee anyway.
6. Take advantage of all the free stuff.
Museums, festivals, parks. London is expensive, but there’s always stuff you can do on a budget.
7. You’ll soon master the art of weaving your way through crowds.
Head to Oxford Street on a Saturday if you need a bit of practise.
8. However, as a general rule, try to avoid Oxford Street on a Saturday.
9. Try and eat somewhere other than Pizza Express or Nando’s.
There are so many amazing restaurants all over the city so you should never have to eat at the same place more than once.
10. Become proficient in small talk.
It comes in handy more times than we’d like to admit. The weather is a good topic to start off with, especially if it’s particularly nice or particularly terrible.
11. When the voice of the tube tells you to move down the carriage, for heaven’s sake do it.
Unless you want eyes rolling and tongues tutting.
12. Avoid eye contact with strangers at all costs.
It’s just the etiquette. You’ll get the hang of it.
13. Eat lots of street food.
There’s more of it than you could possibly even imagine.
14. When you actually live in London, it’s easy to forget about the touristy stuff.
But go and see Big Ben, go on the London Eye. Do it all before you get too settled, because you’ll probably never get round to it otherwise.
15. You won’t finish work at 5pm.
So you can stop singing that bloody Dolly Parton song.
16. And lastly, always carry an umbrella.
Because you just never know…
Feature Image: David Harmantas