Whether it’s the traffic hold up on Abbey Road, a fleet of wobbling Boris Bikes or the screeching in various language of mothers to wayward children; the plague of tourists that descends on our capital every day is nothing short of terrifying. Here’s our sure-fire list of likely culprits.
1. Maps. Google, paper, pop-up etc.
2. An abundance of technology hanging round their neck/in their sticky paws.
3. Close proximity to a coach. Usually in a bright colour with stars or stripes (double points to those who can guess who the stars AND stripes belongs to).
4. Socks with sandals.
5. Or sturdier than life walking boots.
6. Or hideously inappropriate footwear that leaves them crippled and hobbling.
7. Bumbags. Of the polyester/velcro combo.
8. Like a shepherd tending his flock, these bleating fleeces always have a trip supervisor.
9. They will usually have a clipboard in one hand and a runaway child in the other.
10. Some (the worst kinds) might have headphones in as part of an audio tour, rendering them oblivious to the world and its perils.
11. Pack animals: the tourist is always in some form of group.
12. Pronunciation will be an issue.
13. See “LY-sester square”.
14. Ditto “buck-ing-HAM” palace.
15. M&M World bags. And Primark. Lots and lots of Primark bags.
16. Some sort of I <3 London paraphernalia.
17. Above all else, a naive and fresh-faced innocence (or is it ignorance?), oblivious to the pace of London life.