7 Questions Every Londoner Has But Is Too Embarrassed To Ask

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Yeh yeh, we’re all proud and we’re all right… right? WRONG! Well, proud yes. But half the time we don’t have a bloody clue what we’re doing. But it’s London. Meaning you can’t ask – otherwise, hello social suicide. Even if it’s the only thing you know… you know not to ask. So you plod on with life… forever wondering why you have to press the buttons on the overground, but not on the underground… (Disclaimer: we do not answer that question because frankly, we haven’t got the foggiest).

 

1. Is it socially acceptable to eat on public transport?

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[Basement Galley]
Ehrm, well we’re assuming you don’t mean like this (see above…) but rather a quick sarnie or sausage roll on the go instead? WELL. That’s an excellent question. In our opinion, anything that crumbles, smells or looks tasty and so brings with it the possibility of upsetting fellow passengers is a no-no. BUT! After all the backlash that Women Who Eat On Tubes received (rightly so too) we going to go for a FOOD FOR ALL stance on this one. So yehhhhhhhh it is! Unless there’s a sign saying no food. Then no. (That revolution didn’t last very long, did it…?)

 

2. If you get trapped in the closing doors, do you stay on that train or wait for the next one?

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[YouTube]
Let at least 3 go by just as punishment. You should be ashamed of yourself.

 

3. What should you do if you realise that you’re on the wrong tube going the wrong way?

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Don’t panic. Never panic, otherwise people might clock on that you’re not as ‘London’ as them. Take a deep breath and wait for the next stop. Slowly, slowly get up from your seat, smiling knowingly to the person next to you as if to say ‘deary me, i’ve been getting off at this stop for so long i’m so over it…’ and then walk confidently over to the doors. Stand looking bored until they open, get off without (noticeably) looking at the signs for the other direction and then walk as if that was the way you were going the whole time. If you think anyone has clocked on…assassinate them. No one can know.

 

4. How does one ask for directions?

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One doesn’t.

 

5. Where is the best place to store one’s Oyster card without looking like a tourist and/or idiot?

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In one’s hand AT ALL TIMES. No delay’s at the barriers whatsoever are acceptable. Other appropriate places include inside jacket pocket, purse that 100% allows it to be read or anywhere that it can easily be whipped out to make you look super smooth (because that’s what’s important). Or taped onto forearm/wrist/forehead.

 

6. How close is too close?

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We thought this one might come up. Morning commutes (for us at least) make up around 90% of our annual action (ok, 99%). Crotches rubbing, lips almost touching, hands brushing against one another’s…if it wasn’t for the fact that you were stuck in a stinky, sweaty, smutty subterranean hell hole, it could well pass for a Nicholas Sparks love scene (dreamy). But instead of your long lost love or Hunky Hank with cheese grater abs and a voice like honey, it’s Balding Bob on his way to work with bad breath and a body odour to match. We’d suggest that if you can see their pores or smell their breakfast, you’re maybe (just maybe) a bit too close…

 

7. Do you have to pretend to be miserable when in public/on public transport even if you aren’t?

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Yes. It’s London etiquette. If you’re happy (a rarity, we know) you absolutely cannot, under no circumstances show it. Not even a chuckle to yourself. Not even a gaze into the distance, recalling a fond memory with a wry smile. We aren’t saying cry or anything (because that would be showing emotion too, which is also very frowned upon), but seriousness and an intense interest in one’s phone/book/lap is the only acceptable behaviour. Happiness it to be kept within at all times. For your own safety.

 

Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash

Lucy Bloxham

Lucy Bloxham

To improve her employability Lucy decided to do a Masters in Shakespeare. Her favourite play is Much Ado About Nothing - appropriate considering she’s now been at university for almost five years... Growing up in Newcastle, Lucy always wanted to be a travel journalist. Someone needs to tell her that going to Zone 5 every now and again does not count.

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