London is a concrete jungle with many intricacies that make it a unique and (sometimes) special place to live. If you ask anyone who has lived here, you’ll probably be hit with a barrage of skills they’ve learned to combat life in this hectic playground we call home. Whether it’s an exact (and bordering on plain mad) knowledge of a scary amount of Underground stations or ways to tackle the frankly outrageous prices we have to endure, here’s some of the skills we learn in London, told to us by Londoners. We took to Facebook and Instagram to ask for your brilliant suggestions, and here they are.
41 skills you learn in London that you wouldn’t need elsewhere
1. “Buying a 2.50 smoothie as part of a £3 meal deal.”
Great business skills.
2. “You’re never really lost. You’re as far as the nearest tube station.”
3. “Getting the last train (the vomit comet) home after ‘going for one drink’, falling asleep and waking up just as the train pulls into your station.”
4. “The ability to breathe without smelling in as your head is squeezed between 23 different armpits, of varying odours, on the Central Line… and being prepared to maintain this well into the 60th minute of a 3 minute journey after the inevitable breakdown…all whilst being able to read another passengers Metro.”
Okay, I just threw up a little bit…
5. “Standing in a packed tube whilst reading a full book chapter!”
6. “That amazing hangover cure – the 40 minute on/off snooze on the Norvern Line in the morning….. yes people! There is a benefit to getting on at Morden!”
7. “Being able to hear which way a tube train is approaching outside the station based on sound and determining whether I should run.”
It’s an art.
8. “Getting in the right carriage of the train to get faster to the exits 😂 (city mapper always tells whether it’s front, middle or back.”
But shush! Don’t let everyone know the trick.
9. “When you want to get on the tube train; Stand at the side of the doors of a stopped train NOT in front of the doors (Ouch! Ooof!) because you’re not going to get on any quicker!”
10. “Knowing you can walk between most central London tubes and get to places quicker!”
*cough* Leicester Square and Covent Garden *cough*.
11. “How to avoid eye contact.”
I pretend I do not see it.
12. “Don’t say hello or good morning to strangers as they’ll think you’re mad!”
13. “How it’s not acceptable to talk in public on a train/tube in the mornings, but quite acceptable to sing with complete strangers on said train/tube late evenings & weekends.”
Nail. On. The. Head.
14. “Saying loudly on the Tube or train please can you move down” rather than being squashed against the door window!”
This goes for all hours, though.
15. “Mastering the ability to politely remind people to stand on the right of an escalator with a cough/ hand gesture/ kind word.”
But inside you’re boiling with rage.
16. “Knowing when people get off the tube they will stop dead in their tracks and block the doorway.”
Acceptance is the first stage.
17. “Having the tube map in your head! No body got time to wait and look at the paper maps.”
18. “Knowing the best spot on the platform where train arrives and the door opens right in front of you…this is the easiest way to board the train which is 99% full and only 1 person can get in.”
If you hadn’t guessed, we’re basically all just Tube mavericks.
19. “Walk a 100 km/hour.”
Places to be, ya know?
20. “Walking fast – very very fast – everywhere, at all times of the day!”
Just to be crystal clear.
21. “Accidental pintage and living on minimal sleep, every night of the week. The exhaustion keeps you on your toes!”
Well, if that ain’t the truth…
22. “Having a ‘quick pint’ after work and waking up to find you’ve taken out a second mortgage.”
That will happen.
23. “Reverse parking! I can literally squeeze any car into the smallest of spaces and I thank the overcrowded, London streets for that!”
24. “Avoid changing at Bank.”
The most essential of them all.
25. “Saying sorry like one million times a day.”
Will I ever understand this? No. Will I stop doing it? Still no. Sorry, not sorry.
26. “Thinking 10C is a pretty good temperature!”
27. “Accepting the fact that working days are usually sunny and weekends rainy.”
That, my friend, is known as sod’s law.
28. “The ability to ignore the rain.”
29. “Both sunglasses and umbrella in my purse, at all times.”
Let’s just put the weather down as “changeable”, shall we?
30. “Small talk about the weather for 15 minutes.”
Great topic, IMO.
31. “Somehow avoiding buying anything at Pret all day!”
Congratulations are in order! Now to celebrate with a coffee from… dammit.
32. “Spending my salary in one day.”
33. “Living of a 10th of my salary because the rest of it went on rent.”
34. “Surviving 28 days with £1.46.”
35. “That you can’t get nuffin for a pand.”
If you hadn’t realised, London is an expensive place.
36. “Thinking that spending £5.95 on a pint is cheap.”
What have we become?
37. “Not even flinching when you pay £12 for a drink in central London …”
Seriously, what is WRONG with us?
38. “To accept being charged £50 every time you step out of your home.”
How does this happen? (Oh yeah — see above… sigh).
39. “Instead of taking the direct bus, I know which buses I can take that are more empty with a change somewhere along the route.”
A master at work!
40. “Ignoring foxes, as if it’s the most normal thing for them to be roaming the streets.”
41. Anything <30 mins is walkable
Now you’re good to go.