London is a great place to live, there is no doubt about that. And having now lived in London for over 4 years, I can comfortably call myself a Londoner. After living in London for so long, you learn the best spots to grab your morning coffee, where to go on a killer night out, what restaurant had the best food… but there are some mistake that those living in London still make time and time again. So here are 10 mistakes every Londoner makes.
1. Thinking you’ll ever get a seat during rush hour on the tube.
Unless you live at the extreme either end of the tube lines, it is likely you have never had the feeling of comfort, sitting down during your morning or evening commute. Every day equipped with a copy of the Metro or Standard, and a glimmer of hope in your eyes, you board, only to have your dreams snatched away, and are instead forced to read the paper while standing uncomfortably close to a strangers armpit. On the rare occasion you do get a seat, you’ll have to give it up pretty quickly as a lady with a “baby on board” badge approaches. Maybe if you leave for work super early tomorrow you’ll get a seat….
2. Going to Oxford Circus to do your Christmas shopping.
Christmas shopping is a particularly stressful time of year. But the addition of trying to wrestle your way through the streets of Oxford Circus just makes it 100 times worse. The tourists slowly strolling through the streets while you desperately try to rush to John Lewis on your lunch break, accidentally walking into kids who are below your eye line, that one person who stops annoyingly right in front of you to look at their phone… the list goes on. Simply staying at home and getting your gifts delivered would be so much easier. And yet every year Londoners flock to Oxford Circus to complete their shopping lists despite knowing it will be hell… maybe it’s the pretty lights that make it all bearable.
3. Thinking you’ll ever find a drink for under £4 that’s not from a Wetherspoon’s.
For those who moved to London from elsewhere, or even Londoners who have visited friends or family outside the city. You’ll know that a drink in London is stupidly expensive. Yet with every new pub you go to, when the barman tells you that the round of 3 drinks costs £15+, you’ll find yourself feeling shocked and taken advantage of. Begrudgingly you hand over your cash while internally swearing to never paying that much for a drink ever again, and instead sticking only to Wetherspoon’s. The next night out rolls round, and your friend suggests trying out a cool new bar… and the cycle continues.
4. Ever trying to drive in Central London.
For those of us in London who have cars, there has probably been a time when you have driven through Central London- be it on purpose or accidentally. Although it may all begin fairly pleasantly, pretty quickly you’ll be bombarded with Black Cab and Bus Drivers pulling out whenever they feel like it, cyclists getting too close to the side of the car and overly complicated road systems. You’ll set out with enough time, according to your SatNav, but then after traffic jams, multiple reroutes and never ending roadworks you’ll find yourself asking if you’ll ever arrive at all. Maybe next time, just take the bus.
5. Thinking you’ll ever find a good spot to sunbathe, in a park, on a hot weekend.
Sunshine and days off are two things that never seem to come hand in hand. However, on the rare days the two do coincide you’ll find yourself craving nothing more than a cool refreshing cider, an ice-cream and a long relaxing sunbathing session in your nearest park. Unfortunately pretty quickly you’ll discover everybody else has had the same idea, and finding a decent spot will be an impossible task. Eventually you’ll settle for a spot by the side of a road, on some itchy dry grass with a child kicking a football around next to you, which will most likely hit you in the head at some point.
6. Joining a 24 hour gym to ‘beat the crowds’.
Lets face it, no normal person wants to go to the gym at 3 in the morning, and kidding yourself into paying a little bit extra to be able to go to a gym whenever you want is probably not going to work out. Instead you’ll still probably just about manage to drag yourself to the gym after work, or on the weekends, and the gym will still be full. You’ll still be left standing, giving the person using the machine you wanted to use some severe back of the head evils, and promising yourself you’ll get up super early to get to the gym pre-crowd tomorrow… just like you did yesterday.
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7. Trying out every new trend that comes along.
If there’s one thing Londoners love to do, it is trying out the latest trend. Someone at work told you about an amazing new bubble pancake they tried in China Town, or a great new Escape room that has opened and you find yourself eager to try it out for yourself. Then you’ll find yourself standing in an hour long queue, or on a 3 month waiting list, for something that you would describe as mediocre at best. However, having got caught up in all the hype, you find yourself posting a new picture to Instagram and telling your best mate about a new bubble pancake you tried, or a great new Escape room that has opened…
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8. Not taking a jacket with you on a night out between October and April.
You’re pretty confident that you won’t get cold, and that the weather has been great up until this point, so you dare braving the night out without your trusty denim jacket. You dance the night away, have one two many G&T’s, and before you know it, it’s time to head home. In this time the weather will undoubtedly have plummeted from 30 degrees down to minus 5 degrees, making you wish that you had just brought the coat and paid the £5 coat check fee. Now you’re Googling frostbite symptoms while waiting for the night bus home, which seems to never be arriving.
9. Ever fully trusting the weather forecast.
We’ve all been there, after checking the weather forecast in the morning, and being told to expect clear sky’s all day. You’ve decided to brave it and head out in your cute new headless jacket with no umbrella in hand. You’ll be minutes away from reaching the office when the sky will open and you’ll be caught in a freak rain/ hail/ snow storm. With no shelter in sight you’ll be forced to sprint on with nothing to protect your newly washed and straightened hair except your hopes and wishes. You’ll dive into work; your hair stuck to the side of your face, your shirt slightly see-through and your mascara dribbling from your eyes, vouching never to go anywhere without an umbrella again.
10. Thinking you’d ever want to leave.
You’ll have moments when you’ll curse London, moments when you’ll wonder why you still live here… but then you’ll remember your favourite restaurant, or the place that makes your coffee just the way you like it, or all the memories you’ve made here. Then you’ll remember why you’d never want to leave.
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What mistakes have you made as a Londoner? Let us know in the comments!
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After graduating university in 2015, I've developed a love for fashion and healthy lifestyles. London is my home, but I love to travel at any opportunity possible... destination anywhere.