Living in London is truly a dream come true for many – so much so, that to the outside world, it may look like the perfect place to live. That being said, here are a few things to avoid doing in London that almost everyone from London can probably vouch for as mistakes they’ve made whilst living here.
1. Relying On National Rail
As someone who lived for a year in south London far from a tube stop, I know first-hand the struggles of relying on any National Rail service to get somewhere on time. Whether it’s a slight drizzle or leaves on the track, you better believe that the intercom will announce at least a 15 minute delay to get into central London.
2. Trying To Get On The Central Line During Rush Hour
There is nothing quite as bizarre and monstrous as seeing hundreds of people flail themselves onto an overcrowded train in an attempt to squeeze in at the last moment. The Central Line is particularly guilty of this during peak times, as commuters seem to forget that the trains do come in every minute during these times.
3. Looking Someone Who Hands Out The Evening Standard In The Eye
We’ve all done it – and it’s always when you’re in a rush to get somewhere. You glance up and suddenly a wad of newspaper is thrust in your face. They’re only trying to do us a favour but sometimes, when you’re actually braving an attempt to get on the central line during peak time, the added weight is simply a burden!
4. In The Same Vain – Looking Anyone In The Eye Whilst On Public Transport
The tube in particular is a place where your best bet is to keep your head down and wait for your stop. Everywhere else in London, you would be a fool not to strike up conversation with the lovely folk who inhabit this city, but the tube for many is simply a means to an end, not a place to be making friends.
5. Traveling Without A Portable Charger
I am personally guilty of this one and I learnt my lesson the hard way. As someone who relies heavily on City Mapper to get around, a phone out of battery is enough to cause a great deal of stress. London has an extensive public transport system that is generally self-explanatory, but if you’re trying to get somewhere new, a dead phone can be a real nightmare.
6. Trying To Do Any Substantive Shopping In A Tesco Express Or Sainsbury’s Local
Unless you want a meal deal, a poor selection of veg or a sad collection of ready meals, trying to do substantive shopping in the smaller London versions of these grocery giants is next to impossible. Instead, it’s worth the commute to find your nearest superstore in order to do a weekly shop.
7. Waiting Until The Heat Wave To Buy A Fan
London has the habit of going from dreary and dim to blazingly hot in June/July/August within moments. As most of the city operates without air conditioning; living and working during these times can be rather unpleasant. It is worth your while getting a small fan to increase air circulation and introduce a nice breeze where you need it. Word of advice – don’t wait until the heat wave to buy the fan or you might just discover that Sainsbury’s, Argos and John Lewis are all sold out (totally not speaking from personal experience, of course).
8. Trying To Get Into The Lido On One Of London’s Hot Days
Been there, done that, got the towel. Believe me, it was one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had. The lines outside of Brockwell Lido during the most recent heatwave shows how desperate every Londoner is to soak up the few rays of sun. That being said, if you do manage to get in, you’re bound to have a refreshing and wonderful time enjoying one of London’s many pools and parks.
9. Expecting A Reasonably Priced Drink Anywhere But Spoons. (No, two drinks for the price of one, 10 pounds, is NOT a deal!)
Londoners generally forget that outside of the bubble that is zones 1-6, cheap cocktails actually exist. We defend ourselves with All Bar One’s happy hour deals and Wetherspoons’ pitchers but really, we don’t have a leg to stand on compared to other cities in the UK.
10. Not Taking Advantage Of Everything London Has To Offer
Finally, as busy Londoners, we often get so absorbed in our lives that we forget how wonderful London truly is. We may be known for going to every new pop-up restaurant and paying extortionate amounts of money for drinks, but we would fiercely defend our city to anyone who came up against it.