Since my last blog, I feel like I’m a resident expert on life in London and ready to share my wisdom. Londoners are known, stereotypically, as these confident, career-driven suits. They don’t walk, they march. They speak like the Queen, they love buildings that look like weird things (a shard of glass?!) and they don’t get the whole ‘chippy tea’ thing.
So I’ve decided, after settling here and realising I’d like to continue spending time in, and getting to know this odd city, that my next few blogs are going to be dedicated to ‘London life – from the eyes of a northerner’. I’m starting with the basics. London for beginners, you could say. So here are 5 dos and don’ts to get a northerner started in London…
1. Don’t feel like you have to read the Times or the Guardian to feel London. Most commuters will read the Metro, so you enjoy your ‘rush-hour crush’ and the ‘good deed feed’ with your head held high!
2. Never look at the map things that are dotted around the city. These incredibly useful posts are for tourists and tourists only. As a Londoner use you new iPhone app to locate the tube station you want or, when you’ve been here a while, just trust your instincts and march in any direction.
3. Get angry with amateurs on Oxford Street. Be confident that everyone walking should be walking in your direction and at your speed. Remember you’re always right so you can push, tut and elbow people as much as you like until they accept this.
4. Never get gravy in a chippy. Peter Kay warned the masses of this years ago – he was right. Londoners find it weird and inappropriate!
5. Don’t be self-conscious about the words you are using, just the way you are pronouncing them. If you see a word with an ‘a’ in it that isn’t immediately accompanied by an ‘r’, put one in. Don’t bother learning cockney slang. Up north we still think Londoners either speak like the Queen or proper Cockney The reality is, devastatingly, not true. Nobody praises Dick van Dykes accent down here so don’t copy him.
Tune in next week for more ‘insightful insights’ on how to survive the big city…