When I came to London many years ago now, I never realised the lifestyle change I would encounter as a new residing city boy. People have priorities, but different to what I was used to. Here are eight things that stood out to me as I transition from a townie into a Londoner…
1. Rush hour – The most dreaded part of the day. Instead of sitting in a nice warm car with heated seats, you have people invading personal space, big bulky rucksacks, and being shoved from one side to the next as people try alight and board the tube. I don’t think I have met a single Londoner that doesn’t want to leave work 10 minutes earlier from work just to beat the rush. The struggle is so real.
2. Coffee runs – I just thought coffee runs were the sort of thing you only saw in movies. Where co-workers and friends put their orders through and somebody struggles back with coffee holders full of caffeine goodness. Or making the nearest coffee shop your first port of call on your way to work in the morning, grabbing a skinny vanilla latte before heading through the sliding doors of a ten story building. No, no, this is real life.
3. Courtesy – Manners don’t exist. Manners were something that was drilled into me day and night as I was growing up. Since coming to London, I feel like many people have lost the ability to open their mouths and utter the words “sorry”, “thank you” and “please”. Instead, you just get a death stare or a grunt of disapproval.
4. After work drinks – Alongside coffee runs, I felt like this was a something that never happened in day to day life. Coming from a town by the coast, most of the shops are shut up 5:30pm throughout the week. It’s like the whole town shuts down after everyone finishes work, popping off to their homes and to their families. No, in London, there is always an occasion to bundle into the nearest pub or bar. An alcohol fuelled city I say!
5. Nobody owns their homes – I found it completely and utterly mind blowing that everyone in London rented their homes. Owning a house is completely and utterly unheard of unless you had a spare million pounds lying around.
6. Savings? What savings? – It is impossible to save money when you’re a true Londoner. As soon as payday comes, out goes the large amounts of rent, bills, credit card bills and then whatever money you have left is spent in luxurious restaurants catching up with friends or ubering around London to avoid the crazy, god forbidden tubes.
7. Power walking – I never knew my legs could move so fast and stride out so far. Walking fast is something that you become accustomed to, whether you’re late or not. Then again, you always end up being late because of the horrifically unrelaible transport system in London. I even find myself speeding past people in a unnecessarily fast manner when i’m back in Bournemouth during the holidays, some habits are die hard.
8. Looks are everything – Coming from a place where the majority of teens are found in nikes, skinny jeans and khaki parka jackets, it was definitely a culture shock coming to London. People actually dress up, look nice day-to-day and you don’t have to be dining at the poshest of restaurants to be found strolling around in a long coat and a pair loafers.
Safe to say, I have well an truly adjusted to the London life and can proudly say I am a true Londoner.
Until next time…