I moved to London 3 months ago. As a total amateur at living in the bright lights of the capital city, I have taken it upon myself to share a few light-hearted observations I’ve made in my short (yet, enlightening) time here. So, here goes… a few notes from a glasshalffull female twenty-something, on a budget.
- Wide pavements are essentially used as pub gardens. Just as Britain is home to the almighty pub, London is home to the almighty pub with large outdoor pavement in situ. Yup, instead of pub gardens, you quite literally drink on the street outside a pub, come rain or shine (albeit, mostly rain).
- Pret is not considered a fancy place to get lunch. Neither is Itsu. Rather, One must eat at a small Peruvian-cum-Scottish tapas restaurant with a queue.
- Yes, shit is expensive here, but mainly because you do a lot more of it. Having moved from a relatively small and boring town in the South of England, I’m no stranger to paying £5 for a pint (yet, no less resentful at having to do so!). The real problem I’ve suffered with my restricted budget is FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I could happily visit an up-and-coming bar every night of the week, if it weren’t for the fact I’d already maxed out my credit card on chia seeds and avocado, doing my weekly shop (FYI, that’s all people eat here).
- Being really fucking cool, isn’t really THAT fucking cool. When I first moved here and started working at a small digital agency, I decided that the only way to fit in was to buy an entirely new set of clothes, which didn’t suit me, nor fit my budget. DON’T DO THIS. Hipsters are always the butt of the jokes, and being a try hard doesn’t wash with anyone.
- People from North of the river, and people from South of the river, are all equally snobby about which side of the river is the loveliest . Obviously South, though. Brixton is the coolest place in the whole of London, FYI.
- People like trainers. Plus, everyone has nice ones. Given the London transport situation, keeping your feet happy is the ultimate goal. The tube workers go on strike and you end up doing a 10 mile walk to and from work – it happens. Therefore, contrary to my previous advice re. new wardrobe, you should definitely invest in some pretty and comfy trainers.
- It’s almost impossible to be seen as quirky – having hobbies like knitting, ballet and playing Boules is the absolute norm. This makes me really happy, given I like trying new things and my non-London friends occasionally think I’m mental.
- You don’t see your London friends unless they live around the corner. Instead, you make an entirely new group of friends so you never have to use the tube. Anything to avoid the tube. Literally anything.
- Tube etiquette is absurd. No explanation needed.
- All the parks here are lovely. Hampstead Heath, Richmond, Hyde… they’re all awesome. Also, if you’re anything like me and enjoy spending your weekends stalking other peoples cute expensive dogs, London parks are the Rolls Royce of cute dog hang outs, so you’re on to a winner.
That’s all for now. But, the London education continues, and so will my blog posts. Unless I win the lottery, in which case, I’ll be too caught up eating out every night and spending my days expanding my collection of pretty trainers. Soz.