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The ‘How to Become a Londoner’ Guide

In today’s society, you don’t need to be born in a place to be classed as a native but there are traits that you will unknowingly begin to imitate which will make it appear that you have been born and bred there. In London, there are a range of people who have flocked to the capital city; either with the dreams of changing their lives or simply to visit its many tourist spots and the glitz and glamour of London blinds them. However, after a few months, the rose tinted glasses are removed and you begin to notice a change in yourself, a change that has allowed you to blend into the human traffic that roams the city streets every day. Now, you are probably wondering what these traits are that make you appear to be a Londoner, well here is a checklist for you to peruse.

  • Eyes Down and Mouth Shut

When travelling from the Park Grand London Paddington by either tube or by bus, instead of gazing around doe-eyed and looking to make eye contact and exchange a smile, you are required by an unspoken law to stare at the floor, read a book or put headphones in your ears, even if they’re not connected to any device, just to avoid any form of human contact or conversation. Your entire body could be pressed right up against a stranger and still eye contact or a small greeting is forbidden and unnecessary. Silence is golden and human interaction is not needed.

  • Tourist Attractions are so Yesterday

Remember the pure excitement of when you first arrive in London and are overwhelmed by everything? From Big Ben to the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London, Piccadilly Circus and Hyde Park, the list is endless. The first few months are usually spent taking in all of the sights of London, absorbing the history and filling your senses with the smells of Chinatown and the sounds of the West End, however, as time goes on, you find that you become too busy to notice your surroundings as you make your way to and from work. You know you have become a Londoner when St Paul’s Cathedral barely draws a smile and all you can think of when you see Tower Bridge is “yeah, same old sights”.

  • You Feel Light-Headed From All of Your Huffing and Puffing

Non-Londoners are just too slow. Walking behind a group of tourists sightseeing or hunting for their hotels in Hogarth Road on your way to work is enough to transform your mood from placid to psychotic in the blink of an eye. Even though, in the old days, you were once one of those gazing wistfully at famous landmarks and could be seen wandering idly through the streets, you now know rules of the streets, the speed limits that you must keep to and the paths to swerve to avoid any oncoming collisions with fellow commuters. Anyone who does not adhere to these unsaid rules need to move or be collateral damage.

  • The Daily Struggle of The Tube

Once upon a time you would relish in the delights of the tube; the novelty of being swept with the crowds and be taken through the city to your destination in a matter of minutes. Now, you see the tube map every time you close your eyes and you can glide through the crowds to your desired station without even having to stop and glance at a board. However, there are a multitude of tourists and newbies to the city who decide that it is not necessary to get their tickets ready before they get to the gate or to check which tubes they will need for their journey before they embark on it and so hold everyone up. If you are one of those who barges, huffs and puffs loud enough for them to hear, you have become a Londoner.

  • Chaos is Your Friend

 Long ago, the constant noise of car horns and sirens racing through the city used to startle you and now you barely bat an eyelid. If anything, the sounds of chaos have become a comfort to you and the sound of silence is unnerving. You are no longer surprised by the unique style of some of the fashion conscious, or in some instances fashion blind, and barely notice those who feel that bright coloured hair mixed with leopard print and stripes is the ultimate fashion statement.

  • Your Weekend Begins on a Thursday

 Before your transition to London life, the weekend antics began on a Friday evening after the clock struck 5pm, but now, once work is over on Thursday, you and your colleagues venture to the nearest bar to begin your weekend. You have now mastered the skill of concealing your hangover when Friday morning rears his ugly head as you can’t allow your boss to see that you have been out the night before, even if they were out with you drinking shots until the early hours.

  • Your Perimeters of the Countryside has Changed

Before you transformed into a Londoner, your idea of the countryside was somewhere like the Cotswolds or the Lake District but now, the end of the tube lines are considered the country. Heading to Upminster feels like a country break due to the extra oxygen in the air as well as the fact that you can see for miles quite clearly with no pollution in the air. If you do venture in to the real countryside, you feel as if you have gone deaf with the sound of pure silence and you may hear an occasional chirp here and there early in the mornings; incase you have forgotten, these are called birds. Also, when you first arrive in the great outdoors, you may feel lightheaded but don’t panic, there are simply less fumes in the air and more oxygen out there.

This post was written by

Fergus Brandon – who has written posts on All Here.
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