I arrived to London just two days ago, and I’m already fascinated by the people here. I think, in fact, that as cool, and entertaining, and fun London is, it is the people that brighten up the cityscape. The folk here is absolutely weird and totally abnormal – but in a good way, of course. If it hadn’t been for the weirdness of the British people, London wouldn’t be what it is – the coolest place on earth… But anyways, let me tell you some odd things about Londoners!
1. They have a smart accent.
Every time a Londoner speaks (or any British person), I feel that I’m talking to my professor on Shakespeare literature from university. The British accent sounds so exaggeratedly perfect and ridiculously smart that I still can’t believe that this is how people actually speak here. Every time I hear a conversation in the streets of London, people’s accents makes me believe that everybody here has at least a Master’s degree or something. But no, that’s just how they speak.
2. There’s no such thing as ‘inappropriate’.
But alas, a fancy accent is a misleading thing. When I’m taking the tube, or a bus, or am sitting in a café somewhere in London, I always hear things that I can’t believe I’m hearing. What’s wrong with you, Londoners? Sometimes the conversations that you have are so intimate that they should only be had in the privacy of your own bedroom! Your conversations shock me, make me blush, and give me awkward giggles. Which I strongly believe makes me look stupid. Is that what you’re aiming for? Are you just trying to look smarter in comparison to me?
3. Style is everything.
When I just arrived at Heathrow Airport, I was standing next to this guy who had yellow hair, was dressed in Campbell soup T-shirt, had the hugest and the scariest-looking boots, and was holding a saxophone. I immediately realized that he wasn’t a foreigner, like me. Because he wasn’t looking normal. The oddity of his general appearance stood out even before he opened his mouth, and that’s how I knew he was a real Londoner. People from London are just odd-looking, there’s no denial abut that. But of course, there are other Londoners, too, that convey a bit of a different taste: these people are dressed in wool trench coats, wear hats, speak gently, and have that classy overall look.
4. Your colleagues are your best friends.
As if spending 9-5 with your co-workers isn’t enough, Londoners actually go to the pub with their colleagues after work. I can say without any exaggeration that even family and friends don’t get as much attention as one’s colleagues! Weird.
5. Work on your manners!
Now, maybe because of the British accent, you get the impression that people here are very polite. And they are indeed! They call you ‘dear’ and ‘lovely’ all the time, even when they are angry at you. Just today I heard a policeman lecturing a girl who tried to go through the gate in the tube without paying. “Whot the fock is wrong with you, love?” he was saying. Love. Because even if you swear and you lose yourself a little bit, you’ve still got to be nice.
6. Speed it up…
Even when Londoners use the escalator, they still walk through it, upwards or downwards, to move faster. Life probably seems too slow for Londoners, who work hard to speed it up. And I get it – there are so many things to make time for in London that you just need to hurry a little!
7. …but be patient!
For some reasons, Londoners have all the patience in the world when it comes to standing in a queue. They never push, complain, or try to skip the line, and they diligently wait for their turn. But when it comes to wait for the green light to cross the street, all this patience disappears for some inexplicable reason.
8. Gotta love British food.
If you travel somewhere, you’ll usually notice how cafes and restaurants try to stand out by offering different types of cuisine from all over the world. It makes sense, because people need variety. But not Londoners. They are actually in love with their food. Traditional British restaurants are literally at every corner, and as normal as it is to find another type of restaurant (Japanese, Italian, Russian, etc), the amount of typical British places is quite overwhelming. Good for me, because I love trying local food!
9. Women footwear… eh?
Have you noticed that women in London (especially in central London) don’t really wear heels? And if they do, those heels are so tiny that it’s hard to see the purpose of it! Honestly, just one little sad centimeter doesn’t make any difference. Another thing about women shoes is that they’re always black. Worn with black pants/tights, of course. It looks stylish, but if everybody’s wearing the same thing, it kind of looks as if an army of black shoes is attacking the whole population of the UK. Scary!
10. Black is the new black.
Londoners love wearing black. It’s definitely their favourite colour (which is proven to be the absence of colours, really, but oh well. Londoners.)
11. Hot or cold?
For some inexplicable reason, sinks have two taps – one for hot water, and one for cold. That’s it. Nothing in the middle. So there’s no way you can have nice warm water unless you plug the sink, open both taps, and stir the water, but, of course, nobody would do that in the normal state of mind. Only the British, I guess.
9. Oyster card gods
I don’t know why it is such a big deal. So what if I can’t figure out how to put money on it through the goddamn oyster machine? So what if I get confused when the turnstile doesn’t let me in? Why do you have to be so annoyed about it?
Over to you! What are other things about Londoners that you think are weird?
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