For anyone who has been keeping up to date with my London adventures over the past year, you’ll know that I think London life is pretty special. That said, there’s a few truths about London life that often go unspoken about. I’m talking about the first world problems and the unspoken social norms – you know, those simple things that long-time Londoners would simply assume are public knowledge.
So in the interest of sharing the love, here are five unexpected truths I discovered about London life since moving here:
1. YOUR CUP OF TEA WILL BE SLIMEY
Not only does the tap water taste a bit yuck (words simply can’t adequately describe it…) but its trademark move is the slimey coating which you’ll find on the inside of your tea cup as you casually sip away. Apparently, it’s got something to do with the calcium in the water when it mixes with tea so as far as I’m aware, it’s not doing much harm. Not sure this understanding does anything to help quash the grossness, but you know what they say: knowledge is power. My top tip? Try not to think about it.
2. YOUR HAIR WILL FALL OUT
Another delightful side effect of the water. Personally I’m not sure of the specifics here but I can attest to the fact that it happens. My hairdresser suggested washing my hair with bottled water to curb the effects but, despite my vanity, that’s still an indulgent step too far for me.
3. YOU NEED TO PLAN TO BE SICK
It’s not enough to be ill, but now you have to plan it at least two weeks in advance!? If you want a chance in hell of seeing a GP, then you’d better believe it. Or, failing that, one must be on the phone to the clinic within seconds of the appointment lines opening in the hopes of securing that elusive last minute appointment. Prevention is the best option if you ask me.
4. POLITENESS IS A TOURIST THING
Nothing screams ‘I’m from out of town’ like common politeness on public transport in London. Sad, but true. The exception to this is if it’s very late at night and you’re a bit tipsy. In which case, all filters are off, you can be forgiven for ignoring this social convention and, hopefully, you’ll make some likeminded friends. Outside of this situation, however, make sure to avoid extraneous eye contact or smiling with strangers on the tube and never, EVER, thank your bus driver upon alighting.
5. POST IS DELIVERED ON SATURDAYS
Just when you thought this post was plunging you into deep set negativity about London Life, fear not: London life really isn’t all bad. Unlike in Australia where you’re lucky to get post delivered at all these days, in London the Royal Mail still deliver on Saturdays.
Over to you: what’s surprised you about London life?