The bright lights of the city certainly has its draw, but as long-standing Londoners we’ve picked up a few gripes along the way. From tube rage to incompetent landlords, here are 19 things we wish we knew before making the move to the Big Smoke…
1. People Aren’t Friendly
You’re not in the countryside anymore. Don’t expect to spark up a conversation with a stranger on a packed tube. They’ll look at you as though you’ve descended from Mars.
2. There Are Mice Everywhere
No matter how many traps you put down, come winter those pesky little rodents manage to squeeze through every nook and cranny imaginable. And these London mice are brazen. They’ll hole up anywhere and everywhere, not giving a toss about who they upset along the way.
3. Tubes Are Packed
There’s nothing fun about nestling into someone’s sweaty armpit on your morning commute. Word of advice: don’t breathe through your nose until you’re out the other end.
4. Trains Are Always Late
Any train, any time. It simply won’t show up when it’s supposed to. You’ll need to add at least half an hour to almost every commute if you’re catching the train, else you’ll be late. Every day.
5. Escalator Etiquette Is A Thing
Stand on the right, walk on the left. Essential knowledge if you want to make it out of the tube station relatively unscathed.
6. Everyone Is Drunk. All The Time.
If you move to London, you’ll soon have to learn how to handle your booze.
7. Getting Lost Is Easy
No matter how great your sense of direction, you’ll turn a corner and find yourself totally lost and totally flummoxed. Thank god for Google Maps.
8. You’re Constantly Broke
London is expensive. Look forward to living in your overdraft EVERY month.
9. There Are Angry Cyclists Everywhere
Kamikaze cyclists will jump out at you on every street corner, and then shout at you for getting in the way. Beware and be afraid.
10. Everywhere In London Seems To Take An Hour To Travel To
We don’t know why, but it seriously does.
11. Black Cab Drivers Are A Wealth Of Information
From knowing exactly where any street is without looking at a map, to retelling the most shocking/touching/heartbreaking stories that seem to sum up the very essence of humanity. They’re the wisest people you’ll meet in London.
12. Uber Drivers Are Not A Wealth Of Information
While we love the ease of Uber, a good chunk of the drivers will have zero sense of direction. In fact, when they’re circling around Victoria station asking for the nearest monument, you’ll seriously question whether they’ve ever even been to London.
13. Flat Shares Are Standard
Unless you earn a packet, you’ll most likely have to flat share. If you’re lucky you’ll shack up with friends, if you’re not, you’ll be stranded with strangers. Could be good, could be bad, could be downright ugly.
14. Finding A Flat Is A Full Time Job
And possibly one of the most frustrating things you’ll ever have to do as a Londoner. Rent is extortionate and most of the flats you can afford will get snapped up two minutes after you’ve arranged a viewing. Good luck.
15. Most Landlords Are Useless
When we say useless, we mean completely incompetent. Put it this way, if your boiler goes, you’ll need to invest in some woolly winter knits.
16. Brunch Is Mandatory
You’ll become ‘ladies who brunch’ the weekend you move here. And there’s always prosecco. Them’s the rules.
17. You'll Want To Go Shopping. ALL The Time.
Forget trying to save money, there’s far too much temptation. And far too many fashion stores.
18. The City Moves At 1000 Miles Per Hour
You’ll need to snap out of panic mode quick smart. Londoners can get things done in lightning speed.
19. You’ll Have A Hard Time Leaving It
We may be constantly complaining and talking all about our future plans to settle somewhere less frantic, but when it comes to actually moving out of London, you may end up missing big city life much more than you thought.