The old adage of when in Rome do what Romans do means different things in different countries. For instance, what would you do when one of your children loses a tooth? Well, if you’re a normal parent, you tell your child to tuck it under their pillow and you hope the tooth fairy remembers to leave a few bucks by morning. I mean, that’s what any sane parent would do, right? Well, that’s all fine and good living where you do, but in Greece, when someone loses a tooth, they don’t even both with the pillow or the tooth fairy. They have their own method. What is it, you ask? They throw them on the rooftops. Yeah, I said it. And I said it because it’s true.
They’re not the only ones who have interesting customs. For instance, multi-colored pens were a big deal when I was in school. The more options, the better. And how about that one with the glitter in the ink? I mean, come on, how cool was that? Well, South Korea would have a problem with it. A big problem. You see, red ink is used to write down the names of the dead.
The point is simple. What we do in our culture might not be viewed as okay with another culture. This can be said about London and Londoners too. They have a unique way of doing things and traditions that are all their own.
So, what are some of the customs or quirks Londoners take in stride by outsiders would scratch their head observing.
Moving Around the City
If you read guides to London most every one of them will talk about how the Tube is the most widely used form of transportation when moving around the city. Of course, at the back of the guide they will also talk about the fact that the Lock Ness Monster execute a bicycle kick with his eyes closed. Don’t believe everything you read in those magazines.
Believe it or not, despite having one of the most efficient system of public transportation almost every Londoner prefers to walk to their destination. Let’s put it this way. If you walked from Charing cross to Leicester Square you would be the Tube every time.
Walking has two benefits to every Londoner. For one, it is free and two it is a healthy lifestyle and who doesn’t want to be healthy, right? Well, that’s all well and good to be healthy and to walk because it’s free but now that you’ve decided it’s the way to go, you now need to know how to walk properly.
This is important so read this next part carefully. If you have to fix your backpack or tie your shoes or just take a breath while you are walking, it needs to be done on the right-hand side.
Okay, so now that we have the proper way to walk without causing chaos the next part is interactions with the people around you. The rule of thumb is do not talk or touch anyone. The only reason to talk to a stranger would be to complain about something. Why is the bus late? Hasn’t this weather been terrible? Conversation starter material right there. Now, on the other hand if you cheerfully say hi to someone wearing a wide smile, Londoners will assume you are a serial killer and scatter.
Live the Life
Each and every week for Londoners their cultural and social lives start on Tuesday. Why, you ask? It’s simple. Every Tuesday, the TimeOut magazine is released. It is the prime publication with the best collection of events and things to do in London. There are always a ton of events to go see ranging from a firework show to a concert to an art exhibit. There is something for everyone.
Yes, to Sunshine
Most people can’t afford a lavish home with dozens of rooms and a rolling backyard. Not with the prices in London. It can be easy to feel cooped up in your home. When the weather turns nice, enjoy it and relish the moment. As any Londoner will tell you, the weather never lasts whether it is good or bad.
Find Your Tribe
There are so many things to do in London, there is not enough time to do them all so find a neighborhood and find some things to do and meet people. Londoners always do this and form tight relationships with their small group of friends, attending events and taking care of each other.
One of the best ways to meet someone is to go to a pub and have a pint or two. You’re bound to meet someone who has similar interests. There are a lot of pubs which sponsor different events such as karaoke nights, themed parties, and different contests. There is always something going on down at the pub.
Discounts Are Your Friends
In case you were unaware, London is incredibly expensive but it doesn’t have to be. It’s easy to find smart and savvy ways to cut down on the expenses. There are specials and coupons and even mobile apps that have all types of discounts.
Look for your favorite brands who sponsor specials on social media. Different pubs promote different specials too. Keep your eyes open for them all with different mobile apps, mailers, and social media posts. By gleaning specials from those different outlets, you can save a lot of money on your nights out.
Art Is Your Friend
One of the best things to find are free things, right? Everyone can use a break on their wallet. Well, London has a lot of free attractions including art galleries libraries, and museums. The city wants patrons to be able to go and enjoy lovely artworks in the quite confines of beautiful architecture. Find out the history of London in one of the dozens of museums. Make the time to take in one a week. You’re bound to meet some likeminded souls on their own journey of discovery.