When it comes to adjusting to culture shock in London, it is a far easier task to accomplish as it is such a large city. Large cities are known to be melting pots of different cultures, making it much easier to adjust to such a big move. This, however, does not remove the truth that we are guilty of falling into culture shock from time to time. Culture shock does not always have to come from a big move, sometimes it can come from an experience that is usually extremely different from what that person is normally used to. This is completely normal, and it is okay to feel this way from time to time, especially when it comes with a big move. So, with this being said, below are just a few tips to help you adjust to culture shock in London.
1. Getting familiar with social customs
Oftentimes, the British are categorized to be more “reserved” people when in fact they are actually very friendly. When it comes to greeting others in London, the proper etiquette is to always shake hands with all those who are present in your company. It is also polite to shake hands upon leaving.
2. For the Americans out there: you do not have to tip in London
In London, it is not required to leave a tip when dining in at a restaurant. In fact, it would be important to go over a few quick table manners as well. These manners include: never resting your elbows on the table, remain standing until you are invited to take a seat, never call out or wave your hand to summon a waiter at a restaurant, and lastly, always arrive on time when invited out to a restaurant by another person – this one goes without a saying but is still worth mentioning.
3. Understanding public transportation
London is known to have one of the largest urban public transportation networks in the world. When you need to get around, you can take either: the London Underground – also referred to as the tube – as well as the bus, the local trains, London trams, bicycles, taxis and more! As we get more into the topic of understanding public transportation, it would be important to mention to never take the tube during rush hour.
4. Getting used to the language
When it comes to English language, the British sometimes spell words differently as well as use different terminology. It is best to get accustomed to this. In addition to this fact, it would also be important to mention to use caution when speaking. This is due to the fact that certain words or phrases might have a completely different meaning in London than what you may be used to.
5. Enjoy the diversity London has to offer
As previously mentioned, London is a melting pot of different cultures. While this can be helpful when it comes to adjustment, this can also be new to many people. However, rather than remaining intimidated by the differences, it would be best to go out and try new things and enjoy the wonderful mix of cultures that London has to offer. Besides, you never know what new thing you may learn.
In addition to getting familiar with the above, might we also mention a few things you should never do while living in London? Getting familiar with these kinds of tips and tricks would be a major advantage as well. Therefore, without further ado, here at the top five things you should never do in London:
1. Please do not stand on the left side of the escalators
As you may have already noticed, there are plenty of signs that state you should not stand on the left side of the escalators, however, many tourists are known to either not see this sign or they may simply choose to ignore the fact. The left side of the escalator is the designated passing lane for those people who are in more of a hurry to get to their destination. Therefore, in order to avoid looking like a tourist, please be aware of this standard.
2. Do not talk about politics
As with many other places in the world, it is best to avoid the subject of politics. In addition to the known fact that many people love to argue and disagree on the topic of politics, it would be best to not get involved in something you are fairly new to as well.
3. Never ever take a mini cab
If you absolutely must take a cab to get to your desired destination, please, do not allow yourself to take a mini cab under any circumstances. Only take licensed black cabs, even if they are a bit more expensive. Trust me when I say you are better off paying the extra cash with the black cabs.
4. You should never complain about your neighborhood to a fellow Londoner
The people of London are known to be extremely loyal when it comes to their neighborhood. Therefore, if you complain about your circumstances to a fellow Londoner, odds are you will not be entirely pleased with what may be said back to you. Therefore, it would be best to simply avoid the topic altogether.
5. Do not complain about the rain
Last but not least, please, do not complain about the rain. After all, this is London, therefore the possibility of rain is usually very high. You simply must expect it at any moment. If you must, carry an umbrella with you at all times so you can always be prepared. Yes, it rains during the summer months as well.
Once again, if you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed, it is important to mention that your feelings are perfectly valid. After all, moving can be difficult, even if you are not moving to a different country and need to adjust to the culture. Therefore, we hope that these simple tips and tricks can be useful to you during this big move.