Not everything in this world is meant to be explained. Everyone has their vices and habits that might not make sense to a single soul other than themselves and that is all right. There are somethings that might never be understood and others that might offer understanding over time.
While I might tell you how much Londoners love their brunch and you’ll understand that meal it is and what time of day it might occur but the actual reason for the love of consuming massive amounts of breakfast food midday might not until you’ve experienced this delight full-on in the Big Smoke.
That being said, trying to explain why certain cultures or even more specifically, certain cities do things in a specific way can be quite confounding while at the same time enlightening. Learning about other cultures and customs can draw us together even if we don’t fully understand the need or the cause of the behaviors.
Hold Onto Your Trolleys
This is a rather simple one and one that doesn’t have any explanation whatsoever. The goods news is, it doesn’t need one. Simply make note of it when you witness it and move on. That’s all there is to it. So, what am I babbling about? The trolleys have a mind of their own. Now, I’m not talking about the trolleys passengers can ride on—thought I’m sure a few of those have a mind of their own as well—rather I’m talking about the shopping trolleys or shopping carts as they are called in the US. It seems like it is a mass conspiracy to allow them cognitive thought.
Why do I say this?
Try getting one to move in a straight line. It is a simple impossibility. When you try to push it forward, it will swing to the left. If you try and get it to go to the left, it will refuse. If it sounds like I’m giving them cognitive thought, it’s because I’m almost convinced they are sentient beings determine to drive all Londoners out of their minds. So, why does this occur? Apparently, some genius felt it necessary to not be satisfied with two steering wheels at the front of the cart, instead, demanding four steering wheels.
The Art of Tea
While this might seem like a play on Sun Tzu’s famous book ‘The Art of War’ I assure you it is not. That is not to say that we as Londoners don’t take tea time seriously, we do. No, I mean we really, really do. You see, while everyone outside of Britain knows we love our tea, few understand just how much we love our tea. It is a very big deal.
Anyone can tell you as a Brit if you have hired a repairman or handyman, they always do better work when served a proper cup of tea. Seeing as how nothing would get done correctly without the help of tea, I might suggest you write this next section down.
How to get the tea right.
We have to always start with the kettle and if you are considering using the microwave to boil your water, you’d best stop. Right now. It takes a kettle to do it right.
Once we’ve sorted the kettle out, we have to turn to the right mug. Now, you might think a nice new mug is the way to go however you would be wrong. You see, tea sampled from an old weathered mug is simply better. One more note. It has to be warm before you put the teabag in and pour in the water. Then be patient. It takes a minute or so for the tea to properly mature and propagate its flavor properly. Then simply add milk and sugar to your liking and enjoy cuppa.
If there is one word among all others that Londoners use more frequently than likely any other word in the English language. I’m sure if you didn’t read it here, you’d find out soon enough merely speaking with a Londoner. But I won’t make you take the time out of your busy schedule to do that. The word is ‘sorry’.
The funny thing is the word is not meant to convey blame or fault but merely that they too understand what you are feeling at the time. For instance, a friend might invite a few of their coworkers out for drinks at the pub where it is far too hot to be enjoyable. They will say they are sorry. It’s not their fault the pub is the temperature of the sun and it’s not like they are going to work on the A.C. unit to rectify the matter. But still, they are sorry for your discomfort.
What about when you bump into someone on the street. Even if they were robbing a bank and escaping on foot when they ran into them, a Londoner will say they are sorry. No, really, they will.
If you mean to give someone something and cannot find it in the bag, they will say they are sorry.
By now, I’m sure you understand. It’s just a matter of manners.
The Sun Cult
As Londoners we are obsessive over our weather. We also like to complain about it, but that’s another blog topic. For now, simply understand that when the sun does choose to make an appearance, all Londoners worship it. The sight of the sun can cause many a Londoner to break out the flip flops and lounge chair. I mean, who wouldn’t be happy considering the alternative is fog and dampness.
While some of these habits you likely already knew, there are a number that were probably new to you. While it might take a bit of getting use to as any culture does, immerse yourself in it and find your inner Londoner. It will be worth it. I promise.