When you’ve been living here for a couple of months, you’ll wonder what all of the fuss was about. It can be a challenging and scary experience to be living in a big city, in a foreign country, especially if it is your first time abroad. Going to Hawaii for your holidays or Vancouver for your vacation does not count as ‘overseas’! While many millions of people living here are foreigners, you’ll want to get accustomed to the ways of the city as fast as possible, so you don’t stand out like a tourist. Not only will you feel better, but it is safer in a big city to blend in a little.

This little guide is completely tongue in cheek, but you may find some pearls of wisdom amid the swine!

  • Always walk with purpose while you’re living in London. Look like you know where you’re going and need to get there fast. Don’t worry about rubbing shoulders with people on the pavement or sidewalk; they’ll be shoving as well.
  • Learn the names of the tube lines. Don’t refer to them by their color. Real Londoners know which line they’re getting on and nothing makes you stand out like telling everyone you use the Red Line to get to work.
  • Don’t make eye contact with strangers on the tube. Read something, play Sudoku, do a cross word or keep your head down. If someone kills themselves by diving in front of your train and you’re delayed, don’t be shocked, just mutter to yourself and click your tongue in irritation that YOU have been inconvenienced.
  • Never, ever stand still on an escalator. If you are too tired to barge your way up the left side of the escalator, then move to the right. Real Londoners are ALWAYS in a hurry, even when they’re not, sometimes they even pretend to be in a hurry, just to fit in.

Living in London is an adventure that has to be experienced. So get out of your flat and become one with the city. I promise you; in a few weeks you’ll be just as rude and rushed as the rest of us.


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