Americans moving to London often ask London relocation agents how they can fit in quicker and better. It can be a challenging and scary experience to be living in a big city, in a foreign country, especially if it is one’s first time abroad. While many millions of people living in London are foreigners, those moving to London will want to get accustomed to the ways of the city as fast as possible, so they don’t get mistaken for a tourist. Not only does it help the ego, 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 living in London. Locals look like they know where they’re going and need to get there fast. Corporate relocation newbies shouldn’t worry about rubbing shoulders with people on the pavement or sidewalk; they’ll be shoving as well.
It’s important to learn the names of the tube lines. Real Londoners know which line they’re getting on and nothing makes one stand out as a newcomer after a corporate relocation like telling everyone they used the Red Line to get to work.
My mother always told me: “Don’t look strange men or dogs in the eye.” That holds true on streets or on the Tube. Regulars read something, play Sudoku, do a cross word or keep their head down. If someone kills themselves by diving in front of one’s train and therefore making them delayed, expats should not show shock, but rather just mutter to themselves and click their tongue in irritation that they have been inconvenienced.
To truly be seen as a local never, ever stand still on an escalator. Those who are too tired to barge their way up the left side of the escalator should then move to the right. Real locals are ALWAYS in a hurry, even when they’re not, sometimes they even pretend to be in a hurry, just to fit in.
International relocation is an adventure that has to be experienced. Getting out of one’s flat and becoming one with the city is the best way to accomplish that. I promise in a few weeks any American can be just as rude and rushed as the rest of us.