For those that have never lived in London, the perceived life of a Londoner is often very far removed from the truth. We aren’t all bankers, magazine journalists or vegans. We don’t all live in central near Buckingham Palace and we aren’t out each night catching a West End show, dreaming of our own name in lights. Sorry to burst that bubble.
Although I’m from a city myself, when I moved here, it was a culture shock for me. No one could understand my accent and I couldn’t get my head around the fact that the bus didn’t accept cash. The highlife I expected never existed and still to this day, when friends come to visit I have to explain to them that South East London is actually a place, I never bump into celebs and wearing black isn’t just a fashion statement, it’s a way of life.
So for those who are new to the city, are planning on moving here, or still just don’t get it, here are some tips to survive the London lifestyle.
Be At One With Booze
Brits are not phased by the idea of drinking copious amounts of alcohol at anytime of the day. Day drinking is a basic human right and one that newcomers to the city will need to accept and enjoy. If you don’t drink then that’s cool, but if you’re partial to a pint, make sure you eat a good meal- you don’t want to be that person that vomits outside of the chicken shop. And that’s another thing, you will inevitably frequent the chicken shop- even if you’re vegetarian.
Top Tip: Eat carbs, lots and lots of carbs.
I think London is safe, but that doesn’t mean that you can be stupid. There are millions of people living here so obviously there is a higher proportion of people who don’t have your best interest at heart. A friend of mine has been mugged four times and I doubt it’s a coincidence. Don’t walk down a dark alleyway, keep an eye on your drink in a bar and don’t get into an unsolicited taxi. If someone looks dodgy, they probably are; walk away, say no and don’t get into fights. Oh and always go to the STI clinic, sorry but it needs to be said.
Top Tip: Make sure there is always someone who knows where you are in case you get into trouble.
Find Peace With Your Finances
Unless you have a ridiculous job or come from a wealthy background, you will probably always have to make your money stretch that bit further. But once you accept that this is your current financial place, you’ll start to see that you can have a really good life on what you have. I mean, it’s rare that you’ll see the word ‘free’ tossed about but it does happen. Where I live, if you leave something on the pavement it’s free for anyone to take- which is partly how I furnished my last house. Just keep an eye out for the deals and budget your money.
Everyone in London has somewhere to be, so please don’t walk really slow on a busy street ‘taking it all in.’ Many people struggle with the speed of life down here because unless you’re sitting in a lecture theatre at uni, time goes really fast. If you’re not running towards the closing doors of a tube you’re running to beat the queues somewhere else. It’s exhausting. But if you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, there are plenty of quiet and less crowded places in the city such as parks and coffee shops.
Top Tip: Just don’t walk slow. It’s that simple.
Know The Slang, Be The Slang
As London is very multicultural and realistically, there is a high percentage of people who live here that aren’t originally from the city, the range of accents and languages can be confusing. But not as confusing as the slang. You see, “she’s peng, and that sandwich was leng and I bought creps yesterday and they’re sound. Now I’ve got my new job I’ve got bare time, so me and my mates went to that set last weekend and it was lit. “Yeah?
Top Tip: Make up your own slang because that’s basically what slang is- made up shit that no one can offer a definition for.
Doesn’t this make you more excited to come to London? Before you do, get your shit together. If you’re looking for an easy, quick way to manage your money, check out Loot here. The app lets you budget, put money aside and use your contactless card abroad without any additional charges.