It’s been two weeks since I touched down in London Town, and in 14 days, I can honestly say I’ve fallen in love with this city with all my heart. I’ve even told my mom I want to move here already… (yes mom, I’m still coming home, don’t you worry…yet…). But in all seriousness, this city has so much to offer. I love the history of this city mixed with its contemporary restaurants, cinema, fashion, and bustling night life. It’s the perfect mix of old and new. I can’t get enough of the beautiful architecture, eclectic foods, funky fashion trends, and that British charm. However, living in a new city takes getting used to. Even though the Brits speak English, London still has a whole new culture with a whole new set of customs. My roomies and I discovered some of these customs by observing, and some of them the hard way… by failing and getting yelled at from a taxi driver… So here is what I’ve learned so far living in London… 14 new things in 14 days:
1. Always bring cash with you everywhere… especially in taxis… or you will be scolded by taxi drivers for paying in three different currencies. (Lesson learned the hard way…but hey, desperate times call for very desperate measures..and yes if anyone wanted to know we paid in dollars, euros, and pounds…)
2. When crossing the street, always look both ways. Those signs on the ground aren’t just for taking those cute shoe pics.
3. The night bus from Harry Potter is real… except it is how every bus drives in London. Be aware of those side mirrors.
4. Do not talk about your “pants” or “fanny pack.” ESPECIALLY not in the same sentence.
5. Always always always stand on the right side of an escalator. Brits are polite, but not that polite.. especially when in a rush.
6. “You ok?” or “You alright?” does NOT really mean are you physically ok or what the hell is wrong with you. It actually means “How are you?” So don’t take it literally and answer accordingly..
7. British boys are not known for making the first move. You’re not ugly, they’re just shy. (Unless it’s Harry Styles… because we know he’s not shy..)
8. Never trust the weather forecast. Even if it is sunny, it still WILL rain, trust us. Make your umbrella your best friend.
9. On weekends, make sure you get out of bed and hit the markets. The food is equally cheap as it is delicious. (And who wouldn’t pass up cheap food in London? It’s expensive as sh*t here.)
10. If you want a blinking light over your head that says WE ARE AMERICANS, then talk loudly on the tube or platform. The tube is a time for peace and quiet. However, we did see people making drinks…so I guess speaking on the tube is not very acceptable, but mixing cocktails is.
11. Nutella is acceptable at any time of the day, but that doesn’t make it any better for you. It’s still a jar of chocolate hazelnut spread, ok.
12. Come on, no one actually uses these, unless for some reason you don’t believe in cell phones. But hey, they make for that charming classic London pic am I right?
13. No matter how British you feel taking a black cab, they’re actually dark pits for your money. Bring your Oyster card, use Uber, or walk you lazy.
14. Ditch the coffee for a bit and try some classic British tea! You can finally make all those fake tea parties you had when you were little come to life by attending high tea. It’s a fun thing to do with friends, while looking classy sipping tea and eating those delicious finger sandwiches.