Weird Things That Happen After You’ve Lived in London

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After living in London for a while (I can’t actually say how long after constantly going back and forth) I realized that London makes you change the way you think. Here’s what happens after after you’ve lived in London for a while…

1. You’ll get used to a small house
Renting a room or an apartment is expensive so you become used to living in a small house without a basement or garage. One can easily live in a box room without even feeling cramped.room

2. You’ll take free medical care for granted
You are so used to free health care that when you’re required to pay for your medicine at the pharmacy, you’re surprised and confused.

3. You’ll hang clothes anything and anywhere
While Americans might still have a problem drying their clothes without a dryer, you are so used to hanging your clothes on every radiator that you see that you don’t even consider another possibility.

4. You’ll never visit any museums and shows
Despite the abundance of museums and fantastic shows in London, you won’t go to any of them. The queues filled with noisy tourists will annoy you, so you’d rather go to a bar instead.

5. Drinking during the day becomes normal
Drinking will seem perfectly acceptable at any day and any time. You’ll be getting martinis because they are 2-for-1 with a shot of Jagermeister, all on a Tuesday night.DSC01002

6. When public transport is not cramped you’ll start wondering where has everyone gone
You’ll lose your sense of personal space while using public transport and weird people saying shit in night buses won’t bother you anymore. You’ll also learn how to walk between people while quickly checking signs and maps.

7. Slow walkers annoy you
London moves fast. You’ll think anyone who doesn’t walk in turbo mode has to be kicked off the street, never mind those who stand on the left side of the escalator.after you've lived in London

8. You’ll smile at strangers when eating alone
Eating alone at fast food restaurants in the middle of the night is completely normal and nobody stares at you in a strange way – quite the opposite, they smile because they’re by themselves as well.

9. Tipping won’t be your custom anymore
You might tip the bartender when you have a good day, but you’ll never pay the 12.5% service charge listed on your bill, especially when it’s expected to be paid. You would rather give the money to your server and not to some rich company owner.

10. You might go on a few dates with a person who haven’t met before
Everyone is too busy to socialize, so online dating is never awkward. All your best friends from back home are happy in long-term relationships, engaged, or married with kids. You’re in London and still single because in reality there are more chances of you winning the lottery than finding a fine man. Then you start dating online and you find yourself finding plenty of nice people to go out with!stjamesspark

11. You don’t consider curry an Indian dish
You eat Chicken Tikka Masala at your local pub so much that it becomes a part of your weekly diet. Even though barely anyone in India has heard of Tikka Masala curry, to them it’s either Tikka or Masala.

12. Your bag will be big enough to fit another outfit
London makes you walk a lot and there is no girl that can walk in stilettos all day long. In your bag you’ll always carry a pair of stilettos for the evening and wear your flats during the day instead.574502_4424612935901_1991972654_n

13. It doesn’t matter how bad your life seem to your friends, London is still the best city in the world to you.
You might be living in a crappy box room and working in a pub but you’ll be proud that you made it to London. Or maybe your job is great, the university you study at is the best in the world and you get to go to Michelin star restaurants and drink cocktails on the top of the Shard every week (because obviously everyone in London can afford it). In the end, it’s more likely that you eat cheap curry from Tesco while watching your favorite TV series at home. Who cares, you’re in London after all!

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12 Comments

  1. Jun 18, 2014 / 5:16 am

    Nice reflections Anna. As someone from Yorkshire I’m glad that I never lived in London (even though some of my family and friends chose to do so).

    We enjoy visiting but that is all, just visits. The place can be so expensive, crammed and just crazy. Getting annoyed with slow walkers would happen to me.

    Even though we technically visit as tourists ourselves I think we already get a little bit annoyed with the other tourists who just linger, stop suddenly and cause havoc they never even realise.

    London is a fabulous city, I just wouldn’t ever want to live there.

    • Anna
      Jun 18, 2014 / 9:23 am

      Hmm… I actually love it there. I think I’ll be back some time soon 😉

  2. Jun 18, 2014 / 11:57 am

    Great post, Anna! However, I have to disagree with you on one point. When I lived in London for 10 months during my year off university, I tried to visit as many museums as possible and it was great that most of them were free! So I’d rather say that “after living in London you get outraged if you have to pay a fee to enter a museum.”
    And I would add one more point: “After living in London you appreciate every ray of sun and stick on your shorts & a t-shirt every time the sun comes out even if that’s only 5 minutes! 🙂

    • Anna
      Jun 18, 2014 / 12:02 pm

      When I lived in London I thought the same thing about the sun… tho later I’ve moved to Holland – and I started thinking ‘London was so nice and it actually didn’t rain that much’ 😉
      Hmm… about museums. I’ve visited almost all of them myself, but my friends never did unless their family came over 😛 London reminds me of NYC in that sense where the main (touristic) museum are free, but when you’re interested in a topic you gotta pay and it’s not cheap – eg. Tower of London, Natural History, V&A, National Portrait Gallery etc… 🙁

  3. Jun 21, 2014 / 3:01 pm

    Cool insight into one of my favorite cities! I’ve never lived there, only visited, but can relate to some things living in Chicago (e.g. empty public transportation – that’s usually how I know it’s some holiday, hehe). And shows… that’s the sad one on the list!

  4. Jess
    Jun 24, 2014 / 9:50 am

    Hey! Cool blog you’ve got here!
    I was wondering, how did you manage to find an accommodation in London?

    • Anna
      Jun 24, 2014 / 9:58 am

      Hi Jess.
      Are you looking for something long or short term?

      • Jess
        Jun 25, 2014 / 2:57 am

        Short-term. I’m interested in doing my master’s thesis there, so probably I’d stay around a year.

        • Anna
          Jun 25, 2014 / 10:52 am

          I’d look at Gumtree London, but for a short term I’d stay at LHA (London Hostel Association) – they have rooms for short and long term without a contract.

          • Jess
            Jun 28, 2014 / 4:57 am

            Thanks!

  5. Jun 27, 2014 / 4:30 pm

    Haha, recognize a lot (I’m from Holland living in London now) Fun blog, will keep following you! Nienke

  6. Mar 27, 2016 / 12:04 am

    Good summation and have to agree with Ania from HitchHikersHandbook the lack of sun make any sunny day seem like the day of “Sun worshiping” and begging it not to leave us again…
    – or just going to Maplins and buying a fake sun light… S.A.D light – it’s sad, but hey it works wonders.
    (BTW the S.A.D light was Invented by a South African doctor Dr. Norman Rosenthal MD after moving to the northern parts of the USA and realised he had such a lack of energy during the less sunny months compared to when he lived in sun energised South Africa)

    1) Small room / Small house -> London living really “helps/forces” you get rid of unnecessary things and funny enough have a “Summer bag” which is stored under your bed for way too many months.

    4) Museums are still a frequent visit – just not the main ones that you need to catch a taxi to before the tube opens to be in front of the queue it seems.
    A good alternative is art galleries – they are everywhere but be careful to give your exact honest opinion on a piece… despite someone asking for it , it’s not always appreciated (especially if it turns out to be the lover of the artist in question -moving on)
    .
    9) Tipping for service… No service.. no tipping..
    London is strange – at a pub you are the one to go and get the menus, you are the one to go and order at the bar and often you’re the one to go and collect the food and take it to the table,,,
    Tip? You should be getting paid by the pub, not tipping them.

    7) Slow walkers… don’t mind them that much…
    It’s the “instant stoppers” that drive me crazy, and let’s not forget the “lets have a chat right in front of the tube entrance/exit” group (My friendly Italian friends – you know who I’m talking about)

    6) Public transport walking – a true skill of any Londoner: While walking through the maze as you exit trains – focus on where you are going and become an expert at collision avoidance with those slow walkers and instant stoppers mentioned earlier. (They’ll hopefully learn soon).

    13) Best city in the World… mhmm… I’d put it as great city.. but NYC or Sydney or Capetown nowadays gives it a good run.
    London in late Spring – Great City… (depending on the day) – if it’s rainy it’s still meh. If it’s sunny it yeah!
    London in Summer – overcrowded city -> rather travel to Italy, Spain Germany, USA or Canada instead
    London in Autumn -> good time to do some work. So great city for business or employment (if you can stomach it).
    London in Winter -> escape to Europe where there is snow, gluwein and less eye piercing rain (yes somehow it rains horizontally in London).

    The real problem in London is that unless you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth , or with a few properties you can sell to a russian oligard, and have half a mil when you’re 18 to spend in the couple amazing places reserved for those in the know (or someone like me that accidentally stumbles into them), it can be come a massive tourist trap or a “hamster trap”
    – where the hamster wheel is an hours commute away
    – and 75% of the running in the wheel is to pay for the rent of the hamster cage….

    it’s still a great city… especially since it have a lot of flights via EasyJet to other REAL great cities.

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