One can imagine living in the city to be like something out of a film. Constant socialising, backpacking across the city and a general rosy approach to life is the general conception of city life – and you wouldn’t be wrong.
Having spent nearly a month living in the city, I’m obviously an expert on life in London so trust me when I say there is more to it that the above.
Here are my 10 thoughts, frustrations and truths about living in the city:
- “Bloody Tourists”
A phrase that my family and I used to joke about has finally become a reality. Nothing is more frustrating to a Londoner than having to tackle streams of tourists at any time of day – let alone during a commute. They just don’t have what it takes to keep up with the London pace.
- The City Sleeps at the Weekend
Unlike New York, London certainly does sleep. Between the hours of 10pm on a Friday night and 5am on a Monday morning, the city has a lot less life to it. I walked from Aldgate to Oxford street at 10am on a Saturday morning and it felt like a completely different city. Unless you’re at the Tower of London, Tower Bridge or any other worthy attraction, the city loses it’s rushy and bustling atmosphere. Still deciding whether I like this or not…
- Everyone’s a Bartender
London is notorious for the variety of nightlife and there is always something going on. What I didn’t count on was the amount of people it would take to run the city’s array of evening venues. Nearly every person you meet in the city will be a cocktail crafter, pint puller or alcohol alchemist. There will be hell to pay if you call them the ‘B’ word.
- There is no such thing as unique
Word has it that there are 192 Starbucks in London. A slave to the chains and franchises, you’d think there would be an independent artisan coffee shop somewhere. Yes there are… hundreds of them. In a city so diverse you will never really find a truly unique restaurant, shop or coffee place. It’s a sad fact of life now.
- Karaoke is most definitely a thing
I have worked in London for 3 months and have been on a karaoke night out 4/5 times. Alcohol, a microphone and tunes loud enough that you don’t hear your own singing? Sign me up!
- So Many Fit People
Runners. Cyclists. They’re everywhere. There’s nothing quite like slogging into work bleary eyed with the rest of the city finishing their morning jog. A constant reminder of how you should be living your life.
- We’re all (not so secretly) Alcoholics
Drinking isn’t reserved for the weekly work piss up. Monday? Let’s go for drinks! Tuesday? Thank god Monday is over, let’s go for a drink! Wednesday? Why not, it’s nearly Friday! I’m starting to think that there is a direct correlation between the amount of runners every morning and the people I see out on the town in the evenings. Gotta compensate for alcohol consumption somehow, right?
- Food. Food Everywhere.
Lunch time is a difficult time. Do you get ye olde Tesco meal deal? The hipster salad place round the corner? Thai? Italian? KFC? There are SO many options for food wherever you go. Maybe I should go running. I see a pattern emerging here…
- It’s Not all Hustle & Bustle
Believe it or not, there are a few good spots in London where you don’t hear traffic, building works or shouting tourists. When you find those places treasure them! I would tell you where my favourite quiet spots are but that would ruin them. Explore and find your own.
- There is ALWAYS Something Going on
Whether you like to explore by yourself or with friends, there is always something to explore in London. As the old saying goes, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”