Travelouge London, UK: Fitting in among the “metropolitan elite”

blog, Europe, Travel


It’s been almost of week of spending time traveling among the Brits. I always try to be aware of what the local people do, assimilating and trying to “fit in” when possible. I don’t do this to change who I am, per say, but in doing this I can try to understand what the people of London think like, talk like, act like. When you stick out like a sore thumb tourist, it’s hard for people not to treat you different, like a tourist.

Trying to be a Londerer means that as I take the tube I grab the daily Evening Standard paper that distributed in mass quantities and given freely at every station corner. Since Londoners keep to themselves I supposed it makes sense to be occupied with a newspaper.

I was on the train alone and reading my paper when I realize that the main feature is titled “How new MPs can join London’s metropolitan elite”. Ha! I actually laughed out loud when I read this, what I funny article I thought but I was curious so I read on. What did I learn?

Don’t drive …Driving in London is a highly charged activity. You may use a family car for family occasions but otherwise you must ride a bike or take the Tube or train (the bus smacks of a lack of urgency).

Don’t chat …I don’t care if you’ve been politely thanking bus drivers for years. It stops now. And get used to avoiding any sort of contact — physical, verbal, eye — with anyone you don’t know. Especially on public transport

Never go to Madame Tussauds, Buckingham Palace or an Angus Steakhouse …Even if you have young, parochial and unimaginative relatives visiting.

Be nonchalant …Londoners take riots, terrorist attacks, energy blackouts, floods, landslides and major electoral upheavals in their stride.

Be ferociously impatient …Chuggers, a few minutes’ delay to a scheduled train, barging, spitting, dawdlers on the pavements, bad road etiquette from cyclists and motorists, rucksacks on the Underground, selfie sticks, food waste, litter, smog, rain, sunshine, snow, wind, drizzle, being given the wrong change, unexpected items in bagging area, tourists in general, people talking loudly, tourists talking loudly in particular, tourists standing on the wrong side of the escalator, other people’s children and anything with jewels of pomegranate in it should reduce you to a gurning, swivel-eyed, fist-clenching fury. And never tell anyone that you think the Tube is brilliant, even though it is.

Above all, be tolerant …The wider society in which you are about to immerse yourself is among the most diverse and challenging on Earth, and undoubtedly the most culturally vibrant and exciting.

Full article here

And here are photos from Transfalgar Square, the National Museum and other photos of London!


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