I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not from these parts.
As a Northerner, I had some preconceptions about London before moving here.
I thought it would be really expensive and that the people would be horrible.
I’ve lived here for over a year now and I’ve come to understand that people from London aren’t horrible, they are simply misunderstood.
I was pretty spot on about the expensive part though. At the weekend I got a SMALL ice-cream WITHOUT a flake from the ice-cream van, it cost me £3.50. For £3.50 where I’m from, that would get you three ice creams and you’d still have 50p change.
Growing up, our local ice-cream van would do a ‘special’ which was an ice-cream with a rocket lolly sticking out of the side of it. It cost £1.50. There was a rumour going around that he made the ice-cream in his family bathtub in his house. I never gave it too much thought but I must admit, it was hard to enjoy my £1.50 special with that rumour spinning around in my head.
You have to understand that people from London are unlike any other people in the world. Here’s a few things I’ve learnt about Londoners during my time in the big smoke:
They are in a rush but they don’t know why
Everyone in this city is in a rush. They have to get from A to B in the quickest time possible.
Why? They don’t know. Nobody knows.
That’s just what you do when you live here. Why do you think you have to keep to the right on the escalators? So that busy people can get to where they need to be as quickly and miserably as possible.
Take a look at the faces of the people on the left of the escalators. They don’t look happy. It’s because they don’t know why they are in a rush. They are lost. They need a cuddle. They don’t have time though.
They don’t like to speak to each other
Earlier this week, I said good morning to a cyclist.
A bit weird, I’ll give you that. But I wanted to see what would happen. I was having a particularly good morning and I was feeling cheery.
I don’t actually know where it came from, he pulled up at the traffic lights and when I crossed the road I smiled at him and I said ‘Good morning!’
As if we lived in a village and I was a friendly butcher and he was a cycling vicar and everything was nice.
He genuinely looked at my like he was going to kill me.
They hate photographs
There’s one way to annoy a Londoner. Try to take a photograph.
I’m a keen photographer. I like to take pictures of clouds.
Don’t unexpectedly stop in the centre of London to take a picture of clouds. They don’t like it.
They have to navigate around you, adding valuable time to their journey. I don’t care if you see a cloud that looks like a unicorn doing the macarena, you keep walking.
Don’t stop to take a photograph. Never stop to take a photograph. It’s not worth it. Keep your head down and get where you need to be.
That’s the London way.
They don’t like it when your dog urinates on them
A couple of days ago Ralph urinated on a bollard near Tower Bridge. I didn’t realise at the time, but it was splashing on this blokes leg.
It was a hot day, the bloke had shorts on.
He was on the phone at the time but when he realised he took a break from his call to shout the word ‘mate’ at me over and over again.
Unsurprisingly, this didn’t stop Ralph from doing what he was doing.
This particular interaction ended with me saying ‘Oh no, has he pissed on you?’
Not our finest moment.
They need reminding that unexpected kindness goes a long way
This week, someone gave my wife a seat on the tube.
She’s pregnant and people don’t offer her a seat, which makes me sad. It’s one of the worst things about living here.
I tweeted recently about the kind stranger.
The person that helped her might not ever see it, but I wanted to remind myself and others that unexpected kindness goes a long way.
Sure there are some horrible people in London, but there are also some lovely people here too.
I want to spread the message of unexpected kindness and what better way to do that then to wear that message on a t-shirt.
Be nice to people. Available here. One of the t-shirts from my range of propertshirts.
Have a lovely day.