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17 things that inevitably happen when your parents visit London

By Time Out London editors

1. You spend most of a day trying to dissuade your mum from shopping on Oxford Street on a Saturday (but end up there anyway).

2. They find a generic chain restaurant and go on about it endlessly (‘I’ve found an amazing new place to eat! It’s called Zizzi!’).

3. On the tube they insist on having really loud conversations about how weird/hot/horrible it is (WE KNOW, JUST BE QUIET AND GET ON WITH IT).

4. They switch off EVERYTHING at the sockets. (The boiler, the fridge: everything.)

5. When asked by the man at the coffee shop which bean they’d like, they stare at him like he’s crazy before loudly repeating their order: ’NO, BLACK AMERICANO.’

Garry Knight

6. Your flatmates chat to them because they think you’ll like how charming they’re being, but really you’re thinking: ‘PLEASE DON’T TELL THEM WHAT I DID LAST SATURDAY!’

7. A whole station before their tube stop, they’ll rise from their seat and stand waiting. You know: just in case. 

8. Their smile says: ‘Lovely flat, darling!’. But their eyes say: ‘Ohshitohshitohshit I’m gonna get robbed!’

9. When they get off the tube they loudly tell you to ‘Mind the gap’ as though it is the funniest thing they have ever heard.

Alexander Harbich

10. They are utterly convinced that in London, Tesco charge about £20 for a pint of milk.

11. You spend a good ten minutes telling them about an amazing restaurant just around the corner from their hotel, but learn the following day that they decided to eat at a Wetherspoons instead. 

12. Everyone on their carriage will be stared at as though they were from outer-space.

13. They point out how much bigger your flat would be if you lived in another city. Just for factual information, of course. Not as a way of convincing you to move back to your hometown. Nope. Not that.


14. They want to strike up a conversation with everyone they pass.

15. You are constantly turning down requests for anti-bac hand gel on public transport outings… ‘Do you want some, dear?’

16. They talk loudly on buses about all the different ethnic minorities they can spot. “isn’t it wonderful! There’s an Ethiopian! Yoohoo!’

17. That foodie trip to Brixton stops seeming such a good idea when someone tries to sell your mum weed.


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