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19 signs you've been out of London for too long

By Time Out London guest blogger

I’ve spent the past few years living 40 miles from the nearest shop in the Canadian Rockies. Safe to say, coming back to London after such a long time away, my ideas about how to behave are, ahem, a little off-trend.

1.'Oh my god, look it's the actual Olympic Stadium' you say to your mate while on the Overground to Stratford. She gets up and moves two seats down.

2. You ask your London friend if you can go get cupcakes together at the Hummingbird Bakery. She laughs in your face.

3. All your friends who stayed in London are now much, much better dressed than you. Even the skint ones.

4. You wonder why you're paying £12 for some ramen and a smoked egg at Kanada-Ya. Then, on first slurp, you discover it’s possible to fall in love with an egg. An actual egg.

5. You still reference Shoreditch as a synonym for cool.

6. You thought your working life – 9-6 pm Monday to Friday; the occasional email on the weekend – was a bit stressful, then you saw your London friends’ hours and 2am email exchanges with Hong Kong offices and realise that, relatively speaking, you're a lazy feck.

7. Within five minutes of getting on the Underground, you’ve seen more good-looking people than in the past four years combined.

8. WTF is a negroni?! 

9. You believe Google Maps when it says you'll get to Kilburn in an hour from Heathrow. Then you see the queues of hundreds of other tourists without Oyster cards buying train tickets at the only two open booths at Gatwick train station. Two and a half hours later…

10. You pretend you’re Bridget Jones when walking along the Golden Jubilee Bridge.

11. You still reference Bridget Jones.

12. The closest thing you've eaten to 'street food' is fish and chips from a van by the motorway. You lose your shit when you're taken to Street Feast. 


14. You see a girl on Broadwick Street with dip-dyed hair and think she's dead edgy.

15. You see a group of break dancers down an alley near the Tate Modern and your heart just about stops because it's ALL SO EXCITING.

16. Poached egg café...? That's an actual thing?!

17. Cat café...? That's an actual thing?!

18. Cereal café...? That's an actual thing?!

19. You have a massive grin on you the whole time you're here, because let’s face it – there’s nowhere else on Earth that feels as close to the centre of the universe as London (apart from maybe New York. But let’s not mention that…)

Written by Ailsa Ross.

Photo: David Bank

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