London Town… the Big Smoke… the money gobbler – whatever you call it, London is definitely a life-changing type of town. That doesn’t mean the streets are paved in gold, or that it rains 20 quid notes. Most of our streets are paved in the lushest grey concrete while our rain is mainly a wet annoyance that causes smoggy bus windows. Regardless of your perspective, whether it’s positive or downright gloomy, we think that London has the ability to change you, your perspective and your bank account in four ways:
Transport for London has become your significant other
Like every Londoner, you understand the importance of TfL. You’ve learned to tut and shake violently like a fish out of water upon realising the dreadful news that the tube is not due for another five minutes. You’ve also realised that TfL tests the true value of your friendships. Yes, you may only live in Lewisham, but you could get to New York quicker than getting to your friend’s flat in Parsons Green. Friend or not… you’re not going this Sunday, next Sunday, or indeed any freaking Sunday for the next two months. Let them ask you again at Christmas and politely ignore the text.
You’ve learned the ancient art of walking (and standing) successfully
The tube is also a great teacher for Londoners. You learn not to die a painfully slow death by ‘standing on the right’ and by ensuring not to swing your statement tote bag into every passing commuter. And don't even get us started on wheelie suitcases. Back on the street, you've mastered the complex art of umbrella management – learning to weave in and out and up and down faster than Lewis Hamilton. All without losing an eye or getting a single raindrop on your over-priced cut-and-blow-dry.
You realise food judgement is a thing
You head out for your lunch, not to be bombarded with delights that will satisfy your cravings, but to be offered the ‘naked’, ‘skinny’ or ‘freakishly-untasty-low-carb-tortillas-that-taste-like-cardboard’. You’ve learned that your friends won’t judge you about your carb intake, but secretly you reckon they've made a note of the second round of tortilla chips you ordered. Talking about judgement, the biggest establishment for this is Nando's. Like a lot of Londoners, you probably consume one cheeky Nando’s per week, whether that’s with work colleagues or your Tinder date. If it's with the latter, you won't be able to avoid food judgement as you'll end up looking like a peri-peri-basted mess chomping through a quarter-chicken. In your Tinder date's eyes, you've gone from ‘extra-hot’, to ‘lemon and herb’ in the slurp of a chicken bone – but at least you got your ‘chilli’ reward. Boom.
You’ve learned that money is like Tinder
Just like Tinder, money seems to swish left then right out of your bank account quicker than you can be hit by an M&M’s store bag on Regent Street. You’ve learned that you can guarantee yourself a great 72 hours on your monthly pay. You’ve come to understand that any successful date, catch-up with friends or movie night can only be considered during this time. The remaining 26 days are to plan on how you intend to change your spending habits before next month… even if that means buying a £30 book on ‘Budgeting in London Successfully’ and grabbing that copy of Grazia for the free nail varnish.
New to capital? Check out 12 things you learn when you move to London.