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Top five most clichéd complaints about London

Eddy Frankel

Nathan James Page

1. ‘Stand on the right!’

Londoners see the left side of the escalator as some sort of holy pathway, where only movement is allowed and stillness is punished by tutting, shoving, or shanking. Praise be to the holy avenue! Death to Italian tourists who besmirch it with stillness! But walking up the left side saves you, what, ten seconds? Life is too short to fill with so much rage. Fill it with love instead. If you encounter someone standing on the left, just wrap your arms gently around them, place your head on their shoulder, stroke their hair and whisper: ‘It’s okay, shhh, you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll learn, I love you’. Namaste.

2. ‘Slow walkers are the worst’

Look at those bloody slow walkers, walking slowly down a busy street, ruining your day with their total lack of speed! The bastards! How dare they bloody amble! Don’t they know that you are in a desperate rush to get back to your horrible desk and your awful colleagues and your dead end job and your tuna-and-sadness sandwich? Yeah, boom, that’s called perspective, friend.

3. ‘I hate queuing for restaurants’

If you hate queues for restaurants, you have three choices. 1) Learn to enjoy it, chat to the people around you, read some Dostoyevsky, take up urban ornithology. 2) Just stay home and overcook your own flimsy excuse for spaghetti and douse it with so much Tesco value pesto that it turns your poop green. 3) Don’t queue. Go to Pizza Express. There’s never a queue at Pizza Express unless you’re in Wales or the North, where pizza is still deeply exotic.

4. ‘London’s so expensive!’

Look, London’s only expensive if you eat out too often, pay too much rent and do all your shopping in Harrods. So here’s some advice: eat less – maybe one meal a week and a couple of handfuls of nuts every other day, which has the added bonus of getting you #beachbodyready – and give up your overpriced flat. Just invest in a bulkload of Pro Plus and spend your life violently and powerfully awake, pounding the streets of London, shivering and screaming at walls. It’s a terrible way to live, but at least it’s cheap.

Nathan James Page

5. ‘Everyone’s so unfriendly’

There’s nothing more oppressive than friendliness. It envelops towns up and down the country like a smog, choking you in a cloud of bonhomie and chumminess. London is a safe haven where friendliness is treated like the mental pollution that it is. If you’ve got a problem with that, move to Wales or the North, where people are really friendly (although there are queues in Pizza Express).

By Eddy Frankel, who is looking forward to your far more inventive complaints about this.

Illustrations: Nathan James Page

Take a look at the top five worst times to be on the tube. 


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