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Top five worst things about the suburbs

Kate Lloyd

1. No stand-on-the-right rule

Never step on to an escalator in a Home Counties M&S. They are lawless places where parents block the way with shopping bags and offspring, hellish battlefields where ladies-who-lunch stand on both the left and the right, dog-eat-dog arenas where lad-dads push pensioners aside to get to the four-for-a-tenner picnic items first. 'STAND ON THE RIGHT!' you'll scream in your head – but it's not their fault: that golden rule means nothing here. They simply don't understand how life works. 

2. Talking to strangers

Everyone in central London is trying to get from A to B in the shortest possible time. Why pause to chat to an unknown person on your way? You're never going to see them again and, let's be real, neither of you cares whether the other is having a nice life. You might exclaim 'Lovely day, isn't it!' But are you really interested in their garden, how their kids are doing or the intricacies of year 5 classroom politics? No. By conversing any further, all you've done is add an extra three minutes of awkwardness to your day.

3. Car chat

The closest Londoners come to car chat is moaning about the latest Uber price surge. Non-Londoners, on the other hand, will talk about their Volvos as if they're four-wheeled lovers. 'Oh yes, my Corsa's a VXR with turbo direct injection and a top speed of 140 mph,' they'll tell you, as you nod blankly. 'Take the A33 bypass then join the M1 at Kettering…' Then they'll moan about their 'awful' 30-minute drive to work in 'chocka traffic'. Tell us about it once you've taken the Central line in July, babe.

4. Public transport

Unless you're a) a pensioner rinsing your Freedom Pass or b) a teenager on your Very First Trip Into Town, catching the bus out in the suburbs is rarely a fun experience. Those damn Arrivas: they come once an hour if you're lucky, take 40 minutes to cover half a mile, and after 7pm pretty much vanish off the roads altogether. And why are those weird electric ones attached to phone lines? They're what… trams? Eeesh. Thought you only got those in places like Nottingham.

5. Closing time

Wander down a London street at midnight and you can still pick up your groceries, grab a takeaway and maybe even bump into a guy with some fake designer watches tucked into the inside pockets of his overly large coat. But in the ’burbs, the supermarkets shut before average working hours end and restaurant kitchens stop serving at 9pm. It's as if people are organised enough to do a big supermarket shop at the weekend and regularly cook for themselves. How's a girl supposed to eat around here?

By Kate Lloyd, who's got some genuine designer watches for sale, if anyone's interested…

Take a look at the top five worst things in parks.

Images: Nathan James Page

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