Tea parties at Queen’s (who in fact might not be someone claimed to be) house, big masses of people flouncing my way on Oxford Street and guards at the Buckingham Palace wearing odd and comic-looking hats. That was the London I was ready for a year ago.
Turns out, Mr. Bean and Hyacinth Bucket had been misleading me since my childhood, as I later found out.
1.Everyone is polite and friendly. Well, sort of.
Without any doubt, sorry or excuse me are the most common phrases here. So widespread that instead of the long-awaited mama or papa, parents can expect to hear an apology lisped by their baby.
Also, people are keen to find out how things are. I recall being addressed by one of the staff members at the gym last year. ʻʻHey, how are you doing? You’re alright?’’ all within the span of two seconds and a friendly smile. Genuinely having the impression that he is eager to catch up on my latest ongoings, I start piling up gossips regarding my breath-taking university life, upcoming projects and plans. But within a trice he is long gone.
2. Forget your Primark sunglasses and start worshipping your umbrella.
Despite naive and foolish hopes of mine, the legend that’s been wandering around for centuries actualised into reality, grim and dreary. Coming from Eastern Europe, the climate in London was forecasted to be a cosy and long-awaited break from inhumane coldness.
I should have taken more jumpers from home…
3. No one is cold. NO ONE! Apart from one. Yes, me.
Ironically enough, extremely conscientious about appearance Londoners have completely abandoned woolen scarfs to snug in and unfitting winter hats from their trendy, high-end OOTDs. Even the ornamented mittens that your thoughtful and caring grandmother knitted with yet another melodrama in the background have been ruthlessly pushed in the deepest corner of warderobe. EVEN THOSE!!!
Last Halloween, just like any other gloomy October day, was no exception. Playboy bunnies jumping around (not necessarily; see later) with tights, black and ripped. Skimpy dresses to reveal bare, just shaven, legs. As I later concluded, no blood-curdling Halloween outfit (since that’s what girls are aiming to do, right?) requires a jacket, coat or at least a light cardigan.
I had all three.
4. It is not surprising for the subject of drugs to swiftly arise in your daily chat.
Amidst lol‘s and omg’s, conversations also contain the common omg,last night, which was mostly blurred out with various substances, some of which I have never heard of.
Unlike in more conservative hence reserved societies, Londoners don’t even appear to be concerned about who’s around, not lowering their voices to the slightest extent. But maybe, I have simply entwined myself within the wrong group of friends. Or the right one, given the circumstances and necessities.
Don’t worry, mom.
5. You can get drunk at any time!
At stores – Tesco, Sainsbury’s and your local corner shop – a bottle of vodka, or whatever yearned, is kept for your night-out, ladies’ night or times when uni’ is simply too much.
As opposed to some countries, Latvia amongst them, where students, underaged teens and large groups of brash sextourists have to run for their lives seven minutes before 10pm, Londoners can leisurely put glitter on their cheeks before strolling to the nearby shop. The only time limit is the shop working hours. Hurry up!