All together now! “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner…”
1) You’ve given up complaining about how expensive everything is
The only thing worse than high prices is hearing people bitch about high prices all the time. We all know London is expensive, we live here. So suck it up and buy your £5 Pret salad in resigned silence like a proper Londoner!
2) You’ve perfected the art of BBW (Brisk British Walking) while maintaining the thousand-yard stare.
Not to compare Londoners to battle weary soldiers, but one does experience a marked decline human compassion the longer one lives in this fair city. When walking, Londoners take no prisoners so elbows at the ready!
3) You measure journeys by how long it will take you to reach your destination, not the distance
Tube maps and bus routes can be deceptive. If a journey contains more than two tube lines or multiple changes, it’s almost always quicker to walk. This is doubly true during rush hours and weekends. You shake your heads at the fools (tourists) who get the tube from Charing Cross to Covent Garden, or worse, Charing Cross to Embankment…
4) You’ve developed a fondness for a certain tube line and become unnervingly defensive of it
We all have one, whether it’s the line we take to work every day or that line where you once found £2 stuffed down the back of a seat. It may be slow, creaky, slightly smelly and out of service 72% of the time, but you will defend it to the death because it is YOURS! Now that’s loyalty the London way.
5) You have a set itinerary (including restaurants and toilet breaks) for when relatives and/or friends come to visit you in the city
Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Harrods… you know your audience and make sure to hit up all the tourist hotspots. You will feel like you want to kill yourself by your fifth ride on the London Eye but it is your duty to provide these services as ‘the one who got away’ and moved to The Smoke!
6) You pronounce Holborn correctly
Ho-burn. Ho-burn. Ho-burn. Repeat.
7) You are registered with a local dentist and/or doctor, as opposed to travelling back ‘home’ every time you require a check up
A mile-stone in London living! Choose wisely grasshopper, you will be unlikely to change them again unless you move boroughs.
8) You can enter museums and art galleries without feeling like you have to see it all in one visit, because you know you can just pop back in next week
Laugh at everyone else frantically trying to negotiate the multiple floors and staircases of the Tate Modern while you peruse at your leisure, safe in the knowledge that you can just leave when your legs become numb from standing up for so long and return next week. A smug Londoner is a happy Londoner!
9) You have a library card that you actually use
Welcome to the community!
10) You have been to a local hairdresser/beautician on more than one occasion
And have sussed out who the best stylist is and whether or not you need to tip.
11) You have an Oyster card
Embrace the Oyster, it’s your new best friend. You’ll know you’re a Londoner as you breeze through the ticket barriers at rush hour.
12) You’ve gotten lost in one of the big shops on Oxford Street
There is a fresh corner of hell known as the Oxford Street Topshop returns counter on a Saturday afternoon in January. Enter at your own risk and pray to Alexa Chung that you make it out alive.
13) You never attempt tube travel on a Sunday
Unless you happen to enjoy cancelled/delayed trains and entire stations closed for engineering works, Sunday is a day for rest and Netflix in your new London shoebox.
14) You show complete disregard for the red man when crossing at traffic lights
If there’s nothing coming, go for it! Especially if there is someone beside you, who will get hit before you do. Callus but practical.
15) You’ve fallen up or down an escalator while running for the tube
And then had to endure the rest of the journey sitting beside fellow travellers who witnessed your epic trip up, comforted only by the thought that you’ve bought laughter into the life of some miserable TFL worker who is currently re-watching your fall on the CTV monitor for the fifth time.