23 Mar 2019

How to survive in London: The Northern Edition

I've been in London for a whole 4 months now. Admittedly it seems like I've been here a hell of a lot longer than that, in a good way of course. Like a Northerner in a bath (pronounced baff please) of gravy, I have really taken to the Southern way of life. There really is no comparing to the North, they're both different in so many ways that it's best to just accept the differences for what they are. Equally wonderful in their own ways.

When I first moved down South, I used to find the underground to be the most stressful thing each morning. I would stand back and miss tube after tube as I simply couldn't be bothered to fight with the masses over a centimetre of space. I certainly couldn't understand how I would see people napping on their commutes or even watching people read their books looking so utterly relaxed in what I thought was the least relaxing environment.

Fast forward four months, I'm now that person. So much so that I miss my stop more often than not, mainly because navigating around this city isn't a strength of mine. I've learned that you have to be brutal, sometimes. Pushing and shoving however, is never acceptable. There's always space for manners, but that's likely the Northern soul in me. 

The key to surviving in this neck of the woods is acceptance. The sooner the accept the following, the sooner you'll enjoy your time here:

1. You have to accept that your accent will be mimicked with every utterance you make.

2. Accept that you're going to develop a complex over said mimicking.

3. Don't fancy throwing yourself down the escalators this morning? That's fine, but stand to the right, don't be a d*ck and let the rest of us risk our lives instead.

4. Accept that you're not going to find fresh air, anywhere. In fact, bugger it. Buy one of those surgical masks, your lungs are gonna be done in.

5. You need to accept that you're not going to walk in a straight line most days. I often compare my morning walk along Oxford St to Mario Kart. Swooping in and out of the masses.

6. Accept that people will be brushed up against you during your daily commutes - this cannot be avoided, it's simply normal to have someones breasts on your back. The sooner you accept there's no such thing as 'personal space' the easier this will be for everyone involved.

7. Get your Oyster card ready to exit the station. I promise you there is nothing more annoying than that one imbecile holding up the queues by a whole 2 extra seconds... things move quickly here and you have to keep up if you want to face a chance of survival.

8. There's no denying that London is expensive. Beyond a joke, sickly expensive. Instead of giving in to temptations, and trust me there are many, bring your lunch to work. Make it at home, save some ££'s. Fancy a treat? Then download NEZ. They publish exclusive food offers in central London and will save you a fortune.

9. Probably one of the most vital purchases you should make, invest in a water filter, trust me, you're gonna need it. Thames water just simply does not cut it if you're used to fresh mountain dew.

10. Download CityMapper - I'm not sure how people survive without it. It will be your bible. It allows you to enter destinations and will tell you exactly what line you need to get there. A little tip, screenshot your journey before going underground. WiFi on the tubes is a whole other skill so it's best to have it saved on your phone in case you can't connect mid-journey.

Have you recently made the move cross country? Thinking about doing it? Let me know!

Just Write About It.
Raven Twigg

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