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Saturday, July 9, 2016

How to Pretend to be a Londoner

Today when wandering around the Victoria and Albert Museum (which is where the title images come from), it occurred to me that blending in as a Londoner would be a nice skill to have. So far, I've noted five major things that one can do in order to pretend to be a British person/Londoner.

1) Queue for everything and make a distressed sighing sound if someone tries to cut it.

Queuing appears to be the British national pastime, and nice orderly queues are everywhere. This isn't dissimilar to the United States or Singapore, but some people still seem to have a problem with it.

2) Complain about the weather.

Another British national pastime is complaining/commenting on the weather. People frequently compare the weather to days past. Others hope for a "proper summertime" starting soon. Some people even compare the weather to years past. There are a lot of ways to describe the weather here in London, lately it's been rather overcast and cloudy.

3) Drink copious amounts of tea.

The British drink a LOT of tea. This is a habit I've picked up, and since black tea around here is just so dark, I've also started drinking it with milk and sugar. I'm not entirely certain why I picked up a 160-bag box of tea, but it's given me motivation to start drinking something like 3-5 cups a day.

4) Say "sorry" constantly.

I've definitely picked this habit up in the time I've been here so far. Londoners say "sorry" when they are trying to squeeze past you on the Underground and basically a million other situations as well. If in doubt, apologise even if you have no idea what you are apologising for.

5)  Be silent and grumpy looking on the Underground.

One can always spot an American on the Underground because s/he's the one talking very loudly, and giggling every time the station "Cockfosters" is mentioned. Most Londoners sit on the Underground looking very quietly, and avoid eye contact if all possible.

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