Being an Australian, when I first moved to London I thought fitting in would be a piece of bakewell tart. I mean, we sort of speak the same language and appear to have many cultural similarities, yes? How hard could it be? As it turns out, quite. So in the name of cultural exchange, I thought I’d reach out to the new arrivals of today. Follow these simple rules, and just like a hipster in Shoreditch with the facial fuzz of a person who never wants to be kissed again, you’ll be blending in like a local in no time.
You can read this post at work and pretend you’re catching up on important political matters on Huffington Post (not passing the time reading some chick’s stories about her bum) by pressing here. Or if you’re not micro-managed, just scroll down and enjoy.
1 – Logistics
If you want to get somewhere in London, you can rely on this.
If you want to get somewhere in London on time never rely on this.
2 – Greetings
Forget ‘hello’. You will be greeted with ‘alright’, asked as a question and with a hint of concern, just the way you might enquire when you see someone fall down a flight of stairs. This is not because they know you had too many beers last night and actually did fall down a flight of stairs. Translated, this means “Good morning/afternoon, how are you?” Unlike the rest of the world, replying to this with an evaluation of your health and mood that day is unnecessary.
3 – Chilli is not a spice, it’s a seasoning
It will be served in everything, so if you don’t like chilli, make ordering a side of yoghurt your new annoying habit.
4 – Renting
Think of renting a home like adopting a baby. Adoption involves background checks, assessments of your lifestyle, bank accounts and payslips and glowing references from employers and reputable friends. Renting is the same, except the thing draining your wallet each month from then on will be the cupboard you now call home, not an orphan. Continue reading