You love London, I love London, we all Love London. However! I have worked in Central London for 12 years now, and while I enjoy it most of the time there are just some London issues I don’t understand and they drive me around the bend!
1 – Kamikaze Umbrella Users
Everyone knows it rains a lot in London, yet despite frequent umbrella use, people don’t seem to have a clue about the etiquette. It really cheeses me off when people walk around like a pre rehab Britney with their umbrella spikes at eye level, just because they are so lazy and don’t want to expend the extra energy to hold their arm a bit higher. Perhaps I look like I want to be a human kebab?
2 – Backpack Behaviour
I have a backpack, they are a great invention. But ffs why do people seem to use them on the tube as some sort of turtle power weapon? Other people’s backpacks end up shoved in your face (hello…personal space)? I wish people would take them off their shoulder (and not by swinging it around and clumping me with it, then giving me a look like the rucksack has more right to be there than me) and just place it between their feet, on the floor, as it is the most extremely obviously the thing that should be done!
3 – Uncontrollable Arm Spasm?
Why must people point using their entire arm, flung out randomly, in a crowded area? Are you practicing a clothes-line for your next WWE performance? I’ve had to duck or just been taken by surprise and been bashed in the nose on more occasions than I like to think of, just say ‘over there to the left/right’ you don’t have to point so forcibly! I really do feel tempted to bite them when they put their arm that near my face!
4 – Window seat hurdlers
One problem that seems to be mostly confined to buses or over ground trains, is people who sit next to you in the window seat, and you’re in the aisle seat. When they want to get off at their stop, they seem to forget the power of speech or that you’re not Miss Cleo and don’t magically know when they’re getting off the train, and they stand up without a word and force their way past you, or, as has happened in the past, try to climb over you (which there is obviously no room to do) you end up in an
impromptu lap dance/hurdle situation with either a crotch or a bum rammed into your face. I mean what did I do to deserve this treatment?! If they don’t speak English, well fair enough but a light tap on the arm and a sort of ‘can I get past please’ head movement or frankly I’ll take an “excuse me” in any language available. Weirdo’s.
5 – Jousting Cyclists
I know cycling is good for your health and the environment, but wow some of them are annoying! Running red lights, drunk cycling on Boris bikes (I saw a drunk Indian man teaching his wife how to ride a bike, one evening), going the wrong way up or down the road, cycling on the pavement. Shouting and screaming at pedestrians. Now we all know taxi drivers, van drivers and well a lot of drivers in general, are a bit of a nightmare, but never in my life has a car mounted the pavement, nearly knocked me down and the driver called ME a silly *****!!! That has happened with cyclists.
6 – Problematic Weather
Other countries cope so well with snow, ice, rain etc. etc. Over here all it takes is for a slightly warm day or a few too many leaves and everything comes to a grinding halt and causes complete chaos. Train
announcements over the years that I have legitimately heard are that the train is cancelled because ‘there are leaves on the line’, ‘the signal point has melted’, and ‘the rail has frozen’. How are these things even possible? I wouldn’t be surprised if I hear an announcement one day saying the train is cancelled because there was a dragon in the tunnel.
7 – Clouds of BO
There are so many signs on public transport about remembering a bottle of water so you don’t faint, why are there not any about the far more important issue of wearing deodorant and brushing your teeth?! Some people just smell so bad I wonder what can possibly have happened to them, I know gorillas communicate with body odour, is this what people are doing? And if so are they trying to give me clouds of advice?? On second thoughts, I probably don’t want to know. Next time someone is holding the strap on the bus with their arm in the air, just give them a sneaky spritz of deo, go on, do it for me!
8 – Latent Anger
Visit London for a week or so and you will wonder why real Londoners tend to be really stroppy. Live here for a year and start to get frustrated by all the slow walking tourists that mean you have to walk in the road doing a slalom along the pavement like a cross country skier just to get to work on time.
Give it 18 months and those children on half term taking up train seats you pay 2 thousand pounds a year to half perch on start to really annoy you. Don’t even get me started on those people baffled by how the oyster card works. Suddenly, there comes a point when things just snap, you’ve tried to jog down the left hand of the escalator to save time and nearly died tripping over a rogue gigantic suitcase, someone’s darted in front of you just as the train doors have opened, despite you waiting patiently for 14 minutes in the designated spot you have calculated the doors open at and the b*stard has nicked the last seat and frankly at that point you just snap, and hate everyone! Some mornings the Ludacris rap ‘Move B*tch Get Out The Way’ is my internal mantra. It’s inevitable you will become an angry Londoner too. But just feel the sense of community spirit when we can all eye roll at those people taking forever at the cashpoint together. #communaleyeroll
9- Please Move Down the Carriage
There is a special place in hell for people who say this, and it’s always said in such a bloody whiny little voice, often accompanied by banging on the train window. Stop being so passive aggressive! If you see room, move towards the room and say excuse me please. Or just get the next train. Or … you know, just shut up and buy a house in zone 4 like some of us have done so we get a seat some times and stop moaning! What did you expect getting the train 2 stops from London Bridge at rush hour? It to be empty with Kim and Aggie Dettol wiping your seat prior to use? Ugh. I hate these people! I bet they moan when the toilet roll is put on around the wrong way to their preference too.
10 – Bus Weirdo’s
Bus weirdos are the biggest weirdo’s of the lot in my eyes. I have seen a man in a tinfoil hat, wearing it not ironically or as a fashion statement, very enterprising if his head was cold, but frankly the crazed look in his eye was slightly off putting. Other bus weirdo’s I have witnessed include the man that shouted nonsense at me for five minutes before asking me to come home with him, an old man who kept poking other people with his umbrella then looking around gleefully when caught with a Shaggy style ‘it wasn’t me’ expression, a man changing his shirt (as in literally took it off and put on a new one he had just purchased) I must have given him a funny look as he whispered “I’ve got a date” with a smile…lucky them..ahem!
What drives you mad about London Life?