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Samuel Johnson once wrote than when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.
That may be true, for indeed there are endless ways to pass the time, from museums and galleries, to cafes and restaurants, parks and walks, historical sites, famous old buildings, and of course...the shops
But there's also the other side of things, the "changes" that occur to a person once they have been living in London for an extended period of time
So to celebrate my 2-year anniversary of living in the Big Smoke, here's an ever-so-slightly tongue in cheek guide to "You know that you've been living in London too long when...."
1. You say "the City" and expect everyone to know which one
2. You have never been to The Tower or Madame Tussauds but love Brighton
3. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Shepherds Bush to Elephant & Castle at 3:30 on the Friday before a long weekend, but can't find Dorset on a map
4. Hookers and the homeless are invisible
5. You step over people who collapse on the Tube
6. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multilingual
7. You've considered stabbing someone
8. Your door has more than three locks
9. You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression
10. You call an 8' x 10' plot of patchy grass a garden
11. You consider Essex the "countryside"
12. You think Hyde Park is "nature"
13. You're paying £800 a month for a studio the size of a walk-in wardrobe and you think it's a "bargain"
14. Shopping in suburban supermarkets and shopping malls gives you severe attack of agoraphobia
15. You pay more each month to park your car than most people in the UK pay in rent
16. You pay 3 pounds without blinking for a beer that cost the bar 28p
17. You actually take fashion seriously
18. You have 27 different menus next to your telephone
19. The UK west of Heathrow is still theoretical to you
20. You're suspicious of strangers who are actually nice to you
21. Your idea of personal space is no one actually physically standing on you
22. £22 worth of groceries fit in one plastic bag
23. You have a minimum of five "worst cab ride ever" stories
24. You don't hear sirens anymore
25. You've mentally blocked out all thoughts of the city's air/water quality and what it's doing to your insides 26. You live in a building with a larger population than most towns
27. Your cleaner is Portuguese, your grocer is Somali, your butcher is halal, your deli man is Israeli, your landlord is Italian, your laundry guy is Philippino, your bartender is Australian, your favourite diner owner is Greek, the watch seller on your corner is Senegalese, your last cabbie was African, your newsagent is Indian and your local English chippy owner is Turkish
28. You wouldn't want to live anywhere else until you get married
29. When the news that someone has thrown himself under a tube train it's just someone trying to delay your journey
30. Your day is ruined if you don't get a copy of Metro on the way to work
So there we have it, I'm sure anyone who's spent any time living in London can identify with some of those. Personally I was horrified when I realised that I've done no.29 on a number of occasions!!
Born there but left almost straight away, went back when I was 19 and left 22 years later. There is absolutely no way anyone would get me to live there again - you couldn't pay me enough. It's filthy, it stinks, the water tastes like wee and the people are rude beyond belief. Agree with everything you said and I've done 29, too. That's when it's time to get out.
Deru 17.04.2004 19:33
Haha. Some of those seem very true. Course, it's not true for everyone but a good read.