32 unexpected things you learn when you move to London

Everyone learns something new when they pick up and move to a different city. These things are compounded when you move to a different country.

Until you experience the transition, there's no way for you to truly appreciate what you will learn and how much your life will change.

I've been in London for just under four months, and have come up with a list of unexpected things I've learned along the way:

Photo by  Rob Bye  on  Unsplash

Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash

1. The North/South rivalry is real. People are very passionate about which side is better.

2. The roads are *generally* idiot proof, with LOOK RIGHT and LOOK LEFT painted on the pavement to help tourists navigate the difference in traffic.

3. Dogs are welcome everywhere; on the trains, in the pubs, and in shops.

4. There is such a thing as escalator etiquette; stand on the right, walk on the left

5. Standing on the left side of an escalator is one of the worst things you could do, ever.


Photo by  Rob Bye  on  Unsplash

Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash

6. Brits talk about the weather - a lot.

7. Always carry an umbrella with you, just in case.

8. When the sun comes out, everyone goes apesh*t. Be prepared to drop all your plans and head to a beer garden or a park with your friends.

9. It never gets dark in summer.

10. You will wake up in a panic more than once thinking you're late for work only to realise that even though it's that bright it's only 4am.

11. The Citymapper app is your best friend.

12. The day you don't need Citymapper to know how to get from Point A to Point B will be one of the best moments of your life.

13. No one speaks on the tube. No one makes eye contact on the tube. Keep your mouth shut, your eyes down, and your headphones in.

14. You will turn into a puddle on the tube in the summer. Walk where you can.

15. You will walk. A LOT.

Photo by  Jack Gisel  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jack Gisel on Unsplash

16. There is so much to do but you'll have a hard time choosing between going to the vintage markets, pop-up festivals, West End shows, or frequenting the local pubs. You could potentially never be bored again.

17. Smiling at strangers you pass on the street is considered weird, not friendly.

18. You will get strange looks if you say "have a nice day!" when leaving a shop or a taxi.

19. You do NOT tip at restaurants or at the bar.

20. "Cheers" is everyone's favorite word; it covers everything from hello, goodbye, thanks, congratulations, and no problem.


21. Love Island is essentially what you'd get if Jersey Shore and Big Brother had a love child. 

22. Monday through Friday, your friends will avoid any social situations that keep them from being home at 9pm to watch Love Island. 

23. Love Island is a national phenomenon. Show some respect.

24. Just because it's an English-speaking country doesn't mean you speak the same language.

25. You won't understand your European friends when they're speaking to you over the noise in a loud pub because your ear isn't tuned to their accents. Nod your head and catch what you can.

26. Not everything is pronounced as it's spelled, like how Leicester is pronounced "Less-ter" and Southwark is pronounced "Suh-therk".

27. Brits have the best slang. Period. 

Photo by  Seth Weisfeld  on  Unsplash

28. There's a pub on every corner and yes, people do drink all the time.

29. You'll think you can go pint for pint with your British friends. You can't.

30. You'll feel like a cool Londoner every time you tell you friends back home you're meeting people for a pint at the local pub. 

31. Everyone really does dress better over here; especially the men. British men particularly dress well. Swoon. 

32. Walking along the Thames after too many drinks will always make you emotional. THIS IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL CITY, DOES THIS VIEW EVER GET OLD?