Although I still don’t know how to make a proper cuppa, or all the different ways to use the word “Cheeky”, I have managed to pick up on some intricacies of Londoners and can manage to fit in somewhat. Mike and I always compare the little observations we have made or the odd way some things are done here.
Everything is smaller – sink, fridge, oven, and washer/dryer. At least in most flats they are. I’m sure people who have larger homes have full size of everything. And speaking of the washer and dryer, I will never get used to our combo washer/dryer that dries with steam! I was horrified when I first tried to do a dry cycle and more water was put into the machine. A full cycle takes hours, so we just hang our clothes to dry. Crispy towels and our combo machine are two things I haven’t come to love about living in London! I thought it was just something we dealt with here, but was surprised to hear my friend had the same sort of machine in her temporary apartment in Calgary.
Sidewalk confusion. When passing somebody who is walking towards you, people move to the left instead of the right. As I got used to that, it always made for some awkward sidewalk encounters
You can never find a garbage can when you need one. For a city that has some hefty fines for littering, they don’t have many garbage cans. They are difficult to find on the sidewalks, the underground stations, or on the tube itself.
Even dogs pay to ride the train! I should clarify however; an individual’s first two dogs are free, but the third must pay. And people here love dogs, so it’s not uncommon for someone to own a whole litter. They are also allowed in most public establishments including restaurants and grocery stores.
Forget Starbucks, London mummies meet in the pubs! In Canada, a pub is synonymous with a bar and people associate it with a raucous good time. Here, the pub is a family friendly establishment where kids are welcome and everyone goes on Sunday for a delicious roast with all the trimmings.
Anything goes in London. There are a million unique concepts here and a million and one ways to spend money. The Cereal Killer Café always has a line up down the block and who’s ever heard of a T-shirt Bakery?!
I love comparing these musings with other expats and laughing about all these differences or the things we miss about home.