How not to annoy Londoners: A comprehensive guide

Out Christmas shopping with the other half today in central London, and I have to say my rage face was being incurred more often than I would like for several reasons. Obviously it is a very busy city and even busier at this time of year, but please, please heed my advice if you ever visit the Big Smoke. The wrath of a Londoner is never pretty to witness, so it would really be for the benefit of everyone involved…

1. Walking really slowly in the middle of the path. Especially when on a street packed full of people. Obviously this does not include injured or elderly or those with other mitigating circumstances, but if you slow down a large group of Londoners expect a lot of extremely British tutting.

2. Stopping in a doorway. WHY? WHY? It really is one of my pet hatreds, and I think it’s every other Londoners as well. But then Londoners tend to hate everything. Stopping in the entrance or exit of anywhere is just not a good idea. Especially on the tube. One person chose to stop at the bottom of an escalator today. Not quite a door but still, there was bit of a people pile up and it wasn’t pretty.

3. Walking down the stairs of a tube station in rollerblades. This is just silly and shows a distinct lack of common sense. I don’t think I need to say any more.

4. Being really, really drunk then stumbling up to random people and not leaving them alone. This isn’t appreciated in any city, but least of all in London where practically everyone is trying to do something or get somewhere. If you want to be drunk, that’s fine, but don’t invade our personal space. Plus rum breath is never nice for anyone, let alone if you don’t know the person puffing all over your face.

5. Conversation on the tube. Or smiling. Or eye contact. Or generally being alive. We all hate being on the tube. Therefore most people are seething balls of silent fury and should not be interacted with. Take some headphones, and wait to get to a coffee shop or somewhere similar for the chat.

6. Being hit with umbrellas in the rain. Seriously, I got several facefuls of water flung my way and very nearly lost an eye to a particularly lethal umbrella of death. Watch what you’re doing, please, for the sake of our sanity and our sight!

7. Chewing gum under tables or on the ground. A lot of people are guilty of this, including Londoners. And if I wind up with one more glob of it on the sole of my shoe I swear I will track down whoever spat it out and stick it in their hair.

8. Taking photos. I know, I know. Normally, this is not a problem. Take as many photos of Big Ben and the London Eye as you like. But pick your moments. Today a huddle of people stopped in the middle of the road between Covent Garden and Leicester Square when the crossing light turned green, and were taking snaps of each other whilst a herd of wet, cold Londoners were trying to cross without getting stranded and being squished by the less than careful taxi drivers. So perhaps stick to the pavement. And not directly outside an exit to a tube, which takes me back to point number 2.

9. My final point…iphones. Random. But the issue is more with iphone maps. If you are lost, use the zillions of maps placed at vantage points around the city, or find somewhere out of the way and study google maps at your leisure. Don’t get so absorbed in your iphone screen that you forget to look at the actual street your on, and wind up pinballing from person to person. There is little more annoying.

Any ways, I may just be full of grumpiness and Christmas weariness. But seriously, if one more person stops directly in front of me in the middle of a street causing a legion of business men to crash into me, I may explode with suppressed rage – that is of course the British way.

I hope you all had a good, less rainy, Christmas cheer filled day 😀 On the bright side the giant Jack Daniels Christmas tree in Covent Garden was pretty awesome!

2 thoughts on “How not to annoy Londoners: A comprehensive guide”

  1. I think these should be labelled “Global Rules for Courtesy and Civility”! I’m weary of the holidays as well, but with a youngster, I have to make a good faith effort not to get drunk and brawl with my in-laws. Enjoy what you can of the season!

    1. Thank you! I hope you do as well. And I know, one would think so but apparently not. If one more person stops directly in front of the ticket barriers for the tube, causes me to get trapped behind them because I can’t tap my oyster card again and then have a load of London commuters swear at me – I may actually spontaneously combust. Any way Merry Christmas 😀

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