• 10 Updated Points Of London Etiquette

    by  •  • Etiquette, Featured, London

    Everyone knows not to stand on the left when using escalators on the London Underground. That one’s easy. And if you don’t know it you’ll find out soon enough why you need to:

    Because I will yell at you from two stairs up. Then I will shove you aside. Then you will yell something at me in Italian. Then, without looking back I will say “welcome to London!”

    No, these points of etiquette are more oblique and more… well…. now. Now as in the Spring/Summer of 2011.

    So here are some slightly more updated points for visitors or recent arrivals:

    1. Apologise for your Apple products

    Some leeway will be granted for the iPhone 4 if you have just used it to find out some travel info or whatever for someone in your party. Otherwise, when you pull out your Mac or iPad make a face and go “yeah, I know. I’m a d-bag”

    2. Never apologise for hitting people who walk all in a line

    Bowl those fuckers down. How else will they learn? The jungle justice way of doing this is to move half your body length out of their way. They should in theory do the same and everyone sails by happily.

    They never do.

    The one exception is people over 65 if they don’t look spry.

    HINT: Be ready with an unbelievably rude come back if they try to say something. This has only happened to me once in almost three years I’m sorry to say. Usually they make a sound that I like to call the “upset English turkey gobble” and carry on about their assholic day.

    3. You will be judged on your manbag. So buy a good one

    Manbags are essential, anyway so you may as well make peace with that. You need them to carry your umbrella, your book/kindle for the tube, you bag-for-life for the supermarket. (Also have a good one of them. Buy a Waitrose one and shop down, don’t buy a tesco one and shop up.)

    There will be more posts devoted to London manbags. Some with shopping links. Don’t all wee yourself at once with excitement.

    4. Have an updated opinion on Boris

    He’s be mayoring it up for too long to say “well I didn’t elect him.” My updated opinion is: as Mayor of London he makes an excellent TV presenter. Because he does.

    You can use that one.

    5. Complaining about the Olympics is passé

    Talk it up now. Everyone else can go screw themselves, it’s going to rock. Your opinion on this will definitely mark you as on-trend or not.

    6. Have ‘a drink’ this Summer

    Mine is the Americano. Yours should be too. Let’s get it going. It’s awesome, it’s Italian, it’s summer in intoxicating form. Note: Pastis was last summer.

    7. Documentaries are must-watch television

    Wonders Of The Universe will come up in conversation. Gordon Brown is no longer in Number 10 so you can finally openly say “I seriously have never fucking watched X Factor and before Allah I swear I never will. You people disgust me.”

    Now it’s our turn. If someone hasn’t seen the latest jaw-droppingly awesome BBC documentary series you can make pained eye contact with others around you as if this imbecile has actually just shit themselves and started eating it.

    Note: Channel 5 doesn’t count. My wolf-tuplets raped a space octopus on crack because black people tricked them is not a documentary. It is the title of my upcoming stage play.

    8. Terminal 5 is like the Olympics

    You can like it now. Have you seen the BA lounge? Awesome.

    9. Kindles on the tube make you look cool and smart and interesting, iPads on the tube make you look dickish

    Much of this is because it’s just fucksticks fucking about on facefuck… underground. Can you not go five fucking minutes without seeing pictures of some distant acquaintance’s new kitchen goddamit?!

    This is the Starbucks effect. No one is remote working. Literally everyone who uses wireless in a coffee shop is either facestalking or using gmail. Like their social lives are so unbelievably significant they simply must go somewhere public and be seen fucking with it.

    10. This is the complete reverse in pubs for some reason

    In pubs I see people word processing or reading in-depth New Yorker articles. Regardless, it’s an environment better suited for browsing or just quietly pissing away the time.

    There you have it. Some updated London tips learned the hard way. There are literally hundreds more but these are the ones that have occurred to me/I have been annoyed by in the last twenty four hours.

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