10 things I've learned living in London
It's been almost two years that I've lived in London, so I thought why not make a post of the 10 things I've learned so far on my journey here? London can sure be different, especially if you have not lived in a city before. Or Europe. Overall, London has definitely left a mark on me and changes have occurred.
Below I will be listing 10 things I've learned in London.
1. Learn to appreciate the sun. Seriously. You know how the phrase goes: Make hay while the sun shines. When the sun does come out, everyone beams smiles at one another and makes use of their time outdoors.
2. Foxes are everywhere. But they are generally safe and mostly come out at night. They tend to avoid people. However, don't be surprised if a fox shows up on your doorstep. I wasn't.
3. Driving in London is okay. Driving in Central London isn't. Parking places are scarce, the amount of traffic and delays can be hectic, and compulsory congestion charges are just some of the difficulties all Londoners with a car have experienced. Needless to say, the list does go on. Tip: There's a reason why there's a congestion charge. To control traffic. If you plan on driving into central London, head out half an hour to an hour before you expect to reach the destination where you plan on reaching.
4. Investing in a tube map. Or a tube app. Oh yay that rhymes! No, but seriously I'm not going to deny: I have been lost on the underground tube more than once. The best thing I found to understanding lines and routes were apps like Tube Map and Citymapper, just two of the most popular transport apps on the app store. They're not complicated and get you to where you want to go. Doesn't everyone want that?
5. There are people everywhere. All the time. Always. It doesn't really stop.
6. The sun sets as late as 10:30pm in the summer whereas when fall and winter creep by, sunset can be as early as 4:00PM.
7. Rent is expensive. Very expensive. Though I grew up in the suburbs, the amount some of us pay here could rent us penthouses back in Chicago. Just saying.
8. Do not trust the weather forecasts! London weather is unpredictable. That doesn't stop me from checking the weather updates but I have been in situations where I was dressed for 60°F partly cloudy and the next thing you know rain starts to pour and I'm drenched walking back home. Yup. Been there done that. Keep a hoodie or umbrella with you, because you just never know.
9. Appreciate the parks London has to offer. London sure has plenty of parks and the effort London boroughs have made to conserve the establishments have been plenty. As I do live in a city, it's always nice to get away somewhere quiet once in a while. Checking out your local park or going to somewhere a bit further is always worthwhile.
10. Take advantage of the London markets available. For example when you're visiting your local farmers market you're doing more than you think, especially the organic markets. You are helping to support small farms that care about their product, something we don't have a lot of today - and helping the environment! It's a win-win for everyone.
And there you have it people, just 10 of the many things I have learned living abroad in London as part of my London Series.
Diana Barnieh,20. Media student.