1. Keeping calm and carrying on
Our city might be in flames with looters smashing windows in Tottenham and a former classmate has just revealed that our PM supposedly put his private parts into a pig’s mouth, but we still get on the tube to work and try to get a seat on the Central Line – unless the union has just called for another tube strike. Then we get the Overground or the National Rail instead, thinking that the man yelling “get the fuck out of my way” at the bus stop on Bishops Gate is a nutter for bursting out in rage.
2. Being rude and surprisingly polite at the same time
Excuuuse me… we resent you because you are standing a bit too far to the left on the escalator. We’re tired from having worked until 7pm yesterday and then going straight to the pub for what we told ourselves was only going to be one pint, but ended up… Well who’s counting? We managed to get on the last tube back home and now it’s 9am and we’re running late for work because we snoozed for too long and you are in our way. MOVE!
Oh, there’s an older lady getting on the train. Better let her get on first.
3. Accepting diversity without blinking an eye
On our twenty-minute walk along Uxbridge Road to Shepherd’s Bush Market Station we’ve heard Arabic, Polish, French, Spanish, English with an Australian accent, and at least three other languages we don’t recognize and there hasn’t been a single person raising an eyebrow at the women in hijads, the Aussies in their shorts and flip flops and the guy in the sweat pants. We pass by a Somali coffee shop where men in koofiyads sit and drink coffee whilst a plasma screen shows the latest Barclays Premier League game, Damas Gate — the Syrian supermarket that sells freshly made falafels — and Ochi dishing up Caribbean dumplings, curry goat and jerk chicken to hungry Londoners and accept the diversity without second thought.
4. Taking full advantage of our green spaces
A picnic on Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath overlooking the city whilst we munch on Doritos and salsa from Tescos and drink Coronas and Kronenburg straight from the bottle is a given Saturday. We have parks dotted around the city — from Northampton Square with black fences in Islington to Clapham Common and Hampstead Heath and whenever it’s sunny you’ll find us there gladly drinking the day away.
5. Avoiding eye contact
Eye contact is for troublemakers. Londoners will look at the ad above your head, past you in the pub or look at the traffic light or the café across the street when pasting you crossing the street. We’ll read about Halle Berry’s divorce in Metro or read 50 Shades of Grey on our Kindle on the tube. We will look anywhere but into your eyes.
6. Celebrating different cultures
We have boroughs for everyone and we don’t believe in silly things like racism. We embrace the diversity and understand that is has brought us shisha cafés on Edgware Road and Shepherd’s Bush and summer rolls and allowed us to shake our ass at sound systems playing the loudest Caribbean beats at the Notting Hill Carnival every year and throw paint at each other at the Holi Festival in March.
7. Making the most out of a summer in a landlocked city
Outdoor cinema at Somerset House, a Cornwall-inspired beach in Camden, roof top bars in Hoxton and Peckham, lidos in Hackney and King’s Cross and the ponds in Hampstead Heath. Whatever Brighton has on the seaside we make sure we bring to our landlocked city and most of all, we know how to make the most of it. We sip on Pimm’s whilst feeling the sand between our toes. We take the Overground to Hampstead Heath and go for a swim. Who needs the sea anyway?
8. Drinking like there is no Monday
Midday pint for lunch, after-work ale and a few glasses of wine whilst catching up with friends. We don’t care if it’s a weekday or if we have work tomorrow; there’s always a day and a place for alcohol consumption.
Having access to some of the best shopping in the world – stylish boutiques in Westbourne Grove to glitzy 80s vintage at Blitz on Brick Lane, we are not afraid to experiment and gladly mix old, new and classic with outrageous, high street and vintage. You can dress in pink latex, wear a chicken dress, grow a beard or dress in ripped jeans and ear cuffs and we’ll celebrate your adventurous approach to fashion. This is not Paris.