Ok so I would have considered myself to have been fairly London savvy upon my moving here but let me tell you something now and that something is that I was not. There were SO many things that have struck me about this city since I have made it my home so let me hit you up with the good, the bad and the boujee discoveries that I’ve come across about life in the Big Smoke:
- As previously mentioned in an earlier post, this city is crawling in avocados. They are the city’s unofficial yet official food. You will find them everywhere You will grow to love them even if you don’t want to as they will be served with everything that you order, especially poached eggs.
- This city is expensive AF. I’ve probably been to London at least once a year since I was fresh out of the womb and roughly two or three times a year since my best friends upped and left me for the big bad musical theatre filled city post Leaving Cert so I thought that I would be prepped, you know? Spoiler alert: I was not. I essentially forgot that my being here was not a holiday so now rent and bills have taken the primary allowance that was once spent on my days shopping in Topshop Oxford Circus and dining in Bella Italia without a Groupon deal (honestly though £18 for two courses for two people sure where was I going without this Groupon offer in my life?)
- Public transport in Ireland is NOT the one. The absolute freedom of being able to hop on a tube or a bus whenever you feel like it and not having to plan your day around the Bus Eireann 221 passing through Glanmire at 7 minutes or 37 minutes past the hour is absolutely REVOLUTIONARY.
- Uber is quite frankly one of the best and worst things to happen to me. I mean first of all, where was Uber when I was trying to hail a cab after a saucy night out in the Bróg?* And secondly why do I keep giving Uber all of my money?
- Forgetting your earphones in Cork is bad, but forgetting your earphones here is up there with accidentally deleting an essay because you forgot to autosave it when you left the library for a quick Ramen after hearing that Khao Pad was the 6before6. As if facing a commute (look at me and my London lingo) wasn’t bad enough, now you have to do it without your pre-downloaded podcasts.
- Your travel fare is capped at £7 per day? Past tourist Al is absolutely raging at the fact that she was spending the bones of £12 A DAY on a travel card.
- Vegans rule this joint.
- Tinder here is not treated like Tinder in Ireland. Like. At. All. This app has been deleted and redownloaded many a time.
- Hand sanitizer is your best friend.
- The Eurostar! Is! The! Best! Thing! Ever! The fact that you can get a TRAIN to another country and pay less than you would for an adult fare from Cork to Dublin? Absolute madness! My first Eurostar experience was an absolute treat and a half like I got on a train and then went to Paris? Once again, madness! Although I would recommend holding an EU passport upon your journey to avoid severe queues because we all love a good Brexit rail strike.
- Markets. I love markets. And London loves markets as much as I do. I am a sucker for a solid boujee alternative milk beverage and where better to get one than the likes of Borough Market and then accompany it with an artisan brownie? Life changing. I used to be absolutely buzzing if I could get a spin down to Mahon Point for the legendary farmer’s market of a Thursday morning and would hit up that O’Connaill’s stall like there was no tomorrow because you just couldn’t bate a solid milk and white but I am sorry to my gorgeous Cork because God Save the Queen and her hometown’s variety of food stalls.
- Never fully pack away your summer wardrobe in an unattainable area as the weather here is more unpredictable than my stunning Emerald Isle which is why I have been passing out in tights and boots for the entire Easter weekend because I was not prepared for the 25 degree heat.
- Poundland. Poundland has become a solid venture in my London life. I mean seriously: Need toothpaste? £1. Need toilet paper? £1. Need a measuring tape because your flat doesn’t have a shower rail and you can’t have a shower without soaking the gaff so you need to pop to IKEA for an extendable rod, curtain and hooks but to do so you must first confirm figures with the aforementioned measuring tape? £1.
- Theatre tickets. I used to be an astute purchaser of theatre tickets and would always think that I had the best deals by buying so far in advance. How wrong I was upon my discovery of TodayTix. Lotteries! Rush tickets! 24 hour flash sales! And don’t even get me STARTED on EntryPass at the National?! I am honestly dreading the day that I turn 25 and lose my discounted tickets there. Godammit I am in my theatre nerd element living here having seen 27 shows since I arrived last June (not including my second trip to Company because I find Patti LuPone to be transcendentally healing on a spiritual level).
So there you have a few realisations that have struck me during my time here in London. I have to admit that I still feel like a newborn deer finally figuring out how to walk on sturdy legs here so I can only imagine that there are a crazy amount more to come, but until then I’m just gonna keep these few in my back pocket.
Much love and respect to ya pals,
*This is slightly untrue as my dad regularly obliged in collecting me by the fountain on Grand Parade with my chicken tenders and garlic cheese chips from Hillbillie’s in tow but I am sure that he would have greatly appreciated Uber at this time also.