London is probably the best city in the world and there’s nothing better than finding out you need to head to the capital for a business reason. Despite this, here are a few problems that only those who live, work or have travelled to London will understand. If this is going to be you in the coming weeks, we suggest you become acquainted with these uniquely London issues.
- It’s freezing outside, but the Tube is hotter than hell
You’re all bundled up against the freezing temperatures above ground, but once you go subterranean to transport yourself across the capital it is positively boiling. What’s the best way to get around it, we hear you ask? Well, Londoners have been contemplating the issue for years and there’s still no definitive answer. Be prepared to strip off layers before you get too hot, but be sure not to lose your scarf or gloves along the way.
- Too much to do, not enough money
London is full of possibilities, with fascinating events happening all the time. You need to be careful, however, as costs in London are higher than the rest of the UK and by the time you’ve had a meal and a few drinks before or after the event, you’re skint. To stick to your budget, head to some of the capital’s free attractions, such as the British Museum and the V&A, and be sure to stay away from paid temporary exhibitions.
- Your car is bigger than your bedroom
Property prices in London are famously high, meaning many of the people who live here end up in tiny rooms in shared houses. If you are in the capital on business and staying in a SACO apartment, you won’t have this problem, as you’ll have the luxury of a spacious suite of rooms – lucky you!
- Having a friend who lives in London, then realising London is absolutely massive
“I’m in London this week, let’s meet up.” Only non-Londoners make this mistake, as those who live in the city know it is nearly as big as some counties and can involve lengthy journeys just to have a quick coffee between meetings.
- Being late because of the Changing of the Guard or a procession
You have worked out a route and know where you’re going, but then something unexpected happens – aprocession or a protest blocks your way. It could be anything from the Changing of the Guard to the Lord Mayor’s Show, but there’s no way you’re getting around it anytime soon.
- Having an Oyster card clash
This uniquely London problem occurs when commuters keep their Oyster card in the same wallet or purse as a contactless debit card. The Oyster reader picks up both signals and you end up paying twice for your journey – d’oh. Alternatively, you end signing in with one card and out with another, which leads to the maximum journey fare being levied.
- Tourists travelling in packs
The sights of London are a great tourist draw, but it can become a pain when a group of sightseers are dawdling along looking at all the buildings and attractions. What’s worse, they tend to take up the whole pavement and are unaware of those trying to get to their next business engagement.
- You can’t get anywhere without Google Maps or Citymapper
While one of the joys of getting to know a new city is starting to be confident of getting yourself around, this is not the case in London. Even the natives have their phone glued to their hands to consult Google Maps or Citymapper for everything but the most routine of journeys.
- Always exiting at the wrong Tube exits
You know how it goes, you work out your route from the train station to your destination only to appear above ground in a completely different place to where you intended. Exits from Tube stations can be across roads and even around corners from each other, leaving you completely disorientated and in need of a new plan.
- Finding your favourite brunch spot has been discovered and now you can’t get a table
It’s only a matter of time before great places get “discovered”, but when this happens in London it’s as if everyone suddenly knows about it. Few are big enough to cope with such an onslaught and faithful customers suddenly find themselves cut off from that all-important egg supply – sigh.