11 mistakes every London newbie makes

"Shall we go for a drink in central?"


"We get it, London will be expensive", we thought, as those already living in the capital tried their best to warn us of the perilous journey ahead.

In prepping to move to London we knew that things were gonna be different. But we'd bloody well used public transport before, thank you very much, and it's not like we hadn't been to an expensive bar before either.

So bright eyed and full of dreams, we approached life the same way we always did.

But like wearing too much pencil eyeliner or thinking that Primark jeans are an "investment", we have to learn life's harshest lessons for ourselves.

In hindsight some of our earliest mistakes were more obvious than others.

  1. 1 "Let's go for a drink in central"

    Your one other London friend lives in Clapham, but you live in Seven Sisters.

    London Bridge seems like a good half way point, right?

    Two tube fares and a single pint later, you're down £14. Staying at home alone next time it is, then.

  2. 2 "I'll be over in half an hour"

    You arrive four days later after four tube changes, ending up on the DLR and taking two buses.

    Nothing takes a mere half hour. Not here.

  3. 3 "Don't worry, I've got Citymapper"

    It's all fun and games until your phone runs out or tells you that the best way to cross the Thames is by creating a makeshift boat out of discarded bottles.

  4. 4 "Of course there'll be seats at the pub - it's Tuesday"

    It may be 11am on a weekday, but one member of bar staff is struggling to make espresso martinis for 12 customers.

    Every day is a Friday night in London. You don't want to know what night Saturday is.

  5. 5 "I'll give the fried chicken a miss tonight"

    You had every intention to quit junk food, but it's not your fault that there are more chicken shops than people here. And there are a lot of people.

  6. 6 "I'll still go to the countryside once in a while"
    Greenwich Park
    Source: Alan Stanton

    It's been two years since you moved, and all of a sudden, you have a flashback. Of sitting in a green space without having to share it with 80 other people.

  7. 7 "What should we do this weekend?"

    Oh wait - now that you pay £700 a month to live in a shoebox, you'll spend every weekend how you always do. Eating beans straight out of the can and crying.

  8. 8 "I need a place with a living room"

    No you don't, unless you're happy sitting on an unused gold mine.

  9. 9 "New city, new me"

    This is the big city, the bright lights, so you're gonna start this new leaf of your new life looking flash and pristine.

    This dream will last a month at best, until you no longer bother putting on makeup for the sake of that 20 minutes of extra sleep, and your clothes are saturated with tube sweat.

  10. 10 "I'll call you when I'm on the train"

    May as well call every single person on your carriage too. They're all listening.

    Seriously, they might be lonely.

  11. 11 "Oxford Street will be handy to have nearby"

    You'd rather be stuck wearing the same clothes you own now forever rather than re-enter that hellhole.