There are certain rules when it comes to navigating the pavements, parks and public transport of London. The first of which includes not looking anyone in the eye and sitting at least two spaces away from any other person whenever possible. However, every now and again it is actually okay to talk to the bearded man clutching his skinny cap or the short girl in the Sweaty Betty leggings (#Tryanuary). Whether it’s the real-life necessity of telling someone their label’s sticking out or the virtual joy of messaging someone on Badoo – here are a few times that warrant actual contact with a Londoner.
When someone is standing on the left-hand side of the escalator
Although an indeterminate ‘harrumph’ also works well.
When you see someone handing out free stuff
Regardless of whether it is a sachet of shampoo, an energy bar that will likely give you cramps or a half-price voucher for men’s razors, you will excitedly accept like the broke Londoner you are.
When you hear someone insult the Queen
Because every time someone insults the Queen, somewhere in the world a corgi dies.
When you hear someone complaining about something you also hate
Tube delays, pigeon attacks, rain? It is now time to get involved and bond the only way strangers in London know how (aside from when they form a queue).
When someone has put a bag on the seat next to them
The pointed ‘Is this seat taken?’ hurts more than getting caught in tube doors.
When you walk past a cute guy on Badoo
That’s if he doesn’t message you first with a banger of an opening line.
When you hear people insult London
Don’t do that. If you don’t like pollution go to the Cotswolds.
When the bartender asks you for £18.20 for your Basil mojito
Though you are probably doing dry January so this definitely won’t happen right…
When that cute guy from Badoo proceeds to video call you
Every Londoner’s first date of choice is a video date on Badoo → no £20 cocktails, stressful tube journeys or pigeons. Video dating is the perfect way to talk to a Londoner in the confines of your safe place (Pret).
When someone has a dog
No explanation needed.
When the guy in Starbucks asks if your New Year’s resolution is going to the gym
For the majority of the year, it is advisable to avoid all contact with fellow Londoners. However, when it comes to the ‘new year, new you’ all previous restrictions go out the window. January in London is the one time of the year when you make an effort to be the best and friendliest version of you (and talk to people even when they’re not offering you a free taster of the new healthy chia seed breakfast pot). But even then it is probably best to do all the chatting via the safety of Badoo – where you can request a selfie, stalk their Insta and make sure none of their interests includes ‘gyming’ before you do.