Loathly London – List of 36 Things We Loathe About London

Rush Hour on the Central Line

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If you manage to squeeze in the infamous Central line during rush hour, you’ll be unluckily enough to have your personal space completely invaded. I’m talking directly face to face… or face to armpit. 

Parking

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Finding parking in London is merely for the lucky. And if you’re lucky enough to find parking, it usually comes with a cost and a heavy penalty charge if you forget to get a ticket.

Congestion Charge

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Many areas in London, especially Central, will charge for passing through, known as a congestion charge. These usually run from Monday-Friday before 18:30, but this can vary from area to area. Thinking about driving into Central? Don’t.

Driving in General

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London drivers are advised to switch their manual cars to automatic. You rarely drive over 20 mph on a typical road in the city because you are nearly always stuck in traffic. Avoid driving around 8am-10am and 3pm-6.30pm. This leaves you pretty much only driving comfortable very early in the morning, very late in the morning, or a little in between. Or just use the Central line? Maybe not.

Roundabouts for Cyclists

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Cycling in London in general is dangerous, but roundabouts make it almost impossible. I hope cyclists never have to encounter Elephant and Castle’s roundabout in particular.

Pigeons

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These rats with wings have no mercy. They will swoop down and flap you in your face if you’re close enough. If dodging Londoners on the streets weren’t enough, you must master dodging these beasts.

Their poop

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On our cars, windows, clothes and heads – these ghastly droppings are not an unfamiliar sight in London. Ever been paint-balling before? No? You can practice in London.

Foxes

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London’s foxes will tear your bins, jump in front of your cars, and sleep in your gardens. They are becoming increasingly less afraid of the human presence and are hungrier and more determined than ever before.

Rats

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Last of our furry friends are rats. We don’t get beautiful tropical peacocks or parrots or ponies. No, no. But rats, we have in abundance. It is said that there is always at least one of these filthy rodents approximately 2 metres away from you in London. Eek!

Oxford Street Shopping

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Our iconic shopping centre, Oxford Street, is one of London’s busiest destinations. You don’t just dodge people here, but cars too. The place is manic. The complete and utter opposite of retail therapy.

Passenger Forgetting to Prepare Oyster Card

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Queuing is not a foreign concept for Londoners. We queue for everything, because we’re clearly overcrowded. But queuing unnecessarily can really piss off commuters. So when you get to the front of the barriers in the tube station, and you haven’t still rummaged around for that oyster card, be prepared to face moody commuters.

Please Stand on the Right Side of the Escalator

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Part of the unnecessary queuing, it is usually tourists that are foreign to London’s rules and regulations. They should put up the sign in many languages. Please stand on the right hand side so I can keep moving down!

Victoria Station

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If like myself, you’re unfortunate enough to have to encounter this station on a regular basis, you will understand what I mean by “luggage-lugging”. Getting from A to B in London Victoria Station is a battle between man and luggage.

Transport Weirdos

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They’re everywhere. This is the weird person that forgot they came out their house and into the public. They’re usually the one that sits right next to you on an empty train and make annoying conversation.

Fee for Cash Machines

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Paying to get access to your own money is absurd. Many card machines require a payment of around £2 for using the service. Otherwise, you’ll have to walk to the next main road for a free machine.

Customer Only Restrooms

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Even if you’re dying to use the toilet, most Londoners have picked up the new rule of only allowing customers to use the restroom facilities. Be prepared to buy a coffee even if you don’t want one.

Charge for Restrooms

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There is a price to pay for preventing bladder eruption. Many London venues charge for toilet use.

No Money for a Pint

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A pint in London will cost you around £4. The cost of drinks has gone up since the old days, and the number of offers to buy the round has gone way down.

Queues for Bars and Clubs

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It’s Friday night. You’ve had a rough day at work/university and the guys and girls want to drag you out. You just about gain your energy for a full-on smashing night out. You get to the venue and the queue takes up any bit of party mood you had in you. Beers and DVDs look a lot better now.

Even worse, Wimbledon

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Queuing for Wimbledon can only be described as outrageous. Many eager campers will queue all night and still face the chance of not getting a ticket. What a nightmare!

Annoying Drunks

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It’s not OK when it’s not your mates. These annoying drunks are the ones that couldn’t hold their drinks down, were twerking on the dance floor, and were toppling over every minute. You’ll mostly find them in Brick Lane or Camden.

Taxis

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Taxis are one of the most expensive forms of travel in and around London. If you’re looking for a way back home after a night out, or a comfortable alternative to the tube, expect not a single penny left in your pocket.

Renting 

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Renting and buying a home in London is a serious issue. Many students looking for accommodation would never have anticipated the cost of living in London. Keep me home as long as you can, mum.

Rubbish

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These juicy dumps of rubbish are what make London so seductive… for the rats and foxes. Each borough and council have their own assigned rubbish collectors, yet roads are still dump sites.

Black Snot in Your Nose

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Many Londoners will understand. Especially if you regularly commute on the tube, expect to build up this nasty black snot.

Bus Diversions

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This is mostly applicable to Sunday commuters. Bus diversions mean you will have paid your £1.40 fare to get no where near to the destination you want to get off at because the bus has diverted elsewhere. Thus, you will have to get off at the stop and walk back where you need to go, or get another bus and pay a new fare.

Road Closures

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 You’re fairly new to London or you want to just get to your mate’s new place so you’ve got your sat nav on the ready. You start your journey to see that the road is closed due to maintenance work. You take an alternative route that you don’t know too well, and because every other driver is in the same pickle, you find yourself in traffic on an even longer route.

Corner-Shopkeepers 

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Who said anything about not wanting my 1p change? Shopkeepers in London will automatically round £1.99 to £2 and will shut the till before giving you your change. But, if an item was ever £2 and you only had £1.99 on you, it would be a different ball game.

House Sizes

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You spend so much money to keep up with having a home in the city, yet your house is the size of a kennel.

Let’s compare it with homes in America…

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It’s worse if you have to live in flats/blocks…

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Rain

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In London, rain is all year round. You are never too far from a black cloud, yet we hardly ever have an umbrella on the ready.

Cold

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Fancy that barbecue that we spent all that money on outdoor equipment in Homebase for? Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next day. Maybe we should have spent it on a holiday abroad.

Moody People 

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It would only make sense that most Londoners have the face of a baboon’s backside when the weather is awful and we are cramped.

Ignorant People 

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You could be passed out on the floor and it is likely that most Londoners will walk straight passed you. Everyone is still too peeved off with the cramp conditions of the Central line to bother with you.

Suit and Trainers

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This would be the typical image of a Londoner. Commuters especially, waddle around the city in their skirt suit, trainers and briefcase. What a combo!

Rude Bus Drivers

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You’d expect a smiley face from the leading figure of the iconic big red bus. Well, you will have to settle for attitude, rudeness or no response whatsoever.

The Guy Who Made It All Possible

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Boris Johnson.

What can I say?

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Super Scrimping – Saving As A Student List, by Ryan Elliott

Aside from the odd few students with bottomless funds thanks to mummy and daddy’s bank account, the chances are, if you’re based in London, you’re skint.

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Being a student in the capital is financially challenging. Socialising, eating well and paying for transport on a standard £60-a-week budget is hard, but it is do-able. I’ve done it for 6 months now, and here’s how:

PLAN THE WEEK’S MEALS IN ADVANCE

This sounds really boring, but it’s effective. Plan what you need to buy for the week before you head out. This is far cheaper than going to the supermarket three times a week and buying random foods.

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ALWAYS OPT TO BUY THE PRODUCT ON OFFER

There’s a fine balance between quality and price in supermarkets. When looking for a specific item (say, pasta) always look for a discounted product. Chances are, there’ll be one, and if you’re careful enough you can get a week’s worth of food for £20 easily.

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PUT LIMITS ON THE GOOD STUFF

You DON’T have to go out more than once a week. If your friends go out, tag along on the cheapest night out. More than one takeaway a week is also unneccesary. If need be, limit yourself to one a week, and always look for student discounts, such as the 50% off offered by Dominos.

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DON’T TAKE YOUR DEBIT CARD ON A NIGHT OUT WITH YOU

Set your budget for the night. Work out how much you’ll need for drinks, entry and transport home. £20 is more than sufficient if you pick locations that offer discount drinks for students. If you take your card, you’ll probably end up spending extra on drinks you could do without.

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USE THE LAUNDRETTE EVERY OTHER WEEK – HAND WASH IF NEED BE

Student laundrettes tend to be horribly over priced, and you definitely don’t need to use them every week. If you’re desperate, try hand washing your clothes in a sink of hot water with some detergent. If you wring the clothes out immediately after washing them, and hang them in a dry place, they should dry fairly quickly too. By halving your trips to the laundrette, you’re halving the cost. This could save you up to £7 a week, which adds up nicely in the long run.

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ABUSE YOUR STUDENT STATUS- ALWAYS ASK ABOUT DISCOUNTS

If you’re unsure, just ask. Most companies in student-based areas will offer a student discount, whether that be retail, leisure or restaurants. Being a student is nothing to be ashamed of. People know you don’t have money to throw away!

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MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A STUDENT OYSTER CARD

Student Oyster cards almost half your travel costs in London, whether that be for single fares or your daily cap. They cost £10, and the process is pretty straightforward. In the long term, this will save you massive amounts of money, especially if you have to commute! You can apply for one by clicking HERE

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GET A PART TIME JOB!

You’re not kidding anyone if you think the student life is a particularly busy one. 15 hours a week at a local pub would do you absolutely no harm. Apply for part-time work in your local area, there’s always jobs going in London! This could bring in an extra £70 a week minimum, and your cost of living will be much more comfortable.

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SELL YOUR UNWANTED THINGS ON EBAY

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s true! Clothes, books, games, anything. If it isn’t in use, it can go. You are literally making money for getting rid of things you no longer need. Make an Ebay account, list your items and post them off! A good haul of unwanted items could bring in an extra £100 plus.

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So there you have it. Simple, yet effective techniques. Stay disciplined with your money and you’ll not only scrape by, you’ll have money to spare. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself, it just means you won’t be crying on the phone to your parents when you’ve used up your overdraft and you only have a couple of tins of baked beans and some Uncle Ben’s rice in the cupboard. Be wise, but have fun!