- Your snot will turn black, seriously. Just know you have the underground to thank for that. I feel like this is one thing I definitely wish someone told me before I turned to WebMD to see if I was dying.
- Your oyster card will quickly become your most prized possession. Don’t put it next to your debit cards, and don’t forget to register it. You will have a mini freak out at least two times a week thinking it has gone missing- don’t worry, it’s in your pocket.
- Shops don’t open until noon on Sundays. I found this out on accident when I went over to Waitrose at 11 and was stuck in a “browsing hour”. This is because stores here legally can’t be open for more than around 6 hours on Sundays.
- You bag your own groceries. As an American, I am used to it being done for me, but as I stared down the cashier after paying for my things, I realized I had to do it myself. This always adds a bit of stress to my large grocery hauls.
- Primark on Oxford Street is equivalent to both heaven and hell simultaneously. Walking in here on any given day is like going Black Friday shopping. The deals are incredible, but you may have to throw some punches along the way.
- Pedestrians don’t realllyyy have the right of way. Cars will stop at crosswalks, or they won’t. It’s really just best to run across when you can, maybe dodging some double deckers on the way.
- Thursdays are the night to go out. Fridays just aren’t the same as in the states. Saturdays are great for clubbing, but I’ve found Thursdays are best spent at O’Neills in Leicester Square.
- Drinking is a massive part of the culture. Sure, I knew that before coming, but I didn’t fully understand how much. I’m not saying people get belligerently drunk on vodka every night (but we all know that’s a necessity too, sometimes) but more so in the “let’s go get a drink after work” kind of way. People know how to handle their alcohol here, it’s refreshing.
- The weather isn’t really all that bad. I came for Autumn/Winter and was pleasantly surprised when I had a few days I could wear a t-shirt dress and Birkenstocks. As I write this though, there are grey skies and a forecast for snow.
- You will fall in love at least once a day. Okay, maybe this one isn’t such a secret, but it’s so true! I’ve met nine of my future husbands on tube rides alone.