| 1. The buses! Getting out of the cinema at midnight? There's a bus! Get stuck in central after the tube stops? Don't worry, there's a bus! It's raining outside, want to stay in until the very last second to preserve your painstakingly curled hair? There's an app for that! (seriously, bus countdown is a thing). Quicker than driving and excellent for 'accidentally' overhearing interesting phone conversations. Not that I do that...
| 2. Food. All the food. Borough Market, Selfridges food hall, Camden Market, and all the chicken shawarma my heart desires. Back in Norwich you can't go wrong with a good hog roast bap and a bag of chips off the market, but I had no idea about the range of food you could pick up on the go before coming here. Full belly, empty purse.
| 3. Museums. I'm a sucker for a good museum for a number of reasons; they're free, they're unpretentious and they're great for a wander and a long chat. The V&A is my favourite (if only for the postcard selection in the gift shop) but I have an itch to visit some of the lesser known ones. The museum of taxidermy, the Victorian operating theatre (grim but great) and the museum of childhood are all on the list.
| 4. Parks. I'm a Norfolk girl and always will be, so open fields, prickly hedgerow and the odd formal garden is soul food for me. Luckily the urban sprawl of London, so often seen as a stone and concrete jigsaw, has some beautiful parks and woodland that act like sanctuaries for those transitioning to city life. Wimbledon common is a firm favourite.
| 5. The Grand Rendezvous. Friends from home and university chums alike are sprawled across the country. I've got some in Leeds, Edinburgh, Devon, Gloucestershire and Kent, as well as those over the pond in Paris, Malaga and Poland. London train links are pretty swell, so popping over for a visit doesn't require a stamp in the diary three months down the line with 4 changes, one coach a day gone either side.
| 1. The Tube. It's the most inhuman way to travel. Crowding underground, breathing stale air and entering a closed in tube with likely no seat and someone's armpit in your face. Bleurgh.
| 2. The Commuter Bubble. It's that strange dimension where people of common intent (that intent being getting to work) occupy the same physical space, but not the same mental one. If you've ever been in a carriage full of grey suited men and women plugged into their own technological reality whilst refusing all attempts at eye contact and got the giggles at the sheer absurdity of the situation, you'll know what I mean. This also applies for saying 'hello' to the bus driver. Just not something you do.
| 3. Lugging Luggage. Dragging a very, very heavy suitcase from Norwich to South-West London at rush hour and with no lifts or escalators should be a 'World's Strongest Man' event. Forget the 'Atlas Stones', try getting up to surface level with no free hands whilst being roasted by the perpetual underground heat, then add a dodgy suitcase wheel to the mix. Not. Fun.
| 4. Size. It's just so big. Too big.
| 5. How Much?! The price of coffee. £3.40 for a cappuccino?! You can get a meal deal for that!
This village girl is getting there, readers, as for every bad thing there does appear to be a good one to replace it, so we're equalling out so far!
What I'm truly desperate to find is a good coffee shop with comfy armchairs that isn't too busy and ideal for a long book reading session. Please let me know details down below!