Living in London doesn’t automatically make you a Londoner. You have to earn that right by downing a pint in less than 10 seconds, or by hurling abuse at a fellow human being, who happens to be sporting a Manchester United football shirt, or by solving everyone’s problems with a hot cup of tea. Visiting Big Ben, shaking hands with The Queen and cruising along The River Thames has little to do with being a Londoner. You scoff at those who suggest such ridiculous activities and immediately slot them into the category of “sad, deluded tourist,” even if they were born in Bow and you popped out in Essex. Being a Londoner means a full commitment to changing how you walk, what you do, who you speak to and what you choose to stuff down your dirty, curry-loving throat.
50% of your Twitter contacts are soap stars
Londoners talk about UK soap characters as though they were their close, personal friends. If you can name at least 10 current London soap characters and you find yourself discussing last night’s episode at work, you’re definitely a Londoner.
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A “cheeky juice” has little to do with a glass of freshly, squeezed oranges
Londoners enjoy a good pint after work. They drink their beer warm and fast. If you catch yourself using phrases like, “Fancy a pint, guvner?” or “Who’s up for a cheeky juice, then?” at least once a week, you’re on your way to being the perfect example of a typical Londoner.
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Moaning about the weather makes you feel safe and secure
Londoners moan about the weather at least once a day, but they don’t let it stop them from enjoying life. London without London rain just wouldn’t be London. A true Londoner finds a way of getting out and about, despite the forecast. Most Londoners wouldn’t know what to do or what to moan about if the climate suddenly took a turn for the better.
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You suffer from panic attacks when a stranger speaks to you on the tube
Londoners don’t speak to anyone on public transport in the morning. They consider calling the police to report a frightening case of harassment should a stranger approach them, smile and spark-up a conversation. The morning journey on the tube is not a time for sharing and making friends. It’s about grabbing a few extra minutes of sleep whilst standing up. Anyone who sparks up a cheerful conversation runs the risk of being placed in quarantine.
You consider the umbrella a necessary item of personal safety
Londoners always have an umbrella to hand, just in case. They have one at home, one at work, one in their bag, one at their mate’s house, one which they leave with their mum, one which they leave hidden behind the plant pot outside and one with they save to take with them on holiday. Even when the sun is shining, a true Londoner carries his super-duper, travel umbrella in his pocket… the one which was famously invented by Inspector Gadget which folds down to the size of a two-pound coin.
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You consider continental breakfasts to be the foodstuff of anorexics
The full English breakfast is a real treat for a true Londoner. She loves going to the local, greasy spoon on the weekends and spends at least two hours munching her way through eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and buttered toast on the side. To finish everything off, she’ll wash down her meal with a hot cup of PG Tips (or Earl Grey if she happens to live in Hampstead). Coffee and croissants are for weird Europeans, hoping to die from a hunger-strike.
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Londoners avoid tourist gimmicks and hotspots like the plague. Most Londoners have been to Spain, but it’s hard to find one who’s been on The London Eye, or one who enjoys visiting Leicester Square on any day of the week. Londoners stay out of the limelight and they love to keep things local. If they ever choose to shut down Madame Tussauds, the day will probably be marked as an official, regional holiday for Londoners.
You take an immediate dislike to anyone who doesn’t eat curry
A regular Friday night for a Londoner is all about a super-hot curry and plenty of beer. Londoners have the take-away menus of at least two Indian restaurants stashed away somewhere in their homes. If you think that a vindaloo is child’s play and if your week feels strangely incomplete without snacking on a peshwari naan, London is where you belong.
Related: How to fix bitter-tasting curry
Cheap is always positive
Londoners love getting a good deal and there’s no better bargain than a huge discount on fruit and veg from the local market. True Londoners go about their weekly shop surrounded by old-time, market-stall owners who love to shout, “A pound for a pound of bananas,” which always seems to sound more like, “Er poun’ for er poun’ uv bernaaaarrrrhnerrrrrrs!” The cheaper something is, the better.
You can happily sunbathe in 15 degrees heat
It’s easy to spot a Londoner. He’s the one who, at the smallest glimpse of sunshine, appears dressed in shorts, flip-flops and sunglasses the quickest. Experience teaches the Londoner to never take sunshine for granted. Summer can be over within a day in London, so it’s important to make the most of it while it’s around.
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You take personal credit for the beauty of London architecture
Londoners know that they are surrounded by some of the most amazing architecture in the world. A true Londoner finds herself staring at the buildings along Regent Street for hours. She is in awe of the urban beauty that surrounds her and she takes pride in choosing a pretty place to live. She takes credit for its beauty, claiming to be related to the architect via a distant aunt and two cousins, three times removed.
Related: The UK's most beautiful buildings
You don’t believe vandalising a black taxi cab to be a crime
Londoners hate taxis… the famous black cab. They refuse to take one, even when returning home late at night because they are, quite simply, a complete rip-off. The true Londoner knows that the night bus is the way to travel, whatever the hour and however long the wait. London life isn’t found inside the black cab. That’s reserved for the tourist.
You have an uncontrollable fear of wide, open spaces
Londoners know what crowds are all about. Their idea of personal space is not having anyone standing on their toes. Being truly alone makes a Londoner really nervous. Even the thought of finding themselves in a wide, open space, with plenty of room to move, is liable to send them into cardiac arrest.
You know that “up the apples” has nothing to do with fruit
Whether you were born in London or not, you’re familiar with Cockney Rhyming Slang. Phrases such as, “Let’s have a butcher’s,” roll off of your tongue like ice-cream melting in the sun and you play the “Joanna” better than anyone you know.
You live no more than 15 minutes away from your football team’s stadium.
A true Londoner cannot hold his head up high if he claims to support Manchester United, Sheffield, West Brom, or any other ridiculous team outside of London. Chelsea fans live in Chelsea, Arsenal fans live in Highbury and Tottenham fans live in Seven Sisters. It’s just the rules!
You’re married to London until you marry someone else.
Londoners love London and they think everyone should live there. They quietly feel sorry for the people who don’t and can’t understand why anyone makes the decision to leave. Only married couples and those with children are allowed to leave London without being presumed crazy or weird. You are married to London, which is akin to being wed to Boris. Lucky you.