It is often said that “one who is tired of London is tired of life”. Well, you just have to look into the face of a Londoner during morning rush hour to see that a lot of people living here are tired of life! We asked four journalist students to vent some of their frustrations about their hometown…
Edited by Astrid Madberg
Kai Lutterodt: It’s Unfriendly!
Possibly Europe’s most bustling cosmopolitan city; London takes the lead in trend setting. From architecture to transport, fashion to music, on the surface this Capital has all the makings of a truly fascinating city enticing millions of foreign visitors each year
Yet London is just as easily, possibly, Europe’s least friendly city, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of visitors. Just observe the 7am rush hour for example and you’ll know exactly what Im taking about. Survival of the fittest has another meaning when a Londoner crams their way onto a packed tube, unapologetically squeezing into the armpits of a fellow tube rider.
The morning rush hour isn’t made any easier with tourists getting in the way, but give the poor foreigners a break! They are not to know they shouldn’t get in the way of a rushing Londoner first thing in the morning, let alone any other time of day by disrupting the fast pace walk of Londoners by stopping in the middle of the pavement to check their maps!
And why are Londoners so hesitant to share a smile with their fellow European visitors? Perhaps scared that the odd Bonjour Guten Tag or Hola will send flashbacks of how we suck at other languages!
Nelson Campos: It’s Expensive!
London is one of the biggest city in Europe. Most of the people living there might find it hard to cope with all the problems they are facing, especially because because on the one hand life is extremely expensive in London whether you’re a student living on your own, or an adult with a family it doesn’t make a difference.
You’re looking to spend at least 200 per week to live in a decent flat or studio which is the equivalent of 800 monthly, which is quite a lot for London citizens. Even students might find a good deal or they might share the studio with other students coming from all over the world, it is still very expensive unless those people have someone else to support them.
On the other hand, not only the life is expensive but also the transport. The city of London itself has so much to offer in terms of trains, buses, night buses, overground but the amount spent monthly or weekly by its users, is still above the normal prices you can find in Germany or France for example and this is probably why you see much more cyclists on the London roads nowadays than before!
James Childs: The Traffic!
Even if you leave your house at a reasonable time, it can be a major problem and obstacle when you need to arrive at your destination at a certain time.
Coming to university can be difficult at times, living in central London, where there is a mixture of transportation; buses, cars, motorbikes, and bicycles.
My vehicle by choice, or you could say be default is the bus, and on a day to day basis it’s pretty much very smooth, but when there is a small hiccup a
journey can be slowed down by a tremendous amount! On most instances traffic is understandable due to the fact that as a whole, students, workers and anyone else living a conventional London life will be synchronised on the road together at a certain time. But, it is really bad when an elderly person with a walking stick, who you passed on the bus three stops away starts to overtake you!
Astrid Madberg: Big Brother!
I’m not talking about the tv-show here, people! I’m talking about the fact that London is one of the most surveilled cities in the world you basically can’t
walk down any street in the city without being filmed! We are told it is for our safety but are not given the option to refuse.
The whole city is filled with signs telling us which way to look, how to get on and off a train, telling us that we shouldn’t eat smelly food, and to turn our music down. Almost everywhere there are recorded messages telling you that there is “absolutely no smoking in the lift” and that you’re “approaching the end of the escalator. Is no one else finding this deeply patronising?
Would I really miss the end of the escalator if I wasn’t told by a really mean-sounding, authoritarian woman’s voice that I should get ready to lift my feet? Would I just kind of stare into the distance and be left standing there until another recorded voice would tell me where to go?
Some argue that it is for the security of everyone but come on! There are plenty of metropolitan cities out there who do very well without this sort of nannying. And I don’t see an abundance of falls, escalator accidents or smelly food feasts when I visit them!
*Convergence Media Unit group assignment
- London named world’s second best student city (itv.com)
- Things To Do in London for (Almost) No Money (talesofacitygirl.com)
- London Vibes: Part 1 (thesixthsensefashion.wordpress.com)
- A Guide to London’s Most Beautiful Gothic Interiors (epicatravel.com)
- How to Live in London for Under £5 a Day (thrifttripping.wordpress.com)