Londoners share the city’s unwritten rules that you’ll need in everyday life. It all started when someone asked on Reddit, “Hi, I’m a new immigrant to the UK, but I don’t know anything about UK culture and etiquette (specifically London). All any short books or websites to learn a bit about etiquette and manners?”
And people quickly stepped in to help the person with the post currently having a whopping 335 comments, prompting the person to also ask “Some table manners to know? Or suitable topics for greetings?” There were plenty of obvious replies. about where to stand on escalators and never smile at people on the subway, but others shared important information about the city.
“We all say ‘sorry’ too much in the UK; it doesn’t really mean ‘I’m sorry about (whatever)’, it’s more of a general apology if you meet someone or need to walk or run faster than they are,” one person said, adding that “if someone says something like ‘we should hang out’ or ‘you should come to my house someday’, that’s not not an immediate offer to set a date. It’s more of a kind of welcoming placeholder that makes it clear that they’d like to see you more at some indefinite point in the future.”
READ MORE:The 8 weird laws that still exist in London that you’ve probably broken
Londoners’ inherent sarcasm was also mentioned: “If people seem sarcastic and tend to complain, it’s not because they really hate x/y/z, it’s just some kind of bonhomie ; something shared between all of us, no matter where we originally come from. Complaining about minor things is one of our national pastimes and should not be taken seriously.”
An immigrant also shared an important note about numbers: “As an immigrant myself, one of my biggest cultural mistakes is having to signal a ‘two’ with my fingers. Throughout my life, that gesture just meant ‘two’. Wow, that’s a big offense.” They of course refer to raising your index and middle fingers in a ‘V’ shape with the back of your hand facing a person – a normal gesture around the world but very rude in the UK.
Another person added the hilarious pub ritual we all partake in: “When a pint glass drops in a pub you have to go ‘waaaaaaayyy!'” But one person left a sound tip and reminder of London’s beauty “London is at the very heart of a multicultural city, just about every culture and subculture you can think of will exist in one form or another here, so you’ll probably be able to adapt to the local culture quite easily as long as It should be noted that while most people are, not everyone here is very open-minded and you should avoid these people.”
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