Starting this week, I’m going to do a regular post titled “Thursday’s Three Things”.
These things will change week to week. For example, it could be “Three Things I Loved”, or “Three Things to Avoid”, maybe even “Three Phrases to Know”, the list is endless really.
But for this week’s “Three Things” it is… drum roll please…
Three Things That Irked Me In London
1) The Smoking.
Smoking has been banned from all enclosed public spaces in England (including pubs, bars and restaurants) since July 1, 2007. However, it is still legal to smoke on patios, which is not something we are used to coming from Vancouver. Therefore, it was often uncomfortable to try and enjoy a patio pint with tobacco smoke billowing from every corner.
I will mention, in defence of Londoners, that the smoking rates are falling in England. However, it is estimated that 1.2 million Londoners smoke. which is still a hell of a lot.
2) Vehicles vs. Pedestrian Drama
We come from a country that believes “The pedestrian has the right of way”. In London, they believe in “Screw the pedestrian”. The number of times we were almost run over was absurd. The crossing lights are brutal at best, there are limited stop signs, and I firmly believe no one knows what a Yield sign means. It is a dangerous city to be on foot or bike and the statistics back that up: Pedestrians 69- Cyclists 14.
3) Lack of Common Sense/ Respect
Now, this is fairly universal and you will run into examples anywhere you travel. However, one day it especially got to me. We went to St. Paul’s Cathedral where it clearly states “NO PICTURES OR VIDEOS”. The 12 0’clock mass had just finished and we were listening to our audio tapes and taking in the beauty of the church, when a young girl walked right up to the alter and took a selfie. Complete lack of respect for the rules, as well as the sanctity of the ritual that had just been completed .
As we are leaving the Cathedral, there are a bunch of young men skateboarding on the steps of the church.
Get it together!
Finally, special mention has to be made of the ‘Pub Scene’. Everyone who goes to London has to have a pint or a cider at your local pub and thankfully there are many throughout the city. You want to try as many different ones as you can, right?
We quickly realized that even though the pubs looked different, many had the same, and I’m talking EXACT SAME menu.
Apparently, there are 112 Taylor Walker pubs throughout the city of London, some literally next door to each other. So just be aware if you are looking to try a variety of authentic London pubs, because Taylor Walker has taken over.
Have you ever been to London? If so, did anything get under your skin?