Unwritten London Rules

5 March 2015

So in the greatest City in the world we have a series of widely accepted, unspoken rules that help us co-exist in what some people may deem to be a slightly frenetic state of affairs. These are the rules of the street – the unspoken laws of our time.

1. We Walk On The Left

I know it and I know you know it. But if you don’t know it and you stand on the left, i.e. BLOCK my way as I haste up the escalator to catch that meeting I’m SO late for, please rest assured that you have now ruined my day. I won’t tell you this, of course, but the sheer sound of my sigh will be enough to cause the whole of London Underground to collapse in on itself.

2. We Pace Match

The Spasmic Glory Of Race Walking In GIFs

Much like a well-trained driver if you are walking in London you are like a pavement ninja. You can sense the pace of your fellow travellers and will manoeuvre yourself in and out to match the pace and direction of those that mirror your own. If you are just drifting out there dawdling in the centre aisle, someone is likely to report you to the street manner police.

3. To Talk Or Not To Talk

There are times to converse and then there are times that demand absolute silence. When using public transport in the morning. In the morning, full stop. Definitely rush hour. Even if you see a long lost friend on your morning commute and that is the highlight of your life, you restore to inner monologues. No one wants to hear you talk.

4. We Are All Sardines Together

When they say get right down inside the carriage, what they mean is - literally - get right down inside the carriage. We oblige. If someone is hanging out around the poles not taking that step into the centre of the car you know what everyone is thinking... SELFISH! RUDE! 'WHO EVEN ARE YOU!?'

5. It’s Garbage Day Every Day

So there are these timetables about when you can put rubbish out, we all ignore them, it’s a rule.   

6. We Are Respectful

Often you will hear us moan about one another, grumble about who managed to get on the tube or being first in line but the unspoken rule is that we are all in this fight together, we are the brethren of the City, we have mad bro-London-Love.

7. We Hate TFL

Even if we don’t, we just do. Even when they’re good, they’re just not.

8. Eye Contact

It’s an unwritten rule not to stare or smile at strangers. Not because London is unfriendly per se but because such behaviour probably means you’re a crazed maniac stalker with a concealed weapon.

9. They Call Us 24Hr, We Know Better

More like 12 hr and 5 on a Sunday.

10. Only We Criticise This City

Oh I’m sorry Geordie George – what did you just say?

11. Tired Of London, Tired Of Life

We are never tired, we are just a little weary.

Ellen Modin

Ellen Modin

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