5 Things I Miss About London

July 23, 2009 at 10:34 pm 2 comments

OK, so I’m getting sentimental here, but I really do miss living in London.

The Brits have it good, although though they do love a good moan about the weather, the tube, their cricket team, the price of mince meat, newspapers with ink that rubs off in your hands, the fact that a weird-looking Australian tried to encourage fellow passengers on the 214 bus to get involved in a GreenDay sing-a-long at 7pm on a Friday evening on the way home from Sainsburys.

In fact, I frequently tell all my Brit mates that the UK is so great, that I consider it the second-best country in the world. For some reason, they’ve never appreciated this compliment. Ungrateful bastards.

So, in no particular order, here’s my list of the 5 things I miss the most about London.

1. Dunnyman. A uniquely British creation, Dunnyman (or the female equivalent – Dunnymole) is the lovable ‘attendent’ that dispenses handroll, after-shave, condoms, women-advice and philosphical mantras in the pub toilet. He is well dressed, welcomes everyone with the stock-standard  ‘Freshen up boss!’ greeting, and is almost always from a war-torn or famine-afflicted nation. Despite working in barely-tolerable, unhygienic conditions and copping daily abuse from drunk arrogant punters, Dunnyman is always smiling. I thought Sydney taxi-drivers copped a handful taking my mates home on a Saturday night….I’ve finally found someone with a thicker skin – Dunnyman.

2. Fried Chicken Joints. On every street corner in London, there is a fried chicken joint selling £1 fried chicken pieces, deep-fried in month-old vegetable oil. They’re a cornerstone of the British diet, and have been around for centuries. During the Victorian era, London town-planners laid out the city in such a way that every pub would be no more than a 50m stagger from a FCJ. However, the typical modern-British male is ashamed to frequent a FCJ, often waiting until his friends are on their way home in a cab before checking over his shoulder. In fact they’re sometimes so discreet, a casual observer would believe he’s entering an adult shop.

3. The Church. Every Sunday afternoon between 12-4pm, a “nightclub” in Kentish Town holds a massive piss-up called The Church. Completely dominated by Aussies and Kiwis, it’s a perfect excuse to end the weekend much the same way it started – drinking beer, being loud and obnoxious, eating 5 chicken pieces and a kilo of fries from a FCJ, then passing out in a cab.

4. English Accents. Don’t get me started here, I love English accents. OK, let me distinguish for a minute – I’m not talking about the chav accents from South Ruislip that sound rather like down-syndrome strawberry farmers. “O’ight geezer, giv’us one of ya fags love… innit”. Instead, I’m referring to the educated public-school London accents that you hear everywhere. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit (and please don’t tell my mum) – posh female English accents give me the horn. Often I’d re-check my voice-messages just to hear the lovely Buckinghamshire Vodafone lady tell me that I have no new messages.

5. Apathy Towards Terrorism. While the rest of the world is cowering in fear at the thought of mass-murder on their public transport systems, the Brits simply don’t care. During my first week in London in mid-2005, bombs went off on buses and trains all around central London. The locals simply carried on their day-to-day business without even blinking. I thought what a crazy place to live, no one seems to mind!

Vehicles manufactured in Korea are often inferior in quality.

Vehicles manufactured in Korea are often of inferior quality.

Me: How was your day mate?

English Friend: Yeah was fine old chap, but the tube was delayed because a bomb went off on the Piccadilly Line…I wish the London Underground would just get their act together and stop making excuses.

Me: So you honestly don’t mind all these bombs going off. What would you do if a suicide bomber sat opposite you on the tube?

English Friend: I wouldn’t care. Well, as long as he doesn’t try and start a conversation with me.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. chris g  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Hahaha – love it. My 5 favourite things about Australia

    1. Good ol’ BBQs
    2. Beaches you can sit on and sea you can swim in
    3. the fact that the country is made up of convicts and aboriginees and its the aboriginees who get all the stick
    4. Tim Tams
    5. The lack of formality no-one ever gets dressed up!

  • 2. Allie  |  July 23, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    ha ha – dunnyman made me laugh…

    As a slightly more embarrassing one tho – I got on the tube the day after the bombs because I had a hangover, had forgotten the bombs had even happened… I was pleasantly surprised to get a seat on the Northern line at that time… then realised why there was no-one on the train and why those people that were looked pretty nervous. Major memory fail…


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