Linda, from the SGI office (a native French speaker) gives us a sideways look at English life from a French perspective and some essential survival tips for London. If you understand French, you can read the original blog on our French page.
1: Invest in wellies and an umbrella.
Ladies don’t bother to think about the “brush”, or straighten your hair, the rain and wind will take care of it …
2: ACCEPT that you live close to others, it is almost impossible to live in an apartment alone, or even begin to think about having your own bathroom!
Roommates or host families are the solution to avoid budget crises and having to eat potatoes for the last two weeks of the month.
3: Learn to be civilized when taking the tube: line up on the right of the escalator to let people pass AND wait behind the yellow line.
Know that if you go over that line you migth be shouted at over the controller’s loudspeaker in front of everyone! The shame!
4: APOLOGISE as much as possible: Learn to say “sorry: SO-REE”, if your friend is banged against a wall, you apologise for the wall: this is English and it’s mandatory!
5: Eat properly. If you have a plate of peas, with roasted pork, carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy, make sure that you do not mix it all up with your fork. Eat ingredient by ingredient, your stomach will take care of the mixing.
6: DRINK … you have a choice! Breakfast = milk tea, milk tea = Lunch, 16h = milk tea, dinner = tea with milk and milk tea = digestive …
7: Respect your neighbour, AND THE ROYAL FAMILY!
I think it’s one of the reasons why it is pleasant to live in London and that’s why it’s become my favorite capital.
8: Don’t Steal:
Unlike the French (Statistically proven to steal from the supermarket), here it is almost impossible to do so, and even if you try to put an unsecured article in your pocket , 1000 surveillance cameras are pointed above, so expect a muscular welcome at the exit of the supermarket.
My Advice: buy your chewing gum!
9: NIGHT LIFE: Start early and don’t have a long, drawn-out dinner, or you will arrive at a nightclub when they are closing! Learn how to return home early, the clubs close at 2am.
10: THE RIGHT SIDE OF THINGS, my last tip should have been the first one but I always keep the best for last …
To be a good English person … You have to be patient and see only the bright side of things.
Being a good English person is knowing how to say ” Yes please “when you can no longer …
Learn to be phlegmatic and you will win everything!