Obviously, London is terrible. Think about it: the job opportunities, the diversity, the cultural abundance, the unexpectedly high proportion of green space. Ugh. It really is the worst. But in case you’re confused, and thus on the cusp of misguidedly pointing out that there might be less pleasant places to live in our war-torn world than a relatively peaceful city, containing several branches of & Other Stories and people who openly converse with their pugs on public transport, allow me to steer you towards the light. These are the definitive reasons why the capital is a veritable wasteland:
Long working hours
Well-heeled Londoners dream of a charming nine-to-five existence where they’re no longer forced to slave at the contemporary coal face that is the glossy corporate job in order to earn a salary that only just about covers the annual summer holiday in the Dordogne – oh, and the Christmas break in the Maldives, too. They don’t really enjoy striding with purpose from place to place, phone in hand, to-do list at the ready, poised to push aside any man, beast or small child that gets in the way. They’d far rather clock off mid afternoon, don a pair of wellies and tend the allotment. Honest.
Cracking open a bottle of wine al fresco with your lover before throwing back your head and gazing in child-like wonderment at the cloudless, starry sky isn’t just a thing that happens on holiday. No! That’s how you’d spend every evening if you lived anywhere else in the UK. Probably.
The lack of fresh produce
Because country folk (read: the rest of the UK) nourish themselves by slurping milk fresh from the pail and eating carrots directly from the ground. Right?
Queuing for food
God, it’s impossible to get a restaurant booking nowadays. What’s that? One doesn’t always have to dine in Dishoom, or Caravan, or the latest hyped-up opening? – And in a metropolis overrun with eateries, surely it’s possible to find somewhere a bit more run of the mill that either offers reservations or has a table or two free? A cheeky Nandos perhaps? Granted you couldn’t instagram the food, which is tantamount to not eating at all, and you’d have to judge for yourself whether it’s worth the risk of being seated next to feral tourists from the provinces eating, like, each other (Cannibalism is, of course, rife beyond the M25, as is peri peri chicken)
It’s so tiresome to live somewhere so attractive that it commands visitors from every corner of the globe. The bank holidays are the worst, mutters the weary Londoner on the packed tube to her family who are up for the weekend from Ceredigion.
Everyone’s so unfriendly
After all, in other parts of the country, striking up a conversation with a stranger in the middle of the street is met with only unbridled enthusiasm.
Isn’t it an outrage that you can turn up at a nearby tube station or bus stop and be forced to wait around FOUR MINUTES before you’re carried to your destination of choice by a flawed but nevertheless phenomenally intricate transport network.
Which brings me to… TFL poetry. A sorry phenomenon that nonetheless gives city dwellers a chance to feel smug about their comparative lyrical prowess (‘At least I’ve never tried to rhyme ‘chide’ with ‘inside’).
It is the scourge of the nation, Londoners tell one another, huddled happily over their leaf and bird’s nest milk flat whites in newly-opened branches of Gail’s.