OK, so I realise I grew up in Sussex, but all i’m saying is, moving out of London as a fully-fledged adult is quite the culture shock.
Here’s 16 things that have made me either gasp out loud or do that thing where my eyes widen in horror since my move to Ipswich last month.
1. Car parking politics. People in London rarely own a car, but turns out everyone else is getting upset by stray cars parking outside their house. My Dad curtain twitches and tells everyone in the house about new cars in the road, my step mum directs guests into certain spaces that will ‘least irritate’ the neighbours and my boyfriend gets repeatedly upset about being unable to park HIS car in front of HIS house. Such a palava.
2. The clothes shops close at 5.30pm every day. You can’t shop after work. That is all.
3. Midweek drinks isn’t a thing. Wine Wednesdays and Thirsty Thursdays don’t exist, you just sort of camp out on the TV with tea instead.
4. You browse for city breaks instead of secluded beach holidays, BECAUSE YOU NEED THAT THRILL OF CITY LIFE. THE COFFEE, THE BARS, THE BUZZ.
5. Whenever anyone local tells you they went to London recently you ask them a bazillion questions. And which tube line did you get? Where did you eat? What did you do? TELL ME EVERYTHING. Like a weird London pervert, oh you.
6. Similarly, if any locals take it upon themselves to tell you how they could never live in London and how awful and busy London is, you defend it as if it were a baby that grew in your very own womb.
7. There isn’t apps that tell you which bus to get on. There also aren’t buses every few minutes. Buses aren’t a normal mode of transport, they’re reserved for OAPs and people who have lived in the area since birth and never bothered learning to drive. They are a mystery to us all.
8. Because you don’t understand buses you’ll spend an extortionate amount of money on taxis. And there’s no Uber either. Sob.
9. You tell people you used to live in London. As if it’s some huge life achievement that will make people look at you in a more positive light.
10. No-one talks about how poor they are, how expensive their rent is and how much they spend on transport. Weird.
11. There’s very limited shopping facilities. Zara, Oliver Bonas and Urban Outfitters are only in big cities, and the stock the shops do stock looks like something from 2011.
12. You start actually getting enough sleep. And it’s a, hmm – why did I never do this before? realisation.
13. You have silly amounts of time on your hands because you’re not stuck on the tube because of another blasted signal failure.
14. You start cooking and baking and making real food instead of just swinging by Five Guys or getting a ready meal from Tesco Express, because, well, ALL OF THE TIME.
15. You find your bank balance doesn’t steeply decline downwards in the way it did before, because you’re not shouting YOLO and treating yourself to £10 cocktails anymore or darting into Topshop after a cruel day in the office.
16. The local shop isn’t quite as up to speed as your local shop in London. There’s no Malbec, no bagels and no avocados.
17. If you fancy a 3pm latte you have to settle for coffee granules because the nearest coffee shop is a 4o-minute trek away. It’s pretty much like being in Mordor.
18. You get slightly scared of driving on dual carriageways and motorways again. Yes, you may have hit 100mph at 17-years-old, but teaching yourself to drive like a carefree youth again is a tricky business.
19. You’re surprised that people aren’t all merry and say Hi when they pass each other in the streets, like you’d always imagined they did outside of London.
20. All the space. Turns out you can afford a two bed house outside of London and suddenly your clothes can fit in cupboards rather than hoarded in piles on the floor.
21. You don’t go for long country walks every week like you assumed you would.
22. You have to be extra creative when it comes to finding objects/activities to Instagram.
23. You get through candles really quickly. Because, well, you’re always at home in your pyjamas.
24. Your choice of nice local restaurants to frequent goes down to about 3, if you’re lucky.
25. Your heels gather dust in your cupboard and you pretty much just start wearing jeans every day.
26. You find yourself feeling about as relaxed as a sleeping cat. All your stress and anxiety melts away and it feels pretty damn sweet.
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