No doubt other people have attempted to instil some common sense in prospective visitors to London before by
writing down some advice for would-be tourists. We feel that’s far too nice an approach. In the space of about an hour around town today, we’d come up with a list of over 30 possible rules (not advice, note) for visitors to London. For efficiency’s sake, we’re narrowing them down to 10 and mailing them to Boris Johnson so that he can have them handed to all people who cross the M25, whether by train, car or plane.
- Thou shalt learn prior to your visit how to use the Oyster card/travelcard and shalt not stand in front of the ticket barriers on the tube trying to shove one or other of them in the slot the wrong way.
- Thou shalt follow all instructions given to you on the tube, particularly with regard to standing on the RIGHT on escalators and travelators.
- Thou shalt not talk loudly in an unsociable manner on the tube, particularly if you have a nasal accent from a continent we shall not name. Or if you’re from Liverpool.
- Thou shalt be observant and notice the direction of the way out sign BEFORE attempting to leave the train, so that you do not block the doors.
- Thou shalt not stand with your pushchair/large family/luggage completely blocking entrances to platforms/parks/stairways.
- Thou shalt not walk slowly down the pavement, taking up all the room, staring at your map. Go ye unto a bus stop to do the same.
- Thou shalt obey all queuing customs, i.e. that you do NOT queue-jump for any reason, and must meekly accept being tutted at if you do.
- Thou shalt not take up an entire pavement in order to take photographs, forcing polite pedestrians to wait for you to finish.
- Thou shalt, if you’re lost or can’t work the cash machine, ask for help. We won’t bite (unless you’ve broken commandments 1-8).
- Thou shalt not yell the names of prominent world leaders across a room in the presence of Her Majesty. She doesn’t like it.
Basically, bear in mind that we work the longest hours in Europe, so we don’t appreciate people standing in the way or holding us up unnecessarily when we’re moving about the city. Abide by the rules and we won’t set the giant bulldog on you.
**Thanks to www.maskworld.com for the image. Do go there to buy your tourist costume. These are now the only legal garb for tourists in London – make sure you get yours soon before they run out.