London Life: Why reading the paper is Fundamental to Newbies

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13.07.18

Only in London can a Trump visit majorly interrupt your day.

So I am three months into living in this illustrious city and my days are longer and nights are shorter. It is my third month of joining the army of Wimbledon local’s stomping the concrete to the district line (local train) at 7.45am. The moment I got my first, ‘Marning lav’, I realised, I am officially a commuter.

I’ve been squeezed, pushed and shoved out of the way, I’ve been the girl desperately running onto the tube, obstructing the doors from closing behind her with her annoying backpack- whilst locals curse me under their breathe referring to me as a ‘fucking tourist’. I’ve shouted explicit language at the back of buses in central London as they drove past me in spite of me standing there for what felt like hours on end. I’ve been through it all here, but despite my champion ability to just go with the flow, there was one major detail I missed. One important detail in the morning that every resident is never without…………. the fucking newspaper!

Please understand that the daily newspaper is the blueprint to London living.

It is not only used to read, but used as a weapon to hit and an obstruction tool to avoid all eye contact with the person you have just shoved out of the way to either get on the train or sit down. But thats another story.

You see this is not just a newspaper but more of a guide for living. It can be found in every tube station, bus station and empty seat (if you are lucky to find one of those rarities). Picture it as a precursor to what is planned for the day.

The problem emerges the moment you miss the paper, as this is when you miss important information like train delays or strikes! Even dangerous news such as crimes and even terror attacks!

In my case, the one day I missed the paper, I completely missed the news of a major protest and naively walked right into it!

Imagine the shock when I stumbled across hundreds of frustrated residents in the middle of central London marching and banging drums!

My initial thought was …..what in the hell?

Heres the story, I was heading towards Covent garden, and from where I was, google maps, my director and saviour since I have been here, directed me to get the tube from Oxford Circus.

Walking towards the station slowly, I took the longest root. The rationale behind this was that I had a two hour layover between both appointments, so there was no way I could be late.

Strolling slowly, all of a sudden I start to hear what sounded like drums banging in a repetitive rhythm. Not thinking anything of it, I continue to stroll.

It was when I noticed I was no longer strolling alone that things started to become weird. Looking around me, I realised at some point on my stroll towards the station, I picked up a dozen followers.

What was even weirder is we were all walking at the same pace with a purpose in the same direction.

I turned around and I kid you not, there was a whole group of around 20 people following me. Mothers and children, students and randoms. All dressed in what looked like festival dribs and drabs, walking fairly quietly holding placards with words I didn’t even have time to read.

Undetermined by the crowd, I shrugged it off and continued to walk to oxford street, and when I hit the corner I was immediatly bombarded by a sea of placards and banners held proudly in the air by an assemblage of troopers from all walks of life, who walked directly into me sporting their multinational flags.

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You see, If I would have read the paper that week, I would have been informed that Trump was planning a visit to the UK on Friday; and Londoners wanted to make it very clear that Mr Trump knew he was not welcome.

It was loud, it was aggressive it was colourful and vibrant!

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I watched on the sidelines in complete awe, and did what anyone else would do and well, took pictures.

This was just one of the many reminders I have that in London that anything can happen at any time. So for all the newbies in the city, read the fucking paper!