1. ‘I cycle everywhere’
It’s easy to spot one of London’s many cyclists. Not because they’re on a bike, but because anyone who pedals to work instead of suffering with sweaty strangers on the tube every morning will immediately tell you about it. They’ll place a sympathetic hand on your shoulder and say: ‘I just don’t know how you do it, you must be so unfit. Do you get ill a lot in winter?’ At which point you’ll try to say something witty back, but the mere effort of thinking will leave you short of breath. You win, cyclists.
2. ‘I lived in Dalston before it was cool’
Be honest: you lived in Dalston (or any other hip area) before it was cool because you were a student and it was the only place sufficiently skanky that you could afford a room. The minute you got a job, you moved to Islington. Now that Dalston is cool, bragging that you lived there doesn’t prove you’re a hipster pioneer. It’s like claiming that you shagged Richard Branson before he got rich – yeah, good for you, but all you’ve got to show for it is beard rash and an attic full of ‘Tubular Bells’ LPs.
3. ‘My rent’s been the same for years’
The worst kind of Londoner is one whose gorgeous flat costs them little more than the price of a cup of coffee every month because their landlords ‘are just really lovely people’. The rest of us have to suffer annual 10 percent rent hikes in flats so small that there’s barely space for your Caffé Nero loyalty card and a spare pair of pants. But no, you enjoy your financial stability and your beautiful apartment and your disposable income. It’s fine.
4. ‘I’ve just bought a house’
Nothing – not racism, not homophobia, not bad breath – will turn your friends into ex-friends quite like boasting about how you’ve just bought a house. First it’s the mortgage talk, then it’s the DIY talk, then it’s the ‘Aw, it’s so nice to not have to worry about landlords’ talk. And none of it is acceptable. Have some compassion for those of us who see our wages evaporate into thin air every month, and just talk about the football instead, please.
5. ‘I’d find it so hard to work in an office’
Freelancers want everyone to know how much they love the freelance life. All those lie-ins and impromptu days off. It’s brill and the rest of us are just wage slaves, shackled to our desks. But by night, freelancers lie awake, gripped by anxiety. By day, they do endless displacement activity to avoid filing their tax return while Pornhubbing themselves into a severe case of RSI. But, hey – enjoy that snooze button!
By Eddy Frankel, who lived in East Grinstead before it was cool.
Take a look at five ways to annoy a Londoner