Something struck me the other day. I’ve been wondering for a while whether or not I would (ever) be classed as a Londoner. In the three years I lived there I’ve become quite adept at sussing out how to get around and can spot a tourist from a mile off. When I’m back in rural Sussex (which I am now) I sorely miss the conveniences I’ve become accustomed to, such as being able to spontaneously hop on a bus, or order in Japanese (or get it at all for that matter).
However I don’t think I’ll ever be a true Londoner–part of me will always be where I grew up. It was when I decided that that the phrase ‘permanent tourist’ came to me, and I think it rings true for what I was for three years (obviously slightly stretching the definition of ‘permanent’, but if you’d asked me even a year ago I’d have told you I was going to stay in London forever–or at least try to).
Of course, I’m not really permanent any more. I wish I had thought up the expression before moving away from London. Still, should I move back one day, I will certainly adopt it.
(Anyone who’s found their way here from my fanfiction might recognise the reference.)
Link of the week: 99 life hacks, great ideas for saving money, time, energy and the environment (not necessarily in that order). Includes lots of big images.
Pin of the week you’ll enjoy even if you’re not a geek like me (I think) (needs to be enlarged to read the sign):
I’m just enjoying my first Starbucks coffee in a few weeks. I came all prepared to say ‘Susan’. But I wasn’t asked my name, so I felt a little disappointed.
I should explain. Neither my pen nor legal names are Susan. A while ago a friend and I dared each other. Starbucks ask your name when you order a hot drink; the plan was to use a different fake name every time we visited Starbucks. This turned into a list of character names to work our way through. My list is Doctor Who companions. But I guess random ones work too.
Of course if you do this in your local, sooner or later you’ll start to get funny looks. Especially if you do what my friend suggested but I don’t feel brave enough to, which is to use names belonging to the opposite gender. I have a mental image of her telling the barista that her name is Ian. But the confusion is, theoretically, half the fun.
I wouldn’t know, haven’t had the opportunity yet–it doesn’t work well with the resolution to spend less on coffee. My excuse at the moment is that the internet is down in my flat.
I have a tip if you want to try this at home (or rather in Starbucks): if you’re planning on doing it with a friend, you have to keep your face dead straight. Especially if they don’t know what you’re planning.
Remembering which name you’ve given them when your coffee is ready is also wise.
Variant: Find an unheard-of five-syllable name, use it every time, and count how many spelling variants you get.
Maybe I should turn this into a series, of ways to amuse yourself in coffee shops. I certainly have lots of experience to draw from. Hmm …