London - Capital of the UK. It is this phrase that has eaten into the heads of most of us, thanks to school English lessons. It is an amazing city with a rich history, one of the world's centers. London attracts tourists from all over the world with its sights.
Founded back in 43 AD, today it has grown to an eight millionth metropolis. It is a major center of political, economic and cultural life. The traffic here does not stop either day or night. Unfortunately, not everyone can visit there. And our ideas about London are based largely on myths.
Some of them have been present since school, others are vaccinated by unscrupulous journalists. We are going to debunk the most popular myths about London.
It is constantly foggy and raining in London. You have to live in this city for several years for the myth to disappear by itself. There are fogs here only a few days a year, no more often than in other European cities. What was previously understood as fog was actually smog. The city was heated by coal, which led to the formation of a veil. As a result, in 1956, the British Parliament adopted a special resolution, according to which it was forbidden to heat with coal in big cities. Industrial enterprises moved outside London, and the "fog" itself gradually dissipated. And you can argue about the rainy area. Here, even in September, the temperature can rise to 30 degrees Celsius. But in most cases, an umbrella still does not hurt, and rubber boots are a popular summer shoe. 590 millimeters of precipitation falls in London a year, while in Rome - 760, and in Milan in general 1000.
London is the fashion capital of the world. London is indeed becoming an object of attention for the entire world fashion, but this happens only for one week and in one given area. In steel time and in other places of the metropolis, it is enough to observe for a short time how the townspeople dress. It becomes clear that it is not about fashion and style that we need to talk, but about sanity. Although, perhaps this is some kind of elusive and incomprehensible taste to most. True, you gradually get used to this style. Here, at any time of the year, you can find worn-out ugg boots, along with expensive business suits they wear sneakers. Women don't really bother with makeup and hair. Having got used to this way of life and finding themselves in the same Moscow, women begin to feel like gray mice.
All British girls are like models. Twiggy and Kate Moss are considered classic English models. Such a plan of a resident of London really exists, but it is not worth all of them to fit the general type: huge eyes, protruding collarbones and thin legs. A typical inhabitant of London is 3-4 times larger than Kate Moss or Twiggy in size, but she does not at all complex about this. The most popular clothing size in London stores is our 46-48. So, London can be considered a demotivating city in terms of fitness. Having felt overweight, you just need to go out into the streets, look around and understand that everything is not so bad.
Everyone in London is very polite. Classical English politeness exists, only it is completely different from what William Thackeray expresses in his textbooks. It is customary to say “sorry” here for any reason. This may concern the screaming music at night, and the sounds of repairs in the morning, and a leg crushed in transport. In this case, the same "sorry" will most likely have to say to the victim.
London never sleeps at all. Revelers shouldn't think that they can have fun all night long. London also needs to sleep. At 3 am 90% of nightclubs will be closed, and bars in the area will stop working even earlier. The same establishments that will be available will repel rather than attract. It is worth getting ready for the fact that even the main grocery stores will close after 8 pm on weekends. Perhaps this allows the British to learn not to eat late at night?
London has its own unique accent. Many of our young compatriots go to this city, including in order to learn true English. Indeed, where else can you hear it if not in the capital of the country? But in London, you can learn the Indian dialect faster than the classic British accent. And this is not at all because the varieties of the language are so similar. It's just that it's hard to find a Briton with the right accent in London. The city has long been a haven for people of many nationalities.
They drink constantly in London. Once here, you begin to understand that it is not the Russians who drink so much. Compared to the British, we only indulge in alcohol. This is best understood by hitting a bar on a Friday night. And on other days of the week there are not very many free places. And only on Sunday do Londoners allow themselves to rest. So the urban addiction to alcohol is not a myth at all.
London is an expensive city. On the one hand, in various ratings London is in the top of the most expensive cities in the world, and on the other, there is always someone ahead. Meanwhile, the tourist quickly realizes that everything is very, very expensive here. It costs 2.5 pounds to travel by metro just a couple of stations, depending on the distance the price can rise. The simplest men's haircut will cost 12 pounds, and the hairdresser will not even stand on ceremony with such a client. An average dinner at a restaurant will cost £ 30, and a trip to the cinema will cost £ 7-10. Are there cities more expensive than London? On the other hand, there are many places that can save you money. You can stay not in an expensive old hotel, but in a hostel or bed and breakfast hotels; you can eat not in restaurants, but in fast food. And there are museums that can be visited for free: Tate Gallery, Historical Museum, British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum. London is famous for its parks, where the townspeople love to walk. You can also relax in them completely free of charge.
London has a special cuisine. Local cuisine is as much a myth as London model girls. The reality is very different from expectations. Food in London is quite for everybody. It is difficult for our compatriots to come to an agreement with their stomachs on a fish & chips-style menu. For Londoners, this is both tradition and history, but we only see a bunch of butter in food.
In London, everyone eats only fish & chips. It seems to us that the townspeople cannot live a day without this dish. And in search of original local food you constantly come across it. But in recent years, many other restaurants of national cuisine have appeared in London: Asian, African, Latin American. Among the townspeople themselves, Indian cuisine is currently the most popular. It is best presented at the Zaika restaurant. Here chicken curried with tomato sauce, ginger and fenugreek leaves will cost about 20 pounds.
In London, everyone drinks tea all the time. Not only is London considered the tea capital, but it seems that they also drink some kind of extraordinary tasty drink. In fact, in the metropolis, they are not particularly sophisticated with the preparation of tea - a bag is much more practical than the brewing ceremony. A bag will be served in most restaurants and cafes. Of course, those places that specialize in the preparation of special teas are not taken into account. But in general, you can brew tea at home. For the sake of fairness, it should be noted that the same "Lipton" offered in English stores is strikingly different from ours. Even the most common sorts of tea should be brought from England as a gift.
Londoners are prim people. This myth is born thanks to the classic books. It seems to us that gloomy people live here who strictly follow the established rules. But stiffness has long remained in books. Today, people will definitely help anyone who gets lost in London, even postponing their affairs for this. Some Londoners even carry out if they're on their way with you.
In London, everyone lives by the rules. Now, whether there are less conventions, then the rules have become different. On the streets you can see how children are capricious, rolling on the ground, and adults will not pay attention to it. Even pedestrians ignore the established norms, crossing the road as they please. But the drivers take this into account and try to be careful. If they do not follow the rules, it will lead to chaos.
London is too noisy. The city definitely cannot be called quiet. But the more you live here, the more you get used to filtering noise. A barking dog, the sound of a helicopter flying by, music from an abandoned warehouse - all this becomes the background. And the very silence, if it appeared suddenly in London, would be terrible.
London is not green enough. But how much greenery should there be in a modern metropolis? London has the largest green space of any major European city. Public parks cover an area of 35 thousand acres. This suggests that 40% of the city's area is occupied by trees, grass and shrubs. In this regard, neither Paris nor Rome stand close by. Lawns are laid out wherever possible, and it is not forbidden to walk on them. In the summer, City clerks prefer to eat their lunch not in the dining room, but lying on the grass in front of the office. And even animals and birds live in large parks, here you can find squirrels, pelicans, ducks, swans. And it never occurs to anyone to scare them.
In London, you have to spend a lot of time underground. An old unwritten city rule about London says that you can always reach your destination in a maximum of half an hour. On the one hand, this is a lot, on the other hand, it is worth imagining the size of the metropolis. There is also an alternative to the underground journey - a two-hour bus ride, during which you can have time to sleep or play on your mobile device.
London schools are bad. It is believed that the British themselves would like to teach their offspring not in city schools, but in prestigious colleges outside the city. But recently, the Institute for Fiscal Research found that disadvantaged students in schools within the city do better than elsewhere in the country. This may be due to the wide mix of cultures and traditions and the high quality of primary education.
Nobody cares about you in London. And is that bad? Not everyone wants their personal life to be the subject of discussion of neighbors. We share our information, feelings and thoughts with those who really deserve it. If you want to speak out to the whole world, that is Twitter. London values the right to privacy, it is no coincidence that celebrities love it so much.
The famous tower of London is called Big Ben. This tower of Westminster Palace is one of the most important landmarks of London, its symbol. It is impossible to imagine a movie about a city without Big Ben. It is the fourth largest chime in the world and the third largest clock tower. But officially Big Ben is not the name of the tower, but of the big bell. It weighs more than 13 tons, at one time it took 18 hours to lift it to a height of 60 meters. He first rang in 1859, and after two months of service, a crack appeared on the bell. It now gives a special twang. At the time of the tower's construction, Big Ben was its largest bell, but in 1881 it ceded the honorary title to the Big Paul. And the building itself is officially called simply the Clock Tower.
Hitler looked after a building in London. Any student at the University of London knows that the imposing building that now houses the central library and administration was deliberately ignored by German bombers during the war. It is said that Hitler wanted to place his headquarters there after the conquest of England. Getting into the head of the Fuhrer is difficult, but there is no evidence of this idea. And the accuracy of the air strikes was unpredictable, most of the raids were carried out at night. Most likely, Senate House survived by accident.
The Elephant and Castle Square is named after the Castilian Infanta. There is a legend that the name of the square actually appeared thanks to the Castilian Infanta. In any case, these phrases are consonant. The story refers to the Spanish princesses, Eleanor of Castile and Philip III's daughter Mary. In fact, the term "Infanta" itself appeared in English only in 1600, and Mary was not connected with Castile in any way. And the name comes from the former inn here. Even Shakespeare mentioned him in Twelfth Night.
If the Union flag is flying over Buckingham Palace, then the Queen is at home. In fact, everything is exactly the opposite. The raised national flag indicates that the queen is not in the residence. The banner, which indicates the presence of the head of state in the palace, is completely different. It's called the Royal Standard, its colors are red, gold and blue, and it also has elongated lions.
The Great Fire destroyed the Great Plague. During the plague, London turned into a vast gray wasteland. The fire actually destroyed many of the slums that spread the epidemic. After that, the number of flares decreased markedly. But today it is generally accepted that the major epidemic of 1665 subsided on its own before the fire began in the summer of 1666.
The lampposts of London bear the Coco Chanel logos. The guide will certainly tell the amazed tourists a romantic story. At one time, Coco Chanel was in a very close relationship with the Duke of Westminster. And supposedly in memory of this, the grateful man ordered to place the logo of his beloved on the lamp posts. In fact, it was established already in the 1950s, when the romantic relationship had long since exhausted itself. And the crossed letters "SS" actually mean "city council".
The London Underground seats are very dirty. This myth is based on the analysis of material on the subway seats conducted by the local forensic department. It is reported that traces of feces, hair, vomit of at least nine different people were found. But do not rush to get scared. There really was no such study. But its absence does not make the metro clean.
If there is an announcement on the subway for Inspector Sands, it means a station fire. In fact, this passphrase means fire alarm activation. This important signal is intended for personnel to review the incident. Most often, the alarm is false. So, having heard such an announcement, you should not rush from the station, pushing everyone with your elbows. If there is a real fire in the metro, an evacuation will be announced. Nobody will hide such important information.
Anywhere in London, within 6 feet of a person, there is certainly a rat. Rats are indeed ubiquitous creatures, but they are not ninjas at all. There are many places in the city where there are definitely no rats within a radius of two meters. The BBC program on these animals found that the average distance from a Londoner to a rat is 164 feet.
London is a dog paradise. It seems that in a modern city all conditions have been created for keeping animals, controlling and caring for them. But there are very few dog owners in London, much less than in Moscow. And stray dogs are not to be found here. But it seemed that every London family has its own dog. You can walk around the city for a week and meet only a few dogs in the parks. But there, in the alleys, every 20 meters there are strange boxes, similar to postal ones. They are equipped with disposable scoops for collecting dog excrement. In London, dogs are not allowed to chase birds and cats, their lives are strictly regulated. You can't call it paradise.
Tradition is respected everywhere in London. It turns out that the British may well neglect tradition even in the most important things.Is it a conceivable thing for us, at post number 1, to have a change of the guard of honor on time? In London, it can easily happen. Tourists who come to watch the change of guards in high bear hats may not find them in Parliament Square. It is just that the honor guard can be used elsewhere, at the reception of honored guests.
There are constant traffic jams in central London. About ten years ago this was indeed the case. And now travel to the center for private vehicles has become paid. On most of the streets, traffic was looped and made one-way. If there were traffic jams in London, how would the famous double-decker buses turn around here? The measures taken did not make the streets empty, the traffic is still heavy. But rare accidents that occur in the center are dealt with very quickly, without creating problems for other road users. Here issues are resolved simply, because everything around is literally stuck with police cameras. So any incident is recorded from several angles at once. The participants in the accident can only exchange contacts and meet already at the police station to watch the video to determine the culprit. Thanks to cameras in London, it was possible to abandon living police officers. No one approaches an incorrectly parked car to write out a fine, no one checks the receipts for payment of travel to the center. Cameras simply shoot offenders, and the computer is already sending out receipts.
Only Englishmen live in London. It was once really so, back in the days of Conan Doyle. Now every second inhabitant of the English capital is far from Anglo-Saxon. And this is noticeable at least externally. Central London has Arabian streets with many national shops and cafes. It's just that once the English crown, feeling its guilt before the former colonies, gave their residents the right to freely come to the metropolis and receive a residence permit. New citizens were provided with education and medical services. As a result, a real stream of Asians and Africans poured into London. The British, on the one hand, received cheap labor, and on the other, they faced unprecedented problems. They say that a quarter of a century ago, cars were not locked at all in London. While the border was strict, there was practically no crime in London, but now the situation has become more deplorable.
Sherlock Holmes once lived in London at 221-B Baker Street. This place now houses an impromptu museum of the famous detective. It seems to us that there should be a large living room, as in a domestic film with Livanov and Solomin. In fact, the museum is two modest rooms that have nothing to do with our imaginations. There is an armchair in the center of the small living room, and on the walls there are photographs of actors who embodied the immortal image of Sherlock Holmes in films. This place is very favorite among tourists, but Sherlock Holmes himself never lived here, because it was a fictional character.