Dear Tourist, here’s what to expect when you come to London for the Olympic Games


Dear Tourist,

The Olympic Games are almost upon us and there’s nobody who’s less enthusiastic about it than Londoners. As an example of what amazing hosts we are to welcome your arrival to the big smoke, we are planning to escape the city in droves over these two weeks in order to escape what we foresee to be a huge logistical nightmare and a big image overhaul of the city.

When we heard that Beijing spent billions to host the Olympics, we knew we won’t be able to keep up and deliver an Olympics experience with the same pizazz. Who can possibly top that amazing opening ceremony that showed the world the new super economic power from the East?

Therefore, in order to manage your expectations, I’ve made a list of five things to expect when you’re visiting us during the Olympic Games.

1. We have an international airport called Heathrow and you will hate it.
Don’t worry because you won’t be alone. We’re very sorry that you will have to wait for hours at the immigration queue (if you’re non European) and go through this process with no air conditioning at all in the immigration hall (which means a lot of body d’eau).

2. We have something called the tube and it will not be pleasant.
In anticipation of your arrival, we have been informed that the tube, which is your equivalent of the subway or metro, will be very crowded and we will have to find other ways to get to our destination. We are ready for this because Londoners walk to just about anywhere in the city. We suggest that you do that too instead of crowding around with thousands of other commuters trying to get on the tube. Enjoy the British weather and sights by foot!

3. While we’re on that, please bring a sturdy umbrella.
London weather is famously erratic. You will attain skills of how to dress for three different kinds of weather possible over the summer that can all happen within the same day – sunny, rainy, and windy and rainy. Please bring a proper brolly in case the rain comes and a light cardigan for the wind. Do not be fooled by the sun, for London’s weather is so famously gloomy, it is a great breeding ground for vampires.

4. Please keep to the right of escalators and stairs.
Just like many other things in life, we like order. When you take the escalator, please keep to the right unless you are in a hurry to climb or descend in which you shall use the left lane. It doesn’t matter if you’re coming with your significant other and you would both like to be on the same step. We don’t make exceptions for anyone. You can try, but someone will still request you to keep to a side.

5. We are private people.
Londoners can be friendly, but we are private people in general. We will be happy to help with directions, but please do not expect to engage us in casual conversations out of the blue. This is unfortunately one of the few side effects that arise from living in a city – people shut you out and shut you down. We are very understanding of your excitement about the Olympics and the games, but please keep the excitement to yourself and do not attract attention to the group you are travelling with. We don’t care if you have front row seats to watch the swimming final starring Michael Phelps or if you made out with Michael Phelps the night before. Discretion is so undervalued these days and we like to (pretend to) practise this in public.

With that, we wish you a very pleasant stay in our city and we hope you have the time of your life.

Kind regards,
A Londoner


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