HERE. Advancing with an ever-thunderous momentum like that giant boulder in
Indiana Jones, the Olympics are almost upon us. Or to adhere to official style
rules (presumably in case any of you bright sparks are scratching your heads
and saying “Olympics - does she mean the kebab shop on the high street?”), the
London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are almost upon us. Now’s the time to
get in the mood, to dust off Granny’s javelin from the loft and instigate a few
random family drug tests.
But while you chaps settle down and start planning your intercontinental themed
buffets from the safety of the south coast, I ask you to spare a thought for us
lot in the capital. It won’t be much of a thought, I understand, given our bent
to smugness over everything from 24-hour transport to knowing what a macchiato
was a full three years before the rest of you, but if ever there was a time to
throw a little compassion our way, it’s now.
It’s nearly six
years since I threw a few carefree nothings into a knapsack and moved here from
Worthing, but (and especially so since discovering my company’s Olympic
contingency plan is the skillfully-devised ‘everyone get up earlier’), it’s
come to dawn on me that living in London will never have felt MORE like living
in London than it is about to feel over the next month.
So here, for our
mutual benefit, is a little cheat sheet for everyone coming to visit during the
How Not To Piss Everyone Off During The Olympics:
faster. No, faster than that. And a bit faster. Are you moderately breathless? Is
your upper lip moist? There you go! Keep it up. Remember, this is an over-caffeinated
city full of people who are paying more rent per month than your car cost
entirely. We have angry, sharpened elbows and we’re not afraid to use them.
2. Spend a
little time familiarising yourself with a map. Just enough, say, to realise
that Covent Garden and Leicester Square are so close they’re practically the
same place and don’t require you to chuff your shopping bags all over the laps
of everyone on the Piccadilly Line for ten minutes just to get to Nando’s.
on the right hand side of escalators I don’t need to tell you about, as it’ll
have been subliminally transmitted through Boris Johnson’s Head Boy announcements
at all major rail stations. But wait – there’s more. If you’re going to brave
the lefthand walking side, you better be damned sure you’re prepared to walk. No
ambling. No having a little rest halfway. No
ooh-look-they’ve-extended-the-run-of-Jersey-Boys. MOVE. If in any doubt, aim to
live by the maxim, ‘I may not be in a rush, but the person behind me probably
is.’ It’ll save you getting twonked on the head with a rolled up copy of the
pronounced Theydon Bois, as spelled. None of your faux-French here, Hyacinth
5. Is this
Pret A Manger busy? Don’t worry, there’s another one over there. And another
one next to that. In fact, like the proverbial turtles, it’s pretty much Pret A
Mangers all the way down.