15 Slightly Disconcerting Things About Being An American In London

Dear London: Just fix all of these things before my next visit. (Oh, and get some express trains while you’re at it.)

1. The size of British money.

You notice something? Your bank notes are entirely too big for a normal wallet.

2. Volts.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

We just want to charge our stuff, please don’t bring joules into this.

3. When we hear you using English words and have no idea what you’re taking about.


Flu stabs? Bollards? What is this madness???

4. Different taps for hot and cold water.

No, please, it’s wonderful to alternate between scalding hot and freezing cold taps.

5. Taxi drivers.

Why are they so polite? And why aren’t they driving like maniacs?

6. A street numbering system that makes absolutely no sense.

Google Maps / Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

Who thought this was a good idea?

7. Netflix.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed


8. Google.

Stop trying to make happen.

9. Conversion rates.

Hey, this burrito and a drink is only £9, that’s not so bad….. Wait, did I just pay $15 for a glorified Chipotle lunch?

10. Credit cards with a chip.

Your store takes Visa. This is a Visa. I know it doesn’t have a little chip in it, but why can’t you just swipe this, again?

11. No tipping.

You’re sure we don’t have to tip? I’m leaving some coins just in case.

12. Seeing people lined up for American restaurants.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

You need a rope and a bouncer to watch the line at Five Guys in Covent Garden, because the line is THAT long. Are you aware what it says about the quality of food in your city when Five Guys is a destination restaurant?

13. The Heathrow Airport waiting game.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

Great to see you’ve decided to alert passengers to gates the same way New York’s Penn Station does it.

14. The tube pricing system.

So. Many. Zones.

15. Minding the gap.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed


Especially when the gap between train and platform varies at every single stop. Sometimes you step up, sometimes you step down. Were the engineers who studied level surfaces out the day the Tube was drawn up?

16. Otherwise, you’re lovely, London, thanks for being such a fine host!

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