A pilgrimage to Abbey Road
We’ve nothing against the legions of fans who bring NW8 traffic to a standstill by re-enacting the Beatles’ iconic album cover (search ‘Abbey Road live webcam’ to see them in action) – it’s a place of genuine music history, after all. It’s the poor sods who head for Abbey Road DLR (ten miles east in Newham) expecting to find a shrine to the Fab Four who really make us laugh. Picture them emerging from the station, clutching selfie sticks and oversized Lennon specs, and being met with a not-particularlyattractive rapid-transit system. They’re daytrippers with a ticket to ride… to the wrong part of town.
Asking for directions
In the winding and chaotic medieval city of London, getting lost was perfectly excusable, but this is the twenty-first century: you can summon a pizza or a bag of drugs or a drugs pizza to your exact location within minutes. The point being that these days, satnav technology is built into any electronic device bigger than a peanut, so there’s really no excuse for getting lost, ever.
Booking a hotel in Zone 5
Sorting out your accommodation for a visit to most cities is simple – whack all the necessaries into Google and book the cheapest hotel that looks like it won’t give you nits, then feel smug about all the money you’ve got left over to spend on the local grog. But in London, a night in a centrally located hotel costs roughly the same as a hatchback, meaning tourists end up in all sorts of unlikely places. The place names don’t make it much easier – Tottenham isn’t quite as handy as Tottenham Court Road for a visit to M&M’s World, after all.
Getting fish and chips
Battered fish and chipped spuds: a classic. Too often, though, visitors attempt to kill two birds with one stone and have it in what advertises itself as a ‘traditional English tavern’, the words chalked too neatly on an A-board somewhere in the West End. Just as you wouldn’t order a pint of real ale in your local chippie, this is a decision that will only end in disappointment, and may provide the greatest souvenir of all: food poisoning.
Having ‘a local’s experience’
For some, taking a selfie in a red phone booth and going on the London Eye isn’t enough: they want to ‘experience’ London like a Londoner. Little do they know, this generally amounts to sitting in a hot office for nine hours, having a nap on a bus, eating a Dr Oetker then collapsing on a sofa in front of ‘The Undateables’. You’re on holiday! Go to the Natural History Museum and eat at Garfunkel’s!
By David Clack, who has a selfie stick. Illustration by Nathan James Page.
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