How to NOT Look like An American Tourist in London

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No eye contact in the Tube or public transport!

Making an eye contact describes a lot of things. In general, a good eye contact would signify that we’re interested in the person we’re looking at. It also signals that we care what the person is saying.

The story is a bit different in London. I don’t want to say Londoners hate an eye contact (some do love it, depending on the situation), but they usually avoid it in public transport or crowded impersonal public areas – even on the street. Americans also do that, but probably a bit in moderation.

For most Londoners, eye contact between people who don’t know each other may drive in uncomfortable situation. The main part of this is probably about ‘protection’, it seems people in London are likely to build a wall of sorts around themselves for safety reason.

So it’s normal to have feeling alone or lost in a crowded place.

This culture is really weird. With millions people live in London, the city is one of the loneliest places in this planet if you’re expecting active human interaction.

Those of Londoners who routinely use the Tube or public transport will spend a quite a large amount of time in their lives (standing or sitting close to someone else they completely ignore). It’s possible they see the same people and recognize them, but they don’t know the name.

Whatever it is, it’s one of British cultures so we have to melt into the crowd like them – especially if you want to not like a tourist. To roll like them, the following ideas may help:

  1. The classic idea, read a book or newspaper! Even if you don’t like reading, just pretend to read it to avoid awkward situation in the Tube.
  2. The modern idea, play the smartphone! Do everything with that – e.g. listening music (wear headphones), downloading something (Kindle or iBook), browsing, playing a mobile game, or whatever.
  3. Or look around, but do this carefully without ever accidentally settling on one spot. Try gazing at the floor, window, or ceiling.
  4. The last idea is probably just close your eyes, pretend to fall asleep.

Visit the museums, but do this at night!

We all know that London is home for interesting world-class museums – let’s say the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, Natural History Museum, and many more. But to look like locals, go there at night to find more entertaining and brilliant after-hours events!

Museum lates are a lasting trend for London’s nightlife, offering a memorable chance to see the exhibits outside of normal office hours. These are available once a month or once a week, each museum varies.

There are several categories, but in general split into two main categories; museums and galleries. You can explore specific exhibitions (e.g. nature, art, fashion, history, science, or whatever topic you’re interested in) — often with talks and drink in hand, workshop, or sometimes with live music performance.

Museum lates provide unique atmosphere, something deliciously decadent. These have proved a hit, making each inch of the museum feel alive at night.