You know you’ve been living in London for too long when…

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…you start to complain that public transport is too slow, too crowded, too expensive

…you go on vacation and wonder why everything is so cheap

…you don’t bat an eyelash spending £700+ on your monthly rent for a room (!) the size of a wardrobe

…you eat porridge for breakfast every day

…you use ‘cheers’ all the time, and ‘sorry’ and ‘thanks’ and call about everyone ‘mate’ or ‘darling’ (strangers included)

…it becomes normal to go out (on the weekends) for a drink or two at 6pm and be home by 10pm – surely, you want to enjoy of your Sunday…

…you spend every weekend/Sunday at one of London’s many markets

…you’ve seen all the museums/theatres and still complain about their quality (note from the author: you will only realise how great they were once you can’t enjoy London-productions every month anymore)

…you visit other cities and complain about how ‘rude’ everyone is

…you complain about how rude everyone in London is

…you think there is nothing worth living for outside of London

…you start panicking that there is no sense of fashion, lifestyle, culture outside of London and once you are gone how will you bloody survive???

…you start referring to ‘continental Europe’ as ‘Europe’ as if the UK wasn’t part of Europe – a lot of we and the others here…

…you wonder about the immigration debate given that London is probably one of the most multicultural (and peaceful) places on earth…why the heck is this not an example we all follow?

…you start doing things on your own and realise how normal it becomes. No, it’s not odd to go to the theatre all by yourself. It’s just the way it is.

…you realise how easy it is to be lonely in such a buzzling city of eight million

…you have troubles talking sense in your native tongue – and try to translate the expressions you use every day literally into your native tongue just to realise that it doesn’t work

…you don’t complain about the rain anymore, carry an umbrella with you at all times and think 15 degrees is actually quite hot already

…you, after all this time, still haven’t seen it all. Mission Impossible.

– Catherine

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It’s coffee time!

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Time Out London recently published this great map of independent coffee shops in London. One thing is true: Coffee shops popped out like mushrooms over the course of the last year in this city. I have to admit, I am a great fad. I love this map, makes it easier to find a superb fix when in need. Here are some shots from a late Sunday walk in Brick Lane. There too, one coffee shop after the other. And they are all special – tough choice! 🙂

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– Catherine

Budapest – Queen on the Danube

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Budapest is nothing short of magnificent. Ever since I’ve visited the city for the first time, I was in love. Budapest is for sure the queen on the Danube. But what’s more, there is a stark contrast between old and semi-old/new. Art nouveau mixed with building from the 50s and 60s.

I couldn’t stop walking through the many big and small streets, starring at the buildings. Admittedly, a little investment in maintenance here and there would make the city even more beautiful. But I also understand that those undertakings are very costly.

I was gladly surprised by the openness and hospitality of the city and its inhabitants. I was also amazed by the great number of chic restaurants and bars. You can’t compared it to London’s Shoreditch in its number, but certainly when it comes to creativity and ideas it reminded me very much of the British capital.

– Catherine