diamond geezer

 Thursday, January 20, 2005

10 top tips for tourists visiting London

1) Bring a torch: It's always foggy in London. Every single day the capital is clouded in thick peasouper fog (except between noon and 1pm which is when they take all the official tourist photographs). Over the last few centuries all Londoners have developed chimneysweep eyes which enable them to see in the pitch black streets. This endless murk is also the reason why London's trains run underground - it's lighter there. Visitors are advised to buy a fluorescent white iTorch from the Apple Store on Regent Street.
2) Bring an umbrella: It always rains in London, which is why Londoners carry umbrellas at all times. The umbrella evolved from an ancient jousting weapon used by knights in medieval times (that's before the invention of history). Londoners also all wear bowler hats, each with a rim specially designed to act like guttering and keep the rain off. If you want to keep dry and blend in properly while you're in London, make sure you never leave your hotel without a bowler and brolly.
3) Stay in the suburbs: Hotels in central London are extremely noisy places to stay because the sound of Big Ben wakes everyone up every fifteen minutes during the night. Take our advice and stay slightly further out in quaint market towns like Nuneaton, Swindon or Calais. These towns are cheap and convenient, each located less than 100 miles away from the centre of the capital as well as being international tourist magnets of their own.
4) Don't drink the tea: Tea is the devil's drink, an unnatural blend of chopped leaves which defies all attempts at vending machine palatability. Londoners are brought up drinking this acidic brown drink from an early age which is the reason why all their teeth are stained and rotten. But don't worry - there are plenty of coffee shops everywhere in London, maybe even more than there are at home.
5) Don't bother learning the language: The English don't speak proper English like Hollywood actors do, they speak Cockney which is an ancient street slang invented by William Shakespeare. Those wishing to brush up on their Cockney should watch Dick Van Dyke's performance in Mary Poppins several times prior to their visit, Alternatively, should you be unwilling to waste your time learning an alien language, just shout loudly until the locals eventually understand and bring you a root beer.
6) See the sights from the back of a taxi: There's nowhere better to view the sights of London than from the back seat of a black cab (except perhaps from the top deck of a Routemaster, but that would mean sharing seats with the locals and would clearly be unhygienic). Ask your friendly cabbie to take you on "the scenic route", and prepare to enjoy your extended journey at a very special price.
7) Be vigilant: London is always jam-packed full of foreigners so be sure to keep a watchful eye open for potential terrorist activity. Look out in particular for people with oversized rucksacks talking in strange accents standing around outside major tourist attractions taking an unnatural interest in their surroundings. You may even be one of them.
8) Order double portions: London cuisine is world-renowned for being bland, uninspiring and undersized. Restaurants always serve up stingy portions, sometimes just a slice of roast beef on a few leaves squirted artistically with watery sauce. Should your waiter forget to serve up a huge side portion of french fries with your meal then remember that negative tipping operates in the UK, and that there's almost certainly a McDonalds down the road where you can pig out properly.
9) Pop in to see the Queen: Arrive at 11am in time to watch the Changing of the Guard. You may even be lucky enough to be chosen to join the voting panel that decides which guard should be changed. Her Majesty loves to welcomes visitors, especially those in fancy dress. If the policeman at the front gate won't let you in, bring a ladder and try shimmying up over the side wall instead. However, whatever you do don't let Her Majesty offer you a cup of tea - just look at her teeth...
10) Your choice. The comments box awaits.

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