You can spot them a mile off, they’re the ones who stand on the wrong side of escalator, overpay for their pints and spend their days wandering down the streets waving off hundreds of tours salesmen. But how can you avoid being ‘THAT’ person? citysocializer is here to help:
Steering clear of landmarks
A trip to a new city is unimaginable without visiting its landmarks – a snap of Big Ben from the London Eye, although highly clichéd, is the ultimate souvenir to bring home post to Facebook from your first trip to Britain’s capital. However, you’re soon to learn that, much like the touristy and overly crowded places in your hometown, landmarks like these are what the locals avoid like a plague. If you do want to check them out, pick your times wisely. Weekends are a no go and the streets quieten down slightly in the evenings.
Now, who doesn’t know the good old “I ♥ …” t-shirts, professing love for almost every city in the world? As fond as we may be of our current whereabouts, wearing something like that is an almost immediate giveaway of your alienism – unless, perhaps, you’re in New York – the birthplace of the logo. Or, alternatively, the garment bears a gert lush local message, intelligible only to those who know the ropes. Why-Aye, Man!
Learning the Lingo
While mastering the West Country vocabulary for the privilege of wearing a tshirt might seem like the extra mile you wouldn’t want to go, it’s no secret that our language is heavily affected by the environment we’re living in. No, we’re not campaigning for you to drop your h’s and start rolling your r’s already (as it’ll happen by itself, not to worry) but picking up a thing or two from the locals could prove quite helpful for blending in. Like, never referring to a certain U.S. West coast city as San Fran or calling a certain skyscraper 30 St Mary Axe.
Mastering the local geography
In the era of smartphones and Google Maps, it has never been easier to lose the common attribute of most tourists, however, in most places there are tricks no mobile application will tell you. Like, learning how to read postcodes or things like “Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest”, as well as the times when walking is actually quicker than cramming yourself into a sweaty tube carriage. Speaking of the latter, we found a pretty useful map for that.
Locating your Local
Finally, one of the main differences between a newcomer and a true local is that the latter relies very little on other people’s guidance. You don’t necessarily need to be up-to-date with the city’s hippest bars or most authentic curry places to go out and discover your new favourite spot. Don’t just rely on Yelp’s offerings and start by exploring the venues on your doorstep.
What was your way into the local community? Share your experience in the comments below!