London Housing: Can Flowers Fix Things?

The other day I walked into my house and saw a bouquet of flowers addressed to one of my housemates – no idea who.

I don’t really have a relationship with my housemates, I don’t know who they are, what they do, or even their names. I know that most of them are from Romania and don’t really speak English, which brings all the interactions to barely saying hi when we cross paths in the kitchen.

The flowers came along with a note that got me curious, so I read it. It said something like ‘I know you need your own space right now and I totally understand it. You’re special and I’ll be waiting for all the time you need. Please let me fix things.’ 

So I imagined a background story.

I imagined this couple being in a committed relationship, living together, building a future together, and him screwing things up at some point. A financial issue that ended up in a bad argument? Failing to take responsibilities when running the house? Obsessive jealousy or another girl? His brutally aggressive temper? Something must have caused the break-up: who knows what “things” he needs to fix. She asks for a break, for some time off with her thoughts because she needs to focus on herself for a while in order to understand her own priorities. She needs to move out, find a new place, start over. A straight course of action, even quite simple if it didn’t affect someone’s feelings. 

However, London never makes anything easy. For one main reason: housing.

Empty room
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Many times when renting in London, you’re bound to yearly contracts that, if terminated early, entail paying exorbitant fees – and sometimes we’re talking three figures! It’s not a coincidence you hear about a jillion of couples who are coerced into living together even when their relationship is over. Nasty stuff, but what can you do? The only way out is to hand away a couple of grand and still be able to have enough left over to afford the downpayment for a new place. And I imagine having to live like this; having to see all the pictures you have together hanging nicely on the walls, all the gifts, furniture and lovely items you bought for each other – every effort to make that place look like home.

Day after day, after day.

I’m assuming she didn’t want to live like that, that she didn’t want to carry that daily burden, for the pain and grief were too much to bear. So she takes that unfair bargain – another injustice London had carefully reserved for her – covers the fees and walks out. 

Apparently, she lives in my house now – somewhere upstairs. I’ve never met her, in fact, I didn’t even know we had a new person in the house. Anyway, after being parked there for days, she eventually collects the flowers. Maybe there would be a pinch of hope for that guy if she didn’t throw them away at the sight of the sender’s name.

I seriously don’t know how this is going to develop. I’m just hoping she’ll let me fix things.

Jim
The Britalian Post

In review: Some Good Fish&Chips!

It bugs me when people ask where they can find some good fish and chips in town.

I’m not sure they realise that it’s just some bulk-supplied fried cod or haddock and giant bags of frozen chips bought from a wholesale marketplace who guarantees (so they say) fine quality and best-in-class supplies. It’s a combination of fried food with other fried food covered in sugary and high-calorie sauces over sauces with a strong and long-lasting garlicy Tartare flavour – no different than any other junk food chain you’re going to find out there (McDonald’s, KFC, etc.).

But people seem to love it! And they still think that it can rank as a local culinary speciality. It’s junk food, mate!

I say it doesn’t matter where you’re going to get it, fish and chips is always going to be extremely oily, greasy and smelly. So listen up! If you’re in the mood for it, find below 3 spots I’ve been to that you might want to check out yourself.

So let’s got for some good Fish&Chips, shall we?

WETHERSPOONS

Wetherspoons is probably the #1 UK pub chain.

Within their wide breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, they serve both small and large fish and chips and I believe you get to choose if you want mushy peas or regular.

Price is decent, the taste is just as plain and oily as all other fish and chips.

Please do note that Wetherspoons’s food quality changes from bar to bar: meaning that, it can be even worse than what you expect!

Link here.

POPPIES

With 3 different locations in town – Soho, Spitafields and Camden – Poppies prides itself on its authenticity and is the go-to spot if you want to have some exceptional fish and chips in a 1950s vibe.

The retro decor makes of it a peculiar restaurant for tourists (a well-built tourist trap) who are looking for some “terrific” local food.

The menu gives you many options and lets you choose between cod or haddock – unless you’re really after a halibut.

(What da heck is a halibut?!)

Link here.

GOLDEN UNION

Wow – apparently ‘the freshest fish and the finest homemade pies’!

Their dishes are actually glowing in fried fish, mostly cod or haddock (just for a change), and definitely present themselves with an exquisite flavour due to their special home-made batter.

As said above, they also have a selection of authentic British pies and sausages – all sunk in gravy.

The chips are also so gently and freshly fried!

Link here.

Do you also have some tips for good fish and chips in town? Please do comment below and let us know where we can get some delicious fried fish with fried chips for a unique and unforgettable fried combo!

Jim
The Britalian Post

Christmas in a nutshell (You know when…?)

You know when you can’t wait for December to kick off its Christmas vibe and the holiday feel, be finally off work, go shopping and do stuff, when your only hope is for that moment to come as soon as possible?

You know when you walk under layouts of lights, decorations, installations, when the whole city is shining just for you, when it’s reflecting every single one of those little shimmering bulbs right into your eyes, and you’re amazed, and the person you love is just as amazed as you are, and you hold hands moving round and round and round, and you smile at everything, at everyone, at each other, just like in a movie, you know when you go fast through the cold breeze because you’ve never felt this good, then you slow down near the shop windows to eye at those pricy and unaffordable items, when you stop under the mistletoe, by chance, and start kissing endlessly, but you keep kissing and caressing their cheeks even when you’re past that blissful mistletoe because they’re the most unbelievable thing you’ve ever seen, and all the time you spend together is never going to be enough because there’s not enough time in a lifetime for loving somebody you truly love, and while you’re tripping on that thought it’s suddenly Christmas’ eve and you’re having some afternoon drinks before showing up heavily tipsy and wobbling to that dinner with your relatives, you know when you chat with that grumpy uncle who, if in a good mood, makes you piss yourself as much as he can easily get mad at everything and everyone for no good reason, and you’re cool with that, it’s just family and you need to be understanding because now it’s Christmas morning and you’re having breakfast near that huge glittering tree standing mighty over a small number of cleverly wrapped presents you can’t wait to rip off, and in a moment you recall when you were a child and used to receive so many cool presents (toys, gadgets, all the best stuff) and it’d feel like that day would last forever, that life would last forever, that you were impatient to grow up and do extraordinary things – climb the Everest, the world, the whole universe – and the expectations were high, really high, and you knew that you’d seize the momentum, you’d pursue your studies, music, art, that you’d look cool as shit and you’d become popular, the very number one, that you’d leave your footprint on this world so that your life wouldn’t expire unknown, but then you go back to reality and open that one and only present with an ugly jumper your mum’s friend thought you’d go nuts for, and that’s all you get because there’s no more presents and you barely get the ugly one, and before you realise it, it’s already Christmas luncheon and there’s always less and less people at the table because most of them have made their way to heaven, but you still feel lucky for the standing ones and pray to have them forever, so you’re just fooling yourself, you dick, that’s against any natural laws but you keep believing and having faith, and between the overloads of food, nights out with friends, holiday shopping, it’s suddenly New Year’s and you toast with Prosecco, Champagne, Wine, shots, whatever alcohol supports multiple toasts, and you all countdown — 3…2…1… — and you celebrate, and you eat till explosion, and you party and you dance until even Spotify or the DJ need a break, and you stay up all night like there was no tomorrow or New Year’s was the only moment you can actually have some proper fun, and you’re not missing that chance to give the whole of yourself to that night, but the night is already through and it’s January 1st now and you’re hanging badly, “I’m gonna do dry January!”, but that’s a big fat bullshit bro, you’re going to be drinking again a couple of days later because you made a long list of resolutions, the ultimate list, the one you’re actually going to go through point by point and this time you promised yourself you would succeed and nothing would stop you, but life is tricky, and Epiphany is not a thing anymore because you’re an adult, and that dreamy youthful shine you had in your eyes starts blowing itself out, you know when you’re facing reality, and reality is brutal, and you need to cope with it, and all of your youth, all of your dreams, all of that world you wanted to conquer and all the chances you’ve been giving to yourself every single year, literally your entire life is nothing but a hurtful waste of hopes?

And all of a sudden it’s just all over?

Yeah, you definitely know when.

Jim
The Britalian Post

Deliveroo vs Ubereats

Having food delivered right to your door is probably one of the best features of the multitude of food apps out there.

That goes like, you’re hungry, you can’t be bothered to cook, or your food supply is miserably low.  You go open the fridge and there’s just that one bottle of Guinness tingling lonely in the door and waiting for its turn to be consumed. It might as well be that you’re in the mood for something specific, like a burger, chicken, kebab, noodles – food apps can easily satisfy that craving.

Deliveroo and Ubereats are the ones I use most frequently, and whether I pick one or the other is a matter of food variety, as well as delivery time and overall experience.

Which is better? Hard to say.

Let’s go check them out individually.

Deliveroo

In my opinion, Deliveroo has better food quality. The restaurants listed on the app usually serve fresher food than Ubereats that, at least in my area, gives you mostly options for junk food. 

The estimated delivery time is generally accurate. Very rarely has it occurred to me to wait longer than expected and it mainly happened during peak times. However the app has recently been freezing, and while following the delivery progress, the driver’s icon disappears completely. Leaving you thinking, is this guy still in the country? Has he entered a time slip and is currently giving a pizza to a very confused looking 1920’s dandy gentleman?

My main complaint would be about solving issues. Although the customer service being incredibly responsive and agents attentively looking into issues, the customer satisfaction standards have lowered lately. For example, I’ve dealt with issues such as drivers who couldn’t speak any English and so impossible to communicate with and spilt, missing, or crushed items. Deliveroo would previously offer a refund or give you credits for future orders. Now instead, they’re just acknowledging the issue by sending an apology email promising they will do better next time. This meaning that your experience just sucks!

Ubereats

Ubereats has a great app design and contains more food pics than Deliveroo. 

As said above though, the options on Ubereats are mostly for junk food. On a positive note, Ubereats-partenered restaurants deliver until a later time, while Deliveroo accepts orders until 11pm tops. Again, just in my experience.

Although Ubereats was supposed to be much faster than the other food apps at the start, never ever trust the estimated delivery time the app sets for you. Unfortunately, the ETA changes from when your food is being prepared to being on the way, meaning that the starting 15-25 min ETA can suddenly become 45-50 min. And when your driver finally gets there, Ubereats takes the piss saying “Your food has been delivered on time!!!”…what?! Fuck no, it wasn’t.

Another downside, drivers mainly ride with bicycles, so by the time your food gets to your door, it’ll be ice cold. Guaranteed!

The customer service is not as responsive as Deliveroo and accessing it isn’t any easier. But, when something’s gone wrong, I’ve always been refunded.

. . .

Pricewise instead, both apps have an average £2.50 delivery fee, and pricing is equal as its set by the restaurants.

However, some of the restaurants set stupidly high prices that your stone broke average Londoner can either waste your weekly budget on or just give up on the cravings.

For instance, I’m addicted to pizza. Like a real bad addiction. 

Prices for pizza, and I’m talking Neapolitan pizza (so the original 9-inch thick-crust pizza) range from £8 to £14 for a Margherita. Like, you out of your mind?! I understand duty taxes, import fees, competition, etc., but this is seriously insane.

I go for pizza quite often though and occasionally with two Italian fellas I’m used to gather with. We do some sort of Italians-only night out where we discuss our culinary specialties and how much we miss them. Switching from a topic to another, we share stories of the places we come from: we recall that wacky night when we triggered lines of shots in multiple bars on Christmas’ eve and presented to our relatives for dinner totally smashed; or that romantic walk by the seaside with that special person looking at the nightlights drawing the whole bay, and how embarrassing to realise we had fallen in love. We recall the food, the love delusions, that nonsense meeting point, the best friends gone lost and our long-missed family. We recall all the beautiful and unforgettable moments and memories of our younger years that Italy grounded in us. We partake in a moment of silence, take a melancholic breath and smile at each other: “Yeah…it was good times.” 

Yet we decided to take the distance from all of that, to abandon all said above and move to London for its opportunities, the unique lifestyle, a solid career and a wider perspective on life. There isn’t a moment we regret this choice; there isn’t a moment we feel we would give up on how this city welcomed us and what makes us experience every single day. We agree that maybe it’s all about where you feel like you belong. So we wonder, which is better?

Maybe there’s no better app; maybe there’s no better place to be. Maybe, as long as pizza makes us feel like home, we’re going to belong anywhere.

And I’m still waiting on the goddamn delivery!!!

Jim
The Britalian Post

How to be successful in job interviews

Looking for a new job is a job in itself!

In London, with the job market being overly competitive and moving at the speed of light, you can’t expect to land a new role without a hitch. From the initial online search, browsing similar or preferred titles and locations that are easily commutable, to filling out forms, answering questions, drafting cover letters and so on, the whole process requires a lot of time, effort, patience – and the outcome is still very likely to be negative. When recruiters get in the way, things turn even more interesting. And odd. I’ve already covered this last bit in another post called The recruiter’s love story – do give it a read if you fancy.

Since I’ve been in the market for a long while and experienced all kinds of job interviews, hiring managers, focused questions, live tests, etc., I thought I’d put together a list of tips, potentially helpful to anyone who is job hunting in this very moment.

That said, assuming that you’ve followed the application process correctly, that you are a great match for the job and you’re invited in by the company for a first-step meeting, here’s a bullet list of first-person experienced advice on how to be successful in job interviews.

1. Look decent

Like…seriously. 

Don’t show up looking like a vagrant or a tramp – have some decency. 

By researching the company online, you can pretty much understand the type of environment you’re dealing with. If it’s formal (like a job in the City of London), there’s no other remedy than suiting up and choking to death with a refined tie. If it’s informal, a pair of jeans and boots along with a suitable jumper, cardigan or a casual shirt will do the job. In other more informal cases (a creative environment for instance), you might pass with a pair of trainers and a hipster outfit.

This doesn’t have to be a fixed rule but I remember this guy coming in for an interview at the company I was working for, where the work environment was super chilled and easy-going, all suited up and carrying a briefcase. Whether he thought he was interviewing for a role in a bank or a law firm, he looked old, probably older than he was, and boring. Really…boooooring!

Now, about your face.

If you’re a guy, shave! If your beard looks like a bunch of hairs ripped out of your butt and stuck onto your cheeks, just shave it all. If you have a nice and thick beard instead, you can either shave it short or keep it long if you manage to give it a neat shape.

Same goes for your hair. 

First of all, wash it. Please, do wash it! Oily scalps and messy hair are immediately noticed. It’s also a matter of personal hygiene that nobody will openly question but that could be a downside for the interviewers. You’ll realise it when they start peeking at your head thinking that you won’t notice. 

Jerks!

2. Do your homework

Gather information on the company, on the whole business: what they do, how long they’ve been in the market for, their online resonance. Do some research and surf their website inside out. Once you have all the details it’ll come easier to formulate questions and respond to theirs. Also, come up with reasons why your experience aligns with what they’re looking for and why you’d be a potential fit for the job. Companies appreciate that a lot – and it’s a clear sign that you are sincerely enthusiastic about the business and the job itself. In fact, you might want to show interest in the role as well as spark their interest in you.

Take it easy though. Don’t go there boasting but give the interviewers a chance to understand that you have your own ideas and projects in mind beforehand so that you can somehow drive the conversation and prove them you’re more than worth the job.

Then maybe you’re not but, I mean, they don’t need to know, right?

3. Be honest

This should probably top the previous two points. 

Don’t talk crap! Crafting lies, or inflating things, is a sign of weakness and dishonesty. Even if you’re to give yourself a bit of credit for your past achievements, you don’t need to show off. On the other hand, the majority of people can spot the difference between a candidate with relevant experience and a blagger. Other times instead, you’ll be dealing with some rude and ignorant piece of shit! In that case, well, how about fuck them…?!

Anyway, be proactive, smile, be honest and humble: you’re interviewing for a job you like. 

Hopefully.

. . .

If you follow the 3 points listed above by the word, you stay bold and up for the new challenge, there’s no way you’re going to be unsuccessful in any job interview.

Or you might as well fail miserably. 

Because the truth is, despite what the amount of recruiters and hiring managers out there say about best practises for job interviews, there’s probably no correct path to follow to be successful. 

Sometimes it’s a matter of luck. Sometimes you’ve approached an opportunity that seemed to be right in the wrong moment of your career – you still don’t know what you’re looking for next and probably the company doesn’t either. Some other times, it’s a matter of big numbers: out of the many roles you’ve applied for, somebody will be happy to take you on board. 

Looking for a job is a job in itself. Our whole life is a job in itself, and you might want to be successful in life rather than in job interviews. You might want to be eager to leap out of bed when your alarm goes off in the morning and not smash it to pieces, rush to do stuff, live your day at your best and always feel satisfied. It’ll all be just about whether you’re happy.

Because happiness is worth way more than money and finding whatever “perfect” job. Your whole life is worth more than that. And you’ll probably have hundreds of job interviews but only one life to do something you really love doing.

But then I mean, whether you get a job or not, it’s your life…so honestly, who fucking cares?!

Jim
The Britalian Post

Things you can do with £1,000

How to handle your money is probably among the most difficult tasks ever.

You never know whether to save, to invest, or simply have fun with it. Some people say it’s a matter of responsibility – of being an adult and build a solid base for the years to come. I believe it’s only a matter of priorities – I mean, the money is yours so you get to decide what to do with it – and perhaps you may just want to take it easy.

For instance, say you have a spare £1,000 coming from heaven – a tax return, a bonus at work, a genie granting a wish (why would you wish for just 1k?!) – and you can do whatever with it, what would you go for?

Assuming that you just want to live life as it comes, I’ve come up with a short list on the things you can do with £1,000.

Take your crew to The Guinea Grill in Mayfair

Have you ever wished to have a classy dinner you couldn’t normally afford? Then The Guinea Grill is the one for you! Their wide selection of meats and their expertise on steaks make of them one of the best steakhouses in London.

But you wouldn’t go there by yourself, would you? You could use a celebration (an important date or recurrence) and squander your money on quality food. So say that you may want your crew to join you – eat till explosion, drink till demolition.

Any other place you fancy going? Please just share away!

Commute with Uber for a week

Aren’t you tired of commuting with public transports every single day?

Fine, transports in London are second to none but with all the unexpected disruptions, the rammed carriages, the trains terminating before your stop, the stink and the heat, and all the times you’re smashed as fuck and you need to get to the other side of the city, it would be nice to get your ass just driven around.

And that’s when Uber comes handy! Recently, with their 1.5/1.6/1.9/2.1 surcharges, Uber has almost become more expensive than Black Cabs. That said, you need much money if you want to rely on Uber for a week and a £1,000 will surely do the trick.

So download the app, sit your ass in the car, and enjoy the ride!

Spend 2 nights at the Shard

Ok, in my entire life in London, I’ve never been at the Shard. I’ve walked past it and paced by the entrance but as soon as people began looking at me like I was some kind of a creepy bum, I’ve always quickly bowled out of their sight.

Yeah, the Shard is a real luxury! And if you wanna be there, you can’t go with empty pockets.

I have no idea of how much a room with a city-sight view may cost but I suppose you can spend 2 nights there for £1,000.

I picture spacious rooms, elegant decor, airy windows that give onto the Thames, and a fascinating outlook on the City of London. I picture a vast selection of breakfast, fresh and professionally cooked food, and then swimming in the pool on the top floor with a glass of bubbling champagne.

I’d go for it!

Play it at the Casino in Monte-Carlo

Don’t know about you people but this is something you might want to do once in your life. You can either get to win money and entirely change your life, or simply realise how poor you are.

In fact, this is Liam’s and Graham’s pick among the things they could do with £1,000.

They happened to have that individual amount out of savings and decided to go do shit with it. Liam and Graham are two simple and regular chaps from Whitechapel (East London). They are true-born Brits, communicate with a slang that only an expert cockney would be able to decode, and they are used to spend most of the time with their mates down at the pub watching football.

They don’t expect much from life. They appreciate what they have – being friends, doing fun stuff around the city – and they promise themselves that none of them will ever leave the other’s side. They’re dreamers, music aficionados, beer experts, and they always run short of money. More importantly, Liam and Graham are there when they need each other.

Anyway, they’re off to Montecarlo – all dressed-up and ready for the posh night. They make a stop at the Café de Paris near the casino and have a few drinks while watching the World Cup – Brazil was playing if I’m not wrong.

They see all these rich people around them – I mean those people you can tell they’re loaded just by looking at them. And the girls…wow…just another level. They can’t wait to enter the casino and ask for the bill: £76 for 4 drinks, that’s really insane.

They make their way into the casino, pay the ticket, enter the main hall. Wow! This real?
They don’t even approach the main tables, they well know those are way out of their league. Or pockets. So they have a beer, finish watching the game, and then sit at the machines. They don’t really lose too much money, in fact they win 18 and 8 cents respectively. They would surely frame those bills.

They’re out and up for more drinks, so they make their way down this stairway that leads them to this super posh place called Buddha Bar: shishas, relaxing music, incense, soldier-like staff. They get a table outside and Liam takes a look at the drinks menu.

“Dude, we might have a problem…”, says Liam goggling, “the average price for a bottle of wine is around 200 quid!”

“You fucking kidding, mate?!”, asks Graham smirking. “Alright, look for the cheapest booze.”

That’s what Liam does and orders a £45 bottle of rosé.

They suddenly notice these two tremendously sexy chicks sitting at the near table. The girls start peeking at them, giving looks and interested smiles. Did I mention that Liam and Graham are two good-looking chaps? Yeah, that’s a fact.

So they start wondering about approaching these girls and how to make a move, considering that they come from completely different worlds – if not for the appearance, definitely for the amount of cash. They wonder about how fucking awesome would be dating them – get to sail on their yachts, travel the world, have a taste of that rich life, get to know people who matter. They wonder how this could change their lives, and they want to make it happen.

Relying on the manners and presence of a proper English lord, Graham goes to sit with them. Liam (who looks just like a street cockney) joins right after.

They make conversation: the girls are from Ukraine, have 2 mobiles each, text with a lot of people. Upon the guys asking what they do, the girls say they mainly enjoy life, travel a lot and chill. They seem to have established a connection with the girls – Liam and Graham are now so impatient to get to know more.

One of them types something on her mobile and shows it to Graham, his eyelids stretch to his forehead and looks at Liam stunned. She turns her mobile towards Liam and here’s what’s written: “Do you want to come to our hotel?”

Liam and Graham have the same thought. The two simple chaps from Whitechapel are about to experience a type of lifestyle they’ve barely heard about through the TV news or read on papers. They’re about to be paid back for all the strains, the hard times, the monotony of a life they’ve happened to live. All is so unreal – all is about to happen without them even seeing it coming, or expecting. They’re beyond themselves, they can’t believe they’ve hooked up with two beautiful rich girls and that dream of experiencing a wealthy fast-paced new life is suddenly coming true. 

Then she types something else and shows it to Graham. His expression changes completely. She shows Liam the phone again with a giggle. Just one thing is written: “£1,000.”

“Oh, shit!…”

So they decide to leave. They call a taxi to go back to the hotel and when the car comes, they realise they’ve run out of cash. So here starts their counting of the leftover change, coin by coin, and with the last 10p they get to the amount to pay the driver.

What a night!

In most cases, if you decide to play your £1,000 at the Casino in Monte-Carlo, you’re very likely to realise how poor and miserable you are.

. . .

How much money did they spend on that trip? Nobody knows – probably way more than £1k, even if they didn’t accept the ladies’ “sweet” invite.

The truth is Graham had booked that trip for his soon-to-be bride’s bday, but since they had broken up earlier that month, he decided to take Liam with him instead. Not the best replacement but definitely better than losing the money. And honestly, when you’re simple chaps from Whitechapel and you’ve grown up not expecting much from life, a crazy night in Monte-Carlo with a mate can help cover up that big gap that somebody’s left right there. Right where it hurts the most.

It was never about the money – it was never about the £1k, nor about Liam’s scrounging a free holiday. It was about being there when a friend was drinking his sorrows, about trying to adjust the world while his was already ending. It was about acknowledging that things could have gone differently – that they could have been born rich, elsewhere, perhaps having never met each other. And while drowning in a pint or two down Whitechapel, the latter is what scared them the most, because that world – for how broken, cracked, messy, raucous it was – was still worth more than £1,000.

Thanks to Liam’s and Graham’s story, we have one big learning. Among the ones above, there’s now one more item we can add to the list of the things you can do with £1,000:

Hook up with top-class prostitutes

Jim
The Britalian Post

How to find your perfect British partner in 4 steps

When you’ve lived in London for a while, you’ve finally embraced the local habits – the lifestyle, the culture – perhaps it’s also about time you’re hoping to settle down for good or at least give it a try. Step by step, after becoming a proper Londoner, you’re thinking of looking for a pure, genuine, incomprehensible, Brit-born and -bred partner. Firstly, because…come on, dating a pure British fellow is so damn cool, innit?! Secondly, it’s another opportunity for you to blend in the local culture – so yeah, cool again.

Therefore, after gathering some tips and tricks from various people (mostly Brits), here are the 4 steps on how to find your perfect British partner.

1. Join happenings

Pick a nice spot – a club, a venue that throws themed nights, a small and intimate gig – or any trendy and popular event in London. Possibly choose new wave, revival, hipster clubs/bars and festivals over heavy techno discotheques and exclusive clubs. They’re so posh and swank that nobody will give a damn about you unless you have a serious amount of paper. Or drugs.

Pro tip: Don’t go to the Zoo Bar or the O’Neill! Not because they’re bad places (actually really fun at times), but remember that you’re looking for a “perfect” British partner, not for la crème de la crème of the daily immigration flow. Focus only on places Brits would plan on going to.

Choose a decent outfit – possibly a mix between alternative, hipster and casual. That makes you more appealing to pure Brits. H&M, Pull&Bear and Bershka can give a good variety of pretty cheap options for stylish clothing and…”60 FUCKING QUID FOR A PAIR OF JEANS?” Yeah…well…
Unless you just don’t give a shit! In that case, right, who fucking cares?!

Now, if you’re good-looking, an eccentric and intriguing person, and you got a cheeky and engaging attitude, you’re already halfway to victory. If you feel like you might struggle with your appearance, bet on your genius mind and make your other features stand out.

Unless you’re a total loser!

Pro tip: Either way, it doesn’t really matter. Beauty is subjective and goes beyond a pretty face or a fit body. Stay as you are; if people like you, they’ll like you anyway.

If you suck…well, you’ll just suck anyway!

2. Look around and interact

Don’t be shy, don’t hide in a corner keeping your head down all night long. Have a look at the crowd instead and spot types you like at first sight. Find occasions to interact with people – whether they’re boys or girls – and be friendly with everybody. That’ll help you join bigger groups but bear in mind that you’ll have to buy rounds for perfect strangers because (fuck this shit!) that’s just part of the game. While waiting to be served at the bar, start with the usual “Hey how’s it going?”, “What drink is that?”, “Sorry guys, can I bother you for a filter (or a cigarette)?”, “What does that tattoo say?”, “Hey, what’s that accent from?”, etc. This has proved not to be a lame approach, and if it doesn’t work, don’t give up and keep trying. Not all people are eager to start a conversation, but some are, so go for it!

Pro tip: Don’t be a fucking pain in the ass!!!

3. Make the move

Wowowowo, hold your horses!

Once you’ve identified the type you like, deepen the conversation and try to get to know as much as you can of that person. Ask many questions (maybe not boring stuff), show interest – you know, that kind of shit. Once you realise there’s a mutual interest, make the move: slow down and ask for their number.

You will contact him/her the day after – better let the clock hands go full circle before you write anything. Yeah, anyway, just don’t do anything hasty! Then, according to the social rules, you’ll let the boy make that first move. Actually, since we are pretty evolved, either of you can do it, right?!

Then be patient and wait for a reply.

Think back to everything you said to each other. Remember the smiles, the laughter, the flirting, your fingers playing with theirs. Think of their look, their eyebrows bending in bashfulness. Think of the fun thing they said and that you misunderstood because your English sucks; it was too noisy there and you were not really paying attention because your dumb mind was already lost into them. Isn’t that it?!

Think of that unusual spark you sensed because that person was simply perfect – perfect for you.

Imagine the first date, the first excitement, the “Sorry, can you say that again?”, and the embarrassing moments of silence followed by smirky laughs.

Picture the first kiss, the vibe, those weird shivers down your spine – even if it’s just a simple kiss. Imagine exploring London together; seeing the city lights from the Millennium Bridge, the busker tuning up that one song down Southbank, the intimate spots near Borough Market, and those Sunday drinks on Primrose Hill.

Picture taking them to your hometown, showing them the beauty of your city, the places where you grew up, the squares of the endless nights of your university period; the food and the local specialties, the restaurant on the hill, the breathtaking panorama that even you had forgotten about and that enchants you every time you see it. So while up there, you get distracted for a moment – they stroke you and ask “Hey what’s up?” You smile and say “Nothing”. Imagine getting home quietly not to wake up your parents, whispering jokes that you’re not sure you understand and then sleeping together in your bed.

Dream of all the other fantastic things you’ll do together and how you won’t still be able to believe that you’ve finally found your perfect British partner.

Imagine just how beautiful would this all be.

Meanwhile, you’re still waiting for their reply and plenty of booze has knocked you out.

4. Follow-up

You wake up the day after with a bit of a headache – you are probably hanging for the wild night – and you go check your phone. Nothing – you keep waiting. That text back never comes and you’ll never hear back from them; you realise they’ve just vanished like they never existed, like that moment never happened.

You think you should add them on Facebook, write another direct message, say something more, something different. You start wondering what’s wrong with you – if your first text wasn’t too silly to be even elaborated and you should have typed something better, something clever.

Eventually, your dream suddenly starts crumbling and you feel like shit ’cause you’ve failed once again.

. . .

And you know what? It won’t really matter.

Because that one was clearly not your perfect British partner. Because there are no best steps to get to know one or maybe your perfect partner is not even British.

In the end, you’ll know you have learned a really important lesson. You’ve learned about the cool events around London and that they’re worth being attended. You’ve learned that you enjoy being around, that all in all you are really an interesting person, that people like you; you’ll have overcome your shyness, made a new and unexpected experience you’ll be willing to tell, and that you can’t wait to do it again.

You’ve learned that you just have to live it daily, to get to know people every time you can – to be social, open-minded – and that sooner or later that perfect partner will come, whether they’re British or not. Because the perfect partner is worth the wait, is worth failing for, is worth becoming a better person.

And remember, your perfect partner will be looking for you as much as you’ll be looking for them.

Unless you’re a complete loser!

Jim
The Britalian Post

Resolutions

Have you drawn your list of resolutions for the New Year yet? More importantly, how many items on that list have you started yet?

January has come (to an end). The New Year has come. And so have a number of resolutions, right? It’s always something about “I’m going to work on my career”, “I’m going to start a new hobby”, “I’m going to be a better person.” The more common: “I’m going to start a strict diet.” So you see everybody digging into soups, raw veggies, fruit; no more fats, gluten, chocolate or alcohol. You see them exercising, going to the gym regularly and cooking plain chicken breasts – which, if you buy at Sainsbury’s, I’m not sure of how much of real chicken is contained in those super pumped fillets. Well, better that crap than KFC, Mc Donald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and…hey how about a beer at the pub and a double pepperoni with cheese-stuffed crust tonight?! Come on, we’re allowed dietary fails now and then, do you really want to be that strict?

One certainly has to be allowed dietary fails now and then, and there’s always going to be one thing, one weakness you can’t just give up, like a free day diving in chocolate. But for some strange reason, one has to be really strict with diet, as well as with any other resolution.

[Wow you should’ve seen the heroic sprint of the sixty-ish-year-old man who’s just literally thrown himself through the tube’s closing doors. I assume his resolution would be something like “I’ll no longer fucking miss a train.” Sure, welcome to London!]

All you have to do is to be firm and resolute; ask yourself, how seriously do I want to pursue it? How committed am I to win over my hunger raptus? 

Despite the nature of the resolution you choose to pursue, one has to simply be strong enough to say “No.”

Do you want a piece of chocolate? No!
Do you want pasta? No!
Do you want to go get a burger? No!
Do you want a beer? No!

Do you want to go out with me? No!

See, practically a resolution is some sort of desire that one decides to give up.
And the more you’re into giving up what you like, the more stubborn you become and, somehow, capable of predicting the consequences of your actions. So the resolution itself ends up turning into some future prediction, a set of “I will” or “I won’t” statements that draw a clear path to your personal success. And among the great number of “will’s” or “won’t’s”, even a normal person can become a prophet of truths.

That Russian girl was so good at it. A seer indeed. What was her name? Something like Tamara or Erika, I’m guessing. A lonesome and sporty girl, fit and good looking. An innocent face, a breathtaking smile. She would mostly be hiding in her room – afraid of the outside – but when she popped up, she certainly couldn’t pass unobserved.
On one day, she decided to turn up and their looks immediately crossed. Bam!
Few hours on a Sunday lunch with friends and they would find an intense but fuzzy connection. Both mentally and physically. A thunderbolt – a perfect match that didn’t come from Tinder, Bumble, Happn, or any other of the dating apps. Which basically was what she wanted: something real, not based on some pervert online chatting. Something that could last or, at least, be worth the moment. This was her resolution. In fact, one amongst the many. 

From the very beginning, she would be capable of predicting that the situation wouldn’t go the long way; that the moment couldn’t be lasting more than just a moment, that her path to success could be compromised and…you’re too late, pal! She had set her own resolutions. She was already saying “No” to most things, and you fall right in between. And the more she was saying “No”, the more stubborn she was becoming, the more capable of predicting the consequences.

Although, she had only one weakness, one thing she couldn’t easily give up: chocolate.

And in that very moment, while he was holding her tight, firmly looking into her eyes, sliding his finger over her cheek, gently, she realised she had run out of it…

…kiss me.

Jim
The Britalian Post

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