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Some Observations and Comments

Level Contributor
1,325 posts
67 reviews
Some Observations and Comments

Obviously, my son and I had a great time on our 3 day trip to London this past week. I think it's fun to compare what you expected on your trip and what actually happened.

So, here are some things that I observed that surprised me a bit:

1. London women don't seem to superglue their purses to their bodies like we (tourists) do. Do they get their wallets stolen more often than tourists do or do they know something we don't?

2. Almost everyone wears athletic shoes (trainers). And a lot of them wear white ones. So don't worry about what your shoes look like. Just make sure they're comfortable.

3. You don't have to use your travelcard and/or Oyster card to get on and off the DLR (at least at the stations we went to). Only once did someone come around on the train to check our tickets. Do people cheat a lot on the DLR and bet they're not going to need a ticket?

4. Just accept that you're going to spend more money than you plan to. We tend to forget to factor in those money sucking things such as ice cream cones, sodas, beers at cute little pubs, etc. So give yourself a currency cushion when it comes to your vacation budget.

5. The word "Quay" is pronouced "key" and not "kway" like I was saying it in my head. So, West India Quay station is actually pronounced West India "Key" station.

6. If you travel alone with your 11 yr. old son, there will be no evidence that you actually went on the trip except for the credit card receipts and the video from the security camera at the ATM. Because your kid is in all the pictures. Out of all of the pictures we have from this trip, I'm only in one! One stinking picture.

Colorado USA
Level Contributor
279 posts
6 reviews
31. Re: Some Observations and Comments

DH and I had a "quay" incident while in Singapore when we asked directions to Clarke Quay. "....'Kway?' " "What?!" "Clarke 'Kway'!" "Oh, you mean Clarke 'Key'!" *Huh???!!!* The person proceeded to look at us with pity ;-)

Level Contributor
1,325 posts
67 reviews
32. Re: Some Observations and Comments


I think the "paranoia" about the crime/mugging/purse snatching thing comes from reading too many guide books and watching too many travel shows. It seems like most of them mention wearing a money belt, having your purse strap slung over your body from one shoulder to the other side, men--never put your wallet in your back pocket, etc. After reading and hearing about these tips so often, a person can get a bit overly cautious. But I'd rather be overly cautious while on vacation than have someone take my wallet.

Glenlyon, Australia
Level Contributor
4,190 posts
34 reviews
33. Re: Some Observations and Comments

Don't disagree with your summary MM...it just seems something more specific to some people or nations than others. However, it is a question I would ask if travelling to your own country more than Europe (and maybe that has to do with watching to much CSI style shows) or Asia for example (and I know there is crime in both those area's as well...suppose being a male we think we are less vulenable).

Redlands, California
Level Contributor
2,925 posts
71 reviews
34. Re: Some Observations and Comments


I don't think that it is generally tourists from North America. I think it is more first time visitors that are going into the unknown. It may appear to be primarily No Americans, but it seems that the majority of first time trip planners posting on TALF are from No America. I prefer to use a bag that goes across my chest. Not because I am afraid of something being stolen (I never carry more money than I need with me or my passport). I do it because I like to have my hands and arms free. I have never used a money belt, but we are a host family for Australian teenagers every summer and last summer our guest traveled with a money belt.

I believe that first time visitors to a foreign country just want to make sure they have a perfect vacation.

London, UK
Level Contributor
580 posts
80 reviews
35. Re: Some Observations and Comments

As a local, I have always preferred long strapped bags across the body , for hands free convenience as well as being able to clamp it to body in crowds (also it was a bit of a fashion thing in '80s so am badly showing my age - I do see many other women of my vintage with similar bags) I have drummed into daughters the importance of not making their valuables vunerable - I wince when I see open bags slung behind in crowds. I did jury service once, which featured a prolific little 'dip' - after we found him guilty (on the escalator near Harrods, as I recall) the list of his previous pickpocketing convictions went on for ages.