It has been a bit over a year that I have moved back to my hometown Vienna after living in London for almost 5 years. Now, after having been back for a substantial amount of time, there are some things I do still really miss about London/ the UK in general.
Read more about: Very “british” habits I still have
This might sound a bit stupid, but it’s hands down the queuing culture that I miss the most. Even when I just came back to Austria to visit my family, as soon as I had to wait at passport control at Vienna Airport, I started getting anxiety. Unlike at UK airports, there’s no barriers to manage the queues – it’s all just a mess.
And it’s not a whole lot different in the city. Getting a croissant from the bakery sometimes results in me getting super anxious because there’s no proper queue and no one knows who’s next and it really annoys me. It’s not THAT difficult!
VINTAGE/2nd HAND/CHARITY SHOPS
Before moving to London, I have never ever shopped at a vintage or second hand or charity shop ever. It was something regular middle-class people just didn’t do. I was first introduced to vintage fashion when I lived in a flatshare close to Brick Lane with a girl who worked at one of the best known vintage shops there – ATIKA London (then called “Blitz”). At first I found the concept really weird, especially since the clothes they sold were not just “pre-loved” but also quite a bit more expensive than the high-street stores I usually frequented.
Soon, I actually grew quite fond of vintage and second hand shops. I especially admired (and still admire) the creativity Atika, Beyond Retro and Rokit show with their own clothing lines, where they make something new and cool out of old materials.
When I left East London for Sydenham & Crystal Palace, I started frequenting charity shops more and started to appreciate the cheap prices – I even found a vintage Emilio Pucci for 6 Pounds!
Being back in Vienna after all these years, people here have started to appreciate vintage or pre-loved clothing more but there’s still not that many good vintage/second-hand/charity shops…
Yes, there’s bars, taverns, clubs, cafes and even “pubs” but nothing comes close to the “real” pubs in the UK. Here in Vienna, there are some “Irish” “Australian” whatever pubs but in my opinon they’re far from the originals. They just don’t have the same atmosphere – OF COURSE! How could they? Because the atmosphere is not necessarily about the place but the people. It doesn’t matter how authentic owners are trying to be, it’s just never gonna be the same.
AFTER WORK CULTURE
Here in Austria, you go to work and you go home. That’s it. In all of the companies I have worked so far, there was no after work culture whatsoever. Every single company I worked for in the UK, every now and then – especially on Fridays – there was always a group of people motivated to go to the pub or grab a bite after work. I felt like it really helped getting to know my colleagues outside of the office, which also improved our working relationships.
Back in Vienna, I found it really hard to build relationships at work because of the lack of after-work culture. It took months and months to get to know everyone and to finally be comfortable with the people in the office.
For anyone who’s from a landlocked-country, a beach is something really special. It doesn’t matter if it’s a “good” one – any beach suffices. Being able to hop on the train and hang out at a beach was such a luxury. Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Hastings, Margate etc. etc. I’ve been to all of the seaside towns close to London.
I guess in Vienna I can sit next to the danube or the danube channel but it’s not the same. The closest real beach is 6 hours away in Italy…