When you visit London as a tourist you can easily walk around the city for days to explore all the amazing attractions. But when you live and work here, you quickly discover day-to-day stuff that’s pretty cool.

Ten cool things we’ve discovered this week:

  1. Banking is FREE. That’s right, you pay ZERO monthly fees for your current and savings accounts. They also don’t charge you when you withdraw cash from a different bank’s ATM.
  2. Amazing mobile contracts. If you already have a phone, you can sign up for a sim-only deal for 12 months. For £15pm (R300), you get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB data. Compare that to certain SA operators that charges you R249 for a 2GB data bundle only.
  3. Apple pay is everywhere. When you buy a coffee from Starbucks or snacks at Tesco, you don’t need to take out your wallet, you simply tap your iPhone against the card machine and that’s it! We love it!
  4. Internet speed is insane. When the service provider apologises that their home broadband speed is ONLY 50Mbps then you know they mean business. Turns out their new packages comes standard with 100Mbps and 200Mbps speed. (In Johannesburg we had a 4Mbps line).
  5. Media packs are bundled. Back home, you’ll need to pay Telkom for line rental (R225pm) and Mweb for your 4Mbps uncapped broadband (R449pm). You’ll then pay Telkom for your monthly calls (variable based on usage) and DSTV (R699pm). This means your TV + Phone + Internet will cost you anything from R1373 plus all your additional voice calls from your landline phone. In the UK you get your TV + Phone + 100Mbps broadband service for £32pm (R640).
  6. The public transport system is amazing. You can get from point A to B easily by bus, tube or overland train. Turns out that season tickets are MUCH cheaper than daily passes. If you visit London for a week, I’d recommend you buy a 7-days pass, it’ll save you some money.
  7. In restaurants, you only seem to tip the waiter if they deserve it. Bad service gets no reward.
  8. Some supermarkets (like Tesco) have a DIY checkout. You scan your own items, pack your shopping bag, pay and go. No one checks that you scanned all your items or whether payment was successfully made.
  9. If you get sick, seeing the doctor is free.
  10. At a road crossing (a.k.a. Zebra Crossing) with no stop sign or traffic light, the cars will actually stop and wait for you to cross the road.

Have a great Friday!