Central London is a bit like Istanbul. Oh don’t be silly you say, there’s no way the two cities can be compared when on one side you have stunning, glorious, breathtaking ancient architecture and the sparkling Bosphorous whilst on the other there are simply glass buildings with lights glinting on the top at night and not to mention, the murky old thames. Well yes, but there is one thing the two places have in common and that is the price of a can of drink.
When I went to Istanbul in the Summer holidays, I was astonished to find that drinks were more expensive than back home in London. It translated to almost a pound for simply one can which felt ridiculously high to me but as everyone kept on saying, these were tourist prices and so I begrudgingly accepted them. Some places were worse than others, the price of a can rising to almost two pounds! I couldn’t wait to get back home and buy some regular priced Fanta or Pepsi. Then again, the allure of a refreshingly cold drink is lost when you are greeted with the dull grey clouds of London. In Istanbul however, it is like you are held to ransom.
“Shell out this ridiculous amount else die of thirst!” Is what the shopkeepers seem to be saying.
When I began university, I had told myself that I will not spend on food and instead take lunch from home but there are times when you have simply forgotten to put some form of liquid in your bag and your parched mouth is crying for a drink. It so happened that one day, in need of such replenishing, I walked into a small little shop nestling amongst the office buildings and then I immediately walked out. You see, the price of a can of drink was 90 pence! Walking out in a daze, a voice in my head kept on consoling me with the fact that this was Central London.
Why is this even a big deal? Well you see, everything is overpriced when you are in Central London. Even the food in the university canteen is ridiculous and I only this because I overheard the agonising story of a fellow student who was forced out of desperate hunger to purchase some food from their, hoping that the prices would be accommodating for students. They weren’t.
It’s a rip off. After despondently walking to the train station, I asked a stall owner how much it would be for a can of drink. 70 pence he told me; I only had 65 and after seeing my poor face, he took pity on me and let me off the five pence. Was I happy? No. Grateful yes but certainly not happy, I need my local corner shop which sells drinks for the lovely price of 50 pence to pick itself up and move to just outside my university.
Alas the financial woes of a student. Although, it wasn’t that I could not afford it, I just didn’t feel like being ripped off.
Until Next Time
A Worried Student