Susie Rushton: Know your London tourist

Urban Notebook: Spotted (and lesser spotted) on the Tube
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The Independent Online

Dear me, it is an indictment of our times that so many of us are unable to identify the most common species of London tourist. So brush up your basic knowledge with this handy field guide...

Escalator Couple: Their distinctive dance begins with the male and female embracing while perched on the left side of the escalator, usually at 8.51am. Entire seconds will pass before they realise their error. The male then shuffles to the right; his abandoned mate remains on the left, squawking, until he yanks her over, and the blockage is removed.

Euro Teens: Emo kids Lise and Katrin, both 15, are spotted in Camden Market and Primark where they buy very short shorts. Back home in Salzburg, their poor parents have no clue what a bad idea this is.

Operation London, Europe: American citizens Bob and Marilyn are rarely seen outside of Harrods or their air-con hotel lobby but you can spot them lifting suitcases larger than themselves on to the Piccadilly line bound for Heathrow and outta here.

The Thing: The Franco-Italian school tour group is an organism only 4'9" in height and possessed of a mass that can contract to fit in the smallest lift but also expand to cover every single bloody square foot of grass in the city, particularly at lunchtime.

Vice Squad: At what they mistakenly believe to be the beating heart of hip London – Café 1001 on Brick Lane – Sydneysiders and Vice magazine readers Gavin, Gavin and Craig wear red Wayfarers and Uniqlo manga t-shirts. Are they planning to move over here in spring? Too right they are mate.

Cultural Daytrippers: Nigel and Mary Shires catch the train to Waterloo and walk to the RA to see the Summer Exhibition (the Tube is Dangerous); in Hyde Park they witness a man punch a woman to the ground in a Facebook-organised water fight. It confirms what they knew all along about London. And the internet.

Lost soles

Are these the sunset days of the taxi-to-table shoe, a high-heel so vertiginous that the wearer can totter no further than between car door and restaurant seat? Black cab fares are set to increase by 50 pence a trip, while Vogue announces that handbags – traditional repository of the spare pair of flip-flops – are dead. Only one thing for it. Dearest, you're going to have to carry me.

Boris's feline ancestor

Before the election, the mayor claimed he was descended from Circassian slaves. Not so, says a BBC documentary, which instead reveals one of Boris's ancestors to be the bewigged King George II. So, when Johnson describes himself as a "greased, bounding panther", as he did last week, which pampered feline might actually make a better metaphor?