“Spinning London”: 5 Lies the Olson Twins Told Us about Living in London

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Dear Mary-Kate and Ashley,

Hi, there.

Big fan.

Loved your work on Full House and Billboard Dad!

I owned your greatest hits CD far after it was socially acceptable for me to listen to your greatest hits, and let me tell you, it’s the greatest shame of the 21st century that “Brother for Sale” didn’t soar on the charts.

New York Minute wasn’t your finest moment, but don’t worry, we’ve all forgotten it.

WINNING LONDON, Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, 2001, (c)Warner Home Video

WINNING LONDON, Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, 2001, (c)Warner Home Video

I’m writing today because I have a bone to pick with you.

You see, every American girl in my generation (except for the few weirdos who probably didn’t even have a furby) grew up with your educational travel videos.

I mean, Passport to Paris?

Hello, boys on a moped, welcome to the new American dream.

And Getting There?

We’re still not quite sure how you managed to go on an unsupervised road trip at 16 when I wasn’t even allowed to drive to Target by myself, but please tell us your secrets.

Hey, sidenote! If you’re traveling to the UK or live in the UK, whether for a short period of time or as an expat, why don’t you join my Facebook group where you can ask questions, get advice or just look at pretty pictures of this part of the world! Just click here to request to join and I’ll add you!

Anyways, my personal favorite has always been Winning London, and I finally got the chance to move to London a few years ago after seeing what a wonderful time you had.

Of course, I braced myself for disappointment because nothing could ever be as great as exploring the world with you two, but I thought, what the heck, let’s go.


Mary-Kate and Ashley, do you realize what high expectations you gave me?

Do you even know how much my world came crumbling down when I landed and realized so many lies you fed me over the years?

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Did I ever even mean anything to you?

I BOUGHT YOUR CD, you guys.



Over the years, I’ve slowly come to terms with this betrayal. I’ve lived, I’ve loved, I’ve lost. I’ve grown up, and so have you. We’re all doing well. But today, I would like to address this once and for all.

I need answers.

Firstly, why did you tell me I could get up close to a guard at the Palace?

I am 100% convinced that you are singlehandedly responsible for making us all believe you can access the guards at Buckingham Palace.

You just waltzed on up to him with your cutesy jokes and snapped some pictures like it was no big deal.

Joke’s on me, because the guards are behind bars and are definitely not accessible to mere mortals.


Secondly, why is there an Australian playing an English boy?

Jesse Spencer is a great actor. Did you see him on House? How awesome, right? So good of him to find work in America after his time in London with you.

But I’m just a little confused because Jesse is Australian, and you saying he’s British over and over can’t convince me he’s from anywhere but down under.

Was there not an English boy available for you to hang out with? I know a few Australians here and was really expecting them to do a fake British accent. This is all very confusing. Please write back.

Thirdly, how did you get on the bus without paying?

In one scene, you and your friends hop on a double decker bus from the back (?!) and walk right up those stairs without ever checking in with the bus driver. Do you have an Oyster card that works from meters away? Do you know the bus driver?

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If I walked on a London bus without paying, I would be walking right back off 20 seconds later after being shouted (or harshly stared) at. Help me out here.

Fourthly, how were you able to understand Cockney rhyming slang?

I still have trouble even understanding people from northern England and their affectionate use of the word “duck.”

How in the world were you able to speak Cockney rhyming slang like you’d learned it your whole life?

Do they have a Rosetta Stone course for that? Did you take it as a second language in high school?

I knew I shouldn’t have wasted my time with Spanish.


Lastly, how were you able to get a member of the royal family to fall in love with you?

I have a lot of American friends who are pretty much dying to know. Doesn’t need to be a Prince, I’m sure they’ll settle for a second cousin.

Can’t wait to hear from you.

A generation of American girls

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Kristin Marie Larson

4 years ago

This post is awesome! The only Olson movie I’ve ever watched was “It takes Two”. Might just have to watch this one day…


4 years ago

Oh you are MOST DEFINITELY missing out on some Olson twins fun then! So cheesy, but so good for a “don’t want to think about anything, just want to laugh at bad accents” night. 🙂


4 years ago

In the past you were allowed to hop on the old double deckers without paying (you paid when you got off). As for the Cockney Rhyming Slang, funnily enough that’s the post I wrote today. Check it out 😉


4 years ago

Interesting! You learn something new every day…what a coincidence, I’ll definitely be checking out your Cockney Rhyming slang post!


4 years ago

🙁 I’m still in mourning…who will I look up to now?!


4 years ago

Haha loved this post! Live in London now as Well and I Really laughed 😀


4 years ago

Thanks so much 🙂 Hope you’re not getting too rained on today–horrible weather where I am! Oh, London!


4 years ago

I can’t believe you are even admitting to ever liking these girls. You are brave!


4 years ago

Hahaha this post is so spot on! Thanks for the laugh 🙂


6 months ago

So many burning questions that we need answered!!!! such a great post it really made me chuckle, until I realised that most of my childhood ideas on travelling were a lie. Hmm.


6 months ago

This post is pure gold! Absolutely hilarious and totally relatable! Awesome 🙂

Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays

6 months ago

Love this! As a British woman of mature years I can throw light on the bus question. In the old days you could jump on all buses at the back (indeed that was the only way on) and just waltz up the stairs. Then a bus conductor would come along and either sell you a ticket or ask to see your season ticket. Everything else was plainly made up.


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