Have you ever gone on a seven-week holiday and then decided a week before you’re due to fly home that you’re going to move to London? Before this week, I would’ve said no, too.
Seven weeks ago, when I said see you soon to my friends, family and my precious dog and cats, I did not foresee my holiday turning into me moving abroad for an undecided amount of time. Within my first two weeks in Egypt, I met so many people who were living in London and they were absolutely loving it. A seed that had been lying dormant for the last few years – which was the last time I considered this very same move to London – awoke and began to tempt me with its adventurous potential.
I’m now 27-years-old, thrive on change and adventure and have had this idea in my head that if I don’t try the “London thing” soon, I’ll be too old and I’ll never do it. So, here I am – in London – with a carry-on-sized suitcase full of summer clothes in not-so-summery London and I’m feeling a tad (very) unprepared.
I’ve been in London for just two days and what an adventure it has already been…
I was supposed to move into my housing on Wednesday, which did not go to plan. (Story of the last few days of my life here in London) There was a huge mix-up (and a lot of confusion), which involved missing and unreturned keys, undelivered emails from the previous tenant requesting to extend their stay, and two and a half hours of me trying to liaise and figure out what was happening and where I’d be staying. The conclusion was that the previous tenant had sent an extension request to the wrong email address, hadn’t yet moved out, and I have no room until they do. So I’m currently still living the hotel life and still utilising my little suitcase as a wardrobe until such time.
But aside from that, I’ve been pro-active in beginning my job search – sending resumes and signing up for recruitment agencies. I actually met with a recruitment agency today, who were less-than-impressed with my “quiet” personality.
London is bursting with big personalities and loud talkers but I certainly didn’t expect to be criticised at a job agency for being “reserved” as the recruitment lady put it. In fact, it was my first full day in London and, to be quite honest, I felt like it was an achievement just making it to the office on time after getting lost trying to to find the building. I was expecting – not having used a recruitment agency before – that I’d be walked through the process. Instead, I felt like I was being interrogated as she told me she was having a hard time believing that the experience on my resume (or CV as they call it here) was my own. I felt as though it was being insinuated that I did not seem capable because of my “quiet” personality.
Upon leaving the recruitment agency, I felt quite put-off and a little less confident than I did walking in. In the end, I figured there are only two options: I can A) cry and go home to Australia or B) cry, suck it up and keep looking… at a different agency. I’m going to go with the latter because despite being “reserved” I am very much capable.
I’ve also been learning a few other things over the last few days – one of those is that the Londoner’s word for excuse me is “move”, and the second is that I cannot afford London. This place is seriously expensive – in fact, the price of train tickets are double, even quadruple, what I’d pay at home in Australia. It certainly doesn’t help that the Australia dollar is only worth half of a Great British Pound. (Although, hot little transport tip is that the bus is much cheaper and a better option for those on a strict budget – the only downside can be the traffic! You pay GBP 1.50 and you can have unlimited bus rides for the hour. The maximum daily rate is GBP 4.50.)
Alongside the extravagant prices, I’m also having a hard time accepting I’ve come to London during their summer, yet the weather feels like I’m back home in Perth where it is currently winter. So with that said, the third thing I’ve learnt in my short two days is to always carry an umbrella. To liken the weather experience to another city (for any fellow Aussies or those who’ve been to Australia), I’d say London weather is similar to Melbourne weather experience – multiple seasons in one day – which means you’ll also thank yourself later if you dress in layers.
So here I am – in my layered clothing, listening to the rain, sitting on the bed in my London hotel room – signing off on what is my second day in my new city hoping there will be fewer hiccups tomorrow. move to London