I survived my first week living in London: The London Diaries

After my last post, you might be surprised to learn that I survived my first week living in London (in fact, I’ve just hit the three-week mark!). It seems like things really started coming together in the second half of my first week…

On my first Friday in London, after many complications, I finally moved into my new shared flat. (I was supposed to have moved in on Wednesday.) And let me tell you that there have been fewer things in my life that have been as satisfying as the day I finally got to unpack my clothes from their carry-on-sized home, wash them and place them on hangers after living out of a suitcase for the past eight weeks.

The next Monday, I went to another agency and met with a recruiter who seemed much more positive about job prospects in London. In the end, I left the meeting with a placement starting that Wednesday.

Wednesday came around pretty quickly, which was also my one-week anniversary of officially moving to London. My first week down was celebrated with my first day at my first temp role in London. (Yay!) And with that new 9 to 5.30 life, I got to experience the joys of the daily London tube commute. (Not so yay.) The rumours I’d been hearing of the dreaded peak-time were true and, at first, it was slightly overwhelming. At least five trains came and went before I felt like I could fit into one of the carriages on my first day.

It is crazy – and fairly entertaining – to see how many people are willing to contort their bodies to fit on an already overcrowded carriage just so they don’t have to wait two minutes for the next one. What’s less entertaining is the tube experience itself.  You come to learn pretty quickly that personal space doesn’t exist on the tube. I also doubt I’m the only one who’s nose has ever ended up faaaaar too close to a fellow commuter’s underarm. Or have been the only one who has had someone else’s breath warming their hand as they’ve clung onto a handrail. I’ve even had people lean on me like I’m a support beam.

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A few years ago, when Big Ben wasn’t dressed up in scaffolding

It also seems like a prerequisite to look as miserable as you possibly can be when commuting on the tube. (I’m now one of these people.) In saying that, can you blame people after the experiences I’ve just described? While all of that can take some getting used to, the biggest thing I struggle with is the lack of airflow on the public transport here because getting on the tube is like stepping into a sauna!

Going off that, I’m going to completely contradict what I said in my last post – where I complained about the cold weather – because boy did I not realise at the time how good I had it. Thursday’s temperature (two weeks ago now)  hit 39 degrees Celcius (apparently the hottest day in England ever?!) – which to be honest would have been bearable in Perth’s dry heat. But, here in London, the humidity is an absolute killer. It makes it feel so much hotter than it is and the air is actually difficult to breathe. Since then, the weather’s been much cooler and less humid. (Phew!)

If you read my last entry, you’d know I landed in London without a plan and not a whole lot of luggage. (Note to self: buy a jacket.) When I made the spontaneous move, I was, however, prepared for my lack of preparation. Because of that I know I’m most likely going to be a little naive to certain things at first, for example, the reality of recruitment companies and their recruiters. However, I don’t mind being a test subject and I genuinely look forward to putting everything I learn along the way into this blog as a resource (/bit of a laugh) for others planning on living in London (who will hopefully be more prepared than I was/ am). living in london

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2 Comments

  1. So glad things have turned out better for you Haylee. Thanks for the mental image of you on the Tube! lol You poor thing.

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