In my earlier post last month I let you know some of my thoughts from my first few days living in London. Now that I’ve been here over a month I thought it was time to update you on how London life has been going since then!
Maybe you’ve never visited London and are curious to know what it is like living here. Maybe you are planning to move over soon and want to know what to expect. Or maybe you’re a seasoned London Kiwi already, in that case I’m sure you can relate all too well to how the start of London life plays out!
Here are some of the trials, tribulations and triumphs I’ve experienced in the first month or so in London.
Starting out in London
Why is basic life admin so hard over here?!
How am I meant to set up any bill accounts to get proof of address so I can set up a bank account if I can’t get a mobile plan or sign up with a utilities company without having a bank account? (Thank God for a boyfriend with a British passport who can get all of this sorted right away so that I don’t have to!)
There is just so much to do all the time!
Watching sports in pubs with friends, bottomless brunches, going shopping in Oxford Circus or at the huge westfield in Shepherd’s Bush, sightseeing at Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London and Kiwis in London meet-ups. I could easily fill up every weeknight and weekend with activities. (Only issue- my bank account might start to hate me a little!)
Expat friends vs. UK friends
It’s almost weird how many people I knew back home are over in London now (I’m looking at you East Auckland) but it’s great having friends! And by extension yay for lots of new Kiwi and Aussie friends too! But will I ever actually get to know any British people besides the people I see at work? Maybe I won’t lose my kiwi accent after all…
Dealing with the NHS
How the hell am I meant to get my hands on the prescriptions I need for any medication I take if I can’t go to a GP until I have a permanent address? There are NHS walk in centres, and they’re free but it turns out there is often a two hour or so wait time (I have so many better things I could be doing with my precious weekend!)
Expat Kiwi Problems
Why do I only miss marmite, milo, vogels, pineapple lumps and jaffas when I am overseas?! And how am I gonna get my hands on my favourite natural skincare products from Skinfood NZ so that I don’t break out all the time? (Hint: you can find them on Amazon UK.) Is it too early to ask my mum for a care package yet? (and at minimum $50 postage will she even agree to send me one?)
The Tube – Do’s and Don’ts!
Ok so there is a few positives in all of this- now that I have a job (albeit a temporary one) I’m starting to get the hang of the London Underground in rush hour. I have learned to not fall over even when not holding on, how to squish myself in like a sardine with all my fellow commuters and how not to lose a limb to the closing doors in the process.
As you can see despite the odd drama I’m starting to settle in to London life a little more (cue smug chuffed with myself face.)
At this rate I’ll be a right Londoner in no time!