If all goes to plan, two months today (August 21st) will be my first day waking up in the city of London. (UK, not Ontario, which I need to clarify often). It’s come up so fast and so slowly, all at the same time. “Yikes!” it’s the best way I can describe it at this point.
Disclaimer- It’s still not official. My application and passports have been in NYC for weeks now and I’m just waiting for final word. Through this entire process I have been assured that my chances are good, but I still can’t say for sure which way the cards will fall. I’d say I don’t want to get my hopes up, but let’s be honest here- My hopes were up a year ago, the second I decided I wanted to do this!
Anyway, I’m currently trying not to succumb to heat exhaustion, and realized I hadn’t blogged in ages, so here we are!
10 things I need to do/learn to survive living in London:
1. Find a job. I’m poor. Actually, I passed by poor about 5 years ago and can’t even see it anymore. But, such is life after 6 long years of post-secondary, so I’m not going to spend too much time fretting over it. However, I’m also not going to get myself in denial about it! I need to find a job within 2 weeks of arriving to London, and I have every intention of doing so. I’ve been applying like a mad woman, and am h0ping to have something lined up with a temp agency right away. Finger crossed.
2. Become fashionable. I like to imagine that I’m not completely fashion inept, but there’s a good chance I might just be. However, Canada itself tends to be a little fashion inept, so it’s never been an issue. London, however, is not. It’s fashionable, trendy, and my poor little Canadian self will stick out like a sore thumb. Thankfully London seems to also make being fashionable very cheap and accessible, so I hold out hope of this being a possibility. Dear Primark and New Look: I see a great friendship in our futures.
3. Get over my irrational fear of public transit. I have this completely irrational issue with public transit that I’m going to need to get over if I’m to survive in London. It’s not the public transit itself- I can manage on timed things like Coach Canada and GO just fine. It’s the not-so-clear ones like subways and buses and streetcars that get me very anxious. I think I might be okay to handle the Tube and National Rail, but the buses might take some time. But, I think I can handle it! I hope so anyway… Heh.
4. Drink tea. So, I’ve never had tea. Ever. And I feel this may be an issue. I’ll work on it, I promise.
5. Don’t overdue the traveling. One of the amazing things about London is that you can travel to almost anywhere in Europe for next to nothing. As I have a bit of travel addiction, I’m going to need to work on spacing out trips, setting aside money for it, and, generally just remembering that I have 2 years so there’s no need to pack it all in the first 4 months.
6. Learn the slang. Thanks to many of my closest friends being from the UK, I have some slang down. But, I’m sure there’s a hundred more things I’m going to get there are be completely lost on. However, Orla did buy me an Irish slang dictionary for my birthday, so any trips to Belfast are taken care of.
7. See Jedward live. You’re probably asking why this is necessary as a survival technique in London. Well, I suppose in the grand scheme of things it’s technically not, but how on Earth can I spend 24 months there and NOT see Jedward? That’s just unacceptable! As such, it’s on the list. If you don’t like it, tough.
8. Get out to the country whenever possible. London is a big, lively, and sometimes overwhelming city. And the English countryside is only a short drive or train ride away. I feel that short breaks from the craziness of it will be necessary, easy to do, and good for my general mental health. Unless I wind up in that town from Hot Fuzz.
9. Stay in touch. I’ve lived away before, and have friends all over the place, so I know how easy it is to stay in contact. I also know how easy it is to not. So, I need to make sure the former is how it’ll go. If we’re not on each others Skype, that needs to change. I’m also a huge fan of snail mail, so don’t be surprised if your mailbox if constantly being bombarded. I also love getting snail mail, so, keep that in mind… ; )
10. Visitors! You! Yes, you! Come to London! I’ve had so many people tell me that they’ll come to visit, but I know that for many of them it probably won’t happen. I hope to be proved wrong, but I also know that life happens, and money stuff happens, so while I’ll be upset, I completely understand. I will be working and can’t say whether or not I’ll get time off, but you’re welcome to stay and see the city that stole my heart!
So, as you can see, if for some reason my visa is denied, I’m going to be completely heart broken. But, let’s not cross that bridge until we come to it. Which will hopefully be never!