So what of life in London
01.09.2008 - 20.12.2008
So what of life in London. As I am so slow in keeping our travelling up to date, I will fast forward to life in London town!
Nothing could beat the feeling of our first day in the city, way back in September 2008. We caught the tube to Westminster. We walked up the staircase out of the tube station, and were faced with Big Ben, then I looked around and I could see the London Eye, red double decker buses, it was like a dream, to leave a train station and see every image of London you ever had right there in front of you. It gave me goosebumps and I nearly cried! I don't think that first feeling of realising I had finally made it to London will ever be topped. This city that I had dreamed of living in my whole, and now I was finally here!
That first day was the nicest weather we have had in London in the past 6 months. It was around 25 degrees and sunny, we kept thinking who said the weather in London is bad...how silly we were! We managed to see a lot on our first day. We did the London Eye, seen Buckingham Palace, went to Trafalgar Square, walked through Hyde Park, went to Harrods. We did all this on foot, we discovered that all the major things are within walking distance of each other and you see alot more walking than you do on a bus or on the tube.
After the excitement wore off, we got stuck into the job and house hunting. The first few weeks were tough. Everyone told us that we did well to find work and a place to live in the first 3 weeks, but it didn't feel like that when we were living it! For me the first week entailed endless trips to recruitment companies. Most Finance jobs in London are filled through recruitment consultants. A profession that I have grown to despise. I liken them to used car salesmen, but even worse, it is the scummiest profession. After the first few meetings, I learnt the drill of what to say and what they would say. Then came the waiting for the interviews. I managed to get a few interviews, the most promising was with Paramount Pictures who didn't give me the job purely on the basis that they thought I was a flight risk. The Finance director was obviously a smart man, he knew better than I did that I couldn't committ to a permanent job! I scored my first job with DHL, the pay was great, the experience would have been great, but the people and the location not so great. The office was located out near Heathrow, now I did not move to London to work somewhere out in the sticks! But I took the job for some cash and kept hunting. I scored an interview later that week at Sony. The office was perfect, right in the heart of the city, in a highrise with a view over London. The interview was so quick I was sure they hated me. But then an hour after the interview I got the call that they wanted me to start on Monday. I was so relieved! Only 3 days into DHL and I was leaving! Little did I know I would only survive 3 months with Sony...
Grant job hunting took awhile longer. Unable to find a job in his trade Grant was gardening and mowing lawns for 6 weeks. I think he lost about 10kg's in those 6 weeks! It wasn't a good time, the pay was terrible and the work was terrible, but not giving up he continued job hunting and after persevering he finally landing a fitting maintenance job that paid twice as much as mowing lawns and required half as much work! Those 10kg's lost started to pile back on...hehe.
After looking at a few dodgy flats we finally found a place that we thought was great! It was a bit more than we wanted to pay as it was in Fulham (close to Chelsea) an expensive area but it was the best we had seen. We had a double room with an ensuite which is what sold it to us! There was 8 of us in total sharing this little 4 bedroom terrace. If we were all wanting to have dinner at the same time it was interesting! The house consisted of 6 Aussies and 2 Kiwi's. Not long after moving in our toilet stopped flushing properly and our landlord decided it didn't need fixing, so we had to share thte toilet upstairs with the rest of the house. There was also the incident of the shower falling off the wall and on my head! Our lovely terrace also had some other occupants...mice. They were smart mice, they managed to eat the food off the mouse traps without setting them off. They also like to crawl across the arm of one of our housemates while he slept. They also came out when everyone was around, without a care in the world. Probably laughing at the silly humans they were terrorising! So we brought in the big guns...rat poison! None of us are sure if it worked, they were probably too smart for the rat posion too!
Living in Fulham managed to find ourselves going out for a few drinks with our housemates then not getting home till 3am...never knew why our few drinks would take so long...hehe. Lots of fun times going out in the rest of London too. The nightlife in London is a lot better than the gong. I can't say that I miss having so few options of Glasshouse, Bourbon Street and North Gong!
Not only did we manage to find work and a place to live in our first 3 weeks we also managed to go to a musical in the West End and see a show at the Royal Opera House!! We went to see the Lion King for my birthday, it was great! Then my cousin managed to get tickets for us for the Royal Opera! We aren't into Opera, but the tickets were free from her work and had a face value of £195 each!! So here we were in the Royal Opera House surrounded by extremely rich snobby people feeling very out of place! It was a good experience but not sure I will be attending the Opera again. Grant started nodding off about half way through the first half! When the first half ended for a break, Grant actually thought it was finished! The rich live in a different world! We were also lucky enough to get tickets for Coldplay at the O2 Arena which was an awesome concert!
So the last few months of 2008 were spent living in conditions that I never would live in at home, exploring the city and having quite a few nights out...it was all good fun. Besides walking home in the rain and wind, weighed down with groceries, then trying to get in the back gate without getting wet and dropping the groceries on the ground, only to discover that one of your housemates has snapped their key off in the gate...I am not sure if that was ever fun!