Gee, where have the last two months gone! I just noticed my last entry has been at the beginning of December and now it's already February! It's scary how fast time goes by.
But at least I've managed a lot of things so far. And because there are some people (looking at you, AnniBunny ;-)) back at home in Germany who are highly interested in HOW to settle down in lovely Britain, I'm going to talk about some of my experiences. And note: I had to start from scratch, so to speak. No job offer that gives me the reason to move, no company that manages the formalities. Nope, just the desire to settle in another country. So, here we go...
First, if you want to move to London (or basically any city), go there. I tried to find a (shared) place, and I can tell you - like so many before me I'm sure - you just have to be where you want to go because rooms are going fast here! (Although I must say, being on the room hunt for some months now, there are A LOT of rooms that seem to stay on flat share sites, like, forever. And some of them don't even sound/look bad! But then there is another thing I've experienced, even staying right in the middle of London: most people don't even bother to reply to your messages. (I should mention here that I have a cat, so that might be one factor that finding a place was so hard for me, simply because most landlords don't allow pets.) I understand that there are many people contacting them, and I also fully understand that you just can't answer all of them (BUT, and I really hope I don't sound too lecturing/complaining by now, first, there are manual response buttons for declining; second, those two sites I was using showed how many people have viewed the offer and how many contaced the advertiser - and the numbers where far from that high that it would be an effort to reply). But, alas, people...
But don't you worry, there are still some nice fellows who are ready to talk to you, and some of them even sound like real, honest people. So, at the end of this chapter: I've found a place with people I really like - and who are creative, too! Yay!
And that's leading me to my next point.
Second, the basics (that's what I call them anyways): UK mobile phone provider, National Insurance Number, bank account.
I did quite a lot of research in hope to find a fitting mobile phone provider which to be honest was making the decision even harder: websites, testers, and those lots could give 10 stars for one but as soon as you're reading through the comments it's like the complete opposite of "good" - and that's pretty much for every provider I could find.
(Same goes with finding a bank. Literally!)
So, having some friends/acquaintances/relatives/whoever who has been there and has long term UK experiences is kind of a must-have in my opinion. And they really make deciding for one company much much easier and you'll be more comfortable with your decision afterwards.
Also, you just need to have a UK phone number when applying for pretty much everything. (Like it's kind of proof that you're serious about living here, but that's just a theory.)
Okay, that's it for Part 1. It's after midnight and I "went to bed" more than two hours ago. The rest will follow soon!
But before, here a little treat if you managed to keep reading through to the end ;-)
The three pics above are in Crystal Palace Park.
As much as I love St. James's Park with its squirrels and ducks, THIS one has dinosaurs! Like, huge, a hundred years old dinosaurs! Best park ever!