First Week in England

It’s been one week that we are in England and still we behave as if it was our first time on the Mars. The thing is that when you arrive somewhere to LIVE, you percept everything around from a very different point of you than if it was just a travel. We are ready to share our very first observations and thoughts, even if 70% of our time we spend in apartment hunting.

Driving on the left

independent people road england

Surprisingly, it was quite okay. First minutes of shock, couple times of forgetting that after having overtaken the lorries, we actually had to come back to the left line :D

Vocabulary

Obviously, to sound British it’s better to use “lorry” instead of “truck” and “coach” instead of “bus”. You see, how much one can learn simply driving on the motorway! By the way, surprisingly, the verges are extremely dirty, reminded us of Ukraine (sweet memories…)

Talking in English

Well, it could be worse. Sometimes we have to pull together all the concentration we possess to decode what has been just said. We suspect, though, that for locals our English sounded as weird as theirs did for us. Xavier managed to pronounce “plug adaptors” the way that it sounded like “to buy potatoes”. It was our biggest linguistic epic fail. Ever.

Otherwise, it’s so amazing to observe the influence of the environment. Even just one week seems to have improved our English!

Sea

Is amazing, naturally. Just like in the movies of your dreams – a sea, lonely figures in a coat slightly too big than necessary walking with their dogs. Turn on the sea sound. Love it.

independent people sea saltburn
independent people sea saltburn england

Communities

We had a look at the city magazine, and we were surprised to see the amount of small clubs and communities that can exist. Saltburn by the Sea, the town close to Middlesbrough, where we think to settle down, counts around 6000 inhabitants, but there is a club for all the tastes and activities possible. If you knit scarves reciting hokku in Japanese – there will be a community for this too, no worries.

Eating habits

Yes, we know that it’s too early to judge and not everyone is like that etc, but during our apartment visits and staying with people we noticed the following: it is quite common not to have a dining table. Which means that people eat either on their knees in front of TV, or on the bureau with a laptop. It seems like the British are really into street junk food and take aways. Is it true, or is it just a funny coincidence of exceptions? :)

independent people fish n chips

Apartments

I beg your pardon, but WHAT IS IT? Please, reassure us, that the integrality of England doesn’t live in the apartments similar to the ones in Middlesbrough. Where this strange passion for narrow corridors, useless corners and the vomit greenish wallpapers with red flowers comes from? For over than two days looking for a place to live requires almost unhuman courage or, as an alternative version, a bottle of whiskey. Just look at this and tell me, how people manage to live there and not hang themselves. (best of the best)

independent people apartment saltburn england
independent people apartment saltburn england

Ultra shitty formalities

European Union, absence of the borders and so forth are 100% advantageous when you travel for several days to Costa Brava. However, as soon as one tries to settle down somewhere in EU, suddenly it appears that there are almost no agreements to simplify the life in case if you want to live for some time abroad. Loads of bureaucratic (car-insurance-residence permit) procedures that are actually never-ending. Our favorite scheme of the day: To get the UK sim-card we need a bank account. To have a bank account, we need an apartment. And to have an apartment, we need both a bank account and a sim-card. Amusing, isn’t it?

Word of the article: Cuppa which means “cap of something, mainly tea”

independent people english tea

We do hope these are simply first steps that might be difficult, but then everything will be fine, won’t it? Anyway, this is and will remain one of “expat life” cons, I guess.

2017-05-13T13:15:58+00:00 December 6th, 2015|

2 Comments

  1. Lies Sunday January 17th, 2016 at 07:29 PM - Reply

    Aaahhh, the flat hunting is always so much fun in the UK! I also had difficulties getting a bank account.
    I was staying with friends for a while, so I had no proof of address to give to the bank, which meant they all turned me away when I mentioned that, even though I had a job. In the end I walked into Lloyds, never mentioned I didn’t have proof of address and opened the account. When we got to the ‘proof of address’ checkbox, she just checked it without asking for it. That was it!
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    • independentpeople Sunday January 17th, 2016 at 10:47 PM - Reply

      So good to know we are not exceptional in this subject!
      Yeah, we opened at Lloyds finally, to the others we had to explain what CouchSurfing meant, haha. I must admit, that after almost two monts in UK..well, we find living here a bit tough. So many amazing misunderstandings and sad adventures, that we feel pretty discouraged. Planning to write a post about all of it, but it’ll be too long, I’m afraid. :( Did you love living here in general?

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