I want to live in London

EmigrationLondon has always been one of the centre of the European economy but since the financial crisis of 2009 became the main target of European emigration flow.

Many people moved to the Perfidious Albion in the last years seeking employment. But how is to live in London? I would help people to have a better idea about what they can find in this crazy city.

Pros

Employment

If you work in IT, medicine or finance, this is your city! You will find a job easily and the salary is good. Even if your English is not perfect, you will receive loads of offers.

If you are seeking for a job in another area, your knowledge of the language is very important. Probably you can start from a minimal wage work like in a restaurant or a hotel and try to improve the idiom. My tip is not to stay too long in this kind of job. You will be tired every day and probably will work in the night. Keep following your goal!

Cultural activities

London offers loads of things to do. Events, shows, museums, parks, cinemas, theatre an so on. If you like museums like me, enjoy the most for free! I suggest also watch at least a musical. Amazing!

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.

Samuel Johnson

Multiculturalism

8 million of people from 270 countries and 300 different languages are spoken every day. Meeting such a large amount of cultures helps you to understand better yourself and make you grove up. You can always learn something new from another culture!

Bicycle

Bicycles LondonEvery day thousand of Londoners use the bicycle for commuting. If you like to stay in shape and help the environment you can choose to join this big community.

The mayor of London applies a policy for inciting the use of this means of transport. The last news is that they are going to build a superhighway for bicycles.

Safety

Most of the boroughs are enough safe. You can come back home in the night without fear. London is not a violent city. Although anyway you should always open all your three eyes, especially in tourist places to avoid pickpockets.

The city is plenty of CCTV but if something not serious will happen (like a theft) the police will check them summarily. My first two motorbikes were stolen 🙁

Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy is very light. Europeans can start to work without any document but they will pay the maximum percentage of tax. When you will have the NIN (National Insurance Number) HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) will give you back the money you paid in excess. Easy, isn’t?

Even if you have to open a bank account, a company or whatever it’s very quick and efficient.

Food

Fish and ChipsEnglish food is not my favourite but you can find every cuisine you want from every part of the World! Italian, Spanish, Japanese, American, Polish, Chinese, Thai, Caribbean… everything you want to taste is here. Also try the Food Markets. You will be surprise!

Sport

Most of the Londoners practise some sport. They go to the gym, run in parks, go to work with the bicycle… you will be encouraged to do the same! Healthy life!


Cons

Weather

Rainy LondonI’m from a Mediterranean island so I’m used to live in a place with good weather and sun. In London seem that the summer never comes. And when it arrives it’s hard to bear.

Anyway I discourage you to have a swim in the Thames 🙂

Friends

A couple of years ago I had a discussion with an English girl about friendliness. She told me that Londoners sometimes don’t give you confidence because most of the people only pass in London for a short period. So what’s the reason to give confidence to someone who will disappear probably tomorrow?

It describes well the situation. The 99% of the foreigners in this city will leave in the next couple of years and it’s very hard to build a friendship with natives.

City size

You can go from the terminus of the Central line to the other in almost two hours. That can give you a rough idea of the size of the city.

Even if your office is on the same underground line of your home, expect at least half hour for the commuting. Sometimes in inhuman conditions.

Transport

Crowded Underground LondonThe transport infrastructure is one of the biggest in the World. But keep ready for overcrowded couches, interruptions, delays, long walks to the stations and expensive tickets! The monthly travelcard from zone 1 to 2 it’s currently around £130. And from zone 1 to 6 is almost £230!!!

Forget to take a taxi (too expensive) and (until September) the underground during the night.

Family

If you have a close connection with your family, living abroad is always a trauma. London is well connected to the rest of the World by trains and planes but for some small city like mine the ticket will be expensive so you won’t come back home often.

Rent a house\room

Renting a house or a room can be one of the most stressful experience in London. If you want to get one decent accommodation keep ready to visit at least two or three house each day per week and get the money ready to pay the deposit. Especially for renting a room they can go in less than a hour from the publish of the advertisement in the webs!

Most of the house are really old and dirty. And it’s not a stereotype that the most still have carpet, separate taps for hot and cold water and don’t have the bidet (Italian mode on).

Buy a house

If your salary is less than £50000 forget to buy a house. If you don’t mind to travel more than a hour you can buy a house at affordable prices.

Prices

A part of rent and transport, the purchasing power is more or less the same of other big capitals.

With a salary up to £20000 (normal waitress or receptionist salary) you can only survive. Up to £50000 you can have a normal life. If your salary is higher you can enjoy the real London life 🙂

 

Summary

Money happinessLondon is a very competitive city. It will test your stamina. You will feel that a month is like to live a year in another place. Everybody is stressed and running.

You can have four reasons to jump to this city: you are unemployed in your country, you want to learn English, you want to improve your CV or you like rain and you would try to swim in Thames.

For most of the people is just a passing point.

But soon you will understand that money doesn’t make you happy.

  1 comment for “I want to live in London

  1. Miguel
    22/06/2015 at 06:55

    I feel you brother. With the lack of bidet you touch my hearth 😀

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