Friday, October 28, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
After nearly four years in London, I am pretty adept at everyday life in the UK. I know how to set up utility bills and open a bank account. I can say “cheers” instead of “thanks” without feeling silly, and order “bangers and mash” without giggling. But there’s one thing that still eludes me even after all this time: grocery shopping.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Today is election day in the UK. Despite the fact that I’ve been asked “did you vote?” more than five times, I, as an immigrant, am not permitted to do so. But that didn’t stop me from begging all of my friends that could vote to choose whichever party would not revoke my visa and eject me and my fellow migrant laborers from their lovely country.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
My boyfriend has been out of town for the past nine days. He headed out to New York and San Francisco to see friends and enjoy the torrential rains that are currently plaguing the great state of California. This left me by my lonesome in London, feeling a bit lost as I puttered about our empty flat talking to myself and feeling like I should be surrounded by a few cats.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
This week it was time to celebrate my third expat Thanksgiving. Last Thanksgiving I cheated my way out of cooking dinner by ordering food from my favorite local grocer, Rosslyn Deli. In lieu of attempting to shove a huge turkey into my tiny oven and trying to cook stuffing while lacking any culinary skills whatsoever, I left the dinner to the experts and gave thanks for being able to shirk out of my cooking responsibilities.
Monday, November 23, 2009
One of my least favorite parts of living in London is the UK Home Office’s penchant for changing the rules of my visa. First they changed the name from HSMP (Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) to the yawn-inducing Tier 1. Then they decided that instead of having just an undergraduate degree, you have to have a Masters. Then, after the uproar that ensued following that change, they decided that if you already had the visa, you didn’t have to have a Masters but if you were a first time applicant, you did. It gets even more confusing, but I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that I don’t wish the UK Tier 1 visa application process on anyone.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
After two years of living in the UK, I thought I was done with “firsts.” But on Monday I realized that there are still a few experiences I’ve been putting off. One of those is dentistry.
Okay, okay, so I know it’s a stereotype to refuse to see a dentist in the UK just because the country doesn’t have the best reputation for dental hygiene and orthodontics. Maybe I’ve seen Austin Powers a few too many times. Maybe my former landlady—the evil one with the bad teeth—scarred me for life. Or maybe I’m just averse to dental change.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Today marks my two year anniversary of living in London. All day I’ve been thinking about my first day in this amazing city. About my Eurostar pulling into Waterloo station, my boyfriend meeting me with flowers, my dinner at Mint Leaf, and the moment in the taxi when it finally hit me that I had achieved my long time dream of moving to London.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
When I moved to London two years ago, I started to notice a common theme among the pubs in my neighborhood: pub quiz night. Naturally competitive and overly confident in my knowledge of random British trivia, I got excited about the idea. My expat friends did not. They completely refused to buy into my idea that it would be fun to subject ourselves to more than our normal dose of ridicule for being stupid Americans.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
A month ago my company moved into a new office in Noho. Formerly known as Fitzrovia, Noho is a trendy area around Charlotte Street in central London. The area has grown on me quite a bit since I started spending most of my waking life there.
Noho wasn’t totally new to me when we relocated in June. I have two friends who live on Charlotte Street, so I’ve spent a few evenings in the area. But being there during the day is different. I’ve been able to explore the breakfast and coffee scene in the morning, the lunch scene at midday, and dive deeper into the drinks and dinner scene post-work.