Firstly, well done you have landed in London and survived that bloody flight. If you are like me, the free booze is the only positive. Unless you’re drugged up on sleeping pills, there is no way your body wants to fall asleep in a vertical chair with minimal leg room.
To paint a picture – you arrive at Heathrow airport in your comfy pants with a fucking heavy suitcase, jet lagged and bunged up with shitty inflight food. Finding a place to live in London is the last thing you want to do.
Luckily my boyfriend was organised with some work and we were accommodated in a hotel for 2 weeks. This gave me enough time to visit numerous crappy flat viewings all over London. We weren’t too fussy where we lived but everyone back home harped on about living in Clapham or Hammersmith.
I created a profile on Spareroom, which essentially felt like I was creating an online dating profile. I had to share my interests, confirm that I was normal and upload photos of us looking cool to trick other flatmates to live with us.
The best budget option for us was to find another couple to live with who had recently made the move to London.
I went to a few viewings that advertised ‘room only’ and I can confirm that was a waste of time. Why would I want to live in a house with no communal area? Is it acceptable these days to compromise where you eat your dinner? As a lover of cooking, I didn’t really picture myself eating my dinner in a 3m x 3m bedroom.
As both of us were freelancers at home, some property managers were ass-holes to us and expected us to pay at least 4 months rent up front! Do they realise how the NZD converts to the GBP?
Then one night I got a message from another couple who were interested in living with us. Yes, yes, yes! Of course I reply, but I thought, you can’t come on too strong, play it cool. Anyway, I had actually viewed a cute apartment in Bow (East London) that day. With completely disregarding the ‘play it cool’ strategy, I word vomited how excited it would be if they moved in with us. Shit! I hadn’t even met these people in person yet. What if I was getting cat fished?
Don’t worry, we met and they were freaking awesome. She was Canadian and he was Irish. What a combination!
Now I get to share what it’s like to live in East London.