Getting off the plane at Gatwick International Airport, London and being hit by the cold was a full realization that our lives (my husband and I) were getting a fresh start in the popular city of London.
After months of planning, preparing, saving for the new beginning, it was finally happening. For me, it was a bit surreal because one day I was single and had a dissatisfying job, and the next day, I am meeting a guy who has plans to relocate and all of a sudden, I became a part of that plan too. The story of how we got there is a long one and will feature in another blog post, but for now, I will gist you about what it was like settling in London, UK.
There are some things that hit you when you first get into the country (this is beside the cold weather), and for me, there were many! But here are some highlighted ones so I don’t get to bore you with a long read.
- The Transport System
Coming from a country where getting around poses some problems most of the time, having to experience a new transport system just sort of uplifts you. You have the option of taking a bus, a train, a tramp, a ferry, a cable line and at reasonable costs. For example, you can jump on different buses in London to several places and pay for just one trip (provided the trips are all within an hour). This just means that you have to plan your trips before stepping out and that’s where apps like Google maps and City mapper comes in handy.
- The Seemingly Unfriendly Nature
One thing you notice in London is how they have mastered the art of our Nigerian slang ‘mind your business. You live for weeks/years in a neighbourhood and never really get to know who your next-door neighbour is. Or you walk down the streets and that whole how far now greeting system isn’t there. We Nigerians love how communal we can be and that’s something theses Londoners don’t have and I doubt will ever have. But hey, you do what works best for you!
- Fast Walkers
Okay, so these guys can walk, and not just walking alone, they walk fast. While you are still trying to meet up with a train/bus, they have literally boarded, lol. But if you are one who loves walking/jogging a lot, you will love it here because the roads are perfect for such. Also, you tend to save little change when you opt to walk to places rather than taking the bus or the train.
- The Food
So a lot of people might contest this, especially if you are one who has an exploratory taste bud. But for me, no way! First of all, their bread has no taste at all. I mean you know how soft and squishy and sweet Agege bread is yea, well theirs doesn’t even get close to such a standard. No offence but Noo!!! Then their spices are also not as hot as ours and if you are not used to eggs being prepared in the not Nigerian regular way, then you might want to order a small quantity first before diving in completely. Like I said, if your taste buds can’t tolerate other dishes asides Nigerian/your local food, then it’s best to search for a list of local restaurants in your area. I will feature some of the Nigerian restaurants I’ve visited around me in another blog post, so stay tuned to the blog.
In all, London has been a wonderful place for a fresh start with no regrets whatsoever.
Thanks for reading our first post on Living In London. Look out for the next one which will feature some things to do to get you started like opening an account, a GP (General Practice – like a hospital), getting your BRP or house hunting. Till then, please share my blog link and comment with your thoughts.