So my boyfriend and I had finally The Talk. Not really sure when it happened. I think it was that day that we had lunch at Carluccio’s, a chain of Italian restaurants where I always ask for Zuppa di pancetta e funghi, a soup with bacon and mushrooms served with the softest buttery bread, YUM! My favourite soup in the world! But that day I didn’t ask for it. I could feel the tension, got a salad instead. Salad is good with tension, salad and wine….
V: “I think it’s time to leave London”
I’ve been living here for seven and a half years, I’ve seen friends come and go but never really thought that one day it would be me. So let’s keep it clear, ‘is just an idea’ for the moment. So we thought we should give it a go to those prons and cons lists that I love so much…
Pros of living in London
- Reason No.1 is obviously my friends! …. and the cat 🙂
- London is The City par excellence. You can find a great party even on a Tuesday night, up until 6 AM or have a kebab or a sandwich at any time of the night and in almost any place in the city.
24 hours restaurant, check✔️
24 hours Internet cafe, check✔️
24 hours transport, check✔️
Is just non stop.
- Money here is great. If you work a lot, you will get good money. There are lots of jobs everywhere. Maybe not in your field, but you will never starve. Also there are lots of positions for jobs that somewhere else in the world would be impossible to live from, and here are “somewhat paid”, like artists, bartenders, sportsmen and gym trainers, carers, builders and specially the guys who open your door when you get locked outside, the locksmiths. Not sure how much they earn, but it must be a fortune simply because they CHARGE A FORTUNE. (I always thought that that’s a diamond business here)
- Nightlife! of course. Concerts and performances
- Public transportation! Back home I used to own a car. I was a student, so I had a student car, a Twingo. It was awesome, because public transport in my city is meh…..
I love the Metro, is clean and beautiful but buses…. BUSES!
Buses in my city leave me speechless. Bus drivers drive like in The Fast and the Furious! racing all the time and with this loud music from hell… Buses are so annoying that your only option is to get a car to pollute the air and to get stuck in traffic with thousands of people with more cars, that think the same way like you. But in London I kinda lost the interest in cars. Don’t get me wrong, I love driving but I can avoid all the stress from traffic, finding a parking space, or a petrol station. Also, I can go out and drink because I don’t need to drive home (this is a top reason for a wine drinker), and the tube is so much faster, the buses run 24 hours and they take you everywhere. I love you Tfl ❤️
- The parks. I love the parks! They’re so pretty, and they’re everywhere! Just in the middle of the chaotic city, you can find a space full of flowers and trees to disconnect. And if you’re luckier, you can even find mini lakes with swans and … Pelicans?
- The Thames and the canals. They’re my favourite part of the city. Is just so beautiful to walk by them. Water brings me so much peace, and who doesn’t adore those cute little ducklings on the way?
- Museums are free. Try going to St Paul’s cathedral or to Westminster Abbey and you will be charged (??). But not in most museums 🙂 English have collected amazing things from all over the world, specially Greece and Egypt (Let’s don’t discuss how) and yes, it’s all for free.
- People don’t stare at you. Yeyy!!!! You can dress up as you want, do as you like, and nobody gives a damn, unless you’re disrespectful. It’s simply awesome!
- London is so international! I get to hang out with people from countries that I couldn’t even locate in a map before meeting them, and I love it. In London everyone is welcomed and treated respectfully. London is like a mini Earth, where you can find people from every single country in the world. And best of all: The food. There are restaurants from every single cuisine! and if I leave, sure I would miss the Peruvian food, Turkish, Japanese and Ethiopian. My favourites.
Cons of living in London
- The weather. The city is so beautiful but the weather is like, seriously? Is it even possible to have a worse weather than this? (Is not a dare). Compared to other cities in Europe, London’ winter is not that cold, reaching minimum -2 mostly. But then the rest of the year is like a long Autumn soaked in endless wind and humidity, and sometimes even Autumn is sunnier than Summer time. Not to mention that the sky is always grey. What’s up with that?
- The rent. Rents are high. High like mofo! Most people can’t afford a place, like us, so we share a flat with our friends. There are people even sharing their room, like a hostel, with 10 more people. And worst of all, we reached the point where we think this is normal.
- Housing. There’s no chance for me to buy a house in here. I understand if you buy to then sell and make a little profit, but not a house to live in. The smallest, ugliest house could costs around £250.000 and did I mention that it will also be very far from the centre and that you need to change the pipes and cables and everything because they’re basically so old that Mozart could’ve been visiting your place in his days and somehow, that’s not really a good thing….
- I must now apologise to all the vegetarians out there, but it’s time to talk about meat. But not a great talk. Beef is quite expensive here and not so great. They seem to be very proud of putting everywhere the “100% British beef Guaranty” stamp. But they shouldn’t be so proud of it….. I mean, Bravo! for eradicating the Crazy Cow disease, but beef tastes so much better anywhere else
- Mice. I have noticed that most Europeans have a lot of acceptance to rodents (??!!) still not a good thing if they want to live under your roof without paying rent. Bless our friend’s cat! We have never had the squicky little visitors.
To this list I would like to add the fact that I’ve been living here long enough to make this place my home, and that we know we have everything here and would be difficult to start from scratch anywhere else. But then again, most of our friends have moved away or back to their home countries, so that made us raise the question among other stuff.
We haven’t decided yet but I better start packing…