We left Vancouver one week ago and arrived Wednesday afternoon UK time. We've been busy adjusting, but here are some things that we have noticed during our week one...
- When crossing the street, lights do not matter. Just start walking / running whenever you see a free moment.
- When searching for flats, they still use carpet in the bathroom and separate cold / hot water taps (as much as we wanted to avoid this one, we have one in our bathroom)
- Party walls = a wall that separates two buildings belonging to different owners.
- If you purchase property in a certain distance of a church of England, you may be responsible for maintanence fees.
- Everyone in customer service (e.g. banks, transport) works behind glass and speaks through a microphone.
- They sure like sandwiches here!
- Television shows start at awkward times - e.g. 18:05 to 18:58
- The UK first floor is what we (Canada) call the second floor
- Animated, talking animals (think bumble bees for vodafone, meerkats for insurance, etc.) are very popular in Commercials.
#10 is the biggest hurdle that we are overcoming. It seems that everything here is a catch 22 and if you speak to anybody that has relocated here, they completely understand, because they went through the same thing you did.
Cell phone: We have the phone, but need a new SIM card. We can't get one unless we have bank statement with our UK address listed which means that a) you need to have a UK address b) you need to wait a month or so to receive one in the mail. We ended up getting a cheap (£7 pay as you go phone) as a temporary number.
Banking: We signed up for offshore accounts prior to landing and are hoping to move them to a local branch this week. If you arrive here without a bank account, you can't open one until you have a job no matter how much money you are trying to give them.
Coming up... I will tell you how everything went from "the flat is yours" to "the flat is only yours if you do X and X" to "the flat is yours again" in 24 hours. And yes, I will post pictures as soon as I can!