That is the question that I was repeatedly asked by my friends and family. This question was quickly preceded by advice on why I should not move to London: it’s so far away, it’s cold, there are no beaches, it’s full of British people, there are no jobs, there is no good coffee, it’s full of Polish people, it’s dirty, it’s dreary, it’s expensive, there’s lots of crime, it’s full of “Ethnics”.
Granted, some of those points are true. London certainly is cold and there certainly are not any beaches. But at lot of these points were based on outdated stereotypes. In reality, London is not that expensive compared to Perth. In fact in many ways it’s cheaper. You would never pay anywhere near the equivalent of $40.00 AUD for a pub lunch in Britain! And you can find good coffee in London (even if it is likely found in a cafe run by either Australians or New Zealanders).
And then, some of the advice was just… well… quite racist. Unfortunately some of that might have rubbed off on me, when you consider my last post. Yikes.
At the end of the day, the friends and family that tried to talk me out of my Grand Relocation had the best intentions. They didn’t want me to leave, and I can only be flattered that they would release their inner bigots in a last-ditch effort to keep me all for themselves. Shucks!
But at the end of the day, I had a calling and I stuck to my guns.
Ever since I was young, I always identified with John Cusack’s movies and his goofy, anti-heroic, under-dog charm. I also love lists and their ability to so succinctly and superficially summarise any topic. And so (yes I’m going somewhere with this), as a tribute to one of my all time favourite JC films, here are my TOP 5 reasons for moving to London.
1. The International Challenge
Sure, I could have looked for another job in Perth. A change is as good as a holiday. Except, it really isn’t. And I wasn’t looking for a holiday in the first place.
I’ve harped on about this before. The issue wasn’t my job. It was my surroundings. I needed to go out and try living somewhere else. I didn’t want to live my entire life living in the same city.
So why not Sydney or Melbourne? I thought about it, I really did. There was a time when I was convinced that I was moving to Sydney. But in the end, I thought moving State lines was just too easy. I wanted to move countries and deal with all the ridiculous red-tape that goes with it.
2. European Flavour
Britain is a conflicted little mistress. She would love to be independently British, holding her own against the rest of the lesser international scum. But in reality, She has accepted that she is apart of Europe and must act accordingly.
For an Australian like myself, Britain’s unavoidable proximity to Europe is one of its greatest draw cards. Australia is so isolated that anyone wanting to visit a foreign country can waste days of his or her life in transit. Sure, airplane food is amazing, but personal space is even better and 99% of us can’t afford to travel business. Us Australians are also so jipped with our foreign neighbours. Our closest options for some international travel are Bali, which serves it’s purpose (being cheap, filthy partying, deadly cocktails and counterfeit designer wear), or New Zealand, which is basically a detention centre jammed packed full of people waiting to immigrate to Australia for that sweet Social Welfare ticket. (Some of my best friends are Kiwis, but they still immigrated to Australia, didn’t they?)
From London, I can jet of to Paris or Rome or Budapest or Dubrovnik for the weekend in just a few short hours with a cheap Spanish airline!
3. They Speak English
Well, apparently they do. I mean it makes sense: the English should speak English. And look, in most cases Londoners are generally easy to understand. But, dear GOD I have heard some vowel sounds that are just not correct. How did this happen? How could a country that literally created a language be littered with a population who cannot properly speak it? Look, I am the first to admit that Australians can have a distinct twang, but we are easy to understand.
The accent can be difficult enough. I didn’t need the extra challenge of learning an entire new language, which isn’t required unless you travel to Leeds where I don’t know what the hell they are speaking in, but it certainly isn’t English.
4. I Can Get A Job
Technically, I can get a job. That is, my law degree is easily transferable such that I can still practice as a solicitor in Britain, without really needing to sit any extra exams. Of course, there was that little thing called the Global Financial Crisis, followed by that it’s less successfully sequel, the European Debt Crisis, which has made it oh so more interesting to try find a job. Nothing truly shreds one’s dignity like the fruitless exercise in shameless self-promotion one is required to participate in order to enter the London job market.
5. My Partner Is Here
Just like any classic John Cusack film, there was a hopelessly romantic element to my decision to move.
“Oooooooooooooooooooh. It’s all falling into place. This wasn’t a life changing decision. The idiot did it for a girl. What a fraud.”
Really? REALLY? Is that what you think? Well, if it is, then you would be wrong. This idiot did it for a boy. Ha, you didn’t see that coming, now did you? Or maybe you did. People are pretty”meh”about that kind of thing these days.
So here are the facts:
* He moved here in June 2011
* Due to social and financial circumstances, I wasn’t able to make the move at the same time.
* After some really poor negotiations on both of our parts, we broke up.
* I visited him in August 2011, after which we well and truly broke up.
* I decided I wanted to move to London in my own time, independent of him and so I applied for a Visa.
* After a few months he contacted me, proclaiming his love and offering to return to Perth.
* After a period of self-reflection, following by the routine game of “Hard to Get”, I realised I felt the same and told him not to move back as I was moving to London.
Gone with the Wind has nothing on our epic melodrama!
I’m sure you noticed that I highlighted part of the timeline in bright red. This is the part of the tale that I like to cling to, proving that he wasn’t the reason I moved. Childish? Obnoxious? Conceited? Perhaps. I am a Taurus after all.
Look. I can honestly say that, ever since I visited this fine city in 2008, it has been my dream to move here. However, it was a dream and I am generally pragmatist, so I probably would never had made the move had my Boyf not decided to do so 8 months earlier. So, whilst he kinda acted like a dick and I had a bit of a terrible time, in the end he came good and made the move of a life time because of him.
Ugh. How disgustingly romantic.