13 March 2012

Moving in...thoughts on my new London home

Its an odd thing moving into a house share. If you think about it, you are sharing a home, a set space with people who are perfect strangers. How often do you walk up to a random person on the street and see if they will let you use their shower? Or when was the last time you let a perfect strange sleep in your house? But that is essentially what happens when you move into a flatshare or have someone move in with you. It is the oddest thing yet completely acceptable. What happened to the "stranger danger" concept you were taught when you were little? It gets thrown right out the window...here are 2, 3 or 4 random strangers, move in with them and share your daily life with them why dont you? Heck, even people in relationships think things through before they move in together, they want to get to know the person before they take that step. And yes while i realise that its not quite the same thing, you have to allow for some similarities.

I have moved into my new home in London. I am sharing with 2 girls and im sure they are lovely but for all i know they could be axe murderers or serial killers. I spent all of half an hour with each of them before moving in. Call me uptight but i dont give perfect strangers my home address or phone number after only speaking with them for half an hour and i certainly dont move in with them! But thats the thing, put in the persepective of sharing a house, it no longer seems strange, odd or even slightly daring or crazy, it becomes normal. Move in with perfect strangers? Dont know a thing about them? Well if the house is near a tube stop and the rent is affordable, you better snap it up before someone else does!

Of course my flatmates are lovely and very sweet. I have settled into my new home and im thoroughly enjoying the novelty of not being in a hostel anymore. But i just wanted to illustrate how crazy the whole house share social schema is. It is not the first time i have shared a house but its the first time i have viewed it from such a perspective and the laughable notion just had to be shared. Come to that, writing about my life on the internet where an innumerable number of strangers can read about it is just another example of an "accepted" thing to do that, seen in the same light, is just as crazy, but i digress.

Finding a place to live in London is not easy, as anyone will tell you. It is as serious as applying for a job...if not more so! Places are listed on flat sharing sites and within hours they are gone. If you manage to get a response to your enquiry you are invited to attend an interview, yes, an interview. Well its an interview masquerading as a house viewing. Anyway, you can rock up to the "interview" which is usually in the evenings, meet all the flatmates, get a tour of the house, be asked what you do, where your from, how long you staying in London and all sorts of other questions and think everything went well but never hear from them again. You do not get to choose where you live, it chooses you. If you do hear from them, you attend a second round of interviews and/or get a reference check. And you thought i was kidding about it being like applying for a job...

So 6 weeks after landing at Heathrow, luck chose to smile on me and, finally, i was able to say goodbye to the hostel and hello my new home :) And it is lovely. It is a terrace house on a quiet street but only a few minutes walk to the tube, local shops, bars and cafes. The biggest bonus is it has a roof terrace!!  Come summer time it is going to be brilliant! While living in the hostel was one heck of an experiance and allowed me to meet and befriend some people, i can honestly say that i will not miss sharing a room with 3 to 13 other girls, being woken up at odd hours because someone is either coming in late/leaving early/snoring/having night terrors/turning on their hair dryer or not being able to make myself dinner.

And now that i am settled (and have a stable internet connection!), i will be able to post a lot more about my adventures in London and other travels. I have a couple of posts already planned and of course there is my upcoming trip to Japan that you simply cannot miss.


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