Keep Calm and Move to London

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m still very much here! I have just moved back from London and I am currently re-adjusting to life in Toronto. For those of you who don’t know (or who don’t follow my Instagram), I was living and working in London for the past two years on a Tier 5 “Working Holiday” Visa. Of course, it is nice to be back with my family and friends, but I sure am missing my favourite city in the world!

I have recently had several people, who are considering making the big move to London, ask me for a seasoned expat’s tips and tricks on moving to London. So, instead of answering each person’s questions individually, I thought it might be helpful to make a blog post so that this advice can be in one easily accessible place for all to peruse. I’m going to try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions so that you can hopefully be prepared to tackle all that London throws your way.

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How did you find a place to live?

Ah, the question that plagues all (including Londoners themselves). I won’t lie to you, finding a place to live in London is no walk in the park. Let me give you a little overview of my living situation. During my time in London, I had 4 different living arrangements:

Situation 1: My first week in London was spent in a hostel dorm with about 7 other girls (who were strangers at first but some of whom are now my friends 🙂 ). This is a good place to base yourself while looking for a more permanent place to live. However, spending too many nights in a hostel might drive some people to madness. Personally, a week was plenty for me.

Situation 2: The next 4 weeks were spent in a “long-term stay” hostel. I shared a room with one other girl. In this hostel, I felt a little bit more settled than in the first place, but it still did not feel like home, and to be honest, I was not super fond of it. Though this living situation was far from what I wanted, the good thing about it was that there was no time limit on the duration of my stay. I could renew my stay on a weekly basis and stay as long as I wanted. So I would still recommend this sort of accommodation if you aren’t having much luck with your flat search and are looking for a short term, temporary stay without the stress of having to move out like at a normal hostel.

Situation 3: Finally, over a month after my arrival in London, I finally moved into my first flat! Woohoo! Yes, it took over a month for me to find a place and move in. This is not that uncommon, especially when you arrive in London at one of the busiest times of year (September/October), which I did. This is not to say that there’s no way in hell you’ll be able to find a room in under a month. You definitely can. It just might not be your ideal living situation. Personally, I was quite picky with my flat choice. I went to maybe 20 viewings before I found a place that I liked and that was offered to me. But maybe if I wasn’t so particular, I would have found a place quicker. Usually, some sort of sacrifice has to be made. For example, I really liked the location of my place, the actual bedroom, and my two flatmates, but it was a little bit over my budget. So don’t be discouraged if you are having a hard time finding a flat. London is a bit like a Black Friday sale at Best Buy – you may get into a fist fight over a flat screen TV… ok not actually. But the flat hunting game is indeed very competitive and fast paced. The good places will go very quickly, so it’s important to be on the ball, but also to not feel too dispirited if you are having a difficult time.

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Situation 4: After 8 months in my first flat, I was feeling a lot more settled in London. Because my first flat was getting to be a bit too expensive, I decided to start looking for a new flat. I wanted to find a place that was a little bit cheaper and closer to my work. Because I had the luxury of not having to move out my current flat straight away, the flat hunting process this time around was a lot less stressful. I was able to find a place that I really loved! So just remember, the first flat you move into doesn’t have to be your home for the rest of your London life!

Key Facts and Tips for Flat Hunting:

  • Spareroom.co.uk – This website will literally be your lord and saviour during your flat hunting expedition. On this website, tenants and landlords advertise rooms that are available in their flatshares. You can also post an ad of yourself describing what you are looking for, so that roommates looking for a new tenant can consider you. TIP: You can pay extra money for an early bird subscription, which allows you to see ads for flats when they are first released. PAY FOR THE UPGRADE! I found both of my flats thanks to my early bird subscription. Totally worth the fee.
  • lhalondon.com – This is where I found the long-term hostel that I was referring to.
  • If you can, try to avoid renting a flat that is managed by an lettings agency. They may charge you silly expensive fees that seem completely pointless (ie: £200 to “change the names on the lease”… like how the f*ck do they even get away with that chutzpah?!)
  • What many newcomers don’t realize is that often, it is the current flatmates who choose the new tenant, not the landlord. You might be so interested in a room that you are willing to give up all your life savings on the spot plus your left arm, but the flatmates may decide to give the room to someone else – maybe a friend or colleague of theirs, or maybe just an interested viewer that they ~vibed~ with more than you. Try not to take it personally. Also, don’t be too alarmed if you are already on your way to a viewing and you get a text saying the room has been filled. These undesirable yet common scenarios have happened to me so many times, and you just gotta (you guessed it) keep calm and carry on.

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  • Many flats do not have a living room. Also, many flats do not have tumble dryers. Half-sized fridges are common as well. But it’s London, so you kind of just gotta accept it.
  • London is divided into Zones. This may be fairly obvious, but normally the further out the zone, the cheaper the rent.

How did you find a job? How long did it take you?

Another very commonly asked question.

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When I first moved to London, I got a job at an events staffing company about a week after I arrived.  This was a really good job to start out with because the hours were very flexible. You can work as much or as little as you want. Because of this, I had time to go to flat viewings in addition to my work shifts. It also allowed me gain behind the scenes access to extremely high profile venues and events that I may not have seen otherwise (The Brit Awards and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show were a couple highlights). Oh and did I mention I got to serve dinner to Prince William & Kate Middleton and Prince Harry?! That was a PRETTY DAMN GOOD PERK. It is very easy to find this type of work in London, as there are numerous event staffing agencies of this sort that are always looking for new staff. So if you are looking to break out into the work force straight away, I would recommend this casual type of work.

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Squad goals

After about five months working for the events company, I decided I wanted a change. I had been doing a lot of work on evenings and weekends, and I was ready for a Monday-Friday office job. I ended up registering with a few different office temping agencies. Through one of these agencies, I was placed in a temp role as a receptionist in a law firm. It took about two weeks, maybe even less, for them to find me this role. This ended up turning into a permanent role, and later, a promotion. I worked here for the rest of my time in London, and it was a wonderful experience. Many people like temp work because it enables them to travel in between jobs. Temp agencies are abundant in London, so I would highly recommend registering with a few agencies if you are looking for work. They recruit for temporary work, but also for contract roles and permanent roles. There all all different types of agencies that specialize in different types of work, such as office admin, finance, marketing, and media jobs.

Some people move to London expecting that a Masters Degree, top grades, and 3-5 years of experience will guarantee them their dream job on a shiny silver platter. And while you may be qualified for a top-ranking position, realistically, if you are only willing to settle for your dream job, then you’ll be making the job hunt a lot harder for yourself. Unfortunately, in a city with a population over 8 million people, London employers may be inclined to give your “dream job” to an equally qualified British citizen. Of course, this is not always the case, and you may get super lucky! But it is good to go into the job search stage with lower expectations than “dream job”.

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Brace yourself for the notoriously evil morning commute…

What area should I live in?

Before I moved to London, I kept wishing someone would give me a magical answer to this question. London seemed so huge and overwhelming. There were so many different neighbourhoods, and I literally didn’t have a bloody CLUE where to live. I had this image in my head of streets lined with beautiful, tall Victorian terraced homes like the ones you see in movies. I soon realized that you need to be like a friggin Oligarch or Made in Chelsea cast member to live in one of those places. I also realized how thankful I was that no one told me where to live, and that I got to figure it out on my own.

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Guards protecting my house (I wish) 

Flat hunting in London, though it can be a rather tedious undertaking, allows you to explore the various rich and vibrant neighbourhoods of the city. You really need to actually go to neighbourhoods in order to get a real sense of what they are like. Someone might tell you to live in a certain area, but when you actually physically go to said area, you may find that it’s just not for you. What’s considered a “dodgy area” for some people may be a “hip” area for others. What’s considered a “fun, vibrant nightlife” area for some people may be a bit to loud for others. It’s important to find a flat in a place where you feel comfortable, because you are the one who will be living there. Then it can really feel like your home 🙂

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How did you meet people?

One thing that I found during my time in London, and that many of my expat friends agree, is that expats are mostly friends with other expats. I would say for my entire first year in London, all of my friends were either Canadians or Aussies. Part of this was because I was part of a social group called “Britbound,” geared at expats who have recently moved to London. And part of this was due to the fact that my events job was full of other expat employees. But I also believe the somehow, we expats just seem to find each other. Maybe it is because we automatically have one thing in common – we are expats living in London! Or maybe it’s because we have some inexplicable telepathic connection. Either way, it was pretty rare that I met any actual BRITISH people for the first little while, despite living in BRITAIN! This is probably largely because Londoners already have their own friends who they grew up with. And to be fair, I guess in Toronto, I haven’t really gone out of my way to make friends with people who have just moved to Canada! After a while, though, I did start to meet more Brits, and I eventually seemed to develop an “Expat” friend group and a “British” friend group.

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Britbound was a great way to meet people when I first moved to London and didn’t know anybody! There were loads of people who were all in the same boat, and eager to make new friends.

Work is also a good place to meet people, as you will inevitably be spending lots of time with your colleagues.

Meetup.com is a website were you can attend various social events based on your interests. They have everything from Badminton games to yoga classes to picnics in the park and much much more! I attended a couple Meetup events and met some very nice people.

Another great way to meet people is to join some sort of extra curricular activity. I joined a choir in London, which ended up being one of the best decisions I made during my two years in London! Not only was it incredibly fun, but I made some really awesome choir friends.

There are so many people in London that it is virtually impossible NOT to meet people! Just be sure to put yourself out there!

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How are things going to change with Brexit?

Your guess is as good as mine…LOL.

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The general consensus on the current state of Brexit

Other Useful Information

Opening a Bank Account

In order to be paid, you will need to open a UK bank account. To do this, you will need to visit a bank branch. Some people run into a bit of difficulty when trying to open a bank account, because banks often require a proof of address, such as a lease or utility bill. If you have not moved into a permanent accommodation yet, this might cause a bit of an issue. Some banks are more strict than others about this rule. Barclays, Lloyd’s and HSBC and Natwest are probably the four main banks in the UK, however there are lots of other banks as well. So if you have a problem opening a bank account at one bank, there are lots of other banks for you to choose from.

Getting your National Insurance Number

You will also need to apply for a National Insurance (NI) number (similar to a Canadian SIN number). You are able to start working and get paid without an NI number, however, you should inform your employer as soon as your receive it because it helps ensure that you are paying the right amount of income tax. You can apply for an NI number by phoning the National Insurance number application line.

Cell Phone Plans

You will be pleased to learn that phone plans in the UK are remarkably cheaper than in Canada. The most common phone providers in the UK are O2, Vodafone, Three, and EE. You can either purchase a monthly phone contract, or opt for a pay as you go plan.

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Useful Apps

The two apps that I could not survive without in London would probably be:

  • Citymapper – Gives you precise directions on how to get from point A to point B in London.
  • Uber – Don’t think I need to explain 😉

Some other useful apps are:

  • Deliveroo – Food from really yummy, top quality restaurants delivered straight to your door!
  • Your own bank’s mobile banking app – Makes it super easy to pay your rent and transfer people money.
  • London Coffee Network (if you are a big coffee drinker) – You can use this app to find coffee shops near you, and collect free coffee points.
  • Dojo – Gives you recommendations for events, restaurants, bars, etc in your area.
  • Timeout – You can often find deals & discounts here for restaurants, bars, events, theatre tickets, and more.
  • Skyscanner – Good for looking up cheap flights when planning trips around Europe.

Getting Around

To pay for London’s public transport, you must purchase an Oyster card. You can either load money on to it, or purchase a weekly/monthly/yearly travelcard. Another option for payment is that you can use a contactless debit/credit card. I have even seen people pay using Apple Pay on their phones! The tube is really easy to navigate. The bus system is very efficient as well. London is divided into Zones 1-6. The tube fares increase as you travel further out of London. The bus fare stays the same no matter what zone you are in.

TIP: You can register your Oyster card on the Transport For London (TFL) website so that if you lose it, you can get it replaced without losing the money that was on it.

The London public transport system is fantastic. It honestly makes the TTC look like its creators were just having a laugh.

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And with that, I think you are pretty much set to begin your adventure in London! Exciting times are ahead of you, so embrace everything that comes your way – both the challenges and the victories. It’s the experience of a lifetime!

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1 Year Later…

Hello London! Hello Toronto! Helloooo world!

I have officially been in London for over a year now!! Wow, time flies faster than the Victoria Line! So, after an unnecessarily long hiatus, I think I blog post is in order. I’ve got a whole lot of catching up to do since my last post, so I will try my best to relay the highlights. (This would have been so much easier if I had stored all my memories in a pensieve). Nevertheless…

*takes deep breathe*

Job:

First things first, back in March, a said a rather remorseless goodbye to the not so wonderful world of catering and events, and began a new job doing admin/reception at a law firm in the City of London – corporate as can be. Although this may sound like your typical bored-off-your-face office job, it’s actually been quite good! And for the first time in my life, I have weekends off woooo! Working on weekends is definitely not the one. Oh, and the view from my desk is alright I guess…

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Flat:

Back in June I bid farewell to beloved Camden Town, and moved into a new flat in Old Street. I couldn’t really ask for a better location. I now walk to and from work everyday, so I thankfully avoid the utterly excruciating rush hour commute on the Northern line. Not to mention, I save heaps of £££ because TFL be pricey as hell.

Excursions & Holidayz

Amidst the busy weeks of London life, I have managed to squeeze some fantastic excursions and holidays in:

Leeds in April for a weekend filled with beer, banter, and irn broons.

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Royal Ascot in June for some classy, yet so very unclassy horse races and some quality time with Queen Lizzy.

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Croatia in June for some breathtaking scenery, beach chillz, and hard core Game of Thrones tourism ft. a photoshoot on the “Shame” steps.

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Brighton in July for some more beach chillz, fish and chips, and the swiping of my oyster card (pun definitely intended – I ate my first oyster).

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Cork in August to visit a friend and take in the glorious green Irish countryside.

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Stockholm in November for another mini-exchange reunion! Woot woot!

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Visitors

I am extremely fortunate to have had some very special visitors over the summer. Shout out to Hally Charedoff, Jamie Baranek, Emma Hoffman, Kerry Mendelsohn, Echo Box-Chavez, and Laura McVey for taking the time to see little old me in big old London 🙂

Homecoming

Breaking news: You may find this hard to believe, but for our office Christmas party, our firm is flying everybody to New York for a weekend at the beginning of December. Say wutttt?!? Now that’s what I call a ~work perk~! No complaints or ragrets whatsoever. So since I’m already getting a free flight to New York, I figured I might as well extend this into a holiday and go home to Toronto for 10 days. So look out Toronto, I’m coming for ya!

Officially a Brit

For my co-worker’s leaving-do (lol that was so British of me), we did the most British activity ever. My boss took us clay pigeon shooting in Hertfordshire, full on Downton Abbey/Made in Chelsea style. You basically shoot a gun at a flying target ver and over again and it is very entertaining indeed. I am not a very skilled shooter unfortunately, but it was good fun! Furthermore, I have never seen so many quilted vests in my life.

Some other highlights have included…

Queuing to get into a queue to get into THE QUEUE at Wimbledon and failing miserably

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Seeing the play “Photograph 51” starring the one and only Nicole Kidman

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Going to the One Direction concert and the Gavin Degraw concert

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Watching the Blue Jays at the Canadian pub along with every other Canadian in London

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Eating this pizza.

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Sigh, I miss that pizza.

Thanks for tuning in folks! See ya next time on Bethany’s UKrazy Adventure!

The Week My Life Peaked (or, the last week of Feb 2015)

I think it’s safe to say that the last week of Feb 2015 was possibly the most surreal week of my life. Not gonna lie, this was entirely due to the fact that I had more celebrity sightings in the span of 1 week than I probably will for the rest of my life. And as much as it pains me to say so, I have no one but my hospitality job to thank for this. This week was one for the books! (And the blog, of course).

My celebrity-filled week began when I was waiting in the usual gigantic queue at The Breakfast Club for a classic hungover brunch, when Matt Healy from the band The 1975 casually strolled past. Oh heeeeyyy there 😉

But the fun certainly did not end there!

A few days later, I arrived at an ordinary dinner service shift at Kensington Palace, only to learn that this “dinner service shift” would not be so ordinary after all, due to the important guests who would be attending. Who were these oh so important guests? Yep, you guessed it: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. You know that awkward moment when you’re carrying a tray of canapes through a crowded room and you have to literally squeeze past Prince William to get through? Yup, that happened. Or how about the awkward moment when you have to lean over Kate Middleton in order to place down a new set of glassware at her seat? Yeah, that happened too. It’s hard to believe I’ve only been in London for 5 months and I’ve already seen three of the Royal Family members! It was so unbelievably awesome to witness a day in the life of the Royals.

**Cue “and we’ll never be royals”**

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And the fun didn’t stop there either!

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The following day, I got to work at the BRIT Awards, which was another London highlight fo sho. As I made my way to the desk to sign in for my shift, I heard a vaguely familiar voice echoing through the halls. I was able to peek onto the stage, and sure enough, there was Ed Sheeran rehearsing his performance of “Bloodstream!!!” So yeah, basically I was #DEAD before the night even began. Soon after, our team leader took us into the arena to show us which tables we’d be serving, however I was a bit distracted by the fact that Kanye freaking West was rehearsing on stage as this was happening. It was probs this rehearsal performance that led to his entire *actual* performance being muted lolz. But realistically, are we surprised?

We also got to watch Take That, Paloma Faith, George Ezra, and (wait for it)… MADONNA rehearse. Seriously, what is life!? Madonna made it through her rehearsal entirely on her feet, but unfortunately we can’t say the same for her live performance 😦 My waitressing team was also lucky enough to have Rita Ora and George Ezra at our tables. Ed Sheeran wasn’t too far away either! I wonder if he enjoyed his food…

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As you can probably tell, last week was one of those “I’m gonna be telling my grandchildren about it” weeks. Gotta love London! Plus, I got to see my 2 favourite British gingers in 2 days #bless. All I can say is, the last week of Feb 2015 was UKrazy indeed!!! 😉

Winter Staycation

It’s almost the end of Feb and I’ve only just realized that I have yet to write a blog post in 2015. Shame on me!!!! So here goes…

*takes deep breath*

National Television Awards

Back in Jan, I had the opportunity to work at the National Television Awards (aka trashy tv awards, no offence hehe). Needless to say, it was quite a crazy night! Every British D-list celeb you could possibly imagine was at that event, drunk off their faces. Some of the guests included Graham Norton, Keith Lemon, the Geordie Shore cast, the Great British Bake Off peeps, and many many more. Maisie Williams was also there repping the Stark fam. Oh yeah, and Jeremy Kyle asked me if he could take his drink outside and then proceeded to run away before I could open my mouth to answer the question. Sheesh. Overall, twas a very fun but very tiring night.

Winter Staycation

February has basically been my staycation month, which I definitely can’t complain about (minus the fact that no work = no money hah 😦 ) Aside from a few shifts at work here and there, I have basically been playing tour guide or tourist all month thus far. It started off with a lovely wee visit from Laura McVey all the way from good ol’ Glasgow. #alcoholisfree, as per usual.

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Czeching out Prague

Linda and I had a little getaway to Prague. We found flights for £39 return, which is cheap as chips, so basically you cannae say nae to that. Gotta love budget Eastern European airlines that will only let you take a small knapsack on board unless you want to pay £12! Our few days in Prague were filled with beer, beef goulash, and endless trip across the Charles Bridge. My poor limbs were definitely feeling the burn by the end of this trip, but it was worth it because Prague is such a beautiful city.

Our first lunch in Prague consisted of beef goulash, bread dumplings, and beers as big as our faces. At the end of our meal, we asked our waiter for the bill. He went away, and shortly after, a different waiter arrived at our table and confidently declared: “Hi, I’m Bill!” Ha. Ha. Our faces be like: -__- …Well, whether they were serious or simply taking the piss shall forever remain a mystery. They also gave us roses at the end. Whether they gave roses to every guest or just to us shall forever remain a mystery as well.IMG_3786

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The Oplers in London

This past week, my family came to visit me in London! And as you may be aware, it is never a dull moment when the Oplers are together. Naturally, we did all the toursity London things. We road the London Eye. We ate some cereal at the Cereal Killer Cafe. We watched the guards change. We even went clubbing in Camden!! Just kidding lolz. But we did take plenty of selfies. I think our selfie-taking game is quite strong tbh.

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**NOTE: no selfie sticks were used in the taking of this photo, who do you think we are?!??

The rest of Feb

It’s hard to believe that Feb has come and gone so quickly. Can time just slow the f00k down please and thank you?? Luckily, I still have a few more exciting events to look forward to this month. Tomorrow, Maxi and Simon from exchange are coming to visit me in London. I haven’t seen them in 2 years so it should be bundles o’ fun! And next week, I am working at the (drumroll please)… BRITs!! Oh gawd, I hope the BRITs don’t disappoint or I will be quite a sad individual. And most of all, I hope I actually manage to at least catch a mere GLIMPSE of Ed Sheeran, if not have him fall in love with me at first sight. Pray 4 me!!!

The Last Bits of 2014 in London

I finally have some time off work (how strange!). This can only mean one thing – time for a new blog post! I’m afraid I’ve been rather negligent of my blog throughout the month of December so I hope I can make up for my absence in this post.

That time I was only feet away from One Direction aka The BBC Music Awards

The BBC Music Awards – definitely one of the best moments of London so far! It was basically like gong to a concert only WAY FRICKIN COOLER. Oh and also the fact that we were on LIVE TV! Nbd. Some highlights included Chris Martin’s grand entrance onto the stage during “Sky Full of Stars,” Ed Sheeran’s obviously ~flawless~ performance of “Sing,” and of course One Direction performing “Steal My Girl” complete with Harry Styles in zebra stripe pants. To say that no fangirling occurred would be a straight up lie.

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^Find another one cause they belong to me 😉

A temporary new flatmate

My flatmate Claire kindly agreed to look after her friend’s kitty while he went away for the holidays. But due to unforeseen circumstances, I was left alone to look after the kitty for a week. The kitty and I were great friends until he decided to commit the unspeakable act of peeing on my bed -_- We are now not on the best of terms. There’s no denying that this kitty is freaking ADORABLE! But he also peed on my bed so…. Let us just thank the lawwwd that it wasn’t on my computer.

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A very British birthday

I recently celebrated my 22nd birthday in London. It was super perfect and Londony in every way! And it was also the first birthday in years where I haven’t had dreadful exams so YAY. Linda and I went for afternoon tea at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair where I literally had the most delicious tea of my life. I ate so many sweets that I’m surprised they didn’t have to roll me out of the restaurant. On our way out, who should we encounter on the streets of London but Ben Stiller! After a failed attempt to stalk him, we headed to the National Gallery to immerse ourselves in some art, and then watched a very anti-climactic candle lighting at a huge Chanukah party in Trafalgar Square. LOL! The day ended like every birthday in London should – drinks at the pub. The following weekend we had a girls night out at the Camden Pubcrawl. We went to lots of cool bars that I would love to go back to one day, but if you ask me to recall the names of any of them or their locations, I can’t help you, soz.

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Bethany’s first Christmas!

I was lucky enough to celebrate my very first Christmas this year along with my lovely CanAussie (Canadian and Australian duh) friends. We had a DOUBLE sleepover at Jana and Erin’s because transportation in London on Christmas is just not a thing, therefore *stranded*. As the token Jew of the group, naturally I whipped up some of Bubbie’s latkes, which were a big hit! We ate ALL the food. We drank ALL the dranks. We watched ALL the Love Actually. We felt it in our fingers, we felt in in our toooessss. We also had an awesome secret santa gift exchange which worked out really nicely for Leah and me, who are going to see One Direction in September…

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…Only a short TEN MONTHS (lol) until we get to wear these sweet t’s again!

A cerealsly cool breakfast

Last weekend I went to check out out the brand new Cereal Killer Cafe on Brick Lane which was quite a cool place if you ask me. All the cereal a basic betch could ever dream of! I had a delightful mixture of Hershey Cookies and Creme and Reese’s Puffs – so basically dessert for breakfast.

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Never a dull moment in London! Except for when you are navigating the streets of London and find yourself trapped in an immobile crowd of people and you begin to question your sanity. That, my friends, is dull. But other than that, London never fails to offer you a good time!

Now to figure out what in the HELL I’m going to do for new years! woooo!

20 Things No One Told You About Working in Hospitality

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Ah, the glamour and beauty of 5 star hotels, royal palaces and VIP events. Everything must be so charming and pristine in such fine establishments, right?!

…Pshhh, WRONG! Welcome to the WONDERFUL world of hospitality, where, as an employee, you are fortunate enough to gain your own VIP access to the not-so-glamorous-or-beautiful behind the scenes side of these seemingly divine venues. As you are probably aware, I am one of these fortunate employees here in London at the moment. As you are probably not aware, all of the following:

1. You might go for several days in a row without seeing daylight. Especially in London where the sun sets, like, before it has time to even fully rise.

2. Polishing glasses is an art, people. A FREAKING ART.

3. Your bottle opener will become your new best friend. That must be why they call it a “waiter’s friend” LOL sewww clever!

4. You might see your biggest, hottest, dreamiest celebrity crush at an event, but you must serve them as you would any other mere mortal, and restrain yourself from melting into a puddle on the cold hard ground. LITERAL. TRAGEDY.

5. If you’re a guy, don’t even think about showing up to a shift without having shaved every last fucking hair off your face.

6. And if you’re a girl, and there is one measly strand of hair hanging out of your tight-ass donut bun, you better pray to the gods of grooming that someone has hairspray in their bag.

7. This scenario:

*Shift scheduled to finish at midnight*

Manager: “Don’t worry, you guys will definitely be out early tonight!”

*1am and guests still ordering drinks from you* -__-

8. You arrive at a barista shift only to find out that “barista” actually means doing all the bitch work while someone else makes the drinks.

9. Don’t be surprised if you receive an email from the head office being like “soz for the short notice n’ stuff, but all your shifts this week have been cancelled lolz” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

10. Old people drink a lot of wine. A LOT.

11. It’s possible you might find yourself working a 12 hour shift with no break. And the worst part? They will still probably take half an hour off your pay. But the thing is, you are pretty much powerless to do anything about it so yeah…

12. There is no better feeling in the world than when your manager lets you eat the leftover canapes. Pure bliss.

13. And there is no shittier feeling in the world than watching a tray full of perfectly edible extra canapes get wastefully chucked into the bin. wHYyyYy?!?!

14. If you can master the 5-plate clear, you are basically a wizard.

15. You could never have possibly imagined how irritating it is when someone who didn’t order a vegetarian meal has the nerve to ask for a vegetarian meal. CHUTZPAH I tell you!

16. Your new wardrobe will likely consist of black button-up shirts, black business trousers, and…. yup, that’s about it.

17. If you are working a cloakroom shift and don’t wish to die of boredom, remember to bring a phone charger.

18. Serve from the left side, clear from the right side. It’s a way of life, apparently.

19. Chefs can either be extremely lovely, or extremely grumpy. No middle ground.

20. Safe to say you will never look at a 5-star hotel, wedding reception, or any event venue for that matter, the same way ever again.

Preach, Harry. PREAAACH.

2 Months in London!

It seems I’ve been neglecting my blog in the past few weeks. Sorry for leaving you guys hangin’ 😉 Now bear with me as a try to recount the past four weeks’ events.

BYE BYE HOSTEL, HELLO REAL PERSON HOME

After approx. a month of yucky toilets, living out of a suitcase, and longing for a room of my own, I have finally moved into my flat! And after countless weeks of sleeping in a bed that I literally almost rolled off of every single night due to its minuscule size, it sure as hell is nice to have a normal size bed. Camden is a great area with lots of fun bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, Camden also seems to be the home of some noisy-ass birds that enjoy waking me up every morning -_-

GLASGOW WEEKEND

In between the hostel and the flat, I took a weekend trip to Glasgow to see the lovely Laura McVey. It was so great to go back to Glasgow and return to favourite spots such as The Counting House, Willow Tea Rooms, and Bamboo – it really felt like home! Of course, a trip to Glasgow wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory viewing of a street performance by Clanadonia, led by the almighty Grass Hat!

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FUN THINGS

Last week I decided to spend a lovely Wednesday afternoon with myself and see Book of Mormon in London. Words cannot describe how utterly hilarious it was. Tears of laughter streaming down my face and all. If you have not seen it yet, well, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

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I went to see some fireworks for Guy Fawkes day, which had the potential to be very fun indeed. But then it started torrentially pouring, thus ruining the fun. Thank you London.

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This coming weekend I’m doing a Monopoly & Christmas themed DAYTIME pubcrawl with Britbound. Needless to say, it’s going to be cray cray. I’ve got my ugly Christmas sweater from Primark so I’m basically set.

SICK DAY 😦

For the past few days my throat has felt like it is being stabbed by a million knives, so today I did the unthinkable and and called in sick to work. ~GASP~ Instead of going to work, I was a big girl and went on a mission to the doctor’s office to get some medicine. *Pats self on back*.

BIGGEST STRUGGLE OF THE WEEK

Moving into a new flat and not knowing how to turn on a manually-lit gas stove. Literally ALL THE STRUGGLEZZZ. #imforeign

BREAKING NEWS

So today it was announced that Ed Sheeran (as well as T-Swift and Ariana Grande but idgaf) is going to be performing at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London. Well guess what?! It just so happens that I’M going to be working at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show!!! Ed, I think this was meant to be. Matchmaker matchmaker make me a match plz 😉

OK, well I think I covered all the important details of the past few weeks. Thanks for tuning in to the latest happenings of my UKrazy Adventure!