Moving to a new city can be stressful but interesting. Here is a little ‘in no particular order’ short list of what to do after you have found the place of your dreams, got a sim card and unpacked your luggage. It is the Six Fix.
1-Get in touch with friends who already live in the city for a good catch up over lunch or dinner and maybe to direct you finding a job. The majority of my London friends have been fantastic but I was quite disappointed with some of the so-called ‘friends’. Do not get disheartened if some of them perform a Houdini Act. I know everyone is busy but reading a private Facebook message and not replying is plain rude. So if you replied to me, no, it is not you I am referring to. I will not bother deleting them from FaceBook as I find it very childish but if one day they need a shoulder to cry on, they need to buy shoulder pads. (you can add ‘sweety’ at the end if you like).
2-Check out if there are any Maltesers in the area. I was lucky enough that with no planning whatsoever my good friend Gianluca lives just 5 minutes walk from my new place. I love to mingle with people from all over the world, but living away from home taught me that having a buddy from your home country helps. Settling can be nerve wracking. At the end of a day (really) cracking a joke in your own language can be very calming and liberating. Also tips on what to do and what to avoid in the area really help. Gianluca you are an SW19 blessing.
3-Open your ears and your eyes. Finding yourself traveling or walking alone can be very entertaining. Sometimes you get to know about a new show in town or about a fabargain. (a fabulous bargain combined -oh yes I love inventing word combos -). Other times you hear the most random things ever. While waiting in the line to visit an art Gallery in New Bond Street a woman was telling another man how she hates the saying ‘killing two birds with one stone’. Her argument is that she feels bad killing birds but would not mind killing pigeons. I could not believe what I was hearing but I can so see her point. Another time I heard the word ‘Breasticles’. Apparently, it refers to women who have breasts that dangle like testicles. This really put a big smile on my face and I was already thinking of when to use it. No luck so far.
Also when you leave your working place and the first thing you see is an Asian girl walking a human operated hippo can be quite an experience, especially if you encounter all this bang in the middle of the city.
4-Visit the closest Supermarket for the first ‘xirja’ (shopping items). As I enter I immediately wonder ‘Will it be cheaper or more expensive than the local Supermarket in Malta?’ It turns out to be more or less the same and in some cases much cheaper than back home. I come from a little island called ‘Malta’ – the cradle of the Mediterranean. My friend Lor complains about how Supermarkets in Malta have become very expensive. My instant reaction – AS IF! But how right she is. So I was super delighted to take home many bags full of SM items for around £24.00. If you want to immerse into Lor’s world have a look at her infotainment blog.
5-Walk around your new neighbourhood. Besides discovering shortcuts and burning fat, it is a good exercise to get to know all the nearby shops, cafes, gyms and most importantly, the closest station. I am very blessed to be living 4 minutes walk from my new found love – The Northern Line (the black line). Besides the easy connection to all parts of the London that matters, it is a 24-hour tube. Yes, that is right. Unless you are drunk and cannot get to the nearest station, you can say goodbye to Uber and other taxi services. If you are moving to London make sure you live close to the Northern Line. You will instantly fall in.❤️
6- Let go. Stop wasting time checking out what your friends are doing back home, when is the next party that you are missing, what people are watching on Television and what your friend is eating. Your roots will always be there. You are in a new city. Round the corner, there is the world waiting for you. Just open your arms and let it all in.