Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me!

This is really sad....It just dawned on me last night that I've officially been in the UK for a year. I was so caught up in my birthday, getting ready to move in with Simon, and a few other odds & ends that it really slipped right by me!
But, as with most anniversaries/milestones, there's been a fair amount of reflection since last nite as I ponder the good, the bad, the 'what next', and the 'TBD.'

The Good:
-London is an AMAZING place to live (if you can put up with some of the bad.. ;)). My Saturdays at Borough Market, the times I pop over to the Tate Modern, or even the Sunday afternoons I'm in my lovely local, The Mitre, having a pint, make me realize what a great place this city is. I love living here. For now. I know I won't be able to do it forever (or even for many years more...), but for now, as much as I miss Seattle, I'm still in awe enough to want to stay here a bit longer.
-Public transportation will never get old for me. I love the tube. I love the train. I even love the busses (now that I've figured out how to ride them. a milestone..). Yea, public transport. I just wish more cities in the US were this hooked-up.
-And of course, the travel. Five airports, the Eurostar, and even the local trains to places in England make London as a base for travel exceptional. I am becoming spoiled.
-Oh, and let's not forget Simon. Meeting him has truly been the best things to come to my life from this move, and I don't take it for granted for even a second.

The Bad:
-Damn, this is one expensive town. As excited as I am to move in with Simon and 'save money' on rent, the fact of the matter is, it's still ridiculous what we'll be paying: £600 a week, or around £2400 a month. Even as low as the GBP/USD rate is right now, that's still $3360. There is nothing about that number to like. Grr.
-Customer service doesn't exist. I am already cringing at the poor customer service I am going to receive when I move flats in a week and have to get TV/Internet/Power...sorted. My life will be a living hell for about two weeks while I deal with customer service reps that don't give a monkey's arse about whether or not I'm happy/they've answered my question/they've done their jobs/etc...All they'll care about is getting me off the phone quickly. Can't wait.
-It's not Seattle. There are still days, or occasions, where there is a palpable pain in my heart when I think about not being in Seattle. I miss my friends (though the friends I've made here are great); I miss the 'city'-though as I said, London is fantastic; I miss 'home'-and all of the easiness of life that comes with living there.

-Though I've always been on top of my finances and cognizant of the situation, moving here has added a layer of obsession about my finances that I didn't think existed. How much I have in savings here, how much I have in savings in the US, when the US credit card bill is due-and do I need to transfer money from savings to checking to pay for it, am I going to be able to find replacement renters during the worst period of time in recent history to have to find renters...urgh. It's enough to keep you awake some nights. And, it has. I just try to take a deep breath and tell myself that a) it's only money and b) worst-case scenario, I pack it up and go back to the States.

What's Next:
-Well, I guess front and center is moving in with Simon and getting settled. This will be his first time living with a partner, and only my second (and we all know how well that ended...). I should be nervous, but for some reason, I'm not-I'm actually pretty darned excited!

-Depending on how the 'what's next' goes...TBD could mean moving back to Seattle-perhaps solo, perhaps with Simon in tow. Next year. Two years from now...Moving somewhere else...in the US, not in the US....urgh. The options are endless enough to boggle the mind. I guess I just need to sit tight with What's Next for a few months, and depending on how that goes (and possibly the economy here or in the US...), TBD may become much easier to actually um, D.

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