Our first few days in the UK have been good. The exploratory trip we took back in June was very helpful in that it helped familiarize ourselves with the area, making coming here this time less foreign.
The flight over was uneventful and smooth. Only 10 hours direct from San Diego! British Airways was quite comfortable with a large selection of movies to watch. I watched Kung Fu Panda 2 again :O) A driver came to pick us up and dropped us off at the flat in Reading. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any way to get into the building. No codes or keys were given to us. Thankfully, there was free wi-fi so Joe was able to use the laptop to call his office for the information. Our flat is on the 3rd floor, which in US terms is actually the 4th floor since it goes: ground floor, 1st floor, 2nd floor etc. So us, and our 200 lbs of luggage had to be dragged up 3 flights of stairs…adventure. 🙂
We bought cell phones and SIM cards for us to use here. I don’t know if I’m being biased, but their system is a lot more complicated than in the US. A buyer has 3 options: pay-as-you-go, contract or SIM only (which can be paid monthly or on a 12-month contract). The complication with SIM only is that you can only go SIM only if you have a UK debit card, which involves opening a UK bank account, which is also rather complicated. We decided for the first month, we’d do pay-as-you-go, and then SIM only when we’d received our UK debit card. After getting the necessary household essentials and trying to cook my first meal, we felt a bit more settled in.
We went to church in London yesterday at All Souls, Langham Place (John Stott’s church). It was good and we were able to have lunch with some friends of friends, and their friends! London is really international so we got to meet people from all over the world.
Joe started work today, and I am flat-hunting and job-hunting and studying 😀 Relocating certainly is a learning experience. The rules are different and so are the procedures. Learning the differences is half the battle to figuring what what is really going on. Because of that, doing the above can take twice as long. I’m not complaining though. I think it’s fun and all part of the new experience of living abroad.
Thanks for all the love and support! I’ll do my best to keep you updated and have some pictures next time too :O)