Moving to London, a Mouse, and a Thud in the Dark!

Moving to London

Last Thursday I moved to London, both to find a good job, and for the experience. This is now my 4th country move in the last 5 years... I don't enjoy moving so much, but sometimes things are out of my control.

By now I know the routine well, find temporary accommodation, buy SIM card, find job, open bank account, apply for a social security number or national insurance number, apply for tax credits, find permanent accommodation, find a better job... because of red tape and a general lack of thrust in people who just moved to a country, some of these tasks are harder than you'd think...

Our temporary accommodation is a typical London studio apartment. It's inside a Victorian building, but don't get exited, it's been distastefully furnished with flat pack furniture and some modern conveniences. It's basically a bedroom / kitchen in a tiny room. It's so small the oven door barely clears the bed, and the fridge is besides the chest of drawers. The bathroom is so small you can't sit on the toilet without hitting one shoulder against the shower cubicle and the other against the sink!

Our first night went well, but during our second night we got our first glimpse of a British cockroach. During our third night we heard our first British mouse trying to pierce a garbage bag. My wife promptly had a panic attack.

On our fourth night the mouse woke us up while attempting again to claw his way into our garbage bag. This time we saw him, and he's a big fella for a mouse. He ran into a hole under the kitchen cupboard. There was a plastic pipe going through this hole. We placed the garbage bag in the shower, and I tried to block his hole with a mop.

At 06:20 we were awakened by a loud thud and the sound of water falling. First thing that came to my mind was that the mouse chewed through a plastic water pipe in a bid to escape from under the cupboard... When we switched on the light we saw what caused the noise, a big chunk of cement fell from the ceiling, and water was raining down. A couple of confused cockroaches were walking back and forth on the dirt... At least my baby daughter looked amused!

Thud in the dark

Hole in the ceiling

Now we've been moved to another apartment in the same building. This time I can't laugh because the oven door barely clears the bed, and the fridge is besides the chest of drawers. This apartment is even smaller than the previous one, and there is no oven or chest of drawers. The only positive is that the bathroom is twice as big as the previous one.

While I write this I'm looking nervously at every moving shadow, half expecting to see another cockroach or mouse...

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