Checking on the calendar I can notice that today is the 12th December 2013, exactly one year after we moved here in London!
When you are in the same city you could probably think that in one-year time nothing big can happen or that there’s nothing new to see, but in the UK’s capital in 365 days there are lots of things to do and see.
We didn’t know how many things we would have done during this period. We have visited London in the most important tourist places, like the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben during a rainy day and then in New Year, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and its fountain where I went inside just to “have a bath” in summer, Oxford Street and its shops, Notting Hill and Portobello Road but also we have been to many hidden and less known sites, such as the numerous festivals in Southbank, the biggest bookshop in Piccadilly Circus “Waterstone’s”, the huge Camden Town Market, which everyone thinks is just one when in truth is a group of 6 markets all together, the little Piccadilly Market next to Green Park, the fantastic restaurants in the streets in Goodge Street, the walking tour in Kew Gardens with the illuminated trees at night time and so on.
We both found a permanent full-time job, both in the catering sector. Me as waitress and bar tender in a pub near the Chelsea Stadium (Stamford Bridge) whereas Andrea first started as shop assistant in a camping shop “Kathmandu” and then changed to be a waiter at “Hummus Bros” where right now is one of the managers.
We also had the opportunity to travel outside this city in small trips just from one to two days, for example to Brighton at the beginning of the summer, to enjoy the sea and the peace we can find just looking at it after a long time; Eastbourne, in South England, where we spent a whole day walking to reach the cliff of the mountain and admiring the landscape we could see from that view; and then Oxford, with its universities and students everywhere but also the river and the relaxing boat tour in the canal.
Then we had a four-day trip in another country: France, Paris !
Andrea bought the tickets of the train and the hotel as a gift for my 20th birthday and we had lots of fun and very good time looking around this city and its beauty.
Regarding the English courses, we started with the “Callan School” in Oxford Street, but after a while we found it boring and useless, so we changed to another one, “Languages 247” in the same street, but with a different method: lessons one-to-one. Much better than the previous one and we improved our knowledge of the language. One day one of my teacher told me to take into consideration doing a course for the IELTS exam, which is for people not-English native speakers. For getting a good result we checked online for some good courses and we booked one inside the University of Westminster of 8 weeks time as part-time course, just 2 days a week. The teachers we had were really nice and helpful, in fact when we had our exam on 9th November, we got the results we wanted, which means 6.5 for Andrea and 7.0 for me.
In our opinion the best period to visit London is certainly before Christmas. Most of the shops start to add lights around their building from the end of October to the beginning of November to get ready to the crowd of tourists arriving from each country.
Even though everyone thinks in London rains every day we can confirm that this is a false myth; I think we have used the umbrella 10 times since we are here!
Moreover, Andrea and me have lived with different flatmates in different periods. Starting with two Spanish girls and one German girl, then with a South African guy and ending with two Honk Kong girls and a Korean guy. Sharing a flat could be difficult if you don’t get along with the people you are living with, the requirements are be patience and nice even you would like to kill them for their behaviours because they don’t clean or are noisy. We can define us quite lucky for this aspect because the first ones weren’t so quiet but fortunately the current ones are very nice and friendly and especially calm.
In conclusion, we are finishing writing our personal statements for the applications to the university. I will apply for History of Art, whereas Andrea is interested in Computer Games Development. We hope the universities will accept us !
More articles will be written about this last section, so stay updated !