My full name is Kamil Pishyari. I would like to share my 3-year experience in London. My story starts with being accepted for my MSc degree in GCU London University.
I was quite excited about long time journey and I did not know what kind of challenges I should encounter. I decided to book flight tickets with British Airways and for my kind surprise it worst the choice. We landed at the Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 as I understand later all non-EU countries land on this Terminal. It was huger than I expected, as we had 15 minutes walk till the passport control.
We have passed the control fast and smoothly and you could feel the English temperament. People in the airport were quite polite and gentle.
And now I am outside. First breath and you feel how the air is fresh. Statistically 47% of London is green and that 47 percent’s are enough to feel yourself like in the forest. The British stile buildings, double-decker buses, London cabs — this is the impression of the first day. I have settled in the student accommodation. For the beginning, it was quite hard but as soon as I got used with that London became a home for me.
There you can find lots of supermarkets from Tesco till Wal-Mart. To be frankly Tesco was close to my accommodation, but I preferred to have a 10-minutes walk and do my shopping in Sainsbury. You can get more option and the quality is much better. The price is quite reasonable.
The transport was quite expensive, but being a student I have been honored discounted Oyster card. All the transport in London managed with one system, which is making your journey easy. You could top up your card in any metro stations or online and even small stores with the Oyster sign. There are couples of options to top up your card from daily till monthly and you get unlimited use of the path. The weekly top up will cost you 20 pounds for a bus if you will decide to go somewhere by train or metro you need to top up separately. The way buses and metro charged you for your way were different. But if you are in a rush go for underground because of heavy traffic usually during rush hour and narrow streets in London.
It is really expensive, if you want to travel by cab, and always go for licensed one. You can see the license of each cab on behind of the car. I bought my kitchen staff and bedroom equipment from IKEA still lots of options and I have paid only 100 pound, but trust me, it worst that as I got everything I could need.
If you forget to buy something you can always get it from local stores or order it only. This is what I did really enjoy as you do not need literally walk outside, if you need something you can easily order it online.
I have been living in East London actually considered as a poor region, nevertheless I did enjoy as Brick Lane known as a clubbing area was really close to me. Lots of pubs clubs. Every street in London is full of graffiti. Different styles with the different personality of the artists.
My weekly shopping cost me 20 pounds only. For that amount I could get everything from vegetables till the white meat and beverages. There were lots of discounted prices as the expire date of products are soon. Every supermarket had its own branded product, which was much cheaper. So if you want to buy baked beans and you have 2 options Heinz beans and local market brand, go for the second one as it has higher opportunity cost.
The food is affordable, even if you want to eat outside, actually the prices quite different and depends on the area, but in lots of places you can find nice sandwiches French fries or even fried chicken for a suitable price.
You can get nice sandwiches in a “Subway” with foot long bread filled with your choice. Literally London is the place where you can find everything. If you want to buy a technology wait for a “Boxing Day” with huge discounts, if you want to make a shopping at the luxury store wait for Black Friday.
I let you know that there are huge queues on that days, and people even do not see the fitting room, just pick up, whatever is on their choice. I do not like to be on rush so I did my shopping smoothly, taking one day in advance to see all stores. To go to Oxford Street or shopping mall it’s your choice. I, personally, preferred to make my shopping in Oxford Street.
Actually, there so many stories you can tell about London, if you live there for 3 years. Living in London, which is much harder, is quite different from being there as a tourist. But I believe that in both cases you will enjoy this city.
The weather in this city was always cloudy, rainy and fogy. Even this way, you could walk around the Tower Bridge, nice and romantic place, and always feel the smell of rain the smell of freedom: from Madame Tussauds till Victoria Albert, from Piccadilly Circus till Trafalgar square, from St James till Hide Park, from Brioni till Primark, from O2 till Harr Potter museum.