Monday, October 11, 2010

Flat Hunting...FML

I've spent the last week flat hunting. It's a grueling, disheartening roller coaster ride. I've focused my latest efforts on Notting Hill. It's an eclectic mix of bohemian and upscale with some of the trendiest clothing stores, cafes and pubs in all of London. And it has a huge market nearly every day of the week. Portobello Market has fruit and vegetable stands, food stations, and a million tents with jewelry, antiques, records, clothing, bags - you name it. On the weekends, it's a madhouse. I've now got my heart set on living here. 

In addition to simply finding a place that's unoccupied and available to rent at the moment and is (semi) within budget (priced by the WEEK might I add), one of my biggest hurdles is finding a place that's unfurnished. I know it sounds strange but nearly 90% of the flats in London come furnished - that includes the beds, couch, artwork and even the plates and toaster! So very, very strange to me. I shipped all of my furniture and so I'm looking for one of the few unfurnished places out there. Couple that with a tight budget (still more than my Chicago mortgage and that's to share a place!) in a hip area and you're left with slim pickins. 

I put in an offer on one place today and just found out that it wasn't accepted. Despite leading me on that removing some of the furniture wouldn't be a big deal, the landlord declined my full-asking-price offer because he didn't want to bother moving the furniture. Frustrating. I'm putting in an offer on another place tomorrow where the landlord apparently isn't so hung up on the furniture, but I can't afford full asking price so that could be an issue. This place isn't available until December so I'll have to find yet another form of temporary housing when the current temporary housing runs out at the end of the month. If this one falls through, I'm back to square one and I may just pack up my bags and get on the next flight out of Heathrow to anywhere in the world that is willing to take my money in exchange for a place to crash. Who would have ever thought it could be this difficult? I know it will work out in the end somehow. But for now, it's weighing pretty heavily. 

Despite the stress, I have managed to have a lot of fun these past few days. I'm making some nice friends and have been quite the social butterfly lately if I do say so myself.  Before moving, I was forewarned that most of my future friends would end up being other Americans and maybe some Ausies. Sub Kiwi for Ausie and so far, that's been very true. Doesn't really matter to me though, friends are friends and I'm glad to have them! 

**Aslo, please comment on my blog posts. You don't have to register or login or anything to comment. It's nice getting some feedback. 


  1. I'm sorry it's been so difficult for you! Catch up soon if you're up for it?! :)

  2. I hear it gets easier when you really speak the language. A couple months of immersion should do it.

  3. frustrating Shannon! I am sure this is not how you envisioned your first few weeks to go! On a lighter note, I was in Vegas last weekend with Ryan and we were talking to some people...a really cute guy from London walked up an ordered a drink. Of course (a few drinks in!) I felt free to ask him if he was single and if he would give you a call. He gave me his card, but the guys Ryan & I were talking to (older randoms)were drunk and giving me a hard time about it even though Ryan told them it was for YOU, and they grabbed it and tore it up! I was so pissed! I was THIS CLOSE to making you a love connection from Vegas! haha. Even in Vegas you are on my mind... :)I hope you are well. Hopefully we can catch up soon. Things will work out with the living situation, just keep will find the right spot. xoxo.Kristina

  4. Kristina - Don't torture me with these stories! That would have been perfect. Ha ha!


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