Saturday, February 20, 2010

London is trying to kill me

So, week one and I'm deathly ill with the worst case of food poisoning ever! Not sure what did it but I think it may be the paella I had for dinner the other night. Two days later and I'm still ill - haven't eaten in days. I don't really blame London but it hasn't been an easy road thus far.

I'm working on my brand new laptop that I had to buy today as Fen fried my PC and blew out all the electricity in the flat (seriously - maintenance had to come and fix the situation). I'm woefully fearful that my hard drive is dead and cannot even think about it. So I went out and bought this laptop today so I can reconnect with the world. However, I don't know how the ampersand key works - anyone know how to get it? I can't do


  1. You'll find Harringay very different to the other two places - rough round the edges, but a good place to live. From its high street (Green Lanes), you'd think there's a significant Turkish population. Actually, there's not, but somehow Green Lanes has become very Mediterranean.

    Wikipedia's good on Harringay.

  2. what a nightmare! poor you! Don't know if it helps but on my keyboard I have to press ctrl alt and 2 to get @

  3. I remember finding it a bit unexpected how difficult I found the transition. February's not a great time to move either. So grey! I hope you get settled soon. That will help.

  4. Welcome to England - I know it's tough at first but I think it's worth it in tht end. The @ sign is usually to the right above ', if that helps at all!

    Haringey can be a bit rough; there are pockets around Stroud Green where it's OK, and it's an up-and-coming area (as the estate agents say!). I did some supply teaching around there and some of the schools weren't the greatest but that was about six years ago now and I've heard it's really improved. Finchley is quite nice. I worked in the area for a few years and it always struck me as quite safe and suburban, lots of trees around.

    Try - plug in the postcode of the street etc and it'll give you a general indication of the tyoe of people who live there.

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

  5. Sorry to hear Britain is not treating you well. I hope things get better soon. I don't know any of those areas, so I can't help you there. But you might get the @ sign if you type a "--that's if you are using an American keyboard on a British PC.

  6. Perhaps everything is just coming all at once and then it will be smooth sailing the rest of the time? Its one way to think about it... :) is indeed a good site, and also just googling the areas might help.

    I feel for you, I know how tough it is to get things going here--especially with kiddies and the crappy bank thing AND food poisoning. It will happen, things will fall into place, it will be ok. When you feel healthier it will be better as well. There's a contact form on my blog if you want to vent more. x

  7. The bank thing is well known amongst other Aussie and I had a good rant about the beaurocracy here in England just the other day! It'll be easier to open one when you get a place to live and have council tax bills. If you get a bill in your name it goes a long way toward getting a bank account set up! You could also get a passport account/pay monthly type of account for foriegners; I don't have it myself but it was advertized a lot when I last went to the bank!

    NO, NO, NO, I would not recommend Haringey. I'm sure there are nice and decent places to live around there, but I really felt unsafe walking around the area day or night! Lots of dodgy mens gambling clubs with groups of men standing outside smoking! I just had a bad experience with it; I lived there for 6 months and wouldn't go back!

  8. One of the things you do as a new expat is to blame your new country for everything - in your case food poisoning, in my case it was, well everything. Very normal.
    And if it's any consolation, I still have to quote my husband's SS# to do anything with our JOINT bank account, so it's not just the UK that's sexist.
    Get yourself on the Internet and seek out the American groups in London, once you get settled. There are so many, there's no need to feel lonely.

  9. East Finchley is great. Good community and near to the Heath. Independent cinema too. Crouch End/Stroud Green very nice. In the Borough of Haringey, not Haringey itself. Queens Park also good place to look and go to. Nearish Notting Hill. Golders Green has lots of Kosher food and everything open on Sundays. Go check out Hampstead Garden Suburb (also near East Finchley) for a wander to look at the houses. The small cottages were built just after the turn of the last century as a place for inner city residents to get out of the pollution. Ironic that it is so expensive now.


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