It’s really quite unbelieveable that less than 12 hours ago I was nervously awaiting my flight in JFK and now I’m in London! I’m staying in the cutestest little flat that belogs to a friend of my mom’s and her four roommates. They’re kind enough to let me crash with them for a few days while I get my bearings. This afternoon, assuming I’m not too jet lagged, my mom’s friend Mimi is going to take me around the neighborhoods in the area so get an idea of good places to live. She’s also given me an oyster card (for tube travel – they actually say Mind the Gap about every three minutes) and her old phone for local calls until I can get my own. I’m beginning to wish I had brought her a lot more than oreos, ibuprophen and dryer sheets (the three US things she says she can’t find abroad).
In fact, my trip has already been a bit of an adventure (alright, adventure might be a strong word. Problematic might be better). I arrived in customs with my Blue card (which allows me to work), my passport, and a UK entry visa which BUNAC, the program sponsoring my blue card, said I needed to receive otherwise I’d have problems traveling. No one in customs had any idea what the entry visa was. I ended up waiting for about 45 min while they made calls and generally looked confused. I’m pretty sure I’m legally allowed to be here, but I hope everything went through properly because apparently if I need to get my visa changed or a different stamp in my passport, I actually need to leave the country then come back in through customs. Yikes! In any case, the woman said that I should probably be fine but I might have to reexplain myself every time I leave the country and come back.
Of course, that isn’t an issue until I find a job and a place to live, the next few tasks now that I’ve arrived. Tomorrow morning is my BUNAC orientaion in which they give me info on taxes, banking, jobs and general living info and after that it’s time for some serious house and job hunting. Wish me luck!