Written by:Driper
Thursday, February 19, 2009 

Our whirlwind trip in London is over and we achieved a great deal, have travel, looked at units, have bank accounts and managed a night out with a few pints (maybe a few to many).

Spent the last few days here in the UK looking for work. Being told that work will be hard to find and expect to be unemployed for 4-6 weeks. Interestingly their are some people telling me to work further out (like Essex) because it is only 30 minutes from some areas in London and jobs are more available. Went to get my bank account today with Britbound.com who charged me for setting up the account with Barclays , NHI number (similar to TFN) and a few books and details on the UK in general. Went with Freda to open her bank account also with Barclays with a letter from her recruiter. So the gentleman in the bank says "That letter is of no use, you don't need it anyway, got an Australian drivers license? That's all you need." Now I am not happy. EVERYONE told me how difficult it was and how long it would take to get a bank account and I argued with a few people as to why a bank account with $0 credit would be hard to get (given the bank have nothing to loose). So I spent a few bob (35 pound) and organized it. Only to find out it's simple and you can have an active account the same day with a card within 2 weeks. Credit on the other hand will need 3 months track record of employment, fair enough... Moral of the story. Just because everyone says it is true doesn't make it true. Opening a bank account here is easier than finding you way on the tube and anyone who has been here knows that can be done drunk on the first night.


We leave today for Ireland again because we had planned to come over do a few things and go back. We managed to get oyster cards (travel cards like credit cards) for the London Tube. We both have bank accounts and cards coming soon. Freda now has a trial run on her new job (Teacher in a Jewish school) on Tuesday next week so we have booked tickets to come back here next Monday. I spent the day running round seeing more units for lease and working out what we are going to pay for our new place. We will probably stay here (Islington) because it feels fairly central and the few people we have asked seem to suggest the area is ok. We do also know a few people in the area (which is good). It looks like we will get a nice 1 to 2 bedroom unit for less than 300 pound per week which isn't bad considering our only other living expenses will be the tube (about 100 pound per month), food and phone (mobile) and electricity (which here will include heating). I have left going out and partying out of the 'living expenses' because whilst I am unemployed we really can't do that (now that's motivation right there).


A few pictures of a 1 bedroom unit for 275 per week.


I have made some notes and comments on  London that are less blog and more information but worth a look. Go to the London page for more information.