London for £1
(London, how to survive it —by Carolina P. Bresuti)
One of the things that comes to our minds when we talk about London is that inevitably we’re going to spend money.
Logically, is totally different when you see it from the point of view of a tourist, as this is already spending money on the hotel, flights, transfers, meals, souvenirs, current exchange (emoji crying) and a long etc that only people who travel know about it.
Myself, that fortunately (or not, I don’t know), see it from the point of view of an inmigrant, I knew from the beginning that moving to London was going to be, at least, expensive (hehe).
Living in London carries a great invest of money when you come from abroad, and the everyday life doesn’t improve in terms of financial stability (wuw, what a gift of speech mine!). Translation: you bring Euros that has to change for pounds, stratospheric rents, food more or less expensive, transport… hello? too expensive, and a long etc I won’t name because there’re already too many blogs telling you how expensive London is.
But at the end, if you have really planned to live here for a (more or less) undefined time, you think about: I want to enjoy my salary as much as I can, I want to get to know the country, I want to take advantage of all the destinations offered from London (yes, so many that even Easyjet takes you to Egypt or Israel — incredible, isn’t it?). I want to try new food in all the places that the city offers, go to a musical (or all of them…) of the cultural agenda, go to one of those festivals where you can enjoy Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, The Corrs (all of them at the same one) for only £50…
When you think about all of that, you inevitably have to account your budget (and let’s be honest, it’s going to be small).
It’s because of it that after the seven months that I’ve been here, I’ve been discovering places here and over there, that at the end make me think that the best things aren’t expensive.
One of the simplest things that I enjoy the most in London is going from market to market trying the different tastes of the world: from Portobello with its antiques and burgers or chocolate pastry that are sold out for 1 pound; or from the deepest hipster of Brick Lane, with its food market where you can eat a typical meal from the country you choose for just six pounds, or going a little forward on the street, a magnificent salt beef bagel for £3.70 or salmon bagel and cheese spread for £1.50 (my favourite one); to the posh market of Borough, where you find products of the best quality, try and try, and have a grilled duck butty for five pounds (because I’m so fancy…).
If you’re not that into markets, you can always look for a Wetherspoon (among the thousand you find in London), and eat a great burger with fries, onion rings, and a pint of cider or beer as big as a bucket for eight pounds (whaaaaaaaaaat? Yes, eight pounds).
The park’s life is also good (when it’s not cold or it’s raining). One of my favourite places in London is Primrose Hill, a hill in the middle of the city from where you can see the London skyline. It’s magic. You grab four cans of cider for £2, a bag of chips and enjoy yourself.
And, risking to seem too smug, we had the opportunity to asist to the Vogue Fashion Night Out, i.e.: Vogue organizes an event where different brands participate, there’re discounts, glasses of prosecco, and thousand of people in the center of London. I think that night we only spent on the dinner (Wetherspoon, obviously), and a little bag of m&m’s we bought at m&m’s World because we are happy fatties eating and kind of chocoholics. And in return, we had a fantastic evening drinking champaign, chatting, and taking pictures in Armani (because again, I’m sooo fancy…).
One of the last things that I’ve been pleased to discover, it’s something I needed to do, and I was going to wait until get home (in Spain) because here it’s like an activity for rich and famous people: going to the hairdresser’s.
So I was sat at an unnamable coffee shop, when I saw just on the front building a tiny hairdresser’s salon, that I rapidly googled. It turned out to be a salon for celebrities and rich people, and I cried. But today I laughed when I found out that they are always looking for models for their students (yaaaaaaaaay!) and for free (YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!).
London (as everything), it’s about knowing how to seize it, keep moving, and meet people. You never know when you’re going to get the phone of a models’ hairdresser who is looking for you to fix your hair for free.