Love-hate relationship with U(K)

Birmingham, West Midlands

My eye lids feel heavy as I have been sitting in front of my laptop for 7-hour straight to finish one of uni assignments, but my mind is still wandering around. Ooo and it’s been ages that I haven’t expressed my thoughts and feeling on this 21st century canvas, so let me just write anything inside my head and heart word by word, sentence by sentence.

I’ve been in a new home , a new country , a new continent for more than a month now (thanks to #Chevening). I’m at the other side of the world, in the land which was once called ‘Black Country’. Yes, I’m at Brum!

Compared to my previous living abroad experience in down-under (on my old posts), I found that I can adapt to everything here much easier.  However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t experience any shock. Honestly, I had pretty much rough days during my first week here.


The very first shock is that I walked a lot, probably million miles up-and-down the hills haha. When I first arrived here, I hadn’t find a long-term accommodation yet. I decided to find an off-campus housing because it’s cheaper than on-campus one. However, it turned out that it wasn’t as easy as I thought (eventually I got one, though!).

So, whilst I was still in Indonesia, I already booked AirBnB for three nights, and also a night in a backpacker hostel as my AirBnB was just ready a day after I arrived here. After around 16-hour flight from Indonesia, I decided to take a taxi from the airport to my hostel. Google says that it will cost around £25, but it was £35 :O. Arriving at the hostel, I directly walked for about 30 mins to a post office to collect a residential permit (a UK visa), but turned out that I went to the wrong post office. I also failed to activate a local SIM card, but with the little help from one of my roommates at the hostel, I eventually could activate it.

The second day, I moved to the AirBnB house and it turned out to be in a far-away land. The tiredness was, however, offset by the hospitality of the hosts and the comfort of the house. Then I started contacting some landlords that advertised accommodations on a certain website. I visited a total of five houses, one was completely different from what shown on the web. Eventually, I got one after long walks and bus ride.

First week at the uni, I was pretty much grumpy about a number of things that I considered unnecessarily procedures, such as applying different types of cards for student ID, bus card and rail card; making an appointment to meet bank officer to open an account (normally have to wait a month, but fortunately I got it in days) and tapping a bus card to connector machines in certain bus stops to collect a credit that we’ve just topped up. However, now I’ve realised or considered those a part of the local culture, – or for security reason, if I may say. I start getting used to what is now being a Briton, particularly a Brummie 🙂
And I’m just falling in love with the hospitality of the locals. I’m falling in love with a local bypasser who didn’t mind to show me the way whilst he was on way to work, I’m falling in love with a lady and her mom who gave me their spare bus ticket so that I didn’t need to buy a ticket (I didn’t have exact changes to buy ticket), and I’m falling in love with a local kid who said his name is Two and he is james-year old!


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