I landed at Heathrow on Monday morning after sleeping crappily the night before. Flight was uneventful, we had to go a couple of rounds in a holding pattern before we could land, but nothing else, really. Transfer to Oxford was painless, and finding the B&B was easy enough with my N810.
From there on, I set out to find a place to live for the next year and just look around. I had a couple of addresses, so I visited those and walked a fair bit more too. Finding a place to rent is quite hard when you have a dog, so I didn’t manage to find anything the first day, which was somewhat disappointing. For dinner, I went to the local pub and ended up chatting a bit with some locals.
On Tuesday, my feet were sore from the walking, so I decided to rent a bicycle. Halfway to the store, I discovered I had forgotten to bring any money, so I had to go back. The good thing about this was I got to see even more of Oxford and also a nature preserve. Once I had the bike, getting around became a lot easier, and I got into downtown Oxford and picked up a UK sim for my phone. I tried to top it up online, but that didn’t work because my VISA card isn’t registered to a UK address. As I discovered more and more, lots of bootstrapping depends on having a UK address.
I also had two viewings, one which was out in the middle of nowhere, quite expensive and utterly run-down. The other ones was nicely located, somewhat worn (but they’ll paint it over) and seemed quite good. I took some pictures and discussed it with Karianne, and we decided to go for that one. I still haven’t gotten a yes or no answer on it, but that should happen soon, hopefully today. Everything ended up taking a bit more time than I intended, so I ended up going to to a small cafe which was excellent, then a beer at a pub, which was fairly crap.
Wednesday, I filled out the necessary forms to do background checks and all and had beer and food with a Debian developer and his lovely wife, before again biking home in the dark. Biking here has been surprisingly easy and I haven’t been honked at once. Most cars, and particularly buses are careful to go around you rather than at you.
As I didn’t have all the information needed on Wednesday, I got to make yet another trip to the agent on Thursday with more bits of information before lunch in a pub downtown then the bus to London to meet up with ilmari, mjg59, thom, daniels, robot101, pippin and robster. As expected, we had good fun and good beer. I slept over at ilmari’s up in Camden and walked from there back to Marble Arch in the morning.
So far, I’m having good fun here in the UK, so I think this year will be an interesting and exciting one. I miss Karianne a fair amount, but we chat every day and phone sometimes too. It’ll be good to see her again, even if it’s not for another week and a half.