Living in London means learning to say goodbye

01:23, Mar 31 2014

The scourge of the Kiwi in London isn't the lack of freely available Watties sauce.

It isn't even Infernos in Clapham. (Hangover-stricken expats are likely howling in protest at this as we speak.)

No, the scourge of the Kiwi in London is the never-ending churning of visa expiration dates.

The ebb and flow of life in the UK means you constantly find yourself saying goodbye to mates - mates from back home, mates you've known just three months - all people you share memories of what will be the most nostalgia-inducing years of your life, when you're in the mortgage slog.

(If you're lucky.)

The thought of saying goodbye to our flatmates Hannah and Matt filled me with dread. For a while, it was easy to not think about it.


Then as the months dwindled into days, and we finally reached their last evening in Chiswick, it became slightly less ignorable, and more sad-face-emoji- keyboard-sad.

(Our flat WhatsApp will not be the same. Although I am unsure if they will miss my proclivity to bombard everybody with - I think, at least - hilarious pictures of animals pretending to be human. All I can say is, count yourselves lucky I have so far resisted introducing you to the mole rat. Some things just cannot be unseen.)

Our own experience moved beyond the anecdote that your flat dictates how you view your time in London: after moving west, Mark and I found ourselves in the middle of a friendly, welcoming group of people - which made a nice change.

London can be a brutally unfriendly place, exacerbated by going from what could only be termed a "boisterous" crew to a lifestyle reminiscent of the Dr Evil rendition of Just the Two of Us.

Although you're meeting new people regularly, it can be disheartening when you don't feel the same level of buddiness immediately - however illogical that is.

The decision to spend their last night at Gordon's wine bar was all well and good; still, it wasn't quite enough to make my case of the glums subside completely.

So to Hannah and Matt: I will miss you, dudes.

After I was tucked up in my bed back home, the muted whirr of tiddly snores beside me, I succumbed to the two-wines- too-many habit of self-reflection.

In London, people leave. All the time.

Soon we will be saying goodbye to another good friend - the Cuttsville Express will be pulling out of the station, so to speak.

(And where will I get my fill of puns or Simpsons humour?)

Others will follow suit.


Tomorrow morning, I will be saying guten tag to new flatmates.

Hopefully they dig pictures of dogs in stockings.


The Southland Times