Introduction, Part I

Hello. My name is Tamas Sandor. I was born in Hungary 45 years ago. (If you are reading this post after 2020, then add as many years to it)

My wife and I decided to move to the UK after 8th April 2018. The decision was partly political and partly financial.

First cider in England

It wasn’t an easy decision. I mean there’s this Hungarian saying: When you change your country, you change your heart. It was obviously harder for my wife than it was for me. For some reason I don’t find it hard to change my circumstances, let it be my flat, city or even country. For her, it was much harder. She is more dependent on her family, her mom (naturally), her friends. I have had many changes in my life where I had to adapt, losing friends, changing schools or living place.

We decided to move – to be honest, it was mostly my decision, but T. agreed. Not with joy, but she understood that the only sensible decision is to move. So it was mostly my choice to move to the UK, and she said if we had to move, let’s move near the sea. Since she had read a Hungarian blog about this nice town, we chose Brighton.

It sounds easy, but it wasn’t. First, we had to prepare a plan. Where to move, how to get a flat, considering that being new immigrants, we didn’t have references, a stable job or anyone who could have been our guarantor. And without them, as we heard, it is a real pain to be able to rent a flat.

Fortunately, I had started to look for a job long before we moved, so on the next week after our arrival I already had three in-person job interviews in stock. But an interview is not a job, and we didn’t want to rent a flat without viewing it.

So beforehand we rented an AirBnB in Worthing. It looked nice, the host seemed friendly (she was), so finally we had a place to move in for the first weeks, although it was in the decks that we stayed there for months. It was a little bit frightening. I had not lived with total strangers for more than a few days.

And there was this other problem. What to do with all the things we had back in Hungary? We decided to get rid of them, except for a few nostalgic things and of course our clothes. But our clothes had to be pared down. We only brought with ourselves what we needed immediately: summer clothes, for me a nice pair of suit trousers for the job interviews, one pair of shoes, and all the necessary things. But we got rid of everything else.

Our “garage sale”

It wasn’t easy. We had to sell/give away everything we had, which sounds fun, but it wasn’t. People were surprisingly cautious, and since they knew we had to get rid of everything, sometimes they were unbelievable stingy. But they were right. We had to get rid of them. Everything we gathered throughout the years, we couldn’t bring them with us.

By the beginning of the week we planned to move, we sat there, in the almost empty flat, looking at each other, knowing nothing will be the same and not knowing what the future would hold for us.

We gave back the keys of the flat to our landlady, and bid farewell to Hungary.

To be continued…

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