First part: Introduction, Part I
So we were ready to leave the country. We stood at the airport with my wife’s parents, drinking our coffee and trying to imagine what life would be for us, our luggage had been checked in. We bid farewell and got on the plane.
The flight was uneventful. We told ourselves that it is just a holiday without a fixed end date. I think we still believed it; we still believed that two weeks later we would head back home. We still believed it when the plane landed, and we took our luggage and went to the train station.
It was a whole new experience. One and a half years ago, we visited London and spent a day in Brighton as well. But now, two luggage full of clothes and two cabin bag with our laptops and personal stuff, we knew it would not end in two weeks. It’s not a visit this time; it is a relocation.
We caught the train, and we were silent. We didn’t talked even a word. When we did, it was only practical stuff: where to get off of the train, which way we could go to the AirBnB. It was Thursday, 26th July, 2018. We got off of the train and tried to find the way to our host. Of course, Google Maps found the shortest way, but it included a lot of overpasses and crossings with high-traffic roads.
We got to our AirBnb around 8pm. We lied down on the bed, and we were silent. Nothing was certain. We had a plan, we strongly believed I would get a nice job from the three interviews next week. But nothing was fixed. And for T., it was even more. She lost her family, her friends. She came with me, but her heart stayed in Hungary, and to be frank, mine as well. All I knew is I wanted to prove to myself I was able to live in a foreign country, I can make a living from what I knew. Being a software developer for about 16 years gave us hope. But T. had just recently changed career path. She used to be an event organiser, but she had had enough with the office environment. She had decided to learn to be a barista. So we knew it would be harder for her and I didn’t push it too hard. I always felt that she was in a horrible situation. Follow her love to a foreign country, leaving those she loved behind; it is more than anyone could ever expect from anyone. I have always been thinking that since I forced this situation, it’s my duty to make her life as easy as I could.
The weekend passed. We got to know our flatmates, our host. We went around the neighbourhood, discovered what we could do, where we could buy things.
If I remember correctly, my first two interviews were on Monday next week. One was in a nearby village, the other in London. T. accompanied me on the way. I felt good about both of the interviews, but I didn’t want to decide until I have known all my options. The next day, I had my third interview, and it was even better.
I knew that my future job would be among these three, and I loaned some money from my bank, so I knew I needed a well-paying job, especially because I was prepared to be the sole breadwinner. We had looked around before we decided to come here, so we knew that a livable flat would cost around £1000-1200, we had to pay back the loan, and we had to buy food, furniture and everything we had had back in Hungary. So my decision was that whoever could have given me £2500 sooner, they would be the winner. The first offer was £35k annual, and it was slightly below my expectations. The other, the London one offered me £40k, which made it about £2.5k per month. And the third… well, it was a fintech company with long decision processes, and it was summer. I couldn’t wait that long for their decision, so I accepted the London company’s offer. It was 8th of August, and I started on 15th.
That was the point where we knew we had had to find a flat for only us. We knew we could afford it and we knew the sooner we could get out of the AirBnb, the sooner we could start living our new life.
But that’s the story of the third part