I’d never heard this word Antipodean before
GO HARD OR GO HOME | The Collin’s Online Dictionary defines Antipodean as people or things that come from or relate to Australia or New Zealand. Well yeah, that’s me! But I didn’t want to live with them.
BEFORE I made the big move to the UK in January, I told myself I wouldn’t live like most of the young Aussie ex-pats in London.
I knew people who had been living here for almost two years and didn’t have any close English friends. I didn’t get it. How could someone spend two years in a country and only associate with Southerners?
I was determined not to spend my two-year stint in London in one of those little “Antipodean” bubbles. I would keep away from the She Bu Walkabout for as long as possible.
I landed in the UK, fresh-faced and tanned, ready to immerse myself fully in the English life – and that meant making friends with as many different nationalities as I could.
I’d been dossing in West Hampstead and decided to stay on that side of town. I found a nice flatshare with three friendly guys – a Brazilian, an Irish and a French – in Willesden Green. I managed to keep away from the popular Antipodean hangouts in She Bu, Clapham and Fulham – with the exception of Australia Day – for a good few months.
But after three months of living in my international house and working in a very multicultural Liverpool Street office, I began to feel lonely.
All of my mates lived with other Aussies or Kiwis, who they had heaps in common with. They were all here for a good time, not a long time, frequenting The Walkabout, The Church and The Redback, and travelling as much as their small incomes would allow.
I longed to live with people who I could relate to – people who understood my need to spend almost four quid on a packet of Tim Tams and who weren’t afraid to strike up a convo with strangers on the Tube.
So I moved to Acton to live with a couple of Aussies and Kiwis, and it couldn’t be better. I feel right at home. Sure, the bathroom is often dirty and my liver hasn’t experienced this sort of abuse since first-year uni, but I am having a blast. I’m creating memories that will last a lifetime.
So now, six months after stepping off that plane at Heathrow, I find myself surrounded by Aussies and Kiwis. You might say I’m about as Antipodean as they come, but with a few English friends to boot.
Is it inevitable that you must live with fellow ‘Antipodeans’ in London? Is this really such a bad thing or should we endeavour to mix with the poms a little better? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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