Sooner than you think

Just before I fell ill over the weekend, I realised that although I don't have have an air ticket yet, in less than two months I will move to London.

Less than two months!!

At that time, I hadn't finalised plans for what I was going to do about my current apartment lease and my two cats. As of Sunday (in the middle of being ill), those matters were cordially settled: a friend is going to sign a new lease with my landlady and take care of my cats till I'm back and I can store some of my stuff here (yay!). As of tonight, I am a grateful recipient of a Chevening Scholarship.

Which means I really have run out of excuses and I need to start sorting/throwing junk/boxing up my things/packing my suitcases, stat.

I knew about the Chevening Scholarship some months back, but then the newly elected UK government called a financial review and there was a little uncertainty about the details until a few weeks ago. Tonight I received my scholarship certificate and scholarship contract at a lovely little ceremony at Eden Hall (which tickled me all the more because this is the same Eden Hall of the "Eden Hall tea party" of 1961 --- see page 396 of Singapore: A Biography). People were delightful, the house was amazing and, as they say, a good time was had by all.

This morning I finally drew up a to-do list, which makes me feel like I've plucked all the stray thoughts that have been flittering around my mind and stabbed them onto a sheet of paper with a pin. Yeah, not so fun.

If anyone has advice to offer on:
  • How to set up a UK bank account while I'm still in Singapore, without incurring obnoxious bank fees, or
  • Flatshares in central London that are within a roughly 45-minute commute to Goldsmiths,
please leave a comment or contact me. Much obliged!



At 7/15/2010 1:02 pm , Anonymous Peishan said...

The banks can be a real pain. I had to get my SG bank to write to my UK address to verify my existence/account before they would set an account for me. But maybe HSBC can help you set up one with its UK branch.

As for accommodation, I wouldn't recommend staying in New Cross - kind of sketchy at night. Perhaps look at National Rail schedule to see what are the stops along the way to New Cross and how often the train runs to those stations - it's a bit far from Central London unless you take the rail (and especially since the East London tube line has stopped running).

Good luck!

At 7/15/2010 2:14 pm , Anonymous Mridu Khullar said...

Congratulations! Sounds like a fantastic opportunity. How long will you be there?

At 7/16/2010 4:51 am , Blogger Tym said...

Peishan > HSBC Singapore only does that for free if you're a Premier customer, i.e. with $200,000 in the bank. Otherwise it's a $300 service fee!

And yes, I'm not planning to live in New Cross. I've got some neighbourhoods in mind, and I'll certainly test the commute before I sign any leases.

Mridu > One year, just for an MA. More details here, if you missed the earlier post.

At 7/20/2010 12:35 pm , Anonymous Robert Stone said...

Good luck with everything. I'm so excited to finally have someone in my family in almost the same time zone. We're going to have fun cousin!

At 7/25/2010 5:01 pm , Anonymous dot said...

Congrats and have fun fun fun!


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