Story of a girl moving to Bristol alone ⦁ 一個女仔闖天涯之Bristol篇

Eva came to the UK on her own in November on LOTR (leave outside the rules) hoping for a better life. With no family or friends here, she decided to call Bristol home. This is the story of a single girl moving into a share flat with three male housemates, and working in a warehouse for £10/hour while figuring what to do next.

Why did you decide to come to the UK on your own? ⦁ 自己一個女仔,點解決定移民英國

I was hoping for a change. My life in Hong Kong was quite mundane, and it didn’t suit my personality. I’ve always loved travelling, and had working holidays in Australia and New Zealand before. I believed I would fit into life in the UK fairly well.

My family members don’t speak English, so they never thought about moving to the UK. We are not close anyway, so I didn’t tell them I was leaving until a few days before I was due to fly. They just said: “Oh, you’re off again?”

Why Bristol? ⦁ 點解揀Bristol嘅

The first thing I thought about was job hunting. Competition is too fierce in London, so I focused on smaller cities.

Public transport is good in Bristol – it makes life a lot easier for those who cannot drive. The buses come every 10 minutes or so, it’s quite like Hong Kong. I used the bus a lot in my first week here, before I bought a car.

I picked Bristol also for its history and the culture.

How did you find your accommodation? ⦁ 你過到嚟之後點搵屋租

I booked a hotel for my first 3 nights. My first priority was to find a flat and buy a car so I spent my first week doing this.

On my second day here, I arranged some viewings and saw 3 flats. I picked the last one, which is to share a house with three men.

The landlord wanted me to pay 6 months’ rent in advance, and I bargained by saying I don’t have a bank account here yet. Eventually we agreed that I would pay two months’ rent in advance.

This is helpful as then I had the cash to buy a car.

Sharing a house with 3 men – are you worried? ⦁ 一個女仔同三個男人share一間屋,你擔唔擔心

Not really.

The three men are of different nationalities, but all professionals. We have a chef from Brazil who shares his amazing food with us from time to time. There is an engineer from Vietnam, and a Sri Lankan who works in the IT sector.

Having had working holidays in other countries, I learnt that we can’t judge a book by its cover. The UK is very multi-cultural, so to move here I told myself to be prepared to mix with people of different backgrounds and nationalities.

I hadn’t felt I was in danger so far in the UK. I know which area in Bristol is less safe, so I avoid going to those places. I’m always alert when I go around. Speaking of which this is my advice to Hong Kongers – come see the area before deciding to buy. If you picked a bad area, it’s not going to be easy to sell your property.

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You found a warehouse job quite quickly. ⦁ 你好快搵到做貨倉嘅工喎

My second week here was all about job hunting.

Before I came I knew I should target warehouse jobs, because with Black Friday and Christmas, there would be strong demand for this type of work.

It took me 2 weeks to find this job, and I got it through a recruitment agent. I earn £10 per hour.

People in my workplace are from all around the world – Mexicans, Iranians, Indians, Polish, Russians. However, there are no more than 10 Asians working in my warehouse.

Each one of us is allocated to do a specific task. Some works with the conveyor belt, some pack the boxes, others moving boxes to the vans. There are always people walking around and a lot of people chatting all the time.

If this job does not work out, I will go ahead and find another one. I am mentally prepared for a lot of rejections. When I was in Australia/New Zealand, I even worked as a masseuse in a massage parlour. It can’t be worse than that!

Image: Harry Kessell on Unsplash

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