Welcome to my new series “How do you live in…?”. So many of us would like to live abroad and get an insight into everyday life in other countries. There’s not much to see on holiday of the daily live. The idea for this series came to me when I read on Spiegel.de a report about German idiosyncrasies and how this affects non-Germans living with us. I was wondering what of the things that are so natural to us might be different anywhere else.
That’s why I’ve been looking for volunteers in various Facebook groups to tell us about their everyday lives. We get an insight into different countries, professions and customs. Melanie from Iver in Great Britain is the the first who wrote me about her life. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do!
Melanie from Iver
My name is Melanie and I live in Iver, Buckinghamshire, England. Iver is a small village located 17 miles/30km to the east of London. It is a green, leafy sleepy village perfect for those looking for a quiet life.
I work in London and also study part time via distance learning. I work with adults with learning disabilities and I am training to become an educational psychologist- that is a psychologist who works to diagnose those with learning disabilities. I am studying for my MSc in Psychology, and then I will complete my PhD to be fully qualified.
Getting to London takes a long time from the village. Luckily, the bus which takes me to the tube (subway) station stops right outside my house so I don’t have far to go. Sadly it only runs every half an hour so I have to be sure I am ready on time or else I will be late! It takes around twenty minutes to get to the tube station, then another hour to get to my place of work- which also means another bus! I currently live with family as this is the only way I could afford to study toward my dream, so the commute is a necessary one.
I have lived in many different towns and cities in England including London and Manchester. I have also lived in the USA- In Wisconsin whilst I was studying for my first degree. It was interesting to note that a lot of people thought the US and the UK are similar- but I would have to disagree! The UK is a very unique place to live- a blend of many customs and cultures from our rich history.
A typical week for me is a mixture of work, home life and blogging. I work Monday to Friday and blog three times a week. On the weekends I see my boyfriend, who lives in London, and spend time with family. We usually go out for a meal together. On occasion I also see friends but not that often as they live far from the village. In the UK it is customary to meet friends at their home, but sometimes we will meet in a public place such as a coffee shop or restaurant. I always try to arrive early, but my friends are usually late!
I have always wanted to visit Germany and am hoping to visit Berlin later in the year for a few days. Germany fascinates me with its rich history. In particular I am intrigued by its history of engineering- the best cars are German! I imagine German people to be very organised and methodical because of this, but fun too! I am excited to meet some when I visit to see if this is true or not.
Contrary to popular belief, the most common dish in the UK is Curry- not fish and chips. There is no curry house in the village so if I want a curry I have to go to another local village. My step mum is friends with the owner so we are guaranteed amazing food every time! That being said I am a fan of fish and chips.
As I mentioned, I live with my family. That is my dad, step mum and our dog- Duke. He is an English bulldog and very silly. There are lots of different types of family in the UK- Single parents, those with many siblings and those who live with extended family such as grandparents and aunts/uncles. I would say there is no longer a typical family such as two adults and two children in the UK. It is common for grown up children to live at home due to escalating house prices. The south east of England is the most expensive place in the country to live.
What else is there in Iver?
The most famous place here is Pinewood Studios. This is where they film Harry Potter and James Bond- even parts of The Avengers! Many people from the village work at the studio. There are many beautiful places to visit here. We live next door to three big parks- Black Park, Langley Park and Richings Park. All are incredibly beautiful and worth a visit. There is also a charming English Pub called The Red Lion which has a Michelin starred chef. The perfect place to relax after a long country walk. Its one of the only places in the village to offer Free WI-FI, everywhere else you are reliant on your own data. The internet is pretty fast here even though we are a small village, which is just as well given I am a blogger!
I blog over at christiancareergirl.com. It’s a lifestyle blog aimed at single Christian women covering everything from fashion to beauty to bible study. Faith is an important part of my life and I love being able to share it with the world via my blog. I only started it two months ago but its growing quickly- I would love for you to come and check it out!