Monday, 5 November 2007

Why are we stuck in Vauxhall?

I moved to London in April 2006. I went to live in my friend's parents house. It was a very tiny room in a small house in a posh area of London. I didn't really care much about the area, but I cared a lot that it was so close to my work and it was well cheap rent. My landlords were very friendly and they were workaholics, so I kind of had the house for myself in the evenings. Nevertheless it was a family house and it is difficult to feel completely home in a place like this. So I moved to Vauxhall, a place more central just south of the river. The area is quite dodgy and apparently is the new Soho, with plenty of gay clubs and parties going on but I didn't really cared about that, I primarily cared that it was close to the centre (as the old place was in the suburbs) and it was easy to go to work as well, just a 30 min very comfortable train ride.
As soon as we moved in to the new place in Vauxhall we tried to be very friendly with the flat mate, who is renting the whole place and renting rooms out. But soon we discovered it was a difficult match to click on together. After a couple of months we still had doubts about that place and we thought of moving out, but as the place was 'kind of cheap' and central and close to 24 hours shops and great transport links and not far from stations and in front of a park, we had an unsuccessful time finding something relatively better.
The biggest problem that the south east of England has is accommodation. Properties prices are astronomical and it is a topic in the papers, news and conversations in day to day life. There are several factors that led to make the situation to the state it is.
First of all is the huge amount of empty properties in central London owned by a few rich people who use them only 3 weeks per year as a holiday house.
Secondly is the fact that the UK has only one big hive of opportunities, London. Other countries split this load in different places, ie in Spain you have Madrid and Barcelona, in Germany there is Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg. In Italy there is Rome and Milan. And so on. The government has tried to change this by encouraging people to live in Manchester and Birmingham, but they are still quite far to be a second prosperity nest. So many people from all of the UK head for London.
The last decisive factor is the massive immigration that has happened in the last 5 years. With the whole EU laws about free borders and free permits to work, so many people have headed for London as there are plenty of jobs plus the bonus of learning English while working.
To sum up, I contribute to that big problem and also I get affected by it. We have really tried to move out but we also have got used to live there. Next to the dodgy park filled with drunk people and 'sellers'. Just 30 seconds walk to a strip club. 2 minute away from the Vauxhall City farm and with views of the MI6. Here is a view the farm with the MI6 as a background. In case you don't know the MI6 is the Military Intelligence building, James Bond's office.

Whenever we try to leave this place we find a massive wall which we crash into. Prices seem to be a lot higher everywhere else and the places with similar prices are just way too far. Several times we have tried to move in with people we know but it has never worked out. Everyone just follows their personal and selfish requirements. In addition add the stress of looking for a place, phoning up, arranging a meeting, seeing the place, agreeing a deal, packing your stuff and actual moving. I just can't be bothered anymore. That is why we are stuck in Vauxhall.

1 comment:

Nicolás said...

Oh boy shame for you! Move to Vienna out. Did you know I'm living in a new aparment alone? No flatmates my own space, don't ask for the price because comparing with your is very very very cheap

Good luck with the searching