As you know (because I have no filter and you read my blog) I passed my Life in the UK test a few weeks ago and then cried in a Disney movie. I have raged about the content of the test to every person I have met recently so I decided to create my own and see how many of you would be able to pass. Check out the video below to take the test (all questions that could actually be asked in the real Life in the UK quiz) and then click the link at the bottom for the answers. No cheating please and don’t forget to comment below or tweet me with your scores!
Remember, there are 24 questions and if you don’t get at least 18 right you will be deported…no pressure!
For once this is not some sort of click-bait title, I legitimately went on the worlds longest flight (by distance) to fly from London to New Zealand a couple of days ago. The reason this post is a couple of day delayed is because HOLY CRAP THE INTERNET IN NEW ZEALAND IS BAD. And my 3G is not working. And I got distracted by eating my body weight in burger rings and weet-bix. But now that I have finished work, found some internet and there is no food in immediate reach I can tell you about all the things that went wrong on the worlds longest flight.
The first issue was that I was unbelievably hungover. I didn’t think I drank much at the Christmas party the night before, but then I found 98 photos of me putting on lipstick and cried when I couldn’t find my UK to NZ adapter. So yes, maybe I was a little hungover.
When I arrived at the check-in counter it seemed to take a long time, far longer than I was used to anyway. There was Christmas travel chaos around me with kids clearly forgetting that Santa is making a naughty list and staff treating the travelers like a military incursion. My check-in guy had to go away and make two phone calls, looking at me suspiciously throughout (again, I was quite hungover so I couldn’t tell if this was just prosecco based paranoia). Once he was off the phone I asked what was wrong; turns out there was a do not fly tag on my passport. This was not what I wanted to hear.
The tag was on the final leg of the flight aka the arriving in New Zealand part. Yes, the New Zealand government didn’t want me back. Maybe they heard that I was cheating on them with the UK? My stressed out check-in man had to call the New Zealand boarder control and say ‘she has a NZ passport, whats up with the hold’. After half an hour at the check in desk, with hundreds of families glaring at me for taking so long, New Zealand finally said I could come back and took the hold of my passport.
So that was the end of that right? Nope. Because I’m an idiot. I thought when I booked that I was flying London>Dubai>Sydney/Melbourne>Auckland because that is what had happened every other time I had flown Emirates. When my check-in man handed me two boarding passes I got in a strop and demanded “why have you given me only two boarding passes”. He looked at me like I was a bit special and said “because you have two flights”. Oh. Turns out I had accidentally booked the longest flight in the world, the mega 16.5 hour flight from Dubai direct to Auckland. I am an idiot.
How do you even tackle a 16.5 hour flight? HOW? Lady luck was shining on me a little because I was in the only row without small children (never ever fly at Christmas, its like Santa’s workshop except no one is making toys and all the elves cry during takeoff) which meant I could down three gins without judgement. I then drugged myself senseless and slept for as long as possible – which turns out is five hours. Sleeping for 5 hours on a normal flight is a miracle, sleeping for 5 hours on the worlds longest flight still leaves you with 11 hours to fill.
Thankfully Emirates seems to have catered for me specifically. The entire Starwars collection was on their entertainment system, and since I am a self confessed dork who SHOCK has never seen Starwars it was a dream come true. I made it through the first two before I moved on to Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and initial Star based thoughts are:
Where are all the women?
Why did the little round robot not just take the plans to the rebel base right away, what did the old dude have to do with it?
How does Leia always have such nice hair?
I want one of those walking robots from the ice planet, they look cute and could be a replacement cat.
If I were the rebels I would not just move to another base, I would have ten bases with ships of strategic importance divided across systems.
I want an egg office like Darth Vader.
Oh and Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the best movie ever. Not Starwars related, but important none the less.
I eventually made it to Auckland and landed face first into brunch and a hug. I don’t know how much blogging I will be able to do until I make it back into a civilised country with good internet, so if I don’t see you MERRY CHRISTMAS.
If this is your first Christmas in London you will right about now be having a moment of realisation. That ‘oh shit’ moment of realisation that the posting deadline for New Zealand was the 10th of December, and if you don’t act quickly you will have ruined Christmas. Trust me, it happens to the best of us (and to the worst of us it happens every year), so I have some tried and true solutions for you. Read on my dear friends and Christmas will be saved.
Your first option is to order something that is already within NZ – I know, totally revolutionary. Quite a few of the online shops will do gift-wrap for you and then courier straight to your loved ones. The benefit of doing this is that you are spending in pounds so even post Brexit you might be able to splurge a little. I wish I had thought of this myself, but in actual fact it is because I used to work at Walker and Hall and spent weeks of my life wrapping presents from hopeless expats (they have Christmas orders right up until the 19th – and you can get some lovely Karen Walker rings for £40ish). When I looked I was quite shocked how many new gift websites have started in NZ so you will be able to find something in your price range – literally google ‘gift delivery NZ’.
You can also get vouchers to most restaurants or cafes if you email them and ask nicely, then you don’t even have to wait for something to be posted – you can tell your family about it in the good old Christmas Skype session. I know that a voucher can be seen as impersonal, but add in that little bit of meaning by choosing a cafe you used to go to together, add in the story when you tell them about it.
Another option is to use your friends. If you know anyone going home for Christmas then sweet talk them into giving up some suitcase space to take your presents back for you. And for anyone who still has friends in NZ (friends that live near your family) then beg them to help you out. They can go to the supermarket, buy a six pack and put bow around it – what could be better than a hand delivered Christmas present on Christmas eve? The important thing is to make your family believe you spent a lot of time planning it – and didn’t in fact resort to this option after missing the Royal Mail deadlines.
If you are totally skint (because thats what winter in London will do to you) then all you need to do is remember that the thing your family is missing this Christmas is you. Send them an email every single hour starting at 11am the on the 24th (when it is midnight on Christmas day in NZ) with a Christmas memory, a funny story, some friendly family abuse – anything to make your family feel like you are there on the day. The sneaky part is that in Gmail/Hotmail you can schedule emails in advance so you don’t even need to stay up sending them throughout the night.
Presents are lovely, but that is not what Christmas is all about. Particularly if this is your first Christmas away from home what you need more than anything else is to help your family feel connected to you – it doesn’t have to involve spending a whole lot of money.