Today I passed the Life in the UK test

Fucking good coffee cup

Well today was a rather emotional one. It all started with a double shot coffee. To be fair most of my days start with a double shot coffee, so scratch that. It actually all started with a brunch with my Mum in Ponsonby in 2011. We drank coffee (see I told you my adventures all start with coffee) I complained about work, friends, feeling directionless, love and life in general. To which my Mum sipped her flat white and said “well you should just move to London”. Of course a normal person would think about this, maybe discuss it or to be honest join the conversation in any way, but I just said “OK”.

I thought I was only going to be over here for three months to get my head straight, to get some perspective, but that was almost five years ago (5 year visa because my grandmother was born in Glasgow). To be exact I have been living in London for 1,706 days, and I only almost moved home twice. The issue with 1,706 days is that it is very close to 1,825 days, which is when my visa ends. So I need to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain which would give me the right to live in London for as long as I still liked Doctor Who and hobnobs. The first step for applying is to pass a ‘Life in the UK test’, where you have to know UK history back to the Stone age as well as current laws, customs and of course all importantly the traditional foods for each country.

I think I am going to do a YouTube thing on some of the questions because they have been a great source of rage for the last week (a particular highlight was me running up to every British person I know screaming “DO YOU KNOW WHO BROUGHT THE IDEA OF SHAMPOOING TO BRITAIN? NO? THEN WHY THE HELL DO I HAVE TO LEARN IT?”). But for today I wanted to actually tell you about crying at a Disney film.

I studied for my test all of last night, dreamed of the English Civil War, woke up shouting about how a jury in Scotland has 15 members and then studied some more. Arriving at the testing center it was like a Peep-Show outtake, stuck in a grotty back room with a girl having a meltdown next to me because her computer shut her out of the test early. Three minutes later I passed and I have a stamped piece of paper to prove it.

Now y’all know how much of a party animal I am. So to celebrate I went across the road to Westfield Stratford to see Moana. Side note: Moana was one of the names of the houses at my school; Moana (water), Atea (air), and Whenua (land) – basically the kiwi version of Hogwarts.

Holy crap it was an emotional experience. After just doing a test that is my first step to living in the UK, watching a movie all about a girl leaving her home to follow her heart was tear inducing. Seriously I cried three times. It wasn’t just the story (although how fucking fantastic is it that there wasn’t even a sniff of a love interest) it was also seeing so much pacific culture again. It is so casually in the background of life in NZ, and seeing it today was like rain after a drought. And don’t get me started on seeing the Southern Cross on the big screen, the stars that guide all of us kiwis home, on the day that I passed the test to allow me to have two homes. One in Auckland, one in London – the weird hybrid immigrant life that means so much to me.

Anyway I am now ginned up and doing a puzzle at home (see what I said about being a party animal), and I am so relieved. Relieved that I have my silly little certificate, but more relieved that I can now delete all information about the Norman Invasion from my head.

Oh also I am attempting to blog every day in December, so please be aware that if you are one of my In Real Life friends I am looking for content and that might just be you.

4 Comments

  1. December 4, 2016 / 4:58 am

    Congrats on passing the test! And now I’ll definitely go see Moana 🙂

  2. December 4, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    Yay! So glad you passed, it just seemed like quite nonsense questions really. Now can you get a passport?!

  3. December 10, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    Wait, who brought the idea of shampooing to the UK?????

  4. February 17, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    Congratulations on passing the test! I still have a few years before having to do the same, but you certainly make me want to start syudying right now!