A TikToker has detailed the shocking differences she experienced as someone who moved from New York to London three years ago.
Olamide Modupe launched a video series about what she “had to learn the hard way” about moving abroad. The content creator, originally from Los Angeles, California, spoke up insider about how she moved at the age of 29 during the pandemic to pursue her master's degree.
Her intention in releasing the multi-part confessions is to help her followers understand the reality of moving to the UK with information they have not been able to easily find online.
On July 16, Modupe informed other TikTok users about the difference in the water, which she found out a little too late. She found that the water was not fluoridated and therefore developed tooth decay. “I've never had tooth decay in my life until I moved to London,” she said. Though she still used American toothpaste, drinking the water lowered her fluoride consumption. However, when she switched to British toothpaste, her dental problems no longer existed.
In her July 24 video, she explained the difficulties of renting an apartment in London compared to one in New York. She described some of her Brooklyn landlords as a “nightmare,” but said those she's interacted with since moving out of the country have been “intense.” Finding a place to live in London was also different. When looking for a place in New York, you had to apply for several units at the same time and wait to see which units you were accepted for. However, in London you are more likely to pay a deposit before signing a lease to secure the space.
“So you can only apply for one at a time. And if you withdraw, you lose the deposit,” Modupe noted. “The only way to get the deposit back is for you to be declined.”
The ex-American admitted she had to pay six months' rent in advance when she first moved because of her student status and her roommate's unemployment.
In an Aug. 1 post, Modupe described how payrolls are typically monthly, while in the US the standard is bi-weekly. “You actually get paid monthly out here, not every two weeks,” she proclaimed. “If that sounds scary, believe me, it was scary for me too.”
The shocked worker spoke about having to budget more as a result. “I even split the check I received into two different pots in my bank app and then paid myself twice a month just so I had a little transition,” Modupe confessed.
Although she had to get used to only getting a paycheck once a month, Modupe was thrilled to find out that signing a contract with a company gave vacation time off. “In the UK, all your holidays are there the moment you sign your contract. They are at your disposal,” the TikTok user shared. “One understands it immediately. So you book the trips immediately.”
Speaking about bar culture in the UK, Modupe admitted: “There's no free serving here, honey. you will measure it. You will scrape off the top. And that will be as much as you get.”
In her Aug. 5 post, she continued, “Here they will measure that. And it's probably for your own good that they will measure it.”
In addition, she found that most bars close around one in the morning.
On the topic of online shopping, on August 13, Modupe took to her TikTok and spoke about UK return policies. “You're going to want to read the return policy every time you order something,” she said. There is little tolerance for opening a package, using an item and then trying to return it.
The Independent asked Modupe for comment.