Home Away from Home (level one post)

My flat is on Kentish Town Road in Camden. Camden Town is a really cool area with a lot of bars, clubs, and pubs. For example, Amy Winehouse got her start here in Camden at the Hawley Arms Pub. Other artists like Madonna, Coldplay, The Killers and Pink Floyd have played here in Camden as well. It is also home to the Camden Market, which is one of the biggest tourist attractions in London. Weekends here mean the streets are flooded with people coming to explore the various vendors selling everything from jewelry to art to soaps. After some shopping, there are tons of food options as well, ranging from mac n’ cheese pots to halloumi fries, and of course, fish and chips.

Food options, pubs, a tube station, and markets are just a few minutes’ walk, but there are some great areas just beyond the hectic bustle of Camden High Street, too. About 15 minutes from my flat is Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill. London has a ton of green space, which is really nice considering how crowded and overwhelming the tube and the streets can be. Therefore, I often like to walk to Primrose Hill with a book, a friend and some food and drinks for a quiet evening overlooking the city.

While there is never a shortage of things to do in and around Camden, I do like some relaxing time in my flat. I live on the top (fourth) floor of my building, and I have a balcony, which is nice to sit on at night with some dinner, music, and good conversation. I share my flat with four others, two of whom also go to Pitt. Our flat layout is pretty interesting, especially compared to our neighbors’. We have a two-level flat, while most others are just a single level. Essentially, as soon as one enters the flat, the kitchen is there and then down a short hallway is a large living space with a dining table. From the hallway, stairs lead down to the bedrooms and bathrooms. There are three rooms: one single and two doubles. My room is a double with a bathroom attached, so I only share with one other person. I was surprised at how much space I actually have because I was fully expecting to be much more cramped.

For the most part, I like my flat and have grown quite comfortable. However, there are a few things that I do not like so much or that took me some time to get used to. The first two weeks here, it was about 80 degrees and humid, but the flat does not have air conditioning. That was a pretty hard adjustment, as the only way to cool off was with a table top fan, which, as you can imagine, did not do much. However, as the weather cooled off, it was not so much of a problem. Another major adjustment was doing laundry. The washing machines hold a load about half the size of a washing machine in the US, and it takes about three hours for one load. Furthermore, there are no dryers, so clothes have to be hung on a rack to dry. While this is not the biggest inconvenience, it certainly is something that requires an adjustment of habits and good time management.

Overall, my experience with my flat has been a positive one. Of course, there are times when the elevator breaks or the flat feels like 100 degrees, but those are minor issues when you remember where you are. I would not trade living in Camden for anything, as it is such a fun and unique town that has quickly become home.

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