American woman reveals what shocked her most after moving to London

A TikToker has detailed the shock differences she’s experienced as someone who moved from New York to London three years ago.

Olamide Modupe started a video series of what she “had to learn the hard way” about moving out of the country. The content creator, originally from Los Angeles, California, spoke to Insider about how she moved during the pandemic at age 29 to get her master’s degree.

Her intent in publishing the multi-part confessions is to help her followers understand the realities of moving to the UK with information they couldn’t easily find online.

On 16 July, Modupe advised other TikTok users about the difference in water that she learned about a bit too late. She found out the water wasn’t fluoridated and therefore got cavities. “I have never in my life had cavities until I moved to London,” she said. Though she was still using toothpaste from America, drinking the water lowered her fluoride consumption. However, once she switched to UK toothpaste, her dental issues no longer existed.

Her 24 July video explained the difficulties of renting a London apartment compared to that in New York. She described a few of her Brooklyn landlords as a “nightmare,” but said the ones she’s interacted with since her move out of the country have been “intense.”

The apartment search in London was different too. Looking for a space in New York meant applying for several units at once and waiting to hear which ones you’ve been accepted to. Yet, in London, you’re more likely to pay a “holding deposit” to secure the space before signing a lease agreement.

“So you can only apply to one at a time. And if you withdraw, you lose that deposit,” Modupe remarked. “The only way to get that deposit back is if they deny you.”

The former US resident admitted she had to pay six months of rent upfront when she first moved because of her student status and her roommate’s unemployment.

In a 1 August post, Modupe described that pay cycles were usually made monthly, whereas, in the US, the standard she’s experienced is biweekly. “You actually get paid monthly out here, not bi-weekly,” she proclaimed. “If that sounds scary, trust me, it was scary for me too.”

The shocked worker opened up about how she’s had to budget more because of this. “I was even splitting the check that I got into two different pots on my bank app, and then paying myself twice a month just so I could have a little bit of a transition,” Modupe confessed.

Although she had to get used to only getting a paycheck once a month, Modupe was thrilled to find out that vacation time was available upon signing a contract with a company. “In the UK, the second you sign your contract, all of your holiday days are there. They’re available to you,” the TikTok user recounted. “You get it immediately. So you’re booking the trips immediately.”

Speaking about the bar culture in the UK, Modupe confessed: “There is no such thing as a free pour here, honey. They are going to measure it. They are going to scrape the top off. And that’s going to be as much as you get.”

She continued in her 5 August entry: “Here, they are going to measure that. And it’s probably for your own good that they are going to measure it.”

What’s more, she found that most of the bars close around one in the morning.

On the topic of online shopping, Modupe took to her TikTok on 13 August and talked about the return policies in the UK. “You’re gonna wanna read the return policy every time you order something,” she said. There’s little tolerance for opening a package, using an item, and then trying to send it back.

The Independent has reached out to Modupe for a comment.