How do you find your life in London? - Page 4

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How do you find your life in London? - Page 4


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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 23rd May 2008, 01:15 PM
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Default It is great,

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyidle View Post
I'm just curious to ask, and of course the answers will be different. If you would like to share some of your experiences, please do write something here, and I'll really appreciate it and it will surely give me some idea before i really go to London. Looking forward to your response! Best Wishes to all of you!
This weekend there is a festival of African culture in Trafalgar Square, the Taste of Spain festival in Regent Street and a long weekend series of shows in the Tate Gallery. All this is free. As are the parks and most museums (most native Londoners can't locate Tate Britain or even the National Gallery or the British Museum).

Buy a 12/month pass with a chain of cinemas and you can watch as many movies as you want.

Prefer DVDs? rent them on your library (where you can get books as well of course) for a nominal fee.

Like classical music? The PROMS start in July, you can get in to listen to world clas performers for a fiver.

If you like your food there are eateries with cuisines from all around the world and for all pockets. If you try to eat only around Trafalgar Square, well, of course it is going to be expensive, but a real Londoner does not do that of course, instead one heads a bit out of the main attraction areas (the Isle of Dogs instead of Canary Wharf, Blackheath instead of Greenwich, etc.) and you get value for money.

This is in the cheap side of things, you can of course pay 35 for a good seat at the theatre or 200 for a performance in the Royal Opera House, but nobody is obliging you to do so and there are many quality options for similar activities (there are Opera companies in London that will charge you 15 or 20 with perfectly proficient professional singers).

Yes, London is expensive, no question about it, housing is expensive and you get much smaller properties that you would get elsewhere for the same money, public services are sometimes stretched (but we don't have power cuts like in Barcelona, or water rationing like in the Mexico City, the worst it has got recently is to stop people watering their gardens, the pain) but they mostly work, and many people believe it is not adequate to raise children, which frankly is ludicrous.

The point is that you can find things that are economical or even free and they are always a tube ride away only, and that the city functions, but naturally there are hiccups.

As for crime, there are certainly tough areas, but more often than not violence is gang related, so unless you are a member of a gang the probability of you suffering random violence is pretty damn small (which is vouched by police and government statistics, but right wing tabloid media will never be swayed by a triffle such a bunch of facts).

London is for the cosmopolitan, open minded person that needs to feed with the excitement of a vibrant, dynamic city. Some people can handle it, some people can't (the same thing can be said about the countryside, I hated it with all my might, I could not handle it! So horses for courses) Many people love London, warts and all, because you get compensated for getting to know it better.

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 23rd May 2008, 04:31 PM
 
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Ditto jlms, what you are saying is exactly my sentiment. I have also lived in 3 countries now and can say as whole London is safer to live in than Auckland.

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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 4th June 2008, 02:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Elphaba View Post
Do you ever have anything positive to say? Not all of Kent could be described as a garden either.

I have to ask, as you come on here, a forum for expats which you do not appear to be, bemoaning the state of the UK. If you hate it so much, why don't you leave?

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Hear Hear. You go, Moderator.

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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 5th June 2008, 02:08 AM
 
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Default relocating

Austin Wong - Very happy to hear your positive comments. I am from the US and my gf and I are trying determine if we would like to move over to London or stay in the US (well - move to NYC). There is a ton of negativity from many boards.

I have EU dual citizenship and she is going back to school in the fall.

my question revolves around bank accounts and renting a flat (if I am coming without a job)???

Any feedback from anyone who has gone through this would be great.

I have cash to open the account but it seems like the rules are very stringent......

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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 5th June 2008, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bingo View Post
Austin Wong - Very happy to hear your positive comments. I am from the US and my gf and I are trying determine if we would like to move over to London or stay in the US (well - move to NYC). There is a ton of negativity from many boards.

I have EU dual citizenship and she is going back to school in the fall.

my question revolves around bank accounts and renting a flat (if I am coming without a job)???

Any feedback from anyone who has gone through this would be great.

I have cash to open the account but it seems like the rules are very stringent......
Hi Bingo and welcome to the forum.

Up until two years ago, there used to be basic bank accounts and I remember my foreign students being able to open them. It might have changed since I left and as you say Banks have become very stringent recently.

Regards

Michelle

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www.expatsinargentina.ning.com

A wonderful place to live
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 5th June 2008, 09:43 AM
 
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What do you think is the best bank for expats?. So far, I'm hearing HSBC due to their Passport service.

On my end, I've been in London for three months and haven't found it too difficult to adjust, disregarding things like opening accounts, utilities, etc...
Even the rain hasn't been as bad as I was expecting. Love the history, the energy and the fact that you have so many options re things to do!

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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 30th June 2009, 11:56 AM
 
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Default Just fine

I've been here for almost 8 years and I love it. I think it's like any city - some days you wake up and it feels claustrophobic, gritty and mean. Other days you notice everything you love about it and it feels great.

I would say that with salaries being what they are in London, the cost of living doesn't feel too bad if you're careful. I shop in our local markets, I don't go out to eat too often, and I partake in the hundreds of free activities that are always available in a good city. I live in the East end, which some people might call a "bad area". I call it lively, colourful, diverse and green - I am so close to Victoria Park, Mile End Park, the canal system... it's heavenly. My council is Tower Hamlets, so the area encompasses some of the richest and poorest parts of London and I think maybe that makes them work extra hard - we've got good services, reasonable council tax, lots of good free entertainment, and did I mention the gorgeous parks?

I think just like NYC, London is all about it's neighbourhoods - friends from the West End wouldn't dream of moving to my neck of the woods, and I can't wait to get back here when visiting them. Same with the North-South debate.

London is eccentric - I have friends from all over the world, every kind of food is available, and as the UK is not terribly big, it's not too hard to get out to the country, the mountains or the seaside at the weekend.

The only downside for me is that I miss my family and friends from home, all the time.

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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 7th July 2009, 10:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyidle View Post
I suggest you try to live in the Philippines for 2 years.

Actually, I've been staying in the Philippines for almost 2 years, that's why I am planning to move. It's a very nice place to enjoy the smile and the sun here in the Philippines. And for you to enjoy a luxury life, for sure you don't need to spend much...... I learned how to smile in this country and of course through my efforts and luck, I found my real estate career here.

Boracay, I believe you already heard about it, you may have a vacation there once you have time. Of course I will not recommend Manila, because the traffic is terrible! Try Cebu City, it's safe and you can go to the beaches and scuba diving anytime!

Dubai is too hot! The weather in the Philippines is really nice for you to experience the warmth of sunshine and the hospitality of people! Philippines is my first country out of China, and I can say, it's really worthy! Believe it or not, I met a lot of British people here, and they all had one reason to share: I came here for the SMILE!
I also agree with it!

Just don't mind about the pollution when you arrive, and later you will find out more beautiful things!

it sounds interesting

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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 13th July 2009, 11:27 AM
 
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Default Hi Austin Wong

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinWong View Post
We moved to the UK from NZ about a year ago.

We did this with 3 kids and have just had our 4th 5 days ago.

Before we left we had the dilemma of where do we go.

We said anywhere but London. So we winged it here to the UK with no jobs. I am a civil engineer and NZ engineers are well regarded, there was a reasonable demand, so I was not too worried.

So we deicded we would go where work would take me.

We stayed a month in Kent to start.

Hello...we ended up London.

Was advised by someone to live in Ealing. Which is West London.

So we ended up in West Ealing. Post code W13.

What we realise is that despite saying anywhere but London, we were infact saying, please let it be London. We were put off by the bad hype about London from colleagues and friends.

We have been here a year now and just absolutely love it. And we used to live rurally in New Zealand. Go figure.

I think I have a better work life balance here and my family have a better standard of living.

Why were we given such poor feedback about London?

My theory is this. Some lived in central london which is very built up. Definitely harder to do if you hate concrete and have kids in tow. But in saying that there are some large green areas and good open spaces.

Most New Zealanders are here to take.

By this I mean, work, earn money and spend this travelling in other countries, using the UK as a platform. This is poor as it takes from the economy here generally and puts it in other countries.

Also they only hang out with kiwis and maybe ozzies. They never get to meet the brits, which to my surprise are just great. They are as open as any kiwi, if you give them the chance. So kiwis go home less rich intheir experience as they only tend to exist in the UK and head home after conquering Europe.

I could not think of anything better than living in London. For cultural diversity and urban culture.

There is so much history here in London, which is really made up of villages that over the centuries have grown and melded.

London use to be occupied by the Romans, I went to a pub that Charles Dickens went to... the list goes on.

I don't think I could live anywhere else.

Whatever you do when you come over. Don't mix with your countrymen. Mix with the brits and you will have a great experience. Join a club or do volunteer work if need be.

We found a church, which is something we never use to do back home.

Really it comes down to if you want country living or city. I would say it is easier to come to London then move out if required. London is not cheap but there will be far more job opportunities in general.

Let me know if you have more specific questions. I have lots I could share on how to settle in if you are remotely interested. There are a few things to know with how the system works here.

Whatever you do make sure you have at least 3000pounds, which will cover you for about 3 months.

This will help cover rental a month in advance and also in addition 6weeks equivalent of rent in advance as a bond.

Cheery

L

PS: To counter other earlier arguments.

Safety - London is a safe as any major city if not more safe. You just have to be sensible and keep out of some areas, like anywhere. My wife is happy to walk home from the shops at night in our suburb.


Kids - My children ages 5 days, 5 years, 10 years and 12 years just love their life here. Which could be very unique to West Ealing which is a very leafy green area.
Thankyou for taking the time to provide feedback. I have a couple of questions for you regarding your relocation experience. 1) How did the move impact on your children and how do you find the education system? 2) What visa/sponsorship did you have to be able to gain employment or do you have English ancestory? We are looking at relocating to the UK in 2010.
I look forward to reading your reply.
Cheers,
Kazza04

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