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Potentially relocating to London - need help!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Alexander, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. A few more things I've just thought of:

    • Your credit rating is meaningless in the UK. You'll have to start fresh. There's also different terminology in banking - checking account = current account, check = cheque, ATM = cashpoint, etc. HSBC are a good bank to go to - they do an account specifically for new immigrants, called the Passport account - you can actually set this up before you arrive. Also, get a different wallet - British money won't fit in a regular-sized American wallet!
    • Regarding eating out, there's quite a difference - there are very few chain restaurant-type places in the UK (although TGI Fridays are fairly common, and Reading has one of the UK's few branches of Chili's). Eating out in the pub is quite common, since the rise of the "gastropub" - pub chains like Wetherspoon's, Harvester and O'Neills do good food at reasonably cheap prices. There's also a LOT more Indian and Greek/Turkish food - a good curry or kebab is never far away. You will learn the difference between chips and french fries too - they are not the same thing! As far as fast food goes, McD's, Burger King and KFC are all present and correct (with slightly different menus), but you won't find Wendy's, Taco Bell, etc. You will miss American pizza, and, according to my wife, Brits can't cook a good rare steak. :)
    • Generally, you don't tip in the UK like you do in the US. Waiters, bar staff, etc all get paid proper wages and don't rely on tips. Only leave a tip in a restaurant if the service was particularly good, and, even then, don't leave any more than a pound or two. No need to tip at all in pubs, cabs, etc.
    • Your kids will automatically be cool in school because they have American accents. But, coming back to my previous point about electrical stuff, if they have Xboxes, etc, they won't work in the UK, and their games won't work on a UK console due to region coding. As far as DVDs go, get hold of a multi-region DVD player (Richer Sounds - www.richersounds.com - sell them) and they'll all work.
    • Britain uses a strange hybrid of the metric and imperial systems - road signs are all in miles, people measure their height in feet and weight in stones, pounds and ounces, but almost everything else is metric - all food/drink is measured in metric quantities (with the exception of the venerable pint), fuel is sold in litres, the TV weather will have the temperature in degrees Celsius, etc.
  2. You mean the old Chinese chippy? Always thought the chips there were kinda greasy. :( There's actually a new chippy there now that's a lot better. Selsdon also has new Thai, Italian and Mexican restaurants! :eek:
  3. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    I'm an ex-pat Scot. All this talk makes me miss the country. I've now lived in Canada longer than I lived in Scotland/UK but everytime I go back I feel like I am home. It's a very odd sensation. Like I belong.

    Rusty Chainsaw: Your Avatar? Life on Mars. Was there ever a second season?
  4. *smb


    Nov 26, 2006
    The follow-up series to Life on Mars is called Ashes to Ashes.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    And now we have Lost in Austen!! :p

    Seriously I've lost interest now - as I live in Brighton and my job is in London - Reading is somewhere that I have avoided, apart from driving though on the way to Wales!! ;)
  6. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I always assumed Bruce avoided reading. Now I have proof.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually you can't avoid Reading if you want to get to quite a few places by car - it's really just a big junction off the M4/M25 !! ;)
  8. How the hell can you miss english food ? :bag:
  9. It's better than American food. :D The Brits have turned stodgy food into an art form....
  10. Yep... there were two seasons of Life On Mars, then they brought Gene and his team back for Ashes To Ashes, set in London in 1981. No Sam this time, his place was taken by Alex, a female police psychologist who got shot and woke up in 1981. Lots of New Romantic music, yuppies and Gene being his usual obnoxious self. :) They're doing a second season next year.

    I saw the pilot for the American version of LOM recently, with Colm Meaney as Gene... utterly awful. :meh:
  11. marcray


    Nov 28, 2006
    Englishman in Oyster Bay, NY
    Aging Former Bass Player
    Hilarious and original... pick a prize... :D
  12. marcray


    Nov 28, 2006
    Englishman in Oyster Bay, NY
    Aging Former Bass Player
    No, no, the fish and chips on Selsdon Park Road, at the Gravel Hill end, next to Featherbed Lane. There's a parade of shops there and in there is a chipppy that is amazing. Lines out the door, when you go in they ask u what you want and by the time you get to the till it's all done. NICE!
  13. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Yep. On my last visit, I was surprised at how much I LIKED English food. I much prefer it to standard 'Merican.
  14. Ah, I know the one, McDermott's. :) It's still there, and still serving good chips. :D
  15. I've found that European (including British) food is generally a lot less processed than American food, with more natural and organic ingredients. You won't find HFCS or any number of preservatives and other chemicals used in the US in food over there, and no genetically-modified stuff either.

    I'm trying to cut HFCS out of my diet at the moment, but it's not easy - it's in everything here. :meh: Means I can only eat at certain places, and no fast food - even the burger buns are full of that crap.

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