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> What is the U.K. like., What is it like in the U.K.?
Full Mind Alchem...
post Oct 28 2005, 05:25 AM
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What is the U.K. like?

I have always wanted to go to the U.K., but im not the richest kid on the block. What is it like out there, pros...cons, that kind of stuff? Can anyone who has lived there tell me about it? What is the night life like and other things?
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Phyllis
post Oct 28 2005, 05:42 AM
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Well, for starters, how long do you want to visit? And where are you from? Canada? America? Australia? Darkest Peru? If you're American I can probably give you an okay idea what to expect as far as cultural differences, how far your dollars will go and stuff like that since I'm also American and just spent the summer over there. Other places I won't be able to help you as much with the differences, since I've never been anywhere other than America and the UK. >_>

Also, do have any ideas whereabouts in the UK you want to go exactly?


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Full Mind Alchem...
post Oct 28 2005, 06:14 AM
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I would want to visit far at leat a year or so. I would want to visit London, Wales, Liverpool. I am from America (to bad I hate it here.).
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Phyllis
post Oct 28 2005, 07:33 AM
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You can only visit for up to 6 months without a visa (such as student visa, for instance), I'm afraid. Are you planning on studying over there at all? Also, you can't work over there without a visa that says you can (which would be a highly skilled worker visa or a spouse visa...might be others I'm not thinking of, but the basic idea is it's not something you'll probably be able to get). So you'll need all the money for your trip before you go. You'll have to be able to show the immigration officer that you can support yourself for the extent of your trip without resorting to public funds, and that you have a return ticket for no more than 6 months in the future.

Of those places you mentioned, I've only really been to London. Never visited Liverpool at all, and only went on a short visit (a few hours) to Wales with the boyfriend's parents once. London really is as expensive as everyone says it is. I was pretty stunned at the Tube fare, compared to the metro cards in NYC. But it's a lot more spread out than NYC, and the Tube is a lot cleaner, comfier, and easier to navigate in my opinion. But if you don't have a lot of money with you, you'll probably end up staying in a hostel in London.

Okay, cultural differences. Well, the most obvious one is the food. Stuff you thought you knew is different, a lot of stuff we have is missing there, and there is stuff you wouldn't have ever dreamed of consuming (black pudding......). Try it all, unless you're a vegetarian (hah! That one got me out of a lot of stuff). It's an experience. wink.gif People on here will probably mention something about portion sizes, which you might notice if you eat out in the US a lot. I tend to eat at home here, so I didn't feel deprived living there since I'm not used to US restaurant sized portions anyway.

Fully expect to be offered tea at least 10 times if you meet anyone's parents. wink.gif Mobile phones (cells) are far more prevalent. It's kind of strange to meet someone who doesn't have one. There will be quite a few slang terms you probably won't know, but just ask. I know I'm forgetting a bunch of stuff here, but I'll think of it later!

Nightlife...hmm. I don't know, I lived in a tiny village in Worcestershire. tongue.gif But I did go to cities quite a few times, and it didn't seem much different than the nightlife in America to be honest. But that might just be me being oblivious. unsure.gif

Travel: You'll probably end up on a train, or if you REALLY wanna save money, you could use megabus (www.megabus.com). Whenever I was on a train and there were other Americans onboard, they always waited till the last possible minute to get off once it was their stop. I always worried that they'd make it (and one woman didn't on the way to Glasgow, poor thing). Don't be one of those people! Just get up and get off the silly thing...they won't wait forever. tongue.gif

Some cons of the UK: It's expensive for an American tourist. There's no denying that. The current exchange rate is 1 pound = 1.78 dollars. I just estimated that whenever I bought something, it'd cost twice that amount in dollars since the exchange rate tends to fluctuate quite a bit. From what I understand the North is generally less expensive than the South, but I didn't go to the North very much myself.

How much you should budget for accomodation all depends on where you're going to stay. The only places I ever stayed were campsites and hotels. Food doesn't cost much, really. At least, it didn't for me...but I had a stove where I could cook things most of the time. Pre-made food costs more, obviously...but I guess you could always just go to a chip shop. They're cheap and they give you incredibly huge portions (surprisingly so...I was very much not expecting that much food the first few times I ate in one....which were the only few times cause I got sick of them after that!). I'd say just double the amount you spend in dollars each month for food in the US and that should give you a pretty good idea of what to budget there.

The weather might be a con for some people. It was really, really muggy when I first got there. Blegh...very sticky. That only lasted a couple of weeks, though. I guess it rained a fair amount of time when I was there, though I didn't think it was excessive at all...plus I like the rain. But again, that was during summer. I don't have any firsthand experience of the weather at any other time of year yet.

Aaaand I think I've given you quite enough information to digest for now. Erm...wow. That's a really really long post. Dunno if it was even any help, but oh well!


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Sir Psycho Sexy
post Oct 28 2005, 10:50 AM
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QUOTE (candice @ Oct 28 2005, 07:33 AM)
There will be quite a few slang terms you probably won't know, but just ask.  I know I'm forgetting a bunch of stuff here, but I'll think of it later!

*


The general rule of thumb there is if you hear a world you don't know it will probably (but not always) mean idiot or penis, sometimes both.


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Cath Sparrow
post Oct 28 2005, 01:00 PM
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Well seeing as I live on a pensular just between Liverpool and Wale I could probably tell you a reasonable amount about either so just ask away and I'll do my best to answer. biggrin.gif


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Full Mind Alchem...
post Oct 28 2005, 02:43 PM
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Thanks for the infomation and that was a lond post but very helpful. And I like the rain so that is a pro. But what I am intrested in is the Clubs because that is what my freinds and I do. All infomation is welcome, and what is the music like.
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Snugglebum the D...
post Oct 28 2005, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE
But what I am intrested in is the Clubs because that is what my freinds and I do. All infomation is welcome, and what is the music like.


Well, it's another country not another planet, so the music is pretty much the same as it is in America I should imagine. We HAVE heard of American artists in this country, you know. wink.gif


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Daria
post Oct 28 2005, 03:49 PM
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QUOTE (Full Mind Alchemist @ Oct 28 2005, 03:43 PM)
Thanks for the infomation and that was a lond post but very helpful. And I like the rain so that is a pro. But what I am intrested in is the Clubs because that is what my freinds and I do. All infomation is welcome, and what is the music like.
*



Clubs as in dance music and DJing, or clubs as in little grungy rock clubs? Britain has both! Woo! dry.gif
There is plenty of everything in London, just don't expect the people to be fantasticaly nice. I went down there for a gig, and at a tube station I saw a woman struggling down the stairs with a pushchair, so I picked up the bottom of it, and helped her down the stairs. When we got to the bottom, I half expected her to say thankyou but instead she gave me a nasty look and scuttled off the other way.

Only tourists and daytrippers are nice biggrin.gif

(No offence meant to all Londoners- I'm sure you're individualy lovely biggrin.gif)

FMA- What is it that's attracting you to London, Wales and Liverpool?


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Phyllis
post Oct 28 2005, 04:52 PM
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QUOTE (Snugglebum the Destroyer @ Oct 28 2005, 08:20 AM)
Well, it's another country not another planet, so the music is pretty much the same as it is in America I should imagine.  We HAVE heard of American artists in this country, you know.  wink.gif
*

Pretty much, from my experience. Though it was kind of confusing when I was eating in an Italian restaurant with several forumites in London, and the music that started playing was "America The Beautiful." blink.gif

I don't think it's very different from America in the music/club aspect, to be honest. Same stuff, just more expensive. The only differences other than that I can think of are 1. You can get in when you're 18 and drink...and 2. We tend to pour stronger mixed drinks over here. At least where I live, anyway. Other than that...tis basically the same from what I saw.


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Forever Unknown
post Oct 28 2005, 05:33 PM
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QUOTE (candice @ Oct 28 2005, 04:52 PM)
We tend to pour stronger mixed drinks over here.
*



I wish I lived in America...


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Tom
post Oct 28 2005, 06:59 PM
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If you want to look at England come here.Enjoy!


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Calantyr
post Oct 28 2005, 07:24 PM
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The UK is the land of milk and honey. All your dreams can come true in our socialist paradise! Forward the workers revolution!


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Full Mind Alchem...
post Oct 29 2005, 12:40 AM
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Thanks for the info. I think my atraction to England and those cities is... well i am not very sure because i have not ben there yet. But I dont like it here in America. If you lived here you would understand.
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Snugglebum the D...
post Oct 29 2005, 12:42 AM
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QUOTE
When we got to the bottom, I half expected her to say thankyou but instead she gave me a nasty look and scuttled off the other way.


Ohhhh - that's a certain London attitude that I really do despise! Where I live, you randomly say hi to people you're passing EVEN if you don't know them. You say thank you to the bus driver and ask for directions if you need to.

Apparently, in London, these are stabbable(I know, not a word) offences.

After spending time in London my manners and general demeanour are offended. I don't understand why everyone should be so anti - social?


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Calantyr
post Oct 29 2005, 12:44 AM
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Because if you make eye-contact with the wrong people you do get stabbed?

Well at least it makes the morning run to the corner shops exciting.


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Snugglebum the D...
post Oct 29 2005, 12:51 AM
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QUOTE
Because if you make eye-contact with the wrong people you do get stabbed?


My point. ^

I could get stabbed here. Or in Liverpool. Or in Wales. Or in Ireland. Or abroad. I'm not going to be rude to people on the off chance they may stab me. Damn - if I did that I may as well stop leaving the house.


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Mata
post Oct 29 2005, 12:56 AM
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FMA, Britain really isn't a theme park. You really can't say 'what's it like?' when there is a vast difference between different areas. It isn't Disney World, where you might be able to summarise all the staff and all the rides without too much trouble. We've got rock clubs, live electronica gigs, punk, hardcore gabba, classical concerts, cheesy house, retro 80s, hard house, soulful house, techno, drum 'n' bass clubs, indie clubs, karaoke!

Some places are friendly, some places aren't, some places are cities, two miles away you can be surrounded by fields, some places are dirty and polluted, others are sparkling clean, we have table-flat moors and we have mountains, we've got more accents than we know what to do with (even we British don't understand all of them).

My point is simple: tell us what you're looking for and we'll tell you if we know a good place for you to look, otherwise all you're doing is the equivalent of me saying to you 'what's the US like?'


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Calantyr
post Oct 29 2005, 01:07 AM
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QUOTE (Snugglebum the Destroyer @ Oct 29 2005, 01:51 AM)
QUOTE
Because if you make eye-contact with the wrong people you do get stabbed?


My point. ^

I could get stabbed here. Or in Liverpool. Or in Wales. Or in Ireland. Or abroad. I'm not going to be rude to people on the off chance they may stab me. Damn - if I did that I may as well stop leaving the house.
*



It's not that bad though. People say please and thank you just like in any other place. We just don't get in anyones faces. Saying hello to random people in the street? They are just as likely to think "What the hell? Do I know you? What do you want?"

When you cram a lot of people into the same small places people get very protective of their PERSONAL space. It's not that we are all grumpy bastards, we just like to deal with things on our own terms and at our own pace. It's hard to do that in a metropolis.


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post Oct 29 2005, 01:55 AM
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People in all large cities I've been to (I've travelled lots) are fairly anti social. By large cities.. I mean populations upwards of 3 million.

I think it's just when you're surrounded day in and out by people.. people really just get fed up of trying to be nice to everyone. It's just tiring to keep up with really. It's weird.. whenever i travel to somewhere quieter, i instantly start nodding and giving everyone a hello smile and nod.. but soon as I return to london the anonymity amongst the crowds sets in.

Well.. cept in poland.. even the rural areas of that country featured pretty darn abrasive people.. in my experience


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Full Mind Alchem...
post Oct 29 2005, 03:35 AM
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I would want to visit far at leat a year or so. I would want to visit London, Wales, Liverpool. I am from America (to bad I hate it here.).
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Phyllis
post Oct 29 2005, 03:40 AM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Oct 28 2005, 05:56 PM)
My point is simple: tell us what you're looking for and we'll tell you if we know a good place for you to look, otherwise all you're doing is the equivalent of me saying to you 'what's the US like?'
*

But Mata, didn't you know that the trip your great great uncle Bobert took to Alabama in 1978 was completely indicative of American culture? tongue.gif Well, that, and movies, of course. (A couple of people actually seemed to think something like this when I talked to them!)

My experience with large cities has been the same as Witless's...though I think I'd put the cut-off point higher than 3 million. When you live in a big city you just get suspicious of other people. Overall though I still found people there to be basically polite in all the places I went, including London...unless they were businessmen in a rush or chavs. wink.gif I avoid both. I found London to be more polite overall than NYC, for example...but maybe that's just cause I lived in NYC rather than simply visited it. *shrug*

FMA, if you're not even sure what attracts you to these places (of which I've only really visited one...I traveled quite a bit in the UK, but there's MUCH more to see than what I experienced), how are we supposed to know what activities there you'd like? tongue.gif And what is it about America that you dislike so much? It'd be a shame for it to be one of the commonalities between the two places....you'd end up very disappointed with your journey!

QUOTE (Full Mind Alchemist @ Oct 28 2005, 08:35 PM)
I would want to visit far at leat a year or so. I would want to visit London, Wales, Liverpool. I am from America (to bad I hate it here.).
*
Also...like I already mentioned when you said that the first time...you can't stay in the UK for a year. Not without a visa...of which you'd probably only qualify for a student visa. And you'd only qualify for THAT if you were going to study there. Otherwise it's just six months out of every 12 month period.


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post Oct 29 2005, 12:04 PM
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QUOTE (candice @ Oct 29 2005, 04:40 AM)
My experience with large cities has been the same as Witless's...though I think I'd put the cut-off point higher than 3 million.  When you live in a big city you just get suspicious of other people.  Overall though I still found people there to be basically polite in all the places I went, including London...unless they were businessmen in a rush or chavs.  wink.gif  I avoid both.  I found London to be more polite overall than NYC, for example...but maybe that's just cause I lived in NYC rather than simply visited it.  *shrug*
*

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post Oct 29 2005, 08:28 PM
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QUOTE (Daria @ Oct 28 2005, 03:49 PM)
[When we got to the bottom, I half expected her to say thankyou but instead she gave me a nasty look and scuttled off the other way.

*


I've had completely different experiences. I've found that people are really friendly, there is such an atmosphere and buzz in the air when you go to London. Especially on the Southbank where all the street performers are and Convent Garden.


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CommieBastard
post Oct 29 2005, 08:48 PM
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Like Cal says, we Londoners get protective of our personal space. There's eight million of us there - thirteen million when the commuters are in. That's the kind of atmosphere which makes you a bit insular.


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