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Pikasyuu
post Nov 24 2007, 10:19 PM
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So, after way, way too long..
I'm planning a trip to visit England. Hopefully I can have this done within the next year - I'm thinking spring/summer or some rainy season. My question is, for all of you that have traveled from the US to England, what was customs like? What did you have to take with you (passport excluded, of course)? It's been a long time since I've been out of country, so instead of doing research myself, this is an easier way of letting people know and getting good information.


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Daria
post Nov 24 2007, 10:56 PM
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Not exactly sure what you have to do/ go through when going through customs, but! Wanted to let you know that we have a sofa/ very large beanbag that you would be welcome to sleep on for as long as you like- as long as you're not allergic to cats biggrin.gif

EDIT- friend says that you have to go right instead of left if you're not an EU citizen when going through customs at Stansted. Yes, we're useful.


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Phyllis
post Nov 25 2007, 02:20 AM
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You'll need an address for the place you are staying. If it's a hotel or hostel, bring your booking confirmation. If you're staying with friends then a phone number for them is useful so they can confirm that you will be staying with them if need be. You're also more than welcome to use our spare room if need be, but I'm assuming you'd probably rather be in London. We will travel down there to meet you, of course. biggrin.gif

You'll also need proof that you have a return flight booked to go back to the US and enough funds to support yourself while you're here. How long are you planning on staying?

Other than that, I can't really think of anything you would need aside from the obvious. But I should add that they won't allow you to enter the country if you come in May, because as I told you before that's when moop and I are visiting my family in the US. biggrin.gif I am going to tell them on my way out to not let any syuus into the UK while I'm not here to meet them.


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Pikasyuu
post Nov 25 2007, 03:42 AM
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I think I'm going to aim for sometime between February and June, absolutely (hopefully) no later than that. Hotel would probably be the ideal thing (although I really appreciate the offers!) since I'll want to be able to go to several different places, (you're right, candice, mostly London/southern UK since I think that's where most of my target stalkees are) but no, I wouldn't go at a time you couldn't be there. The people I demand to see (or whose windows I will crawl into during the dead of night dressed as a pirate and armed with a sword to 'arrrrr' at them for not unlocking their doors..) are as follows -

- Cand/Moop/Snoo
- Mata
- Mr Fuzzy
- Seanny
- Polos/Alex
- Daria/Becky-lady
- Mhari/Froggy
- InKy (god, the stalking that'll take..)
- leopold (when's the last time he was around?)
- anyone else I missed thus far.

Obviously if you aren't in the south UK and you want to go to a pub/have a meal/whatever with me, I can make some kind of arrangement. I'm thinking a week or two. I recently went somewhere else for two weeks and the time actually flew by where I was thinking I'd get homesick. I'm about 100% sure that once I'm there, I wont want to leave, so I have to balance the never ending want to live there with expenses and cost of living. Week sounds about right. Or two. Geez! Well, two is more likely since I have several people I want to at least jump on and give gigantic squishy hugs to..

But thanks a lot for all the info, cand. I knew you'd know it all by heart. tongue.gif I didn't know about the hotel thing etc, so, that saves me a lot of time and a lot of irritated customs agents.


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Mata
post Nov 25 2007, 04:31 PM
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We also have to have the same sort of information available when we travel to the US, although it doesn't often get asked for - I've been out there a couple of times and never needed it, but it would be Murphy's Law that if I didn't have it ready I'd be asked for it.

I'm currently about 40 minutes on the train outside of London, so any meet up there is easy for me. That said, with my current job situation, I might have moved somewhere else by the time you come over. Whatever happens I'll make sure we meet up.

Leopold hasn't been around for ages. I sent him a message about a year ago and never heard anything back. I suspect that his email address has changed. He's still in the top ten all-time posters on here, I've only just caught up with him! If anyone does know how to contact him then I too would love to see him again.

Pack layers of clothing. Imagine you were going into the desert to camp, but were expecting rain! Layers are good to shed if you get hot, but enough to keep you warm otherwise. Bring a coat for the evenings. In particular if you come before April it can be really cold. Although London stays a couple of degrees warmer than the countyside, it can still get very chilly there in the evenings. Depending on the forecast, you might want to buy an umbrella when you get here, but if you've got a travelling hat then that will do the job too (I've got a wide-brimmed trilby for travelling - great for blazing sun and pouring rain alike).

BTW, I'm not ignoring you when you IM me, I often leave my machine on over night when it's got things to do (processing tasks etc.).

P.S. WOO HOO!!!! Syuu hugs!


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Pikasyuu
post Nov 25 2007, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE
We also have to have the same sort of information available when we travel to the US, although it doesn't often get asked for - I've been out there a couple of times and never needed it, but it would be Murphy's Law that if I didn't have it ready I'd be asked for it.


..Too true. I'll have to figure out how my parents have managed to smuggle lighters through airport security. I could swear we both have them in the same place, but it winds up mine gets taken and theirs don't - then again, it doesn't say much for the security that we can get lighters through, still. Planes. Yergh. I hate them, but I'll take a couple for this.

QUOTE
I'm currently about 40 minutes on the train outside of London, so any meet up there is easy for me. That said, with my current job situation, I might have moved somewhere else by the time you come over. Whatever happens I'll make sure we meet up.


No problem. Sean's outside of London (although I'm not sure exactly how far..) and I'll be creeping over to wherever he lives regardless.

QUOTE
Leopold hasn't been around for ages. I sent him a message about a year ago and never heard anything back. I suspect that his email address has changed. He's still in the top ten all-time posters on here, I've only just caught up with him! If anyone does know how to contact him then I too would love to see him again.


..Gruh, that's sad. I remember back in the day where he and the werebugger would play around in iRC and cause half of us to snort various beverages through our noses. He's a really, really funny guy, and it's been way too long since we did any catching up. I believe we left off somewhere about lawns..

QUOTE
Pack layers of clothing. Imagine you were going into the desert to camp, but were expecting rain! Layers are good to shed if you get hot, but enough to keep you warm otherwise. Bring a coat for the evenings. In particular if you come before April it can be really cold. Although London stays a couple of degrees warmer than the countyside, it can still get very chilly there in the evenings. Depending on the forecast, you might want to buy an umbrella when you get here, but if you've got a travelling hat then that will do the job too (I've got a wide-brimmed trilby for travelling - great for blazing sun and pouring rain alike).


Happily. I'm a big fan of extremely cold, extremely rainy weather - probably because I live somewhere where neither exist, ever. Despite that, I have a pretty decent stock of warm clothes and will be sure to check the weather (although it probably wont make a huge difference) beforehand.

QUOTE
BTW, I'm not ignoring you when you IM me, I often leave my machine on over night when it's got things to do (processing tasks etc.).


Don't worry, I know. tongue.gif my MSN/iRC/anything timing has been really weird for people (both eight hour differences included), so IMing anyone is usually hit and miss. If you'd responded at, oh, whatwasit - 5:40am? I probably would've told you to go sleep or something, but then again, designers take naps.

QUOTE
P.S. WOO HOO!!!! Syuu hugs!


I forgot how to communicate JOYYYYYYY over the internet, but it's there!


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Cath Sparrow
post Nov 26 2007, 05:45 PM
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Knowing our usual reaction to american forumites coming to the uk you'll probably end up with your own meet. Were like that you know. biggrin.gif


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Mata
post Nov 26 2007, 06:16 PM
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I thought that was such a foregone conclusion that I didn't even mention it biggrin.gif


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Faerieryn
post Nov 26 2007, 07:20 PM
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We could call it "Syuu comes to you!!!!!"


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mooooooooooopo
post Nov 26 2007, 08:07 PM
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QUOTE (syuu @ Nov 25 2007, 08:36 PM) *
No problem. Sean's outside of London (although I'm not sure exactly how far..) and I'll be creeping over to wherever he lives regardless.

He is in Sheffield, which is about a half hour train journey north of us, and it takes us 1 and a half hours (on the quick trains) to get from London to home.

(This is Cand on moop's laptop, by the way). We will, of course, go to wherever a syuumeet is held. London would probably be preferable because it's convenient for a lot of people, and always seems to have the largest meets. Plus the candoops get cheaper train fare to there than some places that are closer, stupidly enough.


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patback87
post Nov 30 2007, 07:59 AM
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Yea someday once my life settles down and I have enough money I would love to travel to London, I also need to get a passport, they are just good to have in general.


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Pikasyuu
post Nov 30 2007, 08:02 AM
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Be prepared to have either a good chunk of money, or extreme patience - my passport ran about two hundred plus dollars because I got it expedited thinking I had to be on a trip to Canada within a short span of time. If not expedited, they can take up to eight months or so.


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Phyllis
post Nov 30 2007, 12:12 PM
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QUOTE (syuu @ Nov 30 2007, 08:02 AM) *
If not expedited, they can take up to eight months or so.

huh.gif Where did you hear that?

There was a backlog earlier this year because of the new rules for travel in and out of the US, but I think it is mostly sorted out for now. The National Passport Information Center has a page where you can check their current processing times. It's currently at 4-6 weeks for regular, 3 weeks for expedited: Clicky


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patback87
post Nov 30 2007, 06:16 PM
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QUOTE (syuu @ Nov 30 2007, 02:02 AM) *
Be prepared to have either a good chunk of money, or extreme patience - my passport ran about two hundred plus dollars because I got it expedited thinking I had to be on a trip to Canada within a short span of time. If not expedited, they can take up to eight months or so.

Yea I know if you expedite you will pay a lot, but I would probably plan and ger it ahead, the one time I traveled out of the country was last October before the rules were put in place.


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gothictheysay
post Dec 1 2007, 08:02 PM
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dude, you guys better come see me if I get to come to teh England too. MAYBE late February. I want to steal the katii and take her with me.


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Pikasyuu
post Dec 2 2007, 01:58 AM
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QUOTE (candice @ Dec 1 2007, 12:12 AM) *
QUOTE (syuu @ Nov 30 2007, 08:02 AM) *

If not expedited, they can take up to eight months or so.

huh.gif Where did you hear that?

There was a backlog earlier this year because of the new rules for travel in and out of the US, but I think it is mostly sorted out for now. The National Passport Information Center has a page where you can check their current processing times. It's currently at 4-6 weeks for regular, 3 weeks for expedited: Clicky


It's what I read on the thingy at the post office. Maybe I got screwed. This was a couple of months ago..

and yes! I want to go with teh sarah, but I doubt I'll have enough money at that time. we'll see.


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Mata
post Dec 2 2007, 05:15 PM
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The rule of thumb is that if anyone can travel 5000 miles to come to London, then we will do our very best to get people together to see you too.

I believe there was someone from the US who went to the Scottish meet, but I wasn't aware of this, and I couldn't afford to get there at the time. I felt really bad when I found out about that, but no money is no money. London meets usually get a good turnout because everywhere in England has a direct train to London, which makes travelling a lot easier (if not always inexpensive). The area around London has a lot of England's population in it too, so there are loads of forum people around there.

All this being said - giving us as much notice as possible it always appreciated!


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Phyllis
post Dec 2 2007, 08:29 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Dec 2 2007, 05:15 PM) *
I believe there was someone from the US who went to the Scottish meet, but I wasn't aware of this, and I couldn't afford to get there at the time.

It was Jaq, and she's from Canada!

Well, I was there too, but I was here for the whole summer that year so technically I was only traveling up from Evesham. And I'd already been to a meet in Nottingham, anyway. Oh, and zivane. I nearly forgot about her! I only met her for a few minutes because she was pouty about you not being there so she ditched us. tongue.gif


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Mata
post Dec 3 2007, 03:21 AM
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Like I say, I felt really bad when I heard about this. Even if I had been more aware of it, I still couldn't have found the money anyway, so it's academic really, but I have a very advanced sense of guilt sometimes!


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Phyllis
post Dec 3 2007, 07:22 AM
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You really do have an advanced sense of guilt, especially since it was 2 and a half years ago! tongue.gif I'm not really one to talk, though. I still feel guilty about stuff I did when I was 12.

I am fairly sure that she had other friends over here that she was meeting up with as well, so it's not like she made the trip for nothing. And she really wasn't very nice to those of us who made it, to be honest. Try not to feel too bad. smile.gif


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post Dec 6 2007, 07:18 PM
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syuu. you need a saa in your bag.

c'mon, I know I'm like 5'12'', but... I could fit. maybe if you had a garment bag. yanno. just fold me in half.

BUY. A CARTON. OF CIGARETTES.

I don't know if someone already said that, I may have missed it. But when I went to Italy I brought a carton of marlboro menth.lights. and it lasted me, oh, ten days with four packs to spare (we were walking everywhere) but they were like eight euros a pack or some shit over there. In Italy. Might be different in London. But ya know. >.> Yeah.

Pack extra batteries, and as I recall, you have to have a special adapter to plug anything in... When we were in Italy, I circumvented this problem by not bringing ANYTHING that had to be plugged in (no cell phone, hair dryer, laptop, etc).

But ya know, I might be completely off - England and Italy are two COMPLETELY different countries. But w/e.

Most important thing to take : SAA. biggrin.gif

oh. and drink diet coke on the plane. cause yanno if it spills, it won't get sticky. smile.gif


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Phyllis
post Dec 6 2007, 07:29 PM
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Yep, you'll need an adapter to use anything that has a US plug. And I'm pretty sure that cigarettes do indeed cost a lot more here. Someone tried to convince me to bring some over from the US to sell and make myself a profit, but that's illeeeegal, so I didn't. You can bring enough for personal use, though.


Also, Saa, isn't 5'12" just 6'? tongue.gif


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Daria
post Dec 6 2007, 07:48 PM
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Cigarettes and alcohol are all more likely to be more expensive in London than in the US- if only because currently it's like $2=1. Also, we have LOTS of lovely taxes that get slapped onto everything (but I guess you could reclaim your tax at customs)- femenine hygeine products even get taxed.
However, you should make the effort to buy proper beer/ cider (if that's your sort of thing) as there are SO MANY awesome little breweries in the coun'ryside.
Also, the UK uses 3 pin plugs, Italy uses 2-pins. Although they are different shaped pins to US ones, I think- or the voltage+current are different. I can't remember from my last trip to Italy.


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patback87
post Dec 6 2007, 08:04 PM
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Actually your cigarettes are probably cheaper in London than Chicago, it's about $10 a pack here, not that I smoke, but a lot of my friends do. Yes in the US we have 3-pin plugs, but our voltage is 120 V at 60HZ I know you guys are on 220 V systems, but I can't remember what it cycles at, just technical mumbo jumbo.


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Mata
post Dec 7 2007, 12:28 AM
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It's around $11 per pack in the UK for any decent brand. Then again, I hear rumblings about something big happening to currencies in January. People with lots of money are buying dollars as fast as they can at the moment. I don't have lots of money, so can't do this, but it's interesting news.


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