What are the most shocking facts about UK?

I have been living here in UK for more than 2 years now. Here is what I found out to be shocking in UK for me as a foreigner (came from France and born in Romania):

  • UK is one of the few countries in the world where the local property taxes are paid by the tenant and not by the owner of the property. If you are tenant in UK you will pay an additional 130 pounds per month (or more) in property tax to the local authorities for a property that is not yours (aka council tax). If you are renting and not pay the property tax, you can be prosecuted and thrown in jail for this! Before you say it’s not a property tax, let’s look at the facts:  it’s based on the value of the property, and if the house is vacant, it is paid by the owner. No matter how much you try to sugarcoat it, it is still a property tax that supports local services for the permanent residents of the city, not for the temporary occupiers of the property. I as a tenant am not using 90% of the services I am paying for (parks, schools, public transports, libraries, community centers, long term projects for improving the city), but my landlord and his kids who live in town are using them and will continue to use them after I leave the city, hardly fair no? In France I was paying 10 Eur per month for bin collection and that was it, the rest of the services are funded from taxes (impot local) paid by the owners of the properties, it’s like this all over the world. I am using Emergency services yes, but they are charged separately in the bill (roughly 21% of the bill), I have no problem in paying those, the rest of 80% that goes exclusively to the council I have a problem with.
UK Council Tax
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Top 10 cele mai unice si interesante atractii de vizitat din Romania

Dupa ce am vizitat mai tot prin tara si o bucata destul de mare din Europa, cred ca sunt in masura sa va pot prezenta un Top 10 cele mai unice si interesante atractii de vizitat din Romania. Acesta este un top personal al atractiilor celor mai unice, nu cele mai frumoase sau cele mai populare. Adica chestii si locuri care sunt unice la noi in tara, si nu le poti vedea nicaieri in Europa sau chiar in lume.

Am vazut pe diferite site-uri turistice aceleasi atractii obosite si neinteresante care desi nu sunt urate, efectiv nu prezinta nici un interes sau noutate pentru calatorul European. Pe google daca cautam atractii Romania, vedem chestii precum: Castelul Bran , Castelul Peles, Sibiu, Brasov. Da ok, foarte frumoase, dar vezi exact aceasi chestie oriunde in Europe Centrala (Polonia, Ungaria, Slovacia, Cehia, Germania, Austria), doar ca la ei sunt puse la punct mult mai bine. Deci cu ce putem atrage calatorii care vor sa vada ceva nou? Pai hai sa vedem un Top 10 cele mai unice si interesante atractii de vizitat din Romania cu niste chestii mai unice si mai interesante nu? Fara nici o ordine sau importanta (pur si simplu e prea greu sa zici ca una e mai frumoasa sau mai interesanta decat alta pentru ca fiecare are unicitatea ei) va prezint:

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UK Points-Based Immigration System – 2021 How does it work?

As you know, on first of January 2021, Brexit finally materializes, the UK leaves the European Union (more like crashes out without a trade deal it seems) and the UK point-based immigration system comes in to immediate effect. The right to free movement, work and live in UK of Romanians and all other EU nationals who are not already established in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) will cease immediately. That is, those who do not already have a Settled or Pre Settled Status residence permit, and want to come to the UK will have to follow the UK point-based immigration procedure.

This procedure is very similar to the immigration procedure in Canada, Australia or New Zealand and unfortunately it is just as rigorous as it is in those countries. The system does not apply to those who are already established in the UK by the 31st December 2020. But in order to be established you must already have a NINO and proof of residence, which unfortunately at the present time is impossible to get. It is currently only issued in exceptional circumstances. (e.g. for medical staff or those who come to work in care homes).

On the British government website we can see the official procedure: from the start we see the clear message: Only sponsored skilled workers who have a job offer and know English will be able to immigrate and permanently relocate to the UK! Without these requirements, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get the minimum 70 points required by the UK point-based immigration system. That basically means that the good old days, when anyone from Europe just came to the UK with just a backpack, looked for a room to rent on fb market, and got work anywhere they could, all that is now over!

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Imigrare pe baza de punctaj in UK din 2021 – Cum functioneaza?


Dupa cum stiti, la 1 Ianuarie 2021, Brexit in sfarsit se materializeaza, UK iese din Uniunea Europeana si intra in efect sistemul de imigrare pe baza de punctaj in UK. Dreptul de libera circulatie, de a munci si de a locui al Romanilor care nu sunt deja stabiliti in UK (Anglia, Scotia, Wales sau Irlanda de Nord) va inceta imediat. Adica cei care nu au deja permis de rezidenta Settled sau Pre Settled Status, si vor sa vina in UK vor trebui sa urmeze procedeul de imigrare pe baza de punctaj in UK.

Acest procedeu este foarte similar cu procedura de imigrare in Canada, Australia sau Noua Zeelanda si din pacate este la fel de riguros ca in acele tari. Sistemul nu se aplica celor ce sunt deja stabiliti in UK pana la 31 Decembrie 2020. Dar ca sa fii stabilit trebuie sa ai NINO si dovada de rezidenta, care din pacate la ora actuala nu se mai elibereaza decat in circumstante exceptionale. (de exemplu personalului medical sau celor care vin sa lucreze in azile de batrani).

Pe site-ul guvernului Britanic avem procedura oficiala: din start vedem mesajul mare cat tot ecranul – vor putea imigra si reloca permanent in regatul Unit UK exclusiv muncitorii calificati sponsorizati care au o oferta de munca si stiu Engleza! Fara aceste cerinte indeplinite, E IMPOSIBIL sa obtii minimul de 70 de puncte necesar pentru imigrare pe baza de punctaj in UK. Da, s-a terminat cu venitul cu traista in spate, cautat o camera la baieti si cautat de munca pe unde apuci.

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Memories from my first voyage on the School Ship Albatros

It was the Autumn of 2008, I was in my third year of studies at the Romanian Naval Academy. Those wishing to go on the Albatros school ship (the only school ship of higher maritime education system in Romania) had registered long before and now were waiting for their turn to embark. The School Ship “Albatros”, was an ancient relic of the once great Romanian merchant fleet. It now sailed at the edge of legality only through “friendly” ports. No one risked entering a port in the West due to it’s many problems related to the technical condition and the certificates status. It was however understandable. This was a cargo ship built in 1977 under the name of “Dej”, already over 30 years old age.

Although it was technologically obsolete, and what you were doing there had little to do with what you do on a modern ship, many students still wanted to embark on it, being a good way to put some experience on their seaman’s book. The management of the Academy also wanted to put as many students on it as it could, being a safe method to check who has seasickness and who is able to withstand the conditions on board, thus being able to make cadet recommendations to large companies.

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Se intampla in toamna lui 2008, eram in anul 3 de studii la Academia Navala Romana. Doritorii sa mearga pe nava scoala Albatros, (singura nava scoala a invatamantului maritim superior din Romania) s-au inscris cu mult timp inainte si isi asteptau randul sa se imbarce. Nava Scoala Albatros, era o relicva antica a maretei flote Romanesti ce naviga la limita legalitatii doar prin porturi “prietenoase”. Nimeni nu se risca sa intre in vreun port din Vest datorita multelor probleme legate de starea tehnica si a certificatelor. Era de inteles totusi, a fost construita in 1977 sub numele de “Dej”, avand deja peste 30 de ani.

Desi era depasita tehnologic, si ce faceai pe acolo nu prea are nici o treaba cu ce faci pe o nava moderna, multi studenti doreau totusi sa se imbarce pe ea, fiind o cale buna de a pune niste experienta pe carnetul de marinar. Conducerea Academiei ar fi vrut si ea sa puna cat mai multi studenti pe ea, fiind o metoda sigura de a verifica cine are rau de mare si cine e in stare sa suporte conditiile de la bord, astfel putand face recomandari de cadeti pentru firmele mari.

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So what is the cost of living in England? Salaries are probably higher than in your home country, but so are the costs. Is it true that some people are are living hand to mouth here? … In some cases yes, but most are living just fine. The cost of living in England is quite good compared to wages, although the pound is dropping quite fast since Brexit… We already established in the previous article that food costs in the UK about the same as in countries in East Europe, so from the start you are at an advantage. Let’s see what costs and expenses we have in England:

  1. Accommodation: by far the biggest expense you will have will be securing a roof over your head. Unless you bring along around 150 to 200 thousand pounds to buy your own house, you will most likely rent like most people. The rental expense depends a lot on where you are. In general in the South of England (London, Southampton), and especially in London, to rent of a house costs double or triple compared to renting a similar house in the North of England (Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster, Hull, Newcastle). If in the North you can easily find a house of your own at 500-600 pounds per month, in London on the website www.rightmove.co.uk, the only rental house located in a decent area that is less than a thousand pounds per month was in Brentwood (one hour by car or train + subway to central London)

UK Cat costa viata in Anglia? – Ce salariu iti trebuie pentru un trai decent?

UK Cost of living in England – What salary do you need for a decent living? English Article HERE

Cat costa viata in Anglia? Salariile sunt mai mari ca in Romania dar si costurile, e adevarat ca unii fac foamea pe aici? …in cazul unora da, dar majoritatea o duc bine. Costul vietii in Anglia e destul de bun fata de salarii, desi Lira Britanica a scazut de cand cu Brexit-ul… Am stabilit deja in articolul anterior ca mancarea costa in UK cam la fel cat costa si in Romania, asa ca din start sunteti in avantaj in Vest. Hai sa vedem ce costuri si cheltuieli avem in Anglia:

  1. Cazarea: de departe cea mai mare cheltuiala va fi asigurarea unui acoperis deasupra capului. Daca nu cumva veniti cu vreo 150-200 de mii de lire la voi ca sa va cumparati propia casa, veti sta ca majoritatea in chirie. Asta depinde foarte mult de zona unde sunteti. In general in Sudul Angliei (Londra, Southampton) , si mai ales in Londra, chiria unei case costa dublu sau triplu fata de o casa similara in Nordul Angliei (Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster, Hull, Newcastle). Daca in Nord gasesti lejer o casa propie la 500-600 lire pe luna, in Londra pe site-ul www.rightmove.co.uk , singura casa propie de inchiriat intr-o zona decenta pana intr-o mie de lire pe luna era in Brentwood (la o ora de mers cu masina sau cu trenul+metrou de centrul Londrei)
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Care tara este mai buna de locuit: UK Anglia sau Franta? De ce?


Eterna întrebare și rivalitate de pe bătrânul continent: Care tara este mai buna: UK Anglia sau Franta? Ei bine, am locuit in ambele, prima oara în Marseille Franța și dupa m-am mutat cu jobul în Hull, Anglia, UK. Este greu de spus in care este mai bine să trăiești și depinde foarte mult de ce limbă vorbești, de regiunea în care te afli și de circumstantele fiecaruia.

Ambele sunt orașe oarecum problematice, cu cifre mari de șomaj și reputație locală proastă, așa că s-ar putea să nu fiu în cea mai bună poziție pentru a judeca aceste țări. (Sau s-ar putea să fiu în poziția perfectă pentru a arăta adevărul fiecărei țări, depinde cum privești problema)

În general, dacă te uiți doar la numere și statistici, viața în Franța (dacă vorbești franceza) este într-adevăr mai bună decât viața în Marea Britanie. Totul, de la vreme la salarii, geografie, locație, infrastructură și beneficii sociale sunt într-adevăr mai bune pe continent. Nu era o diferență atât de mare înainte, dar diferenta s-a marit considerabil de la rezultatul referendumului Brexit din 2016 și din pacate trendul va continua si in 2021. Să vedem de ce:

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Which country is better to live in: UK or France? Why?

So the eternal question and rivalry on the old continent: Which country is better: England, UK or France? Well, I lived in Marseille France, and than I moved to Hull, England, UK. It’s hard to say which is better to live in, and depends a lot on what language you speak , the region you are in and your job.

Both are somewhat problematic cities, with high unemployment figures and bad local reputation, so I might not be in the best position to judge these countries. (Or I might be in the perfect position to show the truth of each country, depends how you look at it)

In general, if you look only at the numbers and stats, life in France (if you speak French) is indeed better than life in England, UK. Everything from the weather to salaries, geography , location, infrastructure and social benefits is indeed better on the main land. It was not such a big difference before, but the gap has widen considerably since the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum and it will continue to do so unfortunately. Let’s see why:

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