London or Paris? Which is the better city to visit as a tourist?

The eternal question and rivalry on the European continent: which is better: London or Paris? France or England UK? I know you are tired of Covid, but let’s hope that 2021 will be better and we will be able to travel again.

Although Europe has many wonderful cities, few have the power, prestige, size or wealth of these two rival capitals. There is of course also Madrid, but it’s just not quite in the same league. Vienna and Amsterdam are very beautiful but quite small, Istanbul is huge but leaves much to be desired, and Berlin is …just Berlin I guess.

I had the pleasure of visiting both capitals over time. Paris in 2009 long before we moved to France, thanks to my sister, to whom I wish to thank once again, and London in 2018 before moving to England.

But let’s start with the beginning: after we landed we made our way to the hotels, both in somewhat peripheral areas and this was the first impression we had of the cities:

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Londra sau Paris – Care e mai bun de vizitat ca turist?

London or Paris? Which is better to visit as a tourist? ENGLISH Article HERE

Intrebarea si rivalitatea eterna de pe continentul European: care e mai bun: Londra sau Paris? Franta sau Anglia UK? Stiu ca v-ati saturat de Covid, dar sper ca in 2021 va fi mai bine si vom putea calatori din nou.

Desi Europa are multe orase minunate, putine au puterea, prestigiul, marimea sau bogatia acestor doua capitale rivale. Desigur avem Madrid, dar nu este chiar in aceasi liga, Vienna si Amsterdam care sunt foarte frumoase dar relativ mici, Istanbul este urias dar lasa mult de dorit la unele aspecte, iar Berlin … e Berlin doar.

Am avut placerea de a vizita de a lungul timpului ambele capitale, Paris in 2009 cu mult inainte sa mutam in Franta, datorita sorei mele care ii multumesc inca odata, si Londra in 2018 inainte sa ne mutam in Anglia.

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How shocking is the weather in UK England for foreigners?

I was born in Romania and came to UK from Marseille France and the weather was a complete shock for us here. Even though we were warned by our friend who lives here, and despite the fact that we came to visit ahead of relocation to scout the place, we were still hit hard by it. Remarkably during our visit here, it didn’t rain once, so whoever was working on the sales pitch up there, did a very good job.

So basically this is winter in UK:

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UK COST OF LIVING IN ENGLAND – WHAT SALARY DO YOU NEED FOR A DECENT LIVING?

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)
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How much does food cost in England UK? Cost comparison UK vs Romania

We have all heard the myth that the cost of food in the West is even cheaper than food in Romania and East Europe, despite the fact that salaries are about 4 times higher than in the East Europe. How much does food cost in England UK? Living in UK England and seeing every day the prices in pounds I could never figure it out, so I decided to make a detailed comparison.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to ask for any receipts from folks back home, today we have online groceries shops in both countries. I compared the same food products from 2 large chain stores, respectively Mega Image in Romania, and ASDA in UK England. We went for products of medium quality or cheaper lower end, because let’s be serious, both the Romanian and the English do this. On the below list we have on the left side the online shopping cart from England with the prices of the products in British Pounds with their converted values into Romanian Lei currency below (at the exchange rate of the day: 1 GBP pound = 5.43 Lei), and on the right side the same products (or their similar equivalent in terms of weight and quality) with their price in Romanian Lei and their converted values into British Pounds to see the difference.

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UK Residence – How to apply for Settled or Pre Settled Status

Corona Virus is in all the news right now, but let’s not lose the long-term essential. Who does not have Settled or Pre Settled Status after 31 December 2020 will no longer have the right to reside and work in the UK. However the government of the UK also said that the deadline for applying for UK status is 30 June 2021, so nobody really knows what to make of it.

The procedure is simple and fast. All you need is an email address, a UK mobile phone number, a camera phone that supports the EU Exit application: Document ID, electronic passport (the type with chip), NINO number and possibly a proof of residency. (utility bill, bank statement, P60 form if you are self employed). It can be done without the application on the phone, but this means sending the original documents by mail, a process that takes much longer and is riskier. I also definitely recommend using your passport when applying. You can also apply with the national ID card, but I have heard many cases when they were very delayed with the granting of Settled Status due to the lengthy procedure of manual verification of Identity cards.

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How to get your UK Provisional Learner Driving License

Obtaining an UK Provisional Learner Driving license for those who do not have it, is often a priority for every new arrival here. Without it you often cannot apply to many jobs and in general, in this country it’s very difficult to get any daily chores done if you do not have a car. Furthermore, I also noticed that commuting by public transport is more expensive than commuting by car.

If you have an EU driving license, the process is quit simple. Any EU driving license is valid here. If you want, you can change it to a UK one quite easy. If you did not come with a driver’s license here, it’s not a problem, the procedure for obtaining one it’s relatively simple here.

First you apply for the UK Provisional Learner Driving License. With this license you can drive anywhere in the country except the motorways (the roads that start with the letter “M”) as long as you are supervised from the left seat by an experienced driver. You have be registered as a Learner driver on the car insurance. The experienced driver who supervises you must also be registered on the insurance of the car, must be at least 21 years old and have a driver’s license (UK or EU) for at least 3 years.

The driver who drives with a provisional learner permit must have displayed 2 square signs with the red letter “L” placed somewhere in a visible place in the front and on the back of the car. I recommend the magnetic ones because they do not leave permanent traces on the car.

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UK Immigration: How much does it cost to relocate to England?

So you are thinking of coming to England and UK Immigration? Well if Brexit didn’t scare you off, here is a guide and a detailed list of expenses from my experience coming here. By the way, from the looks of it, as far as EU citizens are concerned there is nothing to worry about after Brexit. Things will pretty much carry on as usual for those who are already here before the end of 2020.

It’s now my second time moving to another country. My first experience was relocating to Marseille France. That time I had a lot of support from my employer with aspects and costs of relocation. In comparison now in England, I basically made it all on my own. Here is a chronological list of the expenses needed for immigration to England, UK. All costs are calculated for two persons as I emigrated with my girlfriend:

Airplane Tickets: in my case: Bucharest – Manchester 286 EUR / 255 GBP (Great Britain Pounds) through Brussels Airlines, the price included 2 large hold luggage and one transfer in Brussels. Although we had the intention to take WizzAir’s low-cost company, we were surprised to find that the fares were more expensive on their website. It seems that all the Romanians are turning to this company lately and considering the fact that the fare price is calculated according to demand, you may find lower fares at the big airlines instead.

Attention: If using a Low-cost company, the price does not include hold luggage and must be payed separately. Be also very considerate of your final destination! The train in UK is very expensive if you buy the tickets on short notice, and the train ride from one of the airports near London to the city where you need to go, could turn out to be more expensive than the plane tickets;

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FIRST 30 DAYS AS EXPAT IN ENGLAND UK

A month ago we were packing again our luggage to move to another country. After the very useful experience in France, we were now ready to move to England, UK. After living for a year in France, we left with mixed impressions. I knew we had to move somewhere where we speak the language and where we can really integrate into society, and I believe we could not truly achieve this there.

When the expiry date of my fixed-term work contract in France was approaching, I started looking for work options in England. After some promising interviews, I still had nothing secured, but I did had an invitation to come for a follow up face-to-face interview that seemed 80% sure. I took a risk and quickly bought a one way plane ticket. I was aware that if I came only for a few days visit just for the interview and somehow it failed, I would return to Romania with the tail between my legs and depressed and it would have been very difficult to ever come back. Fortunately, the interview here went well.

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PRIMELE 30 DE ZILE IN HULL, ANGLIA UK CA EXPAT

FIRST 30 DAYS AS EXPAT IN HULL ENGLAND UK – English article HERE

Acum o luna ne faceam iar bagajele pentru a ne muta in alta tara. Dupa experienta foarte folositoare din Franta, eram acum pregatiti pentru a ne muta in Anglia, UK. Dupa un an de locuit in Franta, am ramas cu impresii mixte. Stiam ca trebuie sa ne mutam undeva unde vorbim limba si unde ne putem integra cu adevarat in societate, si asta cred ca nu o puteam face acolo.

La apropierea termenului de expirare a contractului cu durata fixa de munca din Franta, am inceput sa imi caut variante de munca in Anglia. Dupa cateva interviuri promitatoare nu aveam inca nimic sigur in mana dar aveam o invitatie sa vin pentru un al treilea interviu fata in fata, cu aceasi firma ce parea 80% sigur. Mi-am asumat un risc si am cumparat repede bilet de avion doar dus si am venit cu toate bagajele la mine. Eram constient ca daca vin doar cateva zile in vizita la interviu si cumva pica, m-as intoarce in Romania cu coada intre picioare deprimat si mi-ar fi foarte greu sa ma intorc. Din fericire interviul aici a decurs foarte bine.

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