Two weeks in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, a unique phenomenon in Asia where the West meets the East. This harmony, which is on the verge of extinction today due to Chinese aggression, is living its last days of freedom and glory. Although it looks like China, there is no communism here. Here capitalism is in full swing. All the signs are also in English, you can see foreigners everywhere and the locals are aware of all the global news and events. This is one of the few places in China where locals can talk relatively free, where you have access to anything, and sites like Google, Facebook and You Tube are not blocked by the government…yet.

As luck had it, at the end of my 5 month contract at sea, our ship headed towards the Yiu Lian Shipyard in Hong Kong for it’s technical overhaul. A visit to the shipyard is the best thing that can happen to the deck crew due to the relatively low workload onboard during the stay.

To get to the site, the ship’s route takes us very close to land, under several city bridges and among some cute urban islands.

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What is something that you can do in Romania that a person in the United Kingdom cannot do?

The UK is a great country with lots of nice places, but unfortunately some things are just out of reach because of nature. In my country, Romania, you can’t do a lot of things due to financial limitations, but you can do however a whole lot of other things like:

  • Go to the beach and enjoy a nice 32° C (90 F) degree sunny day with a beer in my hand, then if I get too hot, take a dip in the Black Sea, where the water in the summer is 22° C (72 F). After bathing, I can stay on the hot sand to dry while watching an endless parade of local girls that look like models pass by. After a superb day like this, I can come back the next day and repeat. I can do this for 2.5 months and almost never have to worry about rain, grey skies or wind; You can do it for an extra 2 months if you don’t mind sitting on the beach on slightly lower temperatures like 25° C (77 F). In England, last summer we had just one single day when the temperature reached 30° C, the summer average is 21°C (70 F), while the maximum sea temperature at nearby beach resort of Scarborough is a chilly 17° C (62 F).
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Cat de socanta e vremea in Anglia UK pentru straini ca noi?

How shocking is the weather in UK England for foreigners like us? English article here

M-am născut în România și am venit în Marea Britanie din Marsilia Franța și vremea in Anglia UK, de aici a fost un șoc complet pentru noi. Chiar dacă am fost avertizați de prietenul nostru care locuiește aici și, în ciuda faptului că am venit în vizită înainte de relocare pentru a cerceta locul, tot am fost loviți puternic de acesta. În mod remarcabil, în timpul vizitei noastre aici, nu a plouat aproape deloc, așa că cine lucra acolo sus la discursul de convingere, a făcut o treabă foarte bună.

Deci, practic, cam asa este Iarna în Anglia Marea Britanie:

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UK Cum sa iei permis de rezidenta Settled sau Pre Settled Status

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

Corona Virus e in toate stirile acum, dar haideti sa nu pierdem esentialul pe termen lung. Cine nu are Settled sau Pre Settled Status, dupa 31 Decembrie 2020 nu va mai avea dreptul de a locui si munci in UK. Desi oficial guvenul UK a spus ca termenul limita pentru aplicare este de 30 Iunie 2021, asa ca nu stie nimeni sigur ce se va intampla dupa revelion. Mai sunt 8 luni asa ca aveti timp destul.

Procedeul e simplu si rapid. Va trebuie doar o adresa de email, un numar de telefon mobil de UK, un telefon cu camera care suporte aplicatia EU Exit: ID Document Check , pasaport electronic (cu chip), numarul NINO si posibil vi se cere si un act de dovada rezidentei (factura de utilitati, extras bancar, formularul P60 daca sunteti self employed). Se poate face si fara aplicatia de pe telefon, dar asta presupune sa trimiteti actele in original prin posta, un procedeu care dureaza mult mai mult si este si mai riscant. De asemenea recomand neaparat folosirea pasaportului cand aplicati. Puteti face si cu buletinul dar am auzit multe cazuri cand au fost intarziati destul de mult cu acordarea de Settled Status mult datorita procedurii de verificare a Cartii de Identitate Romanesti.

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One Week in Valletta Malta

Malta, a small and beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterranean. It is a destination known to every sailor around the world. Due to it’s central location, today it is an International hub for container transshipment, and also a major financial hub. Although I had the opportunity to visit the port many times, due to the short stay in the port (usually 12 to 18 hours), I never had time to really enjoy the island.

That is until the summer of 2016 when due to an unexpected engine problem, we were instructed by the shipowner to go to the Palumbo shipyard in Malta. When I started to plot the route, to my surprise I saw that the site is located straight in the heart of Valletta harbour, the capital of Malta.

The entrance to the bay was very narrow, the pilot carefully maneuvering our 300 meters ship through the walls and medieval fortifications of the entrance to the port of Valletta. But at the same time, this does offer some very nice views, being the same views as the tourists on the cruise ships enjoy when they come here.

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Expat Marriage in England UK – procedure and costs

Unlike in Romania, the expat marriage in England UK procedure is a very simple one that does not imply headaches. Remember the article about how complicated it was to get PACS or married in France? Well, unfortunately It’s just as complicated in my home country Romania as well. We initially wanted to have the civil marriage ceremony in Romania but I was surprised to find that in our country besides the usual pile of papers requirement, you are also required to provide a “Prenuptial Medical Certificate”.
This supreme idiocy is required only in our country, and consists of a certificate obtained based on results of blood tests, that prove you do not suffer from any serious illness such as HIV, Syphilis or TB. This certificate issued by most clinics is valid for 14 days but must be submitted within 24 hours to the Register Office! So once you have it, run quickly to the Register Office, submit the application, and then you must wait at least 10 days to get married, but no more than 14 days, otherwise your prenuptial medical certificate to expire! Makes perfect sense, right? Only in a banana republic like Romania it does yes.

I searched the internet for a logical explanation regarding why you have to wait 10 days, but I could not find any. If anyone can explain this ridiculous request to me please do.

Overall, it seems that we had to take a minimum of 3 weeks leave for this event, so we decided to get married in England UK.

In the UK, unlike Romania, the Expat marriage in England UK procedure is very simple: you have 3 steps to follow, you pay 2 fees, show up with your passport and proof of address and soon you will be married. Let’s see these steps:

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Casatorie in Anglia UK – Procedura si Transcriere Certificat Casatorie

Expat Marriage in England UK – procedure and costs – English Article

Spre deosebire de Romania, procedura de Casatorie in Anglia UK e una foarte simpla ce nu presupune multa bataie de cap. Mai tineti minte articolul despre cat de complicat era sa faci PACS sau sa te casatoresti in Franta? Cam la fel de complicat e si in Romania din pacate. Am vrut initial sa facem cununia civila in Romania dar am aflat cu stupoare ca in tara noastra pe langa mormanul obisnuit de hartii, ti se cere in plus si un “Certificat Medical Prenuptial“.

Aceasta idiotenie suprema se cere numai la noi in tara, si consta intr-o hartie obtinuta pe baza de analize de sange care sa ateste ca nu suferi de vreo boala serioasa de genul HIV, Sifilis sau TBC. Certificatul emis de clinica e valabil 14 zile dar trebuie depus in maxim 24 de ore! Mergi repede cu el la Casa Casatoriilor, depui cererea, si dupa trebuie sa astepti minim 10 zile ca sa te casatoresti, dar nu mai mult de 14 zile pentru ca iti expira certificatul medical prenuptial! Are logica perfecta nu? Doar intr-o republica bananiera ca Romania da.

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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 Cum sa obtii permis de conducere provizoriu Anglia

How to get your UK Provisional Learner Driving License – ENGLISH article

Obtinerea unui permis de conducere provizoriu Anglia pentru cei ce nu au este deseori o prioritate pentru toti care ajung aici. Fara el deseori nu poti aplica la multe locuri de munca si in general in tara asta este foarte greu sa iti rezolvi diferite treburi zilnice daca nu ai masina. De asemenea am observat ca naveta cu transportul in comun este mult mai scumpa decat mersul cu masina personala.

Daca ai permisul de conducere din Romania, treaba este simpla. Orice permis de UE este valabil si aici, si daca doriti vi-l puteti preschimba in cel de UK foarte usor. Daca nu ai venit cu el din Romania, nu e nici problema, procedura de obtinere este relativ simpla aici.

Se aplica prima oara pentru Permis de conducere Provizoriu Anglia. Cu acest permis puteti conduce oriunde in tara cu exceptia autostrazilor (cele care incep cu litera “M”) si atata timp cat sunteti supravegheat din stanga de un sofer calificat si sunteti trecut ca sofer Learner pe asigurarea masinii. Soferul calificat care va supravegheaza trebuie sa fie de asemenea trecut pe asigurarea masinii, trebuie sa aibe minim 21 de ani si sa aibe carnet (UK sau UE) de minim 3 ani.

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UK NINO – How to get it and how long does it take to get it?

I notice that this is a wanted topic and in spite of Brexit (which apparently will not be happening), the world still wants to come here. NINO is the equivalent of our Social Security Number, and without it, you basically do not exist in the UK (England, Scotland, or Northern Ireland). You need it in order to pay your taxes and social contributions, and without it you can not work legally and you can not benefit from social or medical services. I will tell you how my experience was and the steps I took to obtain the NINO (National Insurance Number) in the UK.

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