How is life in Russia really like? Visit impressions

[Cum arata Rusia de fapt in spatele cortinei – Impresii vizita – Articol in Romana AICI]

I visited Russia in 2015 while on board a ship, in the Eastern Region near Vladivostok. We called there solely for the purpose of getting cheap fuel for our ship (same as all ships), there was really no container cargo traffic to make it worth the stop in the main city port, so instead we called either at the satellite port of Slavyanka (South West of Vladivostok) or at Nakhodka (South East of Vladivostok).

Unfortunately . Both cities left terrible impressions! Maybe I had high expectations and had a dreamy version of Vladivostok , which I imagined as a beacon of civilization in the Far East of Siberia, or maybe I had my bar already set very high after calling with our ship at Pusan (South Korea) and Yokohama, Japan…

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How is life in Hull? England – UK Impressions after 3 years as Expat

[Cum e viata in Hull? Anglia UK – Impresii dupa trei ani ca Expat]

Four years have passed since we left France and immigrated to England, UK. I wrote about life in Hull once before HERE , it was my first impressions after the first month of living in Hull . At that time I was not planning to stay in the city of Hull , but the pandemic and Brexit greatly reduced the opportunities for work and relocation. Now at the time of writing this article, I left Hull for some time, but I can’t say that I intentionally wanted to leave. If I would’ve gotten the job I wanted there, I’d would’ve probably settled there permanently. I didn’t leave because I had a bad life there, so to speak, but you can do better than Hull. I think this is probably the short story of the city.

Don’t get me wrong, the city of Kingston upon Hull, known simply as Hull after the river Hull that runs through it’s by no means the worst place in England, but it’s quite… limited both in size and in mentality. After all, the population voted 67.6% for Brexit, and shortly after the implementation of the referendum result, one of the two ferry lines to Europe from the port (Hull – Zeebrugge) was permanently closed and the other laid off without notice 800 British employees via video conference to replace them on the same day with Asians and agency workers so….

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Cum e viata in Hull? Anglia UK – impresii dupa trei ani ca expat

[How is life in Hull? England UK – Impressions after 3 years as Expat – English Article HERE]

Au trecut patru ani de cand am plecat din Franta si am imigrat in Anglia UK. Despre viata in Hull am mai scris odata AICI, erau primele impresii dupa prima luna de viata in Hull. Nu planuiam pe vremea aceea sa raman in orasul Hull, dar pandemia si Brexitul au redus mult oportunitatile de munca si relocare. Acum la momentul scrierii acestui articol, am plecat de ceva timp din Hull dar nu pot sa zic ca tineam neaparat sa plec daca reuseam sa prind locul de munca dorit acolo. Nu am plecat ca o duceam rau sa zic asa, dar se poate si mai bine. Cred ca asta e definitia scurta a orasului.

Sa nu ma intelegeti gresit, orasul Kingston upon Hull cunoscut simplu doar ca Hull dupa râul Hull care il strabate, nu e nici de departe cel mai rau loc din Anglia, dar este destul de … limitat si ca marime si ca mentalitate. Au votat totusi in proportie de 67.6% pentru Brexit, si la scurt timp dupa implementarea rezultatului de la referendum, una din cele doua linii de ferry spre Europa din port (Hull – Zeebrugge) s-a inchis permanent si cealalta a concediat fara nici un preaviz 800 de angajati Britanici prin video comferinta ca sa ii inlocuiasca in aceasi zi cu Asiatici asa ca….

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Viata in Romania

How is living in Romania?

[Cum e sa traiesti in Romania? – Articol in Limba Romana AICI]

As a native Romanian, I’ve lived in Romania, then moved to France and now we’re in England, UK so I think I can compare how is living in Romania to living in West Europe.

Well… considering that the local salaries are 3 to 4 times lower compared to the West, most Romanians would say living in Romania is EXPENSIVE! We have a saying in Romania: “We have Western prices but Eastern salaries”. You can easily see why we say this:

  • Food costs more or less the same as it does in the West, already made a comprehensive analysis in the article entitled “How much does food cost in England UK compared to Romania” available HERE;
  • Cars cost the same, in fact most are actually considerably cheaper in the UK compared to Romania , here’s an example, same car, same year, same mileage , costs 2500 EUR more in Romania , despite the fact that salaries are 3 to 4 times smaller there;

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The Romanians that Left the UK for Romania – What do they say? Is it better home or Will they come back?


In the previous article, I asked the Romanians from Great Britain UK about their life here – about Brexit and if it’s worth coming to the UK now, officially in 2021 there are almost one million Romanians in the UK. They came not just from Romania, many even relocated from Spain or Italy. I thought it would be fair to ask those that left the UK as well, those who say that life is better at home in Romania, on your native land. Let’s see what happened to those who returned from England to Romania, see how they’re doing back home and how is their life in Romania now.


-What made you leave the UK and return to your country?

  • I didn’t like the attitude of the people, the discrimination, the standard of living. To be able to live decently in the UK… you don’t really have a personal life anymore.

-Can I ask what you liked in the United Kingdom?

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How to change your EU driving license to a UK Driving license

For EU expats established in England UK, the act of changing their driving license in to an English or British one, is often a mandatory step due to work requirements. Possession of a British UK driving license is also the first and easiest way to obtain proof of residence with a picture and address here in England UK. This is one of the few documents accepted by banks, real estate agencies or employers. The others are more difficult to obtain (bank card, local council bil / utility bill or British passport).

The procedure to change your driving license in England UK is fortunately very simple and relatively quick. All official information can be found on the British government website here. As it is clearly written on the website, the citizens of any EU state have no legal obligation to change their driving license and are allowed to drive with the European license until the age of 70. For those who have obtained their driving license in a country outside the European Union, the driving license must be changed to a British license within 12 months of arrival in England UK.

UK change driver license

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Immigration from EU to UK England after Brexit – Work and Family paths – Who can do it and how?


It seems that some people still don’t understand that the UK has left the EU and that you cannot enter England after Brexit without having to answer to border officials regarding the purpose of your visit. So let’s see what are the legal ways to come to England after Brexit if you do not have a residence permit (aka Settled Status).

First of all, you can say goodbye to any thought of visiting England and looking for work during your visit. Many were refused entrance in to the country at the airport on a PERMANENT basis if the customs officers even sniffed that you came to work and not just to visit. The British authorities started asking EU nationals for a return ticket, proof of accommodation during the visit and proof that you have enough money to sustain yourself for the duration of your stay. If you’re lucky enough, nobody will ask you anything at the airport, but are you really willing to take that chance and risk flying for nothing?

In addition, all (legal) British employers and all employment agencies are now required by law to request from candidates the so-called “share code” which is an internet link generated by the UK government’s website to the page proving that you are resident in England UK. It doesn’t matter if you have Settled or (Pre) Settled Status, they both give you the right to work and live in England. I explained in the last article how to apply for Settled Status. The deadline to apply for residency was June 30, 2021 (there are very few exceptions in exceptional cases for those who live in England before 2021 or have family here but did not have time to apply before June 2021, the list of exemptions is here). But let’s say you still want to come to England and you don’t have a NINO, residency or any work history or studies in the UK. Let’s see what options you have:

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Germania sau Anglia UK – unde e viata mai buna si de ce?

Is it better to live in Germany or UK on the long term? Why? English Article HERE

Razboiul s-a terminat de mult, dar cine a castigat pana la urma, Germania sau Anglia UK? Istoricii zic ca Anglia si Aliatii, realitatea de la fata locului zice altceva. Pe langa datele oficiale, ne uitam si la experientele celor care chiar locuiesc in aceste doua tari. Noi locuim in Anglia din 2018, nu am locuit personal in Germania asa ca am intrebat prieteni care locuiesc acolo de multi ani, intrebari cu privire la urmatoarele aspecte:

  • Salariile în Germania erau deja considerabil mai mari decât în ​​Marea Britanie chiar si înainte de referendumul Brexit, care a dus la o scădere a valorii lirei sterline, iar această tendință va continua în 2022. În 2019, salariul mediu brut în Germania a fost de 47928 EUR sau 40866 GBP (la cursul de astăzi). In Anglia UK – salariul mediu pe tara, este aproximativ 30000 Lire pe an sau 35180 EUR la cursul de astăzi. Și lira e posibil sa continue să scadă în 2022 din cauza lipsei de strategie din partea Britanicilor și a lipsei generale de gestionare a întregului proces Brexit; Este adevărat că plătiți mai multe taxe în Germania, dar chiar și așa, salariul dvs. NET pentru aceeași loc de munca va fi totuși mai mare acolo, indiferent de modul în care îl priviți (exista si exceptii evident).

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How is cycling in UK? Is the Bicycle reliable?

We’ve all heard that England is a friendly country towards cyclists, but what’s it really like cycling in UK England? After years of hesitation, I finally mustered the courage to buy a second-hand bicycle. On fb market, I found this baby for just 60 pounds. Not bad, right?

Bicycle in England UK

I haven’t ridden a bike for many years, but I slowly worked it out. First through the local neighborhood, and then through the city. For a beginner cyclist, I must admit that the road infrastructure for cyclists and the car driver’s behavior is very encouraging. There are literally everywhere segregated routes from car traffic for bicycles, clearly marked dedicated lanes that are usually physically separated by some kind of barrier (green space, curbs, stanchions, etc.). But by far the most encouraging factor is the behavior of car drivers towards cyclists in UK England. Every time or at least 8 out of 10 cases, when they see you approaching an intersection, they slow down or come to a complete stop and signal you to pass. And if you have to share the road with cars, the drivers stay calm behind you until the opposite lane is clear, and then they overtake you with generous clearance to the bicycle. That is, without horns, close calls overtaking, without harassment, verbal abuse, etc, you know the usual in Romania and East Europe in general.

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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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