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Old 5th March 2008, 16:33   #16
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Yo mate ! beware of the citi guys in India, they con you to get these preloaded cash cards without a chip from india, and never disclose that it costs you money in terms of charges when you cash withdraw from UK ATM's. (and only 3 withdrawals allowed per month.)

check out Natwest or HSBC in the UK ..opinions may differ , the've been a peach as far as iam conerned .

Ok Council's , these are like your local corporations, who take care of your basic amenities in the locality,once you sign a rental agreement,your landlord would register the rental agreement with the local council ,and you would start paying council tax (approx 80-90 quid every month ),for amenities,garbage collection etc, In some cases the landlord / estate agent would include the council tax with rent and take care of paying the taxes himself.

Every council has its own park and leisure centres which would have its own swimming pool, gym, cricket/football pitch etc,these can be used at reasonable prices.

I used the pubs more ....lol
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Old 5th March 2008, 16:57   #17
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Yo mate ! beware of the citi guys in India, they con you to get these preloaded cash cards without a chip from india, and never disclose that it costs you money in terms of charges when you cash withdraw from UK ATM's. (and only 3 withdrawals allowed per month.)
This is more like an account there with a credit card etc as well. So i'm basically opening an account because of the association with my company. No preloaded cards wards!

I'm glad about the sports facilities, and aim to check out the pubs too. Just happens that i'm a very rare drinker - the last drink i had was way back in november! Gosh that was a long time ago!
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Old 5th March 2008, 17:25   #18
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I'm a little confused about the zone. The tube map has these zones spread about in roughly circumcircular areas, are these zones indicators such as living costs, population etc?
Nope. these zones just represent the London public transport zones for tube/bus coverage and ticket pricing. I guess its something u need to understand when you buy season/monthly pass for the Home to office commute via public transport. Travel between different zones are priced differently and u need to buy the pass for the right zones.
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Old 5th March 2008, 17:36   #19
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opening an account in the UK is a big hassle.but HSBC uk have a new scheme called "passport" for immigrants, have a look at that. best not to use an indian account for transactions, like it was said earlier in this thread, each withdrawal will cost you.

I'm not fond of some areas in london, too much random violence. might not be directed at you personally, but the chances of you being at the wrong place at the wrong time are pretty high in some areas.

BTW, an average IT employee earns more than your average , lowly, junior doctor in the NHS

I tend to be more paranoid/safety conscious than the average guy, so dont panic at my warnings

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Old 5th March 2008, 21:42   #20
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Just want to say: there's nothing wrong with East Ham and I don't think it is possible to experience the charm of living in Europe in London!

Maybe that second point is the jaded view of someone who spent more than thirty years living in London, and it has many great areas and positive points, but not charm, not like some of those places, for instance in Sam's German pics.

You can get charm, in rural and coastal England. Do try to get out of London for some trips. The trains are more expensive than here of course (everything is) but they go faster, making weekends away possible.

Carrying stuff on the tube: if you can carry it, you can take it. No real restrictions like air travel. It's a long boring journey on the tube train from Heathrow.

Where are you starting out? Have they given you a hotel room or something to begin with?

I guess 9C is spring over there. It fell to that temperature in the night when I last went, and I was shivering in bed! No month is really predictable in UK, apart from the fact that heatwaves in December or frost in July are unlikely! But the coming spring months can be nice. I think (I wasn't there) last years summer happened in April, and many people spent a lot of the 'summer' finding out what monsoon is like.
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Old 5th March 2008, 21:48   #21
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You can get charm, in rural and coastal England. Do try to get out of London for some trips. The trains are more expensive than here of course (everything is) but they go faster, making weekends away possible.

Carrying stuff on the tube: if you can carry it, you can take it. No real restrictions like air travel. It's a long boring journey on the tube train from Heathrow.
Plan your travel by atleast a month and book train ticket.

Paris is nearby. Do visit Paris. Was 100 GBP for return ticket by train 3 years back.

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Nope. these zones just represent the London public transport zones for tube/bus coverage and ticket pricing. I guess its something u need to understand when you buy season/monthly pass for the Home to office commute via public transport. Travel between different zones are priced differently and u need to buy the pass for the right zones.
Heathrow is 6th or so. The outer one. City will be 1-3. You need to pay to enter/drive in Zone 1(used to be 8 GBP a day),ie, for cars etc.

Last edited by jkdas : 5th March 2008 at 21:51.
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Old 6th March 2008, 00:17   #22
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Hello again,
I guess u should not stress too much about the zones, its just tat London has been split into 6 zones...n anyways your friends there or for that matter the person on the rail-ticket counter would sort/help you out.
I guess you know or are warned that people in U.K. are still mostly formal. But not unfriendly...so if you in any confusion, a courteous request is usually answered by the common folks there. And most sentences end with either a "thank-you" or a "cheers"!!
As explained before, council are indeed like the local administration. During my stay in the u.k. my only concern/interest with the council was with paying council taxes. My first year, I got away not paying any because of the fact that I was a student and was exempted from paying these taxes. So the tip here is that if you could find a room in a flat/house where some students also stay...there exemptions should cover for the house and so you could also benefit! Not entirely by the book...so your call!
As about the luggage n the Tubes... you can carry as much as you can physically lift...no porters (coolies) here!
As with banking needs...while i had accounts with u.k. banks, which are not easy opening accounts with, i also had a u.k. account with ICICI which has a few branches in London( Southall and Hyde Park n maybe a couple more).
You might be glad to hear, that London is among the warmer places in the U.K. maybe with the more number of high rise buildings or the traffic. It did seem warmer to me.
P.S. As a matter-of-fact, you could indeed probably browse the Travel for London (TFL) website here itself n get used to the tube n zone options!

Cheers.

Note from moderator: Kindly avoid using FONT formatting tags

Last edited by adya33 : 6th March 2008 at 01:00.
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Old 6th March 2008, 10:32   #23
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If you can get a letter from your employer or get one of your colleagues to introduce you to the bank, its easy to open an account. I have an account with HSBC.

I am sure your employer will make arrangements for the bank account when you get there.
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Old 6th March 2008, 13:50   #24
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The zones for tube/bus/train fares are not the same as the Congestion Charge zone.

The congestion Charge zone is the central area in which you have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to drive your car. Even then, parking is sparse and another ridiculous amount of money, so the advice is --- don't!

London is very car unfriendly. It has been, over the last decade or so, planned to make driving a private car difficult. This is a political dogma thing --- of course, it is not all wrong, but common sense has been left out.

London is a crowded place, but people are more sensitive about personal space. They (we ) like to have our restaurant table to ourselves, and get annoyed of someone shares it while there are still empty tables; we like people to sit away from us in trains and buses, where there is space, we spread ourselves out rather than bunching together. We get upset if people stare at us, and some people will take it as a sign of aggression.
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Old 6th March 2008, 15:30   #25
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Dont show "V" sign using your fingers in the wrong way ie, back side of your hand.
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Old 6th March 2008, 15:55   #26
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Dont put ur hands around male colleague/friend's shoulders no matter how buddy buddy u r with him.. People may think u r happy and gay
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Old 6th March 2008, 15:59   #27
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Dont put ur hands around male colleague/friend's shoulders no matter how buddy buddy u r with him.. People may think u r happy and gay
and hope you have a good mustache too
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Old 6th March 2008, 16:07   #28
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Avoid wearing anything that is pink for obvious reasons.

Also don't try to take pictures of small kids however cute they may be. Not sure why but i was warned about this in the cross culture trainings during my first visit.
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Old 6th March 2008, 16:12   #29
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Also don't try to take pictures of small kids however cute they may be.
This is correct one of my friend roommate was check his new camera's focus from his window & after some time cops came to their home. The lady in front of their house though that this guys is taking pics of her kids who were playing in front of the house. They had to convince them hard to make sure no action was taken against them.
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Old 6th March 2008, 18:03   #30
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Dont put ur hands around male colleague/friend's shoulders no matter how buddy buddy u r with him.. People may think u r happy and gay
ANd don't expect your male colleague to hold your hand as you walk down the street!

Of course, if your female colleague will, then congratulations!

Seriously, on the kids thing: the Brits are paranoid about child abuse and paedophilia. Like cars and London, it has become quite over the top. The good thing is that such people do get arrested and prosecuted. I expect a balance will be found one day. I also expect that India will go through the same sort of process too.
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