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Old 3rd March 2008, 17:32   #1
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Default Relocating to the UK

Hi T-BHP,

I'm relocating to the UK, London to be precise for about a year. I'm going to be working at Canary Wharf, which i am given to believe is somewhere on the east side. What i'm looking for are:

1) Which place is a good place to live, and what rent? (I'm single)
2) Tips/ideas to survive in the UK - I'm an eggitarean!
3) Anything else!

All you folks who've been to the UK - do let me know the tricks of the trade. Especially a call out to Thad!

Superavi
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Old 3rd March 2008, 17:39   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superavi View Post
Hi T-BHP,

I'm relocating to the UK, London to be precise for about a year. I'm going to be working at Canary Wharf, which i am given to believe is somewhere on the east side. What i'm looking for are:

1) Which place is a good place to live, and what rent? (I'm single)
2) Tips/ideas to survive in the UK - I'm an eggitarean!
3) Anything else!

All you folks who've been to the UK - do let me know the tricks of the trade. Especially a call out to Thad!

Superavi
you get enough of indian food there. stuff like frozen parathas and all at sainsburys (department store)
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Old 3rd March 2008, 17:56   #3
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superavi; east ham would be the best bet for you.

You can find house at South Quay/cross harbour which are walkable from Canary Wharf and you have supermart nearby.

Dont miss the Intl Auto Expo that comes to Canary Wharf every year.

A link you will need
Tube | Transport for London
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Old 3rd March 2008, 21:08   #4
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Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
superavi; east ham would be the best bet for you.
You can roam around in east ham in lungi and baniyan and you won't feel out of place.

I'd say don't stay there... you won't feel as if you're in London.

South Quay/cross harbour is good.

Last edited by normally_crazy : 3rd March 2008 at 22:28. Reason: Quote corrected
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Old 3rd March 2008, 21:08   #5
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Superavi,
Congratulations and good-luck with ur time in the U.K.
Canary Wharf is a lovely area, i think alos called THE CITY, guess for being the busniess area in London. Most huge corporations have their offices there.I guess its a rumour that wealthy Arabs own most of the real-estate, which they rent out to these huge corporations. As such it could also be among the cosliest places to live/rent.
I could bet that you would never have to go too far without bumping into a fellow Indian( Asian)! Similar is the case with Indian stores, where you would get most stuff u need.At english prices though!Damn,these days even the popular nglish Supermarkets like Tesco's n Sainsburys stock Indian food( whole aisles in some places) I am strictly vegetarian,no eggs either,and had survived 3 years there...so believe me you would be just fine.
JK Das has made some lovely suggestions...Eastham is Little South India almost!You would be hard-pressed to find a Britsher there! i must admit was little too desi for me!
And the website that JK Das had suggested, TravelForLondon.com...is something you should absolutely memorise...trust me you would need it quite often.
Congratulations again. I hope you have a great time.
Cheers.
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Old 3rd March 2008, 21:18   #6
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Eastham!! the one place where i went to travelling for 2 hours just to get a south indian lunch. A very nice place where you can get anything and everything that is indian 'n srilankan . Yes, this place is flooded with srilankans.


From my experience at the heathrow airport. Never checkin others baggages, people might come to you claiming that they have excess baggages and request you to do the favor of checking in their luggage. When i was approached with such a request I was initially scared and refused to do so. (was later told that heathrow is one of the main transit areas of the LTTE's) ..
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Old 3rd March 2008, 21:36   #7
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Canary wharf eh? Nice part of town. As the guys suggested places in the 8 mile radius to Canary whaft will cost you 450-600 pounds per month for a 1 bedroom flat.

You wont need a car. Transport in London is Excellent. I Currently am in london for the next 2 weeks. Nice City but Expensive.

You wont miss out on anything Indian. It feels like india cause of the population of Indians in the UK.

If you are travelling within the next 2 weeks i can perhaps show you around some cool places.

I Live in a place called Norbury its south-west London. Cozy town 20 mins from the city by rail and rent is relatively cheap. i pay 650 pounds for a month for a 2 bedroom apt.

anyway need more info let me know. later
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Old 3rd March 2008, 22:08   #8
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I lived at canada water on the jubilee line for a year.had the time of my life.
its across the river from canary wharf. 10 mins by tube. rents were quite good then, 750 for a 3 bedroom apt.prices have gone up since then(2004)
rotherhithe and canada water are quite nice.

stay away from places like whitechapel, lewisham,greenwich

south quays is nice too.
just make sure to keep your eyes open when you go apt hunting, when you're in a bad locality you'll feel it.

if you're going to be working in "The City", rents wont be a problem for you
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Old 3rd March 2008, 22:20   #9
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I was working out of Canary Wharf for some time. I used to stay in a hotel near Limehouse.

Canary Wharf is the "Manhattan of London", with a few high rises incuding HSBC, Barclays etc. It is developing quite fast with more desi companies like Infy, Satyam, Iflex etc operating there. Areas immediately around in the Docklands are pretty expensive with rentals above GBP1k. A better option would be to find a house somewhere along the DLR line towards south or north (near to Lewisham or Stratford).

In London, proximity to any public transport points like train stations and bus stops helps a lot since owning a car is quite expensive and driving around is tiresome.

East Ham is a bit far (about 45 mins) and there is no direct train/bus facility from Canary Wharf that I know of. Of course you can go by DLR to Canning Town and take Bus#115 towards East Ham from there. Its a typical south indian area with saravana bhavan, vasantha bhavan, dosa corners etc. If you are not cooking at home, then this is a good option, even though I am not particularly fond of the "noisy" atmosphere here.

Last edited by appuchan : 3rd March 2008 at 22:25.
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Old 3rd March 2008, 23:53   #10
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My office is located in south bank, not far from Canary Wharf.

I am here from last one month, i don't find any difficulty here. you can get most of the ready to eat indian foods in sainsbury, tesco etc...

If you are particular about vegetarian hotels , during weeknds u can visit Wembley central...you will find lot of indian hotels..

Rest of the things - you can explore London
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Old 4th March 2008, 01:36   #11
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Guys! I used to live just up the road from East Ham (Manor Park) --- you're making me homesick!

But you've also said everything I could possibly say, just about.

Canary Wharf (someone had, I think, the confusion) is not "The City" --- that is a specific area where all the old financial stuff is/was, around Aldgate, Tower, Bank. It is also actually The City of London, with its own corporation, and boundary markers on the main roads.

Canary Wharf is the new development on what used to be a big part of London's docks --- a wharf is another name for a pier, for a ship to dock alongside. It is very modern. (or it was when I last saw it...).

The main transport link into and out of Canary Wharf is the Docklands Light Railway --- check out the Transport For London site.

If you want to live in the Canary Wharf or Docklands area, then you had better have a really good job! That would be very expensive. and Posh. Invite us over! Otherwise, checking the rail maps will help to see what's connected.

I'm ashamed to say that there are are areas where you might feel threatened, my mother country does have its rough and racist elements, and never wave your money or your smart mobile phone around! So yes, some of the warnings given in this thread you can take to heart. On the positive side, you will never have to bribe a policeman or official (in fact you'll be in big trouble if you try).

It is a good idea to be able to speak Tamil or Malayalam in East Ham (nearby Green Street is probably more Northern Indian) --- but I got by there without almost as well as I do in Chennai! Even including teaching the basics of mridangam to young Malayalee kids!

If you want Indian culture while you are there, there is heaps. My thing was Southern/Tamil, but it is all there: temples, mosques --- my wife used to go to a Tamil church just down the road from where my house was when I took her there to visit. Music, films... The Nehru Centre and Bharatya Vidya Bhavan are good centres for classical stuff; meeting up with the Sri Lankan community at any if the Tamil temples will get you informed about the Carnatic classical scene.

Vegetarianism is pretty well understood, and won't be a problem, although, of course, our English food is pretty bland to the Indian tongue; Mrs G used to put a peppercorn in her mouth, or take a bite of a chilly while eating, just to give some flavour. Southern Indian food (mostly Sri Lankan) is one of the cheapest ways of eating out; pre-packed stuff from supermarkets is expensive.

I have no idea about rents, as I owned my little house there for past twenty years (wish I still did). I'd probably be shocked, and wish even more that I still owned the house.

Owning and running a car is very expensive, and you'll probably be fine, certainly for work days, with the public transport which is pretty comprehensive. Buy the longest period season ticket you can, once you find a place where you think you will stay (the tickets work in zones, so even this has some flexibility).

But, why not take an International Driving Permit and your Indian licence with you. You never know, you might get the chance to drive, or maybe hire a car for a weekend or something. Be warned: every little thing you do wrong is likely to be caught by some damned automatic camera, resulting in a stiff fine arriving on the doorstep.

What do you people who work abroad do about banking? Maybe your employer will recommend you to the bank they use (they will want to pay your salary into a bank account), or maybe you could check out one of the Indian banks that has London branches (errr... HSBC is pretty international, ICICI, CitiBank have branches, probably more).

Work culture? Arrive early, leave late, dress smart (suit and tie), but you probably won't have to call anyone 'Sir'. I never did manage that 'arrive early' bit...

Working social life tends to based around bars and pubs. If that isn't your thing (and its not mine) then you might be seen as a bit stand-offish, but (if applicable) best just to tell that you don't drink. Go along once or twice to meet the guys. It is very variable: some places have a work-together/play-together culture; others have no social side at all.

I hope my few thoughts are useful; I think others have given as good as practical info as I have. I haven't worked in London since 2003; I haven't had a home there since 2005.

Oh... it's cold. Except for a couple of weeks a year when it can be as hot as Chennai. Those weeks usually happen sometime between about April and October, but are quite unpredictable!
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Old 4th March 2008, 11:38   #12
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Fantastic!

This is absolutely awesome in terms of responses and detail! I couldnt visit T-Bhp before now, and there you go, it is there in lots of detail.

My questions will follow shortly, but thank you for all your responses!
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Old 4th March 2008, 13:55   #13
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1) Which place is a good place to live, and what rent? (I'm single)
- I guess it'll be cheaper in one of the suburbs which has good tube service in Zone 4.
2) Tips/ideas to survive in the UK - I'm an eggitarean!
- UK is very very veggie friendly (unlike any other country I have been to). At least they understand what Vegetarian means !! As a last resort, all the fast foods joints - McD, Burger King, Pizza Hut have vegetarian options (marked with a V symbol)
3) Anything else!
- Enjoy ur stay.. Hire a Good car and go on a European tour.
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Old 5th March 2008, 12:28   #14
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Travel light ..you can buy anything and everything out there (ASDA, Sainsbury's and loads of Indian corner shops) ..and as mentioned please do not stay at east ham , you would lose the charm of staying in europe, and i presume you do not need an international license , i had no issues in hiring cars from enterprise and hertz with my Indian driving license , though they take a hefty 400 pound deposit which would be returned when you return the car.

Lo ! enjoy the summer... check the bank holidays and PLAN your european holidays in advance,you need to book your air tickets atleast 4-5 months in advance for good deals if you intent to fly.

Last edited by 2theMax : 5th March 2008 at 12:29. Reason: modified text
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Old 5th March 2008, 15:50   #15
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Originally Posted by 2theMax View Post
PLAN your european holidays in advance,you need to book your air tickets atleast 4-5 months in advance for good deals if you intent to fly.
Yup, i certainly will! This is one of the things to do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234
you get enough of indian food there. stuff like frozen parathas and all at sainsburys (department store)
That makes things more convenient than i thought. All this is edible I hope! Thanks for the advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas
Dont miss the Intl Auto Expo that comes to Canary Wharf every year.
You Bet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mushy876
TravelForLondon.com...is something you should absolutely memorise...trust me you would need it quite often.
Congratulations again. I hope you have a great time.
Thanks a ton!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sankar
You can roam around in east ham in lungi and baniyan
LOL! I just found out that the temperature this sunday (that's when i'm reaching there) is a frigid 9 degrees centigrade, and this is the max! The thought of a lungi and banian makes me feel like I'm in a hot tropical country!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mission_safari
From my experience at the heathrow airport. Never checkin others baggages, people might come to you claiming that they have excess baggages and request you to do the favor of checking in their luggage.
Thanks, will keep this in mind. All these things are useful for a noob like me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamba24
If you are travelling within the next 2 weeks i can perhaps show you around some cool places.
India is probably the cause of the population in most cities in the world! Hey mamba, that's a cool offer! I'm landing there on the 9th, let me send you a PM around that time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rippergeo
stay away from places like whitechapel, lewisham,greenwich

south quays is nice too.
just make sure to keep your eyes open when you go apt hunting, when you're in a bad locality you'll feel it.

if you're going to be working in "The City", rents wont be a problem for you
like they say here in India - tumhare mooh mein ghee shakkar, but i'm your average IT employee (not a coder thankfully - no offense meant to those who are, just that i never developed a hang for coding) on allowance pay! Why do you say "stay away" from whitechapel, lewisham and greenwich?

Quote:
Originally Posted by appuchan
A better option would be to find a house somewhere along the DLR line towards south or north (near to Lewisham or Stratford).

Its a typical south indian area with saravana bhavan, vasantha bhavan, dosa corners etc
A reco for lewisham, and an objection in two posts! I'm glad about the sarvana bhavans though! Thanks Appuchan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexrabbi
My office is located in south bank, not far from Canary Wharf.

I am here from last one month, i don't find any difficulty here. you can get most of the ready to eat indian foods in sainsbury, tesco etc...
Thanks! Why dont we catch up in the UK? Let me PM you once i'm there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thad e ginathom
If you want to live in the Canary Wharf or Docklands area, then you had better have a really good job!
I wish, but I'm going to invite you guys over whatever place i stay in. I guess it then becomes your right to refuse!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thad e ginathom
you will never have to bribe a policeman or official
i've never had too many occasions to bribe people here in India, all documents etc were always correct, no over speeding - at least in front of a radar gun etc, but you know, this is the one thing i'm really looking forward to. The no bribes/airs thing. I hope it is a good experience!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thad e ginathom
why not take an International Driving Permit and your Indian licence with you. You never know, you might get the chance to drive, or maybe hire a car for a weekend or something. Be warned: every little thing you do wrong is likely to be caught by some damned automatic camera, resulting in a stiff fine arriving on the doorstep.

What do you people who work abroad do about banking?
I checked the traffic website, and find that my Indian DL works for a year that I am there. Maybe I'll try to get a UK driving license as well after the one year period.

Banking - I'm getting an account opened with Citibank right here in Pune even before i leave. while i should get some stuff today - cheque book, ATM card for India here, the other stuff will be sent to my work address. That was a pleasant experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thad e ginathom
Work culture? Arrive early, leave late, dress smart (suit and tie)
I havent managed the "suit" and "tie" bit in addition to the arrive early!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thad e ginathom
Oh... it's cold.
you bet, i'm leaving from a high 34 degrees c to a low 9 degrees and 9 is maximum. Maximum! Gee whiz!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by spadival
I guess it'll be cheaper in one of the suburbs which has good tube service in Zone 4.
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?

A few more questions:
1) What is a council? Is it like a Cooperative Housing Society?
2) I'm going with a 30 inch bag. This falls in the limits of baggage allowance in my airline. Can i carry something as large as this on a tube?
3) How about sports facilities? A friend mentioned in passing that these facilities are available in the council.


Thanks for all the responses! This forum is fabulous.

Superavi
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