Archive for December, 2007

Life in UK – the good, the bad and the ugly

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

The Good:
1. Medical services are free and are of good quality. Normally for small sickness you would visit the nurse and NOT a doctor. You can walk-in into any hospital and get free medical consultation.

2. Public transport is good, efficient and timely. The network of trains and buses are efficient. Till now I have not felt the need to own a car.

3. Great natural beauty with Scotland in the vicinity. Summer months (April to September) are the ideal time to be in UK.

4. Free membership to the Libraries with good collections of books. If you like reading then this is probably heaven for you.

5. If you are on Work Permit (not business visa) in the UK then you do not need any visa to visit Switzerland.

6. Many places to see like Isle of Weight, London, Brighton, Snowdonia, Birmingham and many more.

7. A good mix of people from Asia and Europe. Lots of Indians (mostly Gujrati) and people from Bangladesh and Pakistan.

8. For a vegetarian Hindu like me, there are options for restaurant as well as grocery, however, if you are searching for a pure vegetarian restaurant then you will have a tough time.

9. You can see latest Bollywood movies (limited show timings on cinemas. E.g. 2 shows in a week).

10. You can get Schengen visa stamped in UK to go to other parts of Europe for a holiday.
 

The Bad:
1. Everything is expensive when compared to USA and VERY expensive when compared to India. You are better off buying electronics from US then purchasing it in UK.

2. You pay a lot on tax from your salary. Apart from taxes on salary you also pay council tax which is additional to house rent.

3. Probably the only place on earth where you pay a TV license fee to the government to see TV at your home (approximately £11 to £12 per month).

4. If you want broadband then you would have to sign a contract for 12 months at least. You cannot get a broadband for 1 or 2 months.
 

The Ugly:
1. The culture is very different from India and hard to believe. Yet to find a married couple. Mostly I find people who are single parents or staying with a partner. The whole idea of marriage and committing yourself to one person does not seem to exist.

2. The winters are truly boring with 7 to 8 hours of daylight and nothing much to do in the chilling weather outside. Most of Midlands (where I stay) is wet with rains and fog. The days are cloudy and dull.

The views expressed above are based on my stay here in the UK over the past few months. Do share your views and experience with others using the comments link below this post (on the right hand side, the link would say ‘No comments’ or ‘x comments’).