Things I’ve noticed whilst living in the UK

I cannot believe that it has already been over two weeks since the move. Time has flown by. High time for an update! But where to start. I have some much I want to write about that I decided to split it into two posts. This one will focus more on the things that I have noticed after moving to the UK. And the next one will be about my first week at work (which has been awesome by the way).

So… I have been to the UK before, but I have noticed a couple of things that I had not noticed before, so I decided to share them with you guys.

Don’t trust the journey planner
Journey planners here in the UK are notoriously unreliable. You can consult 3 and they will all give you different bus or train times. They also usually fail to take into account the difference between off peak and peak travel times, so it might take you 25 minutes longer to get somewhere than the planner says you will…

There are roadworks everywhere
The most likely reason as to why it will take you longer to get somewhere is that they are probably working on the road.. or rather roads. I have never seen this much road work taking place simultaneously. Honestly, the British goverment could do with a planning department for this….

Trains are the bermuda triangle
More likely than not, your phone will immediately lose its signal the moment you set foot in a train. You can absolutely forget about calling someone or sending text messages during your commute, unless you are standing still at one of the stations. So if you try to call me and you get an out of service message, you will know exactly what I am doing haha.

MacDonald’s is everywhere
Roadworks are not the only thing you are likely to encounter frequently during your commute. Everywhere you look there is either a MacDonald’s (or Mackies as the Britsh lovingly call it) or an advertisment for this. If you have to buy a busticket in one of the major cities you will find that your receipt conveniently doubles as a discount voucer for a Big Mac. Only 1,99! To be honest, I’m a little bit surprised at its popularity whilst you can get so much better food at Wetherspoons. This a chain of pubs serving really good, decently priced food. If you are ever in the UK make sure to eat there. Their (vegetarian) bangers and mash are to die for.

Small bags of Walkers’ crisps
Walkers crisps (or Lays as we know it Holland) packs of crisps only come in small portion sized bags. I have yet to find a big bag meant for sharing. This seems to encourage people to eat it in moderation, which forms a odd contrast to the overabundance of MacDonald’s adds. Personally I don’t really mind as it keeps me from over eating, but it was still something I noticed that was a bit different to Europe.

Try the bread
Now this is a recommendation of my fiancé who has had the pleasure of sampling the regular breads (I have had to stick with gluten free I’m afraid). When buying bread in the UK you don’t only get to chose the type of bread, but also the thickness of the slices. And gosh the extra thick, soft white slices look absolutely delicious. According to my fiancé they are. He particularly likes the one from a brand called Hovis… So, when you are here, make sure to give that a try.

food_cakes_and_sweet_cake__cake_and_biscuits_031407_The legend’s are true: most British are entirely made up of biscuits and cakes
Every morning without fail there are at least three to four of my direct collegues who can be seen enjoyong a lovely slice of cake or a muffin in the cafeteria. I have been informed that the cakes are really quite good, but not as good as the ones in the public café of the Weston Library. Needless to say, I shall have to put this to the test at some point.  Any volunteers who wish to join me in this experiment?

Those who have not yet had their fix in the morning eagerly sample some of the cookies or a homemade piece of cake which someone has brought into work during the 4 o’clock tea break. Next time I visit Holland I will definitely bring back some Dutch cookies for them to try.

Well that is it for now. Over the course of the next couple of weeks or months I am sure I will notice some more differences or English habits. 😀 So this might become a bit of a series. Who knows ;).

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We’re moving to the UK!

keep calm I'm moving to England

Yep, the majority of my readers probably already know this because they know me in real life, but we are moving to the UK by the end of August.

My fiancé was offered a job in Wolverhampton and I had spotted a job that I really want to apply for. It of course also helped that I am crazy about the Victorian era and we were already thinking of maybe moving to England next year… So we decided to go for it.

When are we moving? 47 days from now…. and boy is that stressful haha.

Thankfully though we already have a house. We signed the tenancy agreement for a lovely house in Rubery, Birmingham this weekend. I am so excited! The house is bigger than we currently have. It has two bedrooms and a massive kitchen. The reception room itself isn’t too big, but it is adjacent to a lovely conservatory, which I am sure the kitty cats will appreciate.

new house

Our new home!

I will make sure to post some pictures once we have decorated everything.

The area itself is lovely. It is pretty quiet and it is very green. It is also close to Waseley Hills Country Park, which looks amazing. I can’t wait to explore this. Perhaps I can persuade a  friend who enjoys a bit of twalking (talking + walking) to join me… Hmmm, we’ll see.

We still have a ton to do though. We need to pack and get everything ready for the move. And on top of all that I also have a dissertation to finish… Yep: when I said things are stressful, I meant it.

I will try to keep you guys updated about the move and how I myself am getting on with finding a job in England. But I am not making any promises, because to say I’m going to be “hella busy” might be an understatement. Still, I will do what I can to keep you all posted ;).