Author Topic: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far  (Read 4550 times)

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Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #60 on: May 15, 2017, 09:54:35 AM »
Yes discovered them just as I was getting ready to come here so our affair was a brief one, but I am looking forward to rekindling our love once I return home for the holidays...they sell them at Costco, only place I could find them.

Weeeelllllllll I know exactly what I'm purchasing for my second breakfast (because first breakfasts are reserved for donuts and bagels hahah) when I'm back in July!


Quote
I find that I eat way more junk food here in the UK just because it's generally so much cheaper than in the US.  I can run to the Co-op and get a bag of crisps for £1 whereas it might be $3 or $4 for the same thing in the US.

I've always felt the opposite! A bag of crisps might be £1 where it's more expensive back in the US, but I think in the US I'm getting
more / bigger bags for that slightly higher price. And if you shop store brand (like Stop and Shop brand in the US), it's usually comparable pricing for bigger bags. That might be region specific though.


Offline jimbocz

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #61 on: May 15, 2017, 10:05:57 AM »
They're like cocoa puffs but they're chocolate and peanut butter. Haha.

These are easily found here and I've bought a few boxes. 

The only downside is that they are coated with this wierd grease, like palm oil or something. 

Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #62 on: May 15, 2017, 10:06:47 AM »
These are easily found here and I've bought a few boxes. 

The only downside is that they are coated with this wierd grease, like palm oil or something.

Yeah I've seen those here...but at a ridiculous Mark-up!

Offline hayleeonfire

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #63 on: May 17, 2017, 09:36:13 PM »
So some of you may remember my epic rant http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=84946.0 about the UK. Just wanted to post an update now that I've moved back to the states. I've been back about two months (In NYC to be exact) and I just wanted to post about what's it's like to return...is the grass greener?

In my case....so far yes :) Here are the big things I've noticed about life in NYC vs London that made me understand more what was missing and made me so unhappy.

1) Life is so much less stressful. Now that I'm out of London, I realize how ill day to day life made me there.I felt like everything was a battle and everyone seemed so miserable and rushing way too much. It took a heavy toll on me. I was constantly having colds, really upset stomach, extreme fatigue and even my bones becoming brittle. I felt like a shell of a person there. Now NYC isn't exactly slow, but it seems so much more relaxed and weirdly less crowded than London (even though there's supposedly more people.) Some parts of NYC are super packed but in London, EVERYWHERE and everything we tried to do was super packed.

2) NYC is more expensive, however, we get paid more than we ever did in London. I even had one recruiter tell me not to say my salary from London because people would wonder why I was being paid so little. And I used to work for a firm that paid higher than market value! So now, we can afford a bit more things like seemed like luxuries in the UK, like a gym membership. We also are saving a lot more, and in the UK, all of our money wold run out every month. Now buying a house, etc seems more in reach.

3) People are very friendly. NYC isn't exactly known to be a friendly place but I am finding that stereotype to be wrong. People seem happier, smile, make small talk and make us laugh all the time. I used to be annoyed at the overly positive culture of the US but now I get it. A smile goes a long way. And it's made me open up more too. Though to be fair to London, since I had to work so hard to make friends and put myself out there, I feel like the experience helped me come a bit more out of my shell.

4) This one is usual but I don't feel as much pressure to look perfect.I was super depressed in London because all the women look like models and everyone is so polished. Which is nice in it's own way but I never felt worse about my appearance. In NYC women look normal. Not as many fake tans, full makeup, etc. And the style is more comfortable while still stylish. I feel way more at ease and the same pressure isn't there anymore. I found myself doing things like eyelash enhancers when previously I never would have thought to do that.

5) Chains. Both cities are full of them but London has way more. Almost everywhere we went was a chain and while the food, drink, whatever it was was good, it felt a bit empty and soulless. NYC has more mom and pop places making it seem a bit more inspiring and quirky.

6) Safety. A lot more horrifying things happen in NYC according to the news  (but seems to be more centered in the Bronx and parts of Brooklyn) and there's a lot more unstable people but in London there were several times I had tense situations on buses/trains where aggressive people would get on and bully people  and I was genuinely scared. Haven't had that here but I'm not sure which I feel more safe yet.

7) I am healthier. In London, I was the heaviest I've ever been in my life, having gained 15 pounds that took me years and a ridiculously strict diet to lose. I know several people that have gone through the same and even an NHS nurse said she saw it a lot and doesn't know why people gain weight when they move there. But since it's easier to get out and about (so much is at our doorstep) and work out in NYC, I am now at a weight I haven't seen since high school (I'm 35 now.)

8) Transport
Granted I lived a bit further out from the center of London in southeast London (in Greenwich, we couldn't afford to live further in) and now we live in Manhattan so it's of course easier to get around in NYC. The trains seem a lot less clean definitely but it's a much less stressful experience than the tube. I haven't been pitted against someone unable to breathe like in London (and I have been on a train where someone passed out because it was too crowded and hot)

9) Escaping. It's easier to go to a decent beach or go hiking in New York. Although I really miss easy access to Europe.

10) Now that bad. In NYC, you have to worry about horrifying things like infestations and in London, thanks to the weather, we didn't see many bugs at all.

11) Health care cost a mint BUT I trust the doctors and care here more. That doesn't mean though that I think the system works because it doesn't. But the NHS left me feeling hopeless and very stressed out. Ignoring my issues and flat out being hostile to me regarding my mental health issues. If you live in a post code with bad doctors you are out of luck. And many people I know were misdiagnosed. I never got help for anything I needed which is too bad and maybe why I felt so ill all the time.

12) A weird one but I finally got a decent haircut. Don't know why but it seemed impossible to find a competent hairstylist in London. Many of my ex-pat coworkers would lament about the same.

Anyway, obviously it was better for me to leave. It was super lucky that my husband got a job in NYC and he also knew I wasn't happy. Thankfully he seems really happy as well. Although it wasn't for me, I think I needed the experience to grow and know myself better so I'd never take it back. Also I made some good friends who I miss dearly. And my job and coworkers were fantastic so it wasn't all bad. Although I felt like I did all I could to enjoy London; build a life for myself, explore and take in all that it offers...I just wasn't coping very well there and it never seemed to pay off.  America definitely isn't perfect by any means and there's things that make me angry here too (speaking of fake tans) and we may not stay in this city even, but I feel at least there's many more cities we could settle in America if we didn't like NYC.

I think life in the two cities could actually be summed up this way, and this is actually coming from my husband. For Londoners life is just ok, and that's the most they would hope for. In America, things can either be really amazing or really terrible.

I know I'm coming to the thread a bit late, but just wanted to say that I really resonate with reason #4. I'm waiting for my UK visa at the moment, but in the past I've confided in my husband that I felt very intimidated by the women in London. I'm from California and we're so damn relaxed here (maybe too much LOL), but I've never felt judged for how I looked. Even on laundry day when I'm at my most wrecked, it was fine. But I constantly feel 'less-than' in the UK. All the women my husband grew up with or what have you are short, skinny, and constantly made up and gorgeous looking. I'm such a cow by UK standards.

Here's to hoping that I'll eventually not give a sh*t! Thank you for your post and your perspective.
California, USA
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Offline Beatlemania

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #64 on: May 17, 2017, 11:56:06 PM »
I know I'm coming to the thread a bit late, but just wanted to say that I really resonate with reason #4. I'm waiting for my UK visa at the moment, but in the past I've confided in my husband that I felt very intimidated by the women in London. I'm from California and we're so damn relaxed here (maybe too much LOL), but I've never felt judged for how I looked. Even on laundry day when I'm at my most wrecked, it was fine. But I constantly feel 'less-than' in the UK. All the women my husband grew up with or what have you are short, skinny, and constantly made up and gorgeous looking. I'm such a cow by UK standards.

Here's to hoping that I'll eventually not give a sh*t! Thank you for your post and your perspective.

Just got to find a look that works for you!  I have found that I tend not to wear sweats quite as often out and about as I used too, but I am no where near as glam as some of the people I see. 

Then again, I am in Essex rather than London.  I have come to accept that, no matter how hard I try, I will just never look as fabulous as those women in their matching bejeweled track suits with wedges, spray tans, and acrylic nails pushing their prams to Baby and Toddler Rhyme Time.  C'est la vie!
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Offline Michali

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #65 on: May 18, 2017, 12:14:57 AM »
That really surprises me! I guess it depends where you live in London and there probably are some areas where women dress up every day and may be intimidating. It has been the opposite of me and I returned home having lived in the Caribbean for many years. Even though I use make up every day (I look half dead without it!) I can go out here in the same skirt and or top as often as I like because nobody cares or even takes notice of that. In The Bahamas, I would have hesitated to wear anything too often! And the women there spend loads on their hair and nails, clothes and accessories. So I feel very relaxed here in comparison.

Hayleeonfire, I hope when you come over, you do  not feel 'less than' anyone you meet and that you are happy here.
Married 1966, left UK 1969, returned 1998, left again 2000, returned June 2014 (husband on spousal visa) granted FLR(M) November 30th 2016 (yeah!)

Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #66 on: May 18, 2017, 09:57:16 AM »
Just got to find a look that works for you!  I have found that I tend not to wear sweats quite as often out and about as I used too, but I am no where near as glam as some of the people I see. 


hah same about the sweat pants/PJ pants thing. Not sure why...I think when I lived in Reading it was because I was walking everywhere in a pretty big town centre instead of driving places like I used to in the US so it's not just a quick pop out to the shop or to a drive thru to grab my coffee where nobody would see me or at least not for a long time. Also, the people I would see wearing the sweats/PJ bottoms out were the type of people that looked pretty rough - to put it nicely- (just my experience) and I stopped to think about how I didn't want to come across like that where as in the US, it didn't have that image attached to it, at least not where I came from.

I think there will always be people that make you feel intimidated regarding some aspect of your life. It's important to remind yourself they aren't doing it on purpose. They are dressing a particular way that they like just as you are dressing a particular way you like. As long as it's within work dress code on a work day, all is fine! It's likely nobody is even judging you because so many times in London people are just in their own world and not even paying attention to you. As long as nobody is targeting you or purposely making you feel like you aren't looking good enough, try not to worry and focus on it too much as you're just stressing yourself out for nothing.

Offline jimbocz

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #67 on: May 18, 2017, 12:53:54 PM »

women in their matching bejeweled track suits with wedges, spray tans, and acrylic nails pushing their prams to Baby and Toddler Rhyme Time.

BLAH!   I can't think of anything less attractive.  Give me a natural woman with hairy armpits any day.

Offline Beatlemania

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #68 on: May 18, 2017, 02:02:17 PM »
BLAH!   I can't think of anything less attractive.  Give me a natural woman with hairy armpits any day.


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Offline Lalala75

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #69 on: May 18, 2017, 04:20:35 PM »
@hayleeonfire I too was coming from California so was used to a more bohemian look. And I'm not really a fan of the over made up, banker kind of look in London but it made me uncomfortable that it seemed like there was almost nobody that had that laid back SoCal kind of look so I felt like I stuck out even though I probably didn't.

But if it helps, I've heard many guys (British) complain about too much make up, etc that women have in London. It seems like it's a thing that only "lads" would like.

Offline jimbocz

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #70 on: May 18, 2017, 05:07:52 PM »
Sometimes I worry that I don't wear enough Lynx body spray. 

Offline sonofasailor

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #71 on: May 18, 2017, 05:31:41 PM »
I always feel a little not quite dressed right in London. The tight jackets. The full on Jeff Goldblum clam digger trousers.

It's like they are heading down to Brighton to battle some teddy boys or something.
Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across - Sun Tzu

Offline jimbocz

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #72 on: May 18, 2017, 06:22:07 PM »
Last night I drank a £12 cocktail on Old Street.  I'm down with the hipsters.

Offline BertineC

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #73 on: May 20, 2017, 09:31:49 AM »
Obviously you folks haven't been to Stockholm! Thats hipster scene in overdrive for sure, although they all seem a bit insecure about it.

I've never felt intimidated by how polished people are in London because honestly if you look around there are either a bunch of tourists who look out of place, a bunch of locals wearing Primark, or people wearing jeans and hoodies. Maybe at work - I actually had to start buying jackets to go on top of work wear in case of meetings because I guess thats What You Do Here and I wear hose too most days. Small adjustments but I don't work anywhere super formal. I do wear makeup more frequently here but just base and mascara, nothing more.

Anywhere Shoreditch and north/east of there is going to be wanker central and full of poseurs who aren't original in any way, shape, or form. Blitz Kids they are not, that was some true originality.

Offline Lalala75

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Re: I escaped the UK...here's my experience so far
« Reply #74 on: May 22, 2017, 04:09:23 PM »
@BertineC Totally agree about Shoreditch! That's one thing that disappointed me, was the lack of rock scene, since most music I like comes from England. I really can only tolerate Shoreditch during the day, at night it's not even hipster more just as you say, wankers. And I felt like it was too artificial, like a Disneyland for hipsters.