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Philolog
06-10-2013, 03:05
I see that there a quite a lot of people who share their impressions from living in Moscow or in Russia in general, so I decided to turn the tables and share my observations that I got while travelling to London, Cardiff, Crosskeys and Liverpool for a month.

Before that I had spent some time living and studying in France (six months) and in Spain (four months), so I will try to avoid making overgeneralised statements about Europe as a whole.

The first impression I had from London: "I'm not welcome here" - never before had I seen such aggressive Border Agency employees. Might it be that they are so angry and suspicious because they used to have hard time emigrating from the Commonwealth countries themselves? Heathrow arrival zone is quite dirty and you wouldn't tell that they really care about the visitors despite being in the top-3 of the busiest airports in the world. Plus the air company lost my luggage (okay, it was Lufthansa's fault, but still, I had to queue for half an hour to register my missing bag).

Language: I was expecting that I would have some troubles with understanding the variety of accents, but it wasn't the case - Cockney, RP, Australian, South African or Indian - it usually made no difference, though it Wales I sometimes failed to understand people who spoke too fast. One thing that surprised me is that British people are usually just as ignorant about the US English as the Americans who don't give a damn (sorry, I meant "darn") about what happens across the pond - one lady, an English teacher (more of an ageing secretary trying to figure out what to do with her life now that her looks stopped being her number one weapon) didn't even know that the torch might actually be called a flashlight as well (for me, no matter how hard I'm trying to advocate the British English, a torch is an exclusively historical thing).

Prices: I used to hear that London is incredibly expensive, and its partly true, especially when it comes to transport. But housing, rental services and food, if you take value-for-money into account, are quite accessible.

Tourist attractions: London didn't feel too "epic", I mean, when you come to Paris and see its tourist attractions, it feels like a collision of two realities - Monmartre, La Tour Eiffel, Le Louvre... In the UK everything is more down to earth, though Big Ben was quite impressive. Also, I absolutely adored the fact that most national museums are donation-supported.

The Tube: well, it's called so for a reason - everything really is round and tube-ish! And small - having an underground like that in Moscow would be impossible. The navigation is very complicated - why would you have one platform for trains of three different destinations, some of them require 10+ min. waiting time? Why is the Northern line separated into two lines not connected to each other in many places? This is so confusing. Why is the Russell Square station deeper than the Churchill's bunker and has only one lift with dozens of people queueing outside? Why do you have some exits that are closed on the weekends and in the evening? I paid more than a bloody hundred for my monthly oyster card, why do I get limited service? If you take "Good service on all lines" for an unusual situation, there is something wrong with the whole system. One last thing - no network coverage at all. Some ads with Master Yoda saying: "Great power I sense. Free WiFi in Underground stations there is" ridiculous look just.

Trains and buses:
No buses on Sundays in some areas? Why? Are newsagents with their drinks and tabloids more important than public transport? That's horrible. On the other hand, bus drivers are the friendliest people I've met in the UK - they seem to be coming from the "Postman Pat" animated series. As for the trains, it depends on a company, sure, but I was surprised that the control is quite strict and doesn't only rely on the principle of good faith.

Cycling and pedestrians:
If not for MBR Magazine that I started reading while in Russia, I would have never taken up mountain biking, and the nation's enthusiasm for cycling is very impressive. I actually went to Cmwcarn in Wales on the weekend just to ride some trails there, and I never regretted it. Every photo of a banker in an expensive suit cycling to work is an instant classic and I do respect people for it. I tried to ride a bike there too, but after seeing a guy touching a double-decker with his hand while waiting near the traffic lights, I understood that getting used to this careless attitude can be fatal back home. Pedestrians who are constantly jaywalking just because it is not regulated by the law infuriated me - you can't be this disrespectful to the drivers.

Security:
Surprisingly enough, I can't say that I felt totally safe in London like I did in some other cities. When I came to my language school, the first warning we were given was about frequent thievery that happens there. On the street some beggars (which aren't as numerous as in France, thank God) are quite aggressive, which I don't normally see even in Moscow where nobody cares about you, especially the Police.

Electronics:
A very sensible attitude - you know that gadgets are made for people and not vice versa. There are surprisingly many people reading paper books instead of Kindles, tablet PCs and mobile phones. Is it a homage to the tradition or just tight-fistedness? Not too many Apple products - again, I think that it's rational spending.

Religion:
I was quite surprised, that such openly atheist acts such as Tim Minchin and The Book of Mormons are widely advertised. Well, maybe it's not this surprising, taking into consideration that a USD bill says "In God We Trust" while a GBP note depicts Darwin.
I'm not sure if alcohol-free zones are somehow influenced by the Muslim population, could somebody give their opinion about that? I also felt that there were some people who are not willing at all to be integrated and this, I can feel, is quite dangerous.

People:
A weekend Brit and a weekday Brit seem to be two entirely different creatures. Sure, many people like to party hard, but the difference is striking - polite and humble ladies and gentlemen in the daytime vs incredibly slutty-looking women with heavy make-up and ultra-short skirts and red-faced men on Friday nights. As a hypocritical person myself, I like that change, but it was unexpected for sure.
Another thing I liked are physically fit skinny men and curvy women of medium height. That's the ideal balance - no anorexic women, no overweight men.
Some nice detail: when I came to a local newsagent to buy a can of Coke, I took the last one, it was a little bit deformed, but not too much, and the shop assistant, an Indian guy, said: "Have you seen this?", pointing at the can. This was surprising - why would he care about that - he's a salesman, and he has to sell it anyway. This was nice.

Weather:
In July we had 2+ weeks of non-stop sunshine! Maybe I was just lucky, but the whole stereotype of the foggy Albion was destroyed.

So that's my rant, I might have forgotten some details, but I can surely tell that Great Britain is something special.

robertmf
06-10-2013, 04:02
I see that there a quite a lot of people who share their impressions from living in Moscow or in Russia in general, so I decided to turn the tables and share my observations that I got while travelling to London, Cardiff, Crosskeys and Liverpool for a month.


You overlooked "the food" :hippydj:

Benedikt
06-10-2013, 07:37
So that's my rant, I might have forgotten some details, but I can surely tell that Great Britain is something special.[/QUOTE]



or maybe because we are of different nationalities i understand -rant- as something different than you do?
nice piece you wrote there and for sure no one can and will accuse you of bashing.

VicY
06-10-2013, 11:54
Excellent post!

Really appreciate it, though I can't agree with you on quite a few points, but that's absolutely normal: it's the good old perceptions that are at play :D

Which school/centre did you do your CELTA at?

I absolutely prefer London to Paris...That is one of the things that some people might find hard to understand. ;)

Never had any major problems with the border authorities. Most are rather civil, sometimes even friendly, while asking their usual questions and stamping my red double-headed eagle document. :cool:

Agreed completely about the epic change you can often witness in the people that you see both during weekdays and weekends. It can be truly astounding! :yikes:

As for London Underground (the Tube)...sorry, I just like it, because it's so old and complicated and often haphazard :) Or is it just the memories of my best days there? I don't know, but I still love it. Especially some old stations on Metropolitan and Bakerloo lines :)

I often hear that trains in the UK are subject to constant delays. However, I've hardly experienced it either living or visiting there.

quincy
06-10-2013, 12:23
I absolutely prefer London to Paris...That is one of the things that some people might find hard to understand. ;)

.

why

tonytony
06-10-2013, 13:30
Thanks very much for this, it was really interesting to read a considered piece on your impressions of London



never before had I seen such aggressive Border Agency employees. Might it be that they are so angry and suspicious because they used to have hard time emigrating from the Commonwealth countries themselves?

We had similar experiences. My wife is Russian and when we lived in the UK she had a UK residency visa, however, she often got questioned on returning to the UK. But we found that when I joined in the conversation - often quite assertively - the Border Agency person would back down.

This was up north though, not in London.




Language: I was expecting that I would have some troubles with understanding the variety of accents, but it wasn't the case - Cockney, RP, Australian, South African or Indian - it usually made no difference, though it Wales I sometimes failed to understand people who spoke too fast.


Be careful if you go anywhere near Newcastle or Gateshead in the north east of England. A very strong Geordie accent can be quite challenging, even for other native speakers.



one lady, ... didn't even know that the torch might actually be called a flashlight as well (for me, no matter how hard I'm trying to advocate the British English, a torch is an exclusively historical thing).


I think this is perhaps a tad unfair. If someone asked me for a flashlight I would probably have had to stop and think what they were asking for as well. Unless someone interacts with Americans on a regular basis then there is no reason why they should know US English.

I am still learning a lot of new American words, even at my age. For example, I have been a very keen cook for many years but it was only a couple of months ago that I finally found out what arugula is. For those that are interested, in the UK we call it rocket.




Why is the Russell Square station deeper than the Churchill's bunker and has only one lift with dozens of people queueing outside?

When I was a student, my hall of residence - общежитие - was just up the road from there so I know it well. They were all built with lifts but then in the 1930s the government gave some money to install escalators. However, there wasn't enough money to do all the stations and Russell Square was one of them that didn't get them.




The navigation is very complicated - why would you have one platform for trains of three different destinations, some of them require 10+ min. waiting time? Why is the Northern line separated into two lines not connected to each other in many places? This is so confusing.


This is due to the history of the tube. The London underground wasn't set up as a single entity but it was lots of different competing train companies, each of which had their own line.

So, for example, the Northern line was originally two different railway companies and an extension was built when they merged the companies.

Then in the case you talk about of trains for different destinations from the same platform, this again comes from having different train companies originally that built lines going to different places but would share a central station.




So that's my rant, I might have forgotten some details, but I can surely tell that Great Britain is something special.

As I said, thanks very much - this was an interesting read

Jas
06-10-2013, 14:36
never before had I seen such aggressive Border Agency employees. Might it be that they are so angry and suspicious because they used to have hard time emigrating from the Commonwealth countries themselves?


I'm not sure if alcohol-free zones are somehow influenced by the Muslim population, could somebody give their opinion about that? I also felt that there were some people who are not willing at all to be integrated and this, I can feel, is quite dangerous.


incredibly slutty-looking women with heavy make-up and ultra-short skirts and

.


For such a dreary, soulless piece of writing, u somehow managed to inject enough racism and sexism in this heap of dry travelogue to make me puke.

Jas
06-10-2013, 14:44
We had similar experiences. My wife is Russian and when we lived in the UK she had a UK residency visa, however, she often got questioned on returning to the UK. But we found that when I joined in the conversation - often quite assertively - the Border Agency person would back down.



Er, he's telling specifically about Border Agency staff what are from the Commonwealth, duh.
If u agree with him then what ure telling is that anyone who works for the Border Agency and is brown or black then cos ure wife is white, they shud let her in. Ure implying that race is a basis for entering the UK therefore and how dare u be stopped or questioned by someone who though British and employed as a British official.... isn't white.
Here's the really pathetic bit though: if u stand up to one of these bogus Brits with plaits and bangles, or a bright purple turban- they will cave in cos these types have no fcking backbone.
I really hate people with ure attitude. Come to the UK with the right docs and u got no problems. So why the RACE card?
U just cant stand to think we got authority in the UK, can u, cos it just tears ure soul apart somehow. I wud have loved to have got me dream and joined the MET and the mounted police.... just to see ure face and those of personages like u.

Alan65
06-10-2013, 15:06
This is all you need to know

LiveLeak.com - Yeoman Warder tour of The Tower Of London

LiveLeak.com - 22yr Army Vet. tour guide (Yeoman)at the Tower of London (very funny)

Jas
06-10-2013, 15:53
Which school/centre did you do your CELTA at?

.

Hardly the same as being a member of the Cambridge or Oxford alumini wherever it was. CELTA is a nothing course.

Philolog
06-10-2013, 17:16
For such a dreary, soulless piece of writing, u somehow managed to inject enough racism and sexism in this heap of dry travelogue to make me puke.

Welcome to the Internet, dear. Go to Encyclopedia Dramatica and type "Offended" in the search box. You will feel better.

VicY
06-10-2013, 18:29
Hardly the same as being a member of the Cambridge or Oxford alumini wherever it was. CELTA is a nothing course.

And you're saying it in regards to...what exactly?! Nobody asked for your opinion on the course and the question was not for you.
Only those who have never done the CELTA can turn and say that it's a "nothing"! But then again...coming from you, I'm not surprised.

Jack17
06-10-2013, 19:21
Hardly the same as being a member of the Cambridge or Oxford alumini wherever it was. CELTA is a nothing course.
A little cranky today aren't we?

No, CELTA is not a degree from Oxford; but for someone who is an ESL teacher (such as you), it's an important credential and check in the box that helps said teacher earn more money.

Alan65
06-10-2013, 19:37
A little cranky today aren't we?

No, CELTA is not a degree from Oxford; but for someone who is an ESL teacher (such as you), it's an important credential and check in the box that helps said teacher earn more money.


I may be being incredibly thick here, but does the C in CELTA not stand for Cambridge?

Russian Lad
06-10-2013, 19:38
A little cranky today aren't we?

Only today?:) The usual jassing, it appears to me.
Alan, The Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (frankly, I have just googled it:))

Alan65
06-10-2013, 19:46
Only today?:) The usual jassing, it appears to me.
Alan, The Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (frankly, I have just googled it:))

My second mistake of the day, the first was to leave the Swedish twins in bed to go and play football :D

natlee
06-10-2013, 19:53
I absolutely prefer London to Paris...That is one of the things that some people might find hard to understand. ;)

Never had any major problems with the border authorities. Most are rather civil, sometimes even friendly, while asking their usual questions and stamping my red double-headed eagle document. :cool:

Agreed completely about the epic change you can often witness in the people that you see both during weekdays and weekends. It can be truly astounding! :yikes:

As for London Underground (the Tube)...sorry, I just like it, because it's so old and complicated and often haphazard :) Or is it just the memories of my best days there? I don't know, but I still love it. Especially some old stations on Metropolitan and Bakerloo lines :)

I often hear that trains in the UK are subject to constant delays. However, I've hardly experienced it either living or visiting there. Same, same, same, same and same :D

Jas
06-10-2013, 19:58
And you're saying it in regards to...what exactly?! .

Duh..

Alan65
06-10-2013, 20:04
Excellent post!

Really appreciate it, though I can't agree with you on quite a few points, but that's absolutely normal: it's the good old perceptions that are at play :D

Which school/centre did you do your CELTA at?

I absolutely prefer London to Paris...That is one of the things that some people might find hard to understand. ;)

Never had any major problems with the border authorities. Most are rather civil, sometimes even friendly, while asking their usual questions and stamping my red double-headed eagle document. :cool:

Agreed completely about the epic change you can often witness in the people that you see both during weekdays and weekends. It can be truly astounding! :yikes:

As for London Underground (the Tube)...sorry, I just like it, because it's so old and complicated and often haphazard :) Or is it just the memories of my best days there? I don't know, but I still love it. Especially some old stations on Metropolitan and Bakerloo lines :)

I often hear that trains in the UK are subject to constant delays. However, I've hardly experienced it either living or visiting there.

After moaning about the weather, we then moan about the trains, then immigrants...OMG, I am starting to sound Russian :D ...do I now get my PRP :D

VicY
06-10-2013, 20:21
why

Paris is not quite as fascinating for me as London...I like the Anglo-Saxon culture better, and the architecture is also more to my taste.
As another poster noted on here not so long ago (alas, he didn't post much afterwards), one could compare cities/countries to music that can resonate differently with different people.
Often times it's rather irrational: some cities make you feel very much at home, whereas others make you want to leave. Not saying that the latter was my case when I was in Paris, just that it wasn't as exhilarating for me. :) Maybe my expectations were too high, who knows...

VicY
06-10-2013, 20:24
Duh..

And that's the only answer you will get from this site's "only genuis"!

VicY
06-10-2013, 20:26
Same, same, same, same and same :D

Really?! :eek: I thought you liked France...

TolkoRaz
06-10-2013, 20:31
My second mistake of the day, the first was to leave the Swedish twins in bed to go and play football :D

Its OK, 25 year olds can entertain themselves! ;)

VicY
06-10-2013, 20:40
Only today?:) The usual jassing, it appears to me.
Alan, The Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (frankly, I have just googled it:))

No, RL, it's the Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults.
It is, in fact, issued by UCLES (University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate.

TolkoRaz
06-10-2013, 20:42
Paris is not quite as fascinating for me as London...I like the Anglo-Saxon culture better, and the architecture is also more to my taste.
As another poster noted on here not so long ago (alas, he didn't post much afterwards), one could compare cities/countries to music that can resonate differently with different people.
Often times it's rather irrational: some cities make you feel very much at home, whereas others make you want to leave. Not saying that the latter was my case when I was in Paris, just that it wasn't as exhilarating for me. :) Maybe my expectations were too high, who knows...

Of course, the problem with Paris is that its full of Frenchies! ;)

Jack17
06-10-2013, 20:42
Paris is not quite as fascinating for me as London...I like the Anglo-Saxon culture better,

Sacre bleu! Mon Dieu!

tonytony
06-10-2013, 20:45
Er, he's telling specifically about Border Agency staff what are from the Commonwealth, duh.
If u agree with him then what ure telling is that anyone who works for the Border Agency and is brown or black then cos ure wife is white, they shud let her in. Ure implying that race is a basis for entering the UK therefore and how dare u be stopped or questioned by someone who though British and employed as a British official.... isn't white.
Here's the really pathetic bit though: if u stand up to one of these bogus Brits with plaits and bangles, or a bright purple turban- they will cave in cos these types have no fcking backbone.
I really hate people with ure attitude. Come to the UK with the right docs and u got no problems. So why the RACE card?
U just cant stand to think we got authority in the UK, can u, cos it just tears ure soul apart somehow. I wud have loved to have got me dream and joined the MET and the mounted police.... just to see ure face and those of personages like u.


Jas,

You do really come across as having very little life experience outside of your narrow cocoon of British/Pakistani youth culture.

You talk about me making you feel sick. Well, to be frank, you cause me the same feelings. It is very racist of you indeed to make the automatic assumption that members of your own race cannot be racist.



Come to the UK with the right docs and u got no problems.

WRONG

Come to the UK with the right documents and a biased person on passport control then you have real problems. I speak from personal experience when returning to the UK with my wife. This was both when she had FLR and ILR.

I am simply speaking from our actual experience. We traveled abroad regularly while we were living in the UK and all of the occasions when we had trouble on re-entering the UK had one thing in common - race.

I am simply quoting what our experiences were going through a particular airport three or four times a year over the course of six years.

For you to try and shout down our experiences as pathetic or meaningless really just brands you as another of these deniers who claim that non-white people can never be racist. I feel that you really do need to grow up a bit and live in the real world.

Things only changed when my wife got a British passport and so could go through the different channel.

Jas
06-10-2013, 21:01
Guys, lets listen to Tony Tony's thesis then: people in the UK Border agency who are from the Commonwealth are conspiring out of revenge cos of passed immigration difficulties to stop Tony's white wife entering the UK. No one else in the Border Agency does this...... just people descended from the Commonwealth, in other words black and brown people. These types got to be watched at UK airports cos we're all racist and to deny it is itself... racist.

I dunno even wear to begin and stuff. I hope ure not near weapons or nothing cos u sound seriously paranoid and delusional. Get a grip. Do u really think anyone with what u consider to be the rong skin color is out to stop ure wife from entering the UK? Check ureself Tony, I mean like really......

Jas
06-10-2013, 21:05
I am simply speaking from our actual experience. We traveled abroad regularly while we were living in the UK and all of the occasions when we had trouble on re-entering the UK had one thing in common - race.
.

Scary stuff....
Tolki, Nobby, is they're anyone out there who can talk this over with this guy?

Mr england
06-10-2013, 21:13
One month in London wasn't long...but your points about boarder control are nice to read. The UK is a collective of countries who find it very difficult to export, deport it's visitors if they decide to not leave. So if you wish to visit expect they documents and reason for visiting all add up. If they do.... Then no issue answering a few questions, they aren't the welcome party! As aren't the Russian boarder control.

As for the weekend culture, I agree the UK has a problem, but at least we are getting it right throughout the week according to your review! The same I can't agree is the case in others countries, with gangs of drinking men all over the city to mid mornin around Moscow. As for dressing like sluts??? I really don't want to offend anyone, but the fashion here for many girls during the day, would be considered clothing for a sex worker in the UK. Compare a Vk page to a Brits Facebook if you wish to dispute it.

Maybe when I've lived in Moscow a few years I'll write a review... But after just a year I'm sure much of my mind about Moscow is in the short term during my culture shock! I hope!

Jas
06-10-2013, 21:14
They're must be hidden in some balti house like a set of protocols that lines out how Pakistani girls can seize control of Britain, one of our main aims being to stop white men bringing in they're white wives. Think of the buzz we get when we send them all back on the plane to Polska or wherever.
No doubt Sikh girls and Hindu girls also have their own set of protocols on how to break hearts at UK passport control.

But this is what Tony actually believes!

So some poor Pakistani desk clerk earning a nothing wage or a Sikh girl or whatever has to deal with all this RACIST abuse just cos she's doing the job she's paid to do? Wudn't dare pull this with someone who was white though, wud u Tony?

Nobbynumbnuts
06-10-2013, 21:14
Scary stuff....
Tolki, Nobby, is they're anyone out there who can talk this over with this guy?

Jas, i never had any problems at immigration in the UK but then that might be because i just adopt a posture of superiority, look down upon all those around me, wave my arms a lot and talk about 'my country' when passing through.
Works a treat every time! :p

tonytony
06-10-2013, 21:18
Guys, lets listen to Tony Tony's thesis then: people in the UK Border agency who are from the Commonwealth are conspiring out of revenge cos of passed immigration difficulties to stop Tony's white wife entering the UK. No one else in the Border Agency does this...... just people descended from the Commonwealth

Did I say this? No

You are attempting to distort what I did say.

I did not give any motive for their behaviour, I merely reported the entirely factual events that the only times my wife was stopped it was by non-white members of staff.

There were also many non-white staff who were very professional and friendly, however, it is a fact that on all occasions that my wife was stopped it was done by a non-white staff member.

It is you that are trying to ascribe a motive - I am merely reporting factual events.

Once again, you appear to be a rather hysterical denier who cannot accept that it is possible for these things to happen, when they quite clearly do.

It appears that you are unable to engage in a reasoned argument and so you descend to this sort of hyperbole rather than discussing that some non-white staff may be racially biased just as some white staff are racially biased.

But, I forgot, you start from the basis that only white people can be racist.

Nobbynumbnuts
06-10-2013, 21:21
They're must be hidden in some balti house like a set of protocols that lines out how Pakistani girls can seize control of Britain..............

I get goose bumps just thinking about it!! :10475:

Jas
06-10-2013, 21:24
Did I say this? No

You are attempting to distort what I did say.

I did not give any motive for their behaviour, I merely reported the entirely factual events that the only times my wife was stopped it was by non-white members of staff.



Tony, u made race the issue, not me. If it wasnt race, why even mention it? Its as relevant as the color of the tie or the shoes those people was wearing and u cud have left it at that. In fact, if u viewed it genuinely as a coincidence, u wudn't of even mentioned it.... just like u didnt mention tie or shoe color.
Why did u mention skin color and not tie or shoe color? And that's were both ure shameful argument and ure grovelling denial both crash into each other.

Jas
06-10-2013, 21:28
I get goose bumps just thinking about it!! :10475:




Top class. But I dunno how to break this to u.... she's Indian.

Nobbynumbnuts
06-10-2013, 21:38
Top class. But I dunno how to break this to u.... she's Indian.

How can you tell?

Jas
06-10-2013, 21:41
How can you tell?

Eyes and mouth, especially her eyes.

tonytony
06-10-2013, 21:42
And that's were both ure shameful argument and ure grovelling denial both crash into each other.


Jas,

You are mistaken, either that or, once again, you seek to distort what I say.

I have made no denial of any sort, perhaps you simply don't understand what I have written. I stand by every statement I have made here.

I genuinely believe that my wife's race was an issue on the occasions when she was stopped and questioned.

If she had been of a different race than I believe it is much less likely that she would have been stopped by those particular members of staff.

I understand that you do find it really hard to accept that people of your own race can be racist - but it does happen, more than you are perhaps aware of or wish to admit to.

Your hyperbole about their motives and a ''conspiracy'' is clearly ludicrous and not worth responding to. But it is interesting that you can come up with no reasoned argument and simply descend into absurdity.

You seek to portray me as some racist nutter while not responding to the legitimate points I've made. Why is that I wonder? Perhaps you have no rational argument to make and you seek to hide this by merely trading insults?

Nobbynumbnuts
06-10-2013, 21:44
Eyes and mouth, especially her eyes.

Okay, maybe i was concentrating lower down a bit too much and i missed it....:nut:

TolkoRaz
06-10-2013, 21:56
Scary stuff....
Tolki, Nobby, is they're anyone out there who can talk this over with this guy?

Don't worry Jas, I am loading my magazine inbetween cooking a late dinner! ;)

tvadim133
06-10-2013, 21:56
Thanks for sharing your impressions about London. I must admit that, they are mostly the same I do have, though I did not spend a month there, but just 3 weeks (who counts?). :)

As for the border control....well in UK it is nice in comparison with Irish. :)

TolkoRaz
06-10-2013, 21:58
One month in London wasn't long...but your points about boarder control are nice to read.

By any chance, are you a teacher of the English language? ;)

TolkoRaz
06-10-2013, 22:02
Jas, i never had any problems at immigration in the UK but then that might be because i just adopt a posture of superiority, look down upon all those around me, wave my arms a lot and talk about 'my country' when passing through.
Works a treat every time! :p

You forgot to mention your Security Team hidden behind mirror sunglasses & equipped with ear pieces! ;)

TolkoRaz
06-10-2013, 22:04
I get goose bumps just thinking about it!! :10475:

Nobby, I think she is Indian, not Pakistani! :10310:

Mr england
06-10-2013, 22:20
By any chance, are you a teacher of the English language? ;)

Lol can I blame the iPhone?

Philolog
06-10-2013, 22:32
I never realised that some people here can be so easily trolled. :) I mean, your levels of tolerance towards intolerance are too low.


Excellent post!

Really appreciate it, though I can't agree with you on quite a few points, but that's absolutely normal: it's the good old perceptions that are at play :D

Which school/centre did you do your CELTA at?

Thanks! It was at IH London, and we had 1 great tutor and 1 which was kinda meh - very unenthusiastic. The course itself which I found to be gimmick-based was quite pleasing, taking into consideration the fact that I had been previously taught using this grammar+translation approach and never really had any speaking practice. At the same time, only perfect practice makes perfect and I feel that this fact usually slipped CELTA tutors' minds.


Never had any major problems with the border authorities. Most are rather civil, sometimes even friendly, while asking their usual questions and stamping my red double-headed eagle document. :cool:


As for London Underground (the Tube)...sorry, I just like it, because it's so old and complicated and often haphazard :) Or is it just the memories of my best days there? I don't know, but I still love it. Especially some old stations on Metropolitan and Bakerloo lines :)

Well, I do realise that it is the oldest underground - I remember this old ad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvfRa-Zoxes and its punchline about the London Underground. I even heard that there were numerous restrictions because of land ownership, thus some lines have a very tricky structure.



We had similar experiences. My wife is Russian and when we lived in the UK she had a UK residency visa, however, she often got questioned on returning to the UK. But we found that when I joined in the conversation - often quite assertively - the Border Agency person would back down.

Actually, I never said anything about having had bad experience of dealing with the Border Agency - I just mentioned that it's quite funny because some people who might have been in the shoes of an immigrant will normally be more picky. I also had a similar situation when leaving France - I didn't know that my Carte de Sejour had to be returned to the Prefecture, and among all people who ever saw my documents only a Chinese guy was extremely suspicious. And again, I'm not racist - I do realize that even blue-skinned people live in the UK and love it: :uk:


I think this is perhaps a tad unfair. If someone asked me for a flashlight I would probably have had to stop and think what they were asking for as well. Unless someone interacts with Americans on a regular basis then there is no reason why they should know US English.

Actually, I think that it's a good thing - taking into consideration the ever-present Hollywood films and the Internet itself which is mostly US English-based, I thought that British words are slowly getting replaced by their American counterparts.
Also, watch this Limmy's Sketch on Americanisms. He's a Scottish racist, but anyway... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnGPgCVJUsI


By the way,
When I was a student, my hall of residence - общежитие - was just up the road from there so I know it well. They were all built with lifts but then in the 1930s the government gave some money to install escalators. However, there wasn't enough money to do all the stations and Russell Square was one of them that didn't get them.
This is due to the history of the tube. The London underground wasn't set up as a single entity but it was lots of different competing train companies, each of which had their own line.
So, for example, the Northern line was originally two different railway companies and an extension was built when they merged the companies.
Then in the case you talk about of trains for different destinations from the same platform, this again comes from having different train companies originally that built lines going to different places but would share a central station.

This is some really exciting piece of history, thank you! I never knew that they used to be private. And anyway, I think that the Tube is profitable business anyway, so let's hope some measures will be taken. :)

natlee
06-10-2013, 23:40
Really?! :eek: I thought you liked France... I love the food and décor de Provence :p but I'd pick London over Paris anytime! It's not that I don't like Paris, I just don't love it ;)

Nobbynumbnuts
07-10-2013, 01:21
I love the food and décor de Provence :p but I'd pick London over Paris anytime! It's not that I don't like Paris, I just don't love it ;)

I've just spent 6 months there and it's an incredible city.
The capital of the world in my view! 😉

VicY
07-10-2013, 10:00
Did I say this? No

You are attempting to distort what I did say.



I don't see why you're even trying to address this, Tony. As RL already put it, it's typical jassing which clearly hasn't changed over a long time ;)

As we say in Russian "горбатого могила исправит" (apologies to Judge once again!) :D :D :D

VicY
07-10-2013, 10:06
Lol can I blame the iPhone?

Both times? ;)

VicY
07-10-2013, 10:09
I love the food and décor de Provence :p but I'd pick London over Paris anytime! It's not that I don't like Paris, I just don't love it ;)

Same here! :D

molly picon
07-10-2013, 10:29
I enjoyed the original post. I lived in London for six years (I'm American) and had a pretty different set of impressions early on- for me, friendliness and helpfulness were rare and randomly seen; sometimes I felt like no one spoke to me for months and suddenly I'd meet five lovely people in one day. I bitched about the weather endlessly while I was there, and the longer I was there the more London gave me opportunities for bitching, but it is a wonderful city to see as a tourist- I'd love to spend a month there every year just taking in the museums and libraries and parks.

Not sure quite what you were getting at about US and British English. I lived in England and use British textbooks for my teaching in Russia (they're much easier to find abroad) and I still regularly come across phrasal verbs, idioms and terms (tetchy? an anorak? get off?) which I don't know,
would never use, and wish I didn't need to deal with in otherwise usable books. To an American, a torch is a portable fire, but it's not hard to figure out that it can also mean a flashlight.

VicY
10-10-2013, 19:16
Thanks! It was at IH London, and we had 1 great tutor and 1 which was kinda meh - very unenthusiastic.



Everyone I know seems to have gone to IH for their CELTA! Somehow, I managed to avoid this but ended up working there, then transferred to Moscow :D
I could say exactly the same about my tutors! One was excellent, while the other was just a narcissistic twat. I believe just about everyone in our batch hated the bugger and one girl burst out crying a couple of times when he threatened to not pass her.



The course itself which I found to be gimmick-based was quite pleasing, taking into consideration the fact that I had been previously taught using this grammar+translation approach and never really had any speaking practice. At the same time, only perfect practice makes perfect and I feel that this fact usually slipped CELTA tutors' minds.



Well, yes, the course was quite nice, if only a tad bit stressful during the last week. As you may imagine, I, too, had known all the grammar and phonetics and the IPA long before the course, so at first it felt kind of weird being there, having to "learn" about all this :D The bright side of it, though, was that I spent very little time doing the "homework" in the first two weeks.

The last two weeks got more stressful, because there was so much more writing and lesson planning.
Overall, I think it's a useful course, although there is certainly nothing ground-breaking in it! ;)

moscowcat
10-10-2013, 20:54
My friends and I expected London to be traditional British cities. Many people expect to see, what they read in Agathe Chrities's stories, but they find that London is very different, it is very cosmopolitic and that there are much more foreigners in the center of London, then the Englismen. This is very disaapointing to many Russians. Kitty

TolkoRaz
10-10-2013, 22:50
My friends and I expected London to be traditional British cities. Many people expect to see, what they read in Agathe Chrities's stories, but they find that London is very different, it is very cosmopolitic and that there are much more foreigners in the center of London, then the Englismen. This is very disaapointing to many Russians. Kitty

Englishmen?

Were you expecting lots of Hugh Grants and Jason Stathams to be seen wandering around the streets and loitering in bars? ;)

It seems to me that if you wish to talk to your neighbour on the train or on the bus, you must be able to speak Polish, Pakistani, Indian or Arabic! :D

natlee
11-10-2013, 00:09
I LOVE the fact that a foreigner can feel right at home in London. Whenever I went shopping, and was offered one of their 'loyalty' cards, at which point I'd explain that I really had no need for one as I was only visiting... I'd always get a surprised reaction like really? where do you come from, then? No one seems to care about your accent (mine certainly isn't British :shame:), skin color, dress sense (oh how much b*tching I got from a friend of mine who worked in London for 1.5 years about the horrible fashion sense out there!) etc. and I think it's awesome! Damn I miss London... :)

natlee
11-10-2013, 00:11
Englishmen?

Were you expecting lots of Hugh Grants and Jason Stathams to be seen wandering around the streets and loitering in bars? ;)

It seems to me that if you wish to talk to your neighbour on the train or on the bus, you must be able to speak Polish, Pakistani, Indian or Arabic! :D Well first of, most Englishmen actually look far better than Hugh Grant ;) As far as neighbors on trains... oh come on, they may not have the brilliant English accent but they certainly speak the language better than some of our English teachers :p

robertmf
11-10-2013, 00:21
:uk:

penka
11-10-2013, 10:23
Well, out of all places I've been living at, London - NB it's not the UK and is a separate entity altogether - was the only place no-one ever blinked at my foreign-ness.

Naturally, as everywhere else one can find something one loves, can live with or detests.

One thing I found difficult was perhaps the so-called British understatement. On the one hand people barely show any human emotion and on the other the same very people can get uncontrollably emotional under some circumstances, which is digestible in women and intolerable in men.

TolkoRaz
11-10-2013, 11:59
On the one hand people barely show any human emotion and on the other the same very people can get uncontrollably emotional under some circumstances, which is digestible in women and intolerable in men.

Have you visited the Arab World or Africa? :11033:

quincy
11-10-2013, 15:29
Damn I miss London... :)

if you learn French and spend some time in Paris you will miss it too!

natlee
11-10-2013, 16:26
Maybe, but that would be an entirely different story.

Besides the fact that I simply adore the city itself with its parks, bridges and brickwork, it's the people, too. As soon as we so much as thought we were a bit lost in the London Underground, we had a member of staff come up to us and politely offer his help. Another time, when we got lost on the DLR and asked the lady next to us whether she could perhaps explain how to get to a certain station, her response was, she was a little lost herself, and was pretty certain there was an easier way but she'd be going past our destination and was getting off in two stops so suggested we did the same. She was apologetic about having been unable to give us the best advice out there!! I remember a man riding (a bike) past us in a park stop for a second to tell me he found my daughter's hair absolutely beautiful. I remember, also, walking up to a tube station on a rainy day, when an older gentleman smiled at me and told me he just loved my umbrella. That was it! Can you picture being complimented on an umbrella in Moscow or Paris, for that matter? ;) The only reason I could be complimented on my umbrella over here would be by a guy hitting on me! :D

quincy
11-10-2013, 17:46
Go where you are celebrated – not tolerated.


good advice

penka
11-10-2013, 19:14
Have you visited the Arab World or Africa? :11033:

No, Tolko, I have not.

TolkoRaz
11-10-2013, 19:48
No, Tolko, I have not.

See you in Tripoli next week! ;)

penka
11-10-2013, 19:54
See you in Tripoli next week! ;)

Meet me at the airport!

I do hope, you are a good driver.