The Wandering Continues...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Living in UK – Lesson # 5: Surnames

I probably should have written about this one first, but anyway, it doesn’t really matter.

One major difference when you work in UK is that everybody greets everybody on first name basis only. Rank doesn’t really make a different either, whether that person is the general manager of the company or only the house cleaning lady in the office, they are still Patrick and Wendy to you. This is really different to German’s office environment where you have to memorize everybody’s last name and to some extend, their academic title also! It does make a different impression when you greet somebody Herr Hubbert or Herr Prof. Dr. Hubbert! (Herr means Mr. in English)


Monday, August 28, 2006

Living in UK – Lesson # 4: Bank Holiday

First of all, it is not holiday only for bank employees! It's the other word to say 'National Holiday'.

The term is used to describe the right given to each employees not to work on that specific day. Bank holidays are normally reserved for common Christian's celebrations such as Christmas, New Years and Easter. On top, employees also receive additional 2 days off in the year; one is to celebrate Spring (late May) and another one is for Summer (August).

So today is the summer bank holiday and I am enjoying what I like to do the most..roller coaster riding!!!!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Living in UK – Lesson # 3: Lunch to go

The British normally have big dinner and therefore they are not so into lunches. Most people have only sandwiches and chips during lunch, or they are into the so-called Lunch to go Food. You can always go into supermarkets and buy a lunch box and warm it up in microwave. The range of the food is also vary; ie. Normal sandwiches rolls wraps, salad, seafood, American food, Mexican Chili con Carne, Italian pasta, Chinese noodles, Japanese Sushi and the famous Indian Chicken Tikka Masala!

It takes only 3 minutes to prepare your lunch; makes life a lot more simple, huh?


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Living in UK – Lesson # 2: The Roundabout

Why simplifies things if you can complicate it and make life perhaps more challenging? If the Germans use a lot of traffic signs to indicate “Right of Ways”, then the British implements “Roundabout” in almost every intersections and every exits of motorway.

An extreme example is the so-called “Magic Roundabout” in Swindon. The main roundabout has another 5 small roundabouts surrounding it. Quite a challenge to drive here!

What happens to “Stop sign” and “Traffic Lights”, people?


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Living in UK - Lesson # 1: The Weather

England tends to have cloudy and misty weather almost all year long; including the summer. One should be lucky if one has a nice sunny day! Don't think twice; go out and celebrate with friends!!!

And here is the 10 days outlook for Wolverhampton; see any different??


Friday, August 11, 2006

The Heart of England

Now that I am working in UK for the next 3 months, I feel that I have to write my first impression of it in my blog.

The city called Wolverhampton, it’s about 30 minutes drive from Birmingham; a small town of about 300,000 people. The area is called as "The Heart of England" as it is located right in the middle of the country.

Well, do I like it here??

It’s different, but I have to say that it’s rather different as I expect it would be.

The office building is not that old as the one in Germany, but I have to admit that I won’t eat in their canteen. I have really to say that I don’t find the microwave nor the canteen table is that hygenic. The last time they clean the canteen is probably a year ago. It does smell and you can see the various kind of food sticking inside of the microwaves. Seriously..think twice before heating your food there!!!

The apartment where I live is about 20 minutes drive from the company. It’s located in a small city called Albrighton; a small village in UK, something that I always want to in a country side of England.

The apartment itself is ok, not state of the art but rather small and cozy. The only challenge is the shower..well, if you can even call it shower!!! Some friends of mine, who have stayed in this apartment, have warned me about the shower situation. They called it ‘English Shower’. And I thought..heck, how difficult it could be..well..guess again!!!

There are two separate taps in the shower, one for the hot water and the other one is for the cold water. Unfortunately, the cold water is really-really-and-really dominant compared to the hot water. So you have to open completely the hot water and do NOT open the cold water at all!! Otherwise you will definitely got cold shower!!! just have to wish that the hot water is not too hot for you to take your shower!! Again..if you can call as shower!!! The two taps are connected with a shower pipe; which is unfortunately only reach up to your waist (and I am only 165 cm tall!). So there is no other way for you but to sit down in the tub. Unfortunately, the bathup is too small for you to really take a nice sincering bubble bath. So, just try to shower as quick as you can before you actually have a back pain.

Ok, the shower is a mess. But other than that, it is really ok! The colleagues in the office are really nice. I got to know two Brazilian girls and they are really cool. We have planned to have some girls’ night out together.

I’ve got a company car as well as a gasoline card so I can tank anywhere in the UK. So there will be lots of weekend travels to plan ahead here!! Some of my german’s friends have planned to visit me also. My brother will actually come to visit me in the beginning of October. I can’t cook so what I have done is to buy the frozen food and warm in up in the office, so I think I will be on track with my diet plan also! I will also live in a community that I don’t have to concentrate and think twice about the language (I found English is much easier than German; even with the really black English accent they have here). Nah..I have no complaints but to enjoy the next 3 months here!!!!

And of course, you are all invited to visit me and try the English shower!!! *blink*

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Do you know...

There are 194 countries in the world today, unless if you don’t count Taiwan as an independent country from China. The newest country in the world is Montenegro, which gained its independence from Serbia in June 2006. Before Montenegro, the newest country was East Timor, which became independent from Indonesia in 2002.

Among the 194 countries in the world today, 192 countries are already members of United Nations. The exception were Taiwan and Vatican city. The newest members of United Nations were Montenegro (2006) and Swiss (2002).

Among the 194 countries in the world today, Indonesian citizens do have visa free-priviledge to 11 countries. They are Brunei, Malaysia, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hongkong, Macau, Chile, Marocco and Peru. The other 182 countries (Indonesia excluded) are visa required.

That’s just my humble thought as Indonesian citizen...

PS: And yes, I finally got my work permit from UK Govt!

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