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Realistbear

Living Overseas -- merged threads

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[quote name='Wad' post='903993' date='Dec 27 2007, 07:59 PM']Canada - decent schools but housing very very expensive due to commodity boom - will look again in a few years when boom is over and the Canadian Dollar has collpased.[/quote]

Depends on where you go. Alberta prices are certainly crazy due to the commodity boom, and Vancouver prices have been crazy for years, but the rest of the country still has decent houses for sale that are cheap by UK standards. I'd say houses here in Saskatchewan have gone from underpriced to overpriced in the last year, but they're still cheap by UK standards; and if you can get and hold a decent job in one of the poorer parts of Eastern Canada, you'll be laughing.

Actually, our house here cost about 2.5x our combined income and the mortgage (after a $100,000 deposit) is about 20% of our take-home pay, so by historical standards it's still quite affordable.

Edit: Oh, and neither of us have bubble-based jobs and neither can easily be outsourced, so we shouldn't get laid off if there is a recession. Edited by MarkG

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Old friend is moving to NZ this coming week wth GF.

He had a well paid job as a fencing contractor. Last thing he said last time I saw him, "This country's finished".

However, NZ is on the rocks too from what I can make out. Still it's not all about vast wealth, more about environment and cultrue I reckon.

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[quote name='Mr Parry' post='904017' date='Dec 27 2007, 07:31 PM']I'm sorry to hear of your bad luck nmarks, good luck with the innovation.

For me, Thailand . . . why? Because the wife lives there, won't move to the UK. Plus it's fun. Forget all this corruption stuff you hear. I spent half my life there and only ever experienced what I consider to be the most efficient government system I've ever seen. Even when it's in Police State mode, you'd never know, they don't intrude on people's lives like the UK Govt.

Many will disagree I'm sure. Don't care, I love the place.[/quote]

Thailand's just an hour or so from Sing. Great place. I was there last year when the coup happened. Its weird being watching machine gun Humvie convoys mixing it with the tuk-tuks. All part of the fun.

Mmmm . . . can almost taste the Pad Thai.

Enjoy. Life's too short.

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Italy because I feel I belong there and have always felt at home there. Love the language, and can speak it.

Fantastic climate, beautiful cities and countryside. The public transport is superb and a third of the cost (relative to wages) of the UK, they have far superior national health service to ours and better social provision. Every town/city has a strong sense of civic pride and tradition, and no chavs.

Corruption - hmm, it's probably worse in the UK.

Inter-generational inequity? Yes, the Italian boomers have pissed all over their children's generation too. Might just explain the extremely low birth rate in Italy. Not such a problem for me. Edited by bugged bunny

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[quote name='Mr Parry' post='904045' date='Dec 27 2007, 09:50 PM']Seriously, the people's democracy of Britain is a thousand times more draconian . . . and corrupt.[/quote]


I've watched several news bulletins tonight about the assasination of Bhutto and each anchor person has questioned some 'expert' about Pakistan being a corrupt country and government. I just find that so ruddy naive when we live in a country where honours are handed out to friends of politicians, where numerous MPs have partners who just happen to sit on the boards of companies that just happen to get awarded big government contracts and where MPs, when they retire on their excellent pensions, find themselves on boards of companies that have been winning government contracts.

It is not so overt here but it is here.

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' post='904053' date='Dec 27 2007, 07:59 PM']I've watched several news bulletins tonight about the assasination of Bhutto and each anchor person has questioned some 'expert' about Pakistan being a corrupt country and government. I just find that so ruddy naive when we live in a country where honours are handed out to friends of politicians, where numerous MPs have partners who just happen to sit on the boards of companies that just happen to get awarded big government contracts and where MPs, when they retire on their excellent pensions, find themselves on boards of companies that have been winning government contracts.

It is not so overt here but it is here.[/quote]

[b]CHECK THIS OUT!![/b]

[url="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23417068-details/Britain+facing+massive+house+price+crash,+warns+IMF/article.do"]http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article...+IMF/article.do[/url] Edited by Mr Parry

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[quote name='Bearback' post='904044' date='Dec 27 2007, 07:50 PM']Pakistan, cos when politicians get on your nerves you can just get rid of them.[/quote]

A rather tasteless remark at this juncture.

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[quote name='MarkG' post='904027' date='Dec 27 2007, 07:39 PM']Depends on where you go. Alberta prices are certainly crazy due to the commodity boom, and Vancouver prices have been crazy for years, but the rest of the country still has decent houses for sale that are cheap by UK standards. I'd say houses here in Saskatchewan have gone from underpriced to overpriced in the last year, but they're still cheap by UK standards; and if you can get and hold a decent job in one of the poorer parts of Eastern Canada, you'll be laughing.

Actually, our house here cost about 2.5x our combined income and the mortgage (after a $100,000 deposit) is about 20% of our take-home pay, so by historical standards it's still quite affordable.

Edit: Oh, and neither of us have bubble-based jobs and neither can easily be outsourced, so we shouldn't get laid off if there is a recession.[/quote]


All being well I'm off to Nova Scotia, Canada.
If I cash in my chips here I can buy outright a 3,000 sqft house on a big lot 25 minutes walk from the centre of a nice little town called Truro.

40 years old and living rent-free. That's the aim anyways. Once you're rent free you can do what you like.
Just a question of getting the paperwork through.

My alternative is to stay where I am and take on a 200K (minimum) mortgage. ie mortgage slavery until I'm 65. No thanks.

For brain-drain purposes perhaps we should compare qualifications and incomes.
I have a BSc and an MSc (Sciences). I am a software engineer. I usually earn around 50K per annum.
My wife is also a graduate and there's every sign the kids will be academic achievers too.
I also have business and entrepreneurial experience.

This is what the UK loses when I walk.
Not that the UK will even notice.
It's been a long time since technologists - proper technologists, the ones that invent things, not "IT Consultants" - were valued in out society.

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' post='904053' date='Dec 27 2007, 07:59 PM']I've watched several news bulletins tonight about the assasination of Bhutto and each anchor person has questioned some 'expert' about Pakistan being a corrupt country and government. I just find that so ruddy naive when we live in a country where honours are handed out to friends of politicians, where numerous MPs have partners who just happen to sit on the boards of companies that just happen to get awarded big government contracts and where MPs, when they retire on their excellent pensions, find themselves on boards of companies that have been winning government contracts.

It is not so overt here but it is here.[/quote]
Absolutely.

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Myself and the missus are off to either Aus or NZ (more likely of the two) this summer, depending on where we can find jobs. She's a doctor and is utterly fed up of the NHS (she's only been working in it for 6 months!). I'm a teacher and feel more or less the same about the DfES or whatever the hell they're called this month. We're planning on taking a year out and cycling most of the way then I'll do supply for a bit and we'll try and get her a permanent job somewhere.

Ultimately, we both love where we're living on the Isle of Wight at the moment but in a year or two the wife's going to get shipped off back to the mainland and shunted around from hospital to hospital until she becomes a consultant and neither of us want to go and live on the mainland again.

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[quote]I've read some horror stories over at the British Expats forums about people travelling to the USA, and stating their reason for entry as "Going to visit girlfriend/boyfriend" and being refused entry immediately. So be careful, and just say you're going on holiday![/quote]

Can you elaborate? The US is a potential target for me, since my gf is American. We may stay over here of course, but are there going to be serious problems if we choose the USA? This is stuff I need to know.

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' post='904053' date='Dec 27 2007, 01:59 PM']I've watched several news bulletins tonight about the assasination of Bhutto and each anchor person has questioned some 'expert' about Pakistan being a corrupt country and government. I just find that so ruddy naive when we live in a country where honours are handed out to friends of politicians, where numerous MPs have partners who just happen to sit on the boards of companies that just happen to get awarded big government contracts and where MPs, when they retire on their excellent pensions, find themselves on boards of companies that have been winning government contracts.

It is not so overt here but it is here.[/quote]

western corruption easily compares with a lot of the second and third world corruption, we just happen t have a higher standard of living so it's not as apparent.

its like the difference between having rich alcoholic parents, or being poor with alcoholic parents.

plus we tend to keep our really bad corruption on foreign soil, so we really don't get to see it.

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[quote name='adren' post='904061' date='Dec 27 2007, 09:05 PM']All being well I'm off to Nova Scotia, Canada.
If I cash in my chips here I can buy outright a 3,000 sqft house on a big lot 25 minutes walk from the centre of a nice little town called Truro.[/quote]

Yep. Novia Scotia is pretty and the winters aren't as cold as the middle of Canada; if you can get any kind of decent job there (or start your own business) and live mortgage-free you'll be laughing. Heck, even $15k a year stacking shelves at Home Depot would pay your bills.

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[quote name='Mr Parry' post='904059' date='Dec 27 2007, 08:04 PM'][b]CHECK THIS OUT!![/b]

[url="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23417068-details/Britain+facing+massive+house+price+crash,+warns+IMF/article.do"]http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article...+IMF/article.do[/url][/quote]


[size=7][color="#FF0000"][b]PLEASE!!![/b][/color][/size]

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[quote name='Darkman' post='904070' date='Dec 27 2007, 09:10 PM']Can you elaborate? The US is a potential target for me, since my gf is American. We may stay over here of course, but are there going to be serious problems if we choose the USA? This is stuff I need to know.[/quote]

As I understand it, if you want to marry them in America you need a fiance visa. If you marry them in the UK then I think you can apply there for a green card, but I don't know how long it takes.

I'd add that this is a common problem all over the West, as my girlfriend was hassled when she came to the UK last year to visit me. I'm sure it would have been much easier if she'd just claimed to be an 'asylum seeker' instead. Edited by MarkG

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[quote name='RedMercury' post='904000' date='Dec 27 2007, 07:13 PM']By and large I've found the Americans that I work with to be highly intelligent cultured individuals. I certainly don't think the USA has a monopoly on idiots (although I've met my fair share of cretins here). I think it is a big mistake to analyse the country as one big lump. It's a fookin huge place with a massive variance of people and attitudes. Personally I prefer the East and West coasts. The Americans I know refer to the rest of it as "fly-over country".

Gun proliferation is always going to be a hot potato. I actually went to the range on xmas eve with my father and brother who are visiting, for the first time ever. I can see how people can get carried away with their guns, but to apply the British attitude on weapons to America is wrong; It is a part of their culture and they're for the most part brought up shooting and respecting firearms. There were kids in there of 7 shooting handguns(!). Of course if Britain were to repeal its firearm laws there would be bloody murder in the streets with every chav left right and centre with a gun, so I'm happy that Britain does have a ban. FWIW I came out of that range with a big grin on my face (as I'd scored the most :D), but there's no way I'd ever have one in the house.[/quote]

Totally agree with you everything you've said here

The British are so bloody arrogant when it comes to their preconceptions about Americans. Most of the Americans I've met in my travels are educated, thoughtful and .......polite!

We have our own scumbags here and plenty of 'em. Let's not forget that

I also agree on the whole gun thing. It's perceived as madness here but gun ownership is deeply ingrained in the culture and the right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution. The reason why the right to bear arms is so important is it gives the American people the ability to topple their own government should they get too powerful. That is what it was intended for. Most British people don't understand that.

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[quote name='mattsta1964' post='904082' date='Dec 27 2007, 08:17 PM']Totally agree with you everything you've said here

The British are so bloody arrogant when it comes to their preconceptions about Americans. Most of the Americans I've met in my travels are educated, thoughtful and .......polite!

We have our own scumbags here and plenty of 'em. Let's not forget that

I also agree on the whole gun thing. It's perceived as madness here but gun ownership is deeply ingrained in the culture and the right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution. The reason why the right to bear arms is so important is it gives the American people the ability to topple their own government should they get too powerful. That is what it was intended for. Most British people don't understand that.[/quote]


My cousins and uncle etc live in Los Angeles. When I asked why they have so many AK47's in the house, was it to do with riots, intruders etc, they answered no, "It's to protect us from Federal Government."

These are not hill billys by the way, very very far from it!

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' post='903974' date='Dec 27 2007, 06:41 PM']fed up with a Society where Men are basically shafted in relationships and divorce - noticed in another thread someone commenting how many on here have female partners who are not British.[/quote]

I think that was me.

[quote name='The Masked Tulip' post='903974' date='Dec 27 2007, 06:41 PM']Most of my male friends in their 40s and 50s are the same and will not go near a British woman again for a relationship let alone marriage[/quote]

They've obviously drunk deeply of the waters of www.nomarriage.com.

Seriously, is there any HPC poster who actually has a British spouse???

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[quote name='MarkG' post='904074' date='Dec 27 2007, 08:13 PM']Yep. Novia Scotia is pretty and the winters aren't as cold as the middle of Canada; if you can get any kind of decent job there (or start your own business) and live mortgage-free you'll be laughing. Heck, even $15k a year stacking shelves at Home Depot would pay your bills.[/quote]

Too right.

I even had an interview over here for a virology/genetics type gig.
I really would be laughing if I landed that - $50K CAD!
The big issue is always the work permits.

I seem to remember form other posts, MarkG, that you are a science type. Or am I mistaken?

Any help with job networking would be verrrry much appreciated!

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[quote name='MarkG' post='904078' date='Dec 27 2007, 08:15 PM']As I understand it, if you want to marry them in America you need a fiance visa. If you marry them in the UK then I think you can apply there for a green card, but I don't know how long it takes.

I'd add that this is a common problem all over the West, as my girlfriend was hassled when she came to the UK last year to visit me. I'm sure it would have been much easier if she'd just claimed to be an 'asylum seeker' instead.[/quote]

My girlfriend was detained for 4 hours at Portland Airport trying to get back into her own country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FFS!!!!

I heard a story recently of someone being detained at an American airport for having an open bag of airline brand peanuts in her handbag.

I'm even worried about having the wrong kind of books in my luggage travelling to America. Any kind of Anti-Bush literature bought at the airport book store might draw attention.

Moving to America does SCARE me somewhat!

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[quote name='mattsta1964' post='904082' date='Dec 27 2007, 09:17 PM']It's perceived as madness here but gun ownership is deeply ingrained in the culture and the right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution. The reason why the right to bear arms is so important is it gives the American people the ability to topple their own government should they get too powerful. That is what it was intended for. Most British people don't understand that.[/quote]

The odd part is that the second amendment was largely an extension of the 'right to keep and bear arms' in the British Bill of Rights, which the Americans had previously lived under. If I remember correctly, the British demanded that right because the Catholic king had been disarming Protestant Britons; destroying it took the best part of three hundred years.

So it's another right that our ancestors fought and died for which has since been tossed out with barely a whimper of protest.

Unfortunately the gun club that used to be based around where I live has moved somewhere else; probably sold their land to the development company building in this area. Though there's a store called 'Guns'R'Us' which we saw a billboard for while driving around, I should drop in one day and find out what's for sale over here :).

BTW, although the murder rate here is higher than Surrey, it mostly seems to be drunk people stabbing each other.

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[quote name='adren' post='904094' date='Dec 27 2007, 09:25 PM']I seem to remember form other posts, MarkG, that you are a science type. Or am I mistaken?
Any help with job networking would be verrrry much appreciated![/quote]

Studied physics, but working in IT; the job I recently got here is programming embedded systems and installing them around the world.

One science job I did consider applying for was geophysics surveys searching for oil and other resources around Canada and America; that looked like it would be an interesting way to see parts of the country that others will never get to. They were offering $200 a day with no experience required (and presumably free food and tents out in the middle of the woods :)), I don't know how many days a year they would have been working.

But yeah, even $50k a year is a huge salary relative to the Nova Scotia cost of living... whereas it's crap in the UK.

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[quote name='MarkG' post='904098' date='Dec 27 2007, 08:29 PM']The odd part is that the second amendment was largely an extension of the 'right to keep and bear arms' in the British Bill of Rights, which the Americans had previously lived under. If I remember correctly, the British demanded that right because the Catholic king had been disarming Protestant Britons; destroying it took the best part of three hundred years.

So it's another right that our ancestors fought and died for which has since been tossed out with barely a whimper of protest.

Unfortunately the gun club that used to be based around where I live has moved somewhere else; probably sold their land to the development company building in this area. Though there's a store called 'Guns'R'Us' which we saw a billboard for while driving around, I should drop in one day and find out what's for sale over here :).

BTW, although the murder rate here is higher than Surrey, it mostly seems to be drunk people stabbing each other.[/quote]

Guns n Alcohol!!!!!

A seriously BAD combination!

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[quote name='Mr Parry' post='904087' date='Dec 27 2007, 09:19 PM']My cousins and uncle etc live in Los Angeles. When I asked why they have so many AK47's in the house, was it to do with riots, intruders etc, they answered no, "It's to protect us from Federal Government."

These are not hill billys by the way, very very far from it![/quote]

Are they aware that there is an assault weapons ban in the state of California?
[url="http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/forms/pdf/awguide.pdf"]Here's the list of banned firearms.[/url]

(btw please stop spamming your other link - that IMF related link is offtopic...)

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