Go back after 15+ years?

Old Jun 23rd 2014, 2:42 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
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I definitely don't want to consume meat and milk pumped full of hormones, genetically modified fruit and vegetables, irradiated strawberries/soft fruit (of course, none of these products labelled as such) and all kinds of food - even bread - sweetened with highly addictive HFC (high fructose corn syrup - which is very cheap to produce). You won't normally find adulterated food like this in the UK, although I'm alarmed to hear that Monsanto continues to push for introducing GM crops in the UK (currently banned in Europe).
Sadly there is plenty of toxic food available here too, and so much junk it's unreal. I'm mesmerised by the complete train wreck that is the standard family's shopping trolley in the supermarket queue. Coke, white bread that never goes off, sugar cereals, ready made everything wrapped in wodges of pastry, chips, crisps, battery eggs, cruelty meat.... and it's not because it's cheaper, it's cos you can't fix stupid.
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Old Jun 23rd 2014, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Thank you for your input and I do agree with most of what you have to say, but you are going to find that most countries play around with their food..... Have you tried the horse meat here??? Believe me it's no different here. Yes, it's good to find all the old favorites when you come here I used to do the same.
Of course New Jersey you have high taxes. Of course you would not use the open air swimming pool during the winter, New Jersey is not a year round State. I must admit on the two times a year visit to the UK I had bought some crumpets only to find that they had gone off. There was also some enquiry about fish being imported from Vietnam and being miss sold as Cod so i can assure you that the same things happen here the UK is not exempt. Wtateith regards the 15K you pay that must be Real Estate Taxes on the value of your property.

Last edited by London1947; Jun 23rd 2014 at 3:24 pm. Reason: edit
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Old Jun 23rd 2014, 3:26 pm
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Post Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by London1947 View Post
Thank you for your input and I do agree with most of what you have to say, but you are going to find that most countries play around with their food..... Have you tried the horse meat here??? Believe me it's no different here. Yes, it's good to find all the old favorites when you come here I used to do the same.
Of course New Jersey you have high taxes. Of course you would not use the open air swimming pool during the winter, New Jersey is not a year round State. I must admit on the two times a year visit to the UK I had bought some crumpets only to find that they had gone off. So you don't live in the US then?
We moved to the US in 2000 after spending 5.5 years on an expat posting in Singapore...spouse was working in Times Square, NYC. He gave up his Green Card in late 2008 as the company wanted to 'localize' him ie. stop his UK final salary pension and start up an American 401k pension scheme, even though he was in his 40s and he has no desire to retire in the US.

It was a deal-breaker for him and he said he would return to work in the London office, but then they offered him another expat post and he could choose to be based in Singapore again or in Switzerland. He returned to Singapore (we loved it there) but it was difficult to deal with the time zones when talking with colleagues in Europe and the USA....so he closed down the dept. in Singapore and relocated to central Switzerland in 2011.

I was living between Singapore and NJ and then Switzerland and NJ - but I got my US citizenship in 2012 and then relocated to Switzerland. Our young adult son lives in the house in NJ. My husband's contract ends next Summer so who knows where we will end up? It might be back to the UK but it's too early to know for sure right now. We have been out of the UK for almost 20 years but have gone back at least once a year on home leave.

Over here of course, you can find horse (Pferde) meat at the butcher's and in the supermarkets. We are in the German speaking part of the country, so you don't usually see the snails or frog's legs that you would in the French speaking region. I just don't fancy eating it - probably because I used to love riding horses when I was young. I couldn't eat rabbit either...stupid I know, but there you go. The quality of the produce is excellent here, only seasonal fruit and veg in the shops (it's cherry season now) and I mostly cook from scratch....but my goodness it is so expensive to buy anything here!
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Old Jun 23rd 2014, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by windsong View Post
Under-employment here is one of the driving forces in my return to the UK in a few weeks. My other reason is it's my country and I am very homesick here.

As for it being the same as going to Anytown, USA, I don't think so, although you may find this to be more the case in the London area or any other city that is a huge metropolis. While I haven't visited recently, I have been on this forum for over four years and read tons of comments about it from other expats. Granted, some things have changed and follow in the footsteps of the USA, but not everything.

For example, employees are treated much better over there and particularly if there is a disability, I understand. There are still lots of good employers in the UK - unlike here. It's like navigating a snake pit in the USA!!! I don't know if the UK has the "at will" employment laws that many states in the USA have but I seriously doubt it.

There are more immigrants from all over the world in the UK - the European Union states, the Middle East, Asia, etc. and they are more concentrated over there because the country itself is smaller.

Recently, there was a huge backlog of passport renewal applications processing in the UK. Some people complained and went to the media. Within a few weeks, the Government began to put measures in place to resolve the situation. If that had been the USA, I think it would have fallen on deaf ears - for a few years!

There are restaurants over there of ALL different kinds, not just UK food. There are far more choices in the grocery stores there than there are here - by far - and food is cheaper over there - and much better quality.

I think job opportunities all depend what field you are in. I recently looked at some job sites over there and there are some great jobs - and more of them than there are in many parts of the USA.

They do drive on the opposite side of the road over there and that is a learning curve.

Cars and houses are smaller and roads are generally busier than in the USA. There is excellent transportation by bus and train over there - right across the country. You are also closer to countries like France, Spain, Portugal, etc. and it is not expensive to go there.

Americanism has certainly affected the country but it is still years behind the callousness of the USA in that regard. Of course, some industries are global and there are American corporations in the UK.

If you are thinking of moving even within the USA, it would be an adjustment and I don't think it will be much more of an adjustment to go to the UK; however, others might disagree. I think it depends a lot on the attitude you have towards your new country and if you are looking forward to it or dreading it. If we look forward to something we have a way of surviving those adjustment phases.

I have to say, most people are a lot nicer and much more helpful in the UK than they are here. All around, it is a softer, gentler society in a most beautiful country. If you haven't found or have perhaps lost your soul in the USA, you should find it again in the UK.

When I first came to the USA years ago, I quickly realized it is "quantity over quality" here but it is the opposite in the UK.
"Rose coloured glasses"
When you get there treat your experience there like a marriage. Before marriage keep your eyes wide open, after marriage keep your eyes half closed.
Don't get me wrong, I'm on the same page as you as to what I look forward to.
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Old Jun 23rd 2014, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
We moved to the US in 2000 after spending 5.5 years on an expat posting in Singapore...spouse was working in Times Square, NYC. He gave up his Green Card in late 2008 as the company wanted to 'localize' him ie. stop his UK final salary pension and start up an American 401k pension scheme, even though he was in his 40s and he has no desire to retire in the US.

It was a deal-breaker for him and he said he would return to work in the London office, but then they offered him another expat post and he could choose to be based in Singapore again or in Switzerland. He returned to Singapore (we loved it there) but it was difficult to deal with the time zones when talking with colleagues in Europe and the USA....so he closed down the dept. in Singapore and relocated to central Switzerland in 2011.

I was living between Singapore and NJ and then Switzerland and NJ - but I got my US citizenship in 2012 and then relocated to Switzerland. Our young adult son lives in the house in NJ. My husband's contract ends next Summer so who knows where we will end up? It might be back to the UK but it's too early to know for sure right now. We have been out of the UK for almost 20 years but have gone back at least once a year on home leave.

Over here of course, you can find horse (Pferde) meat at the butcher's and in the supermarkets. We are in the German speaking part of the country, so you don't usually see the snails or frog's legs that you would in the French speaking region. I just don't fancy eating it - probably because I used to love riding horses when I was young. I couldn't eat rabbit either...stupid I know, but there you go. The quality of the produce is excellent here, only seasonal fruit and veg in the shops (it's cherry season now) and I mostly cook from scratch....but my goodness it is so expensive to buy anything here!
I have a hard question for you.
It is generally know that housing is expensive in Switerland but I'm looking for the exception. Do you agree that a person if they look hard enough they will find the diamond in the rough?
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Old Jun 23rd 2014, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Wow you have been all over the place. I don't think I could handle it as well as you have. Of course you can find a diamond in the rough provided of course you have the time and the finances. By how I read your post I think it's time that may be the problem.

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Old Jun 25th 2014, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

I will go back and prepare for family return
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Old Jun 30th 2014, 3:21 am
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by lgabriel73 View Post
You would definitely not be moving to "any town USA", the UK is nothing like the US. Take it from someone who spent the past 18 years in the US and moved back to the UK a month ago.
Have to agree with this I spent 30 years there 1977 to 2007 and frankly it was not the same country when I left compared to the late 70's and 80's there are things I miss the ex-wife, friends, ability to get anything any time, but the list of what I don't miss is far greater starting with exorbitant healthcare costs et al. So for me, despite the costs and they were significant on many levels heading home was right and still is - good luck!
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Old Aug 14th 2014, 12:23 am
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by cheers View Post
I have a hard question for you.
It is generally know that housing is expensive in Switerland but I'm looking for the exception. Do you agree that a person if they look hard enough they will find the diamond in the rough?
housing is NOT that expensive in Switzerland but obtaining a mortgage is....banks require a much larger deposit- too large for most people tbh

also you must factor in that in general the rented accommodation in Switzerland is of good quality and certainly far better value than the UK and rental laws tend to favour tenants rather than landlords...so why buy?
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Old Aug 15th 2014, 12:13 am
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Default Re: Go back after 15+ years?

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
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FYI John - the Council Tax ie. housing tax for our very modest 3 bedroomed house in New Jersey (18 miles west of Manhatten) is a shade under US$15,000 per year! There is also an annual 'sewage' charge of approx $140 per year. In addition if we wanted to use the local municipal open-air swimming pool (only open full-time in the school Summer vacation period) then it's another $360 to pay

Groceries:

The US is a huge country with a population of 317 million, so no wonder there is a wider selection of food items. However, I wouldn't dream of consuming a lot of them as they're so unhealthy...

I certainly don't want to be eating things like Cool-Whip (artificial cream) and bread which lasts for almost a month (because of all the preservatives). I have no interest in buying jars of "Goober's" (peanut butter with stripes of jam).

I definitely don't want to consume meat and milk pumped full of hormones, genetically modified fruit and vegetables, irradiated strawberries/soft fruit (of course, none of these products labelled as such) and all kinds of food - even bread - sweetened with highly addictive HFC (high fructose corn syrup - which is very cheap to produce). You won't normally find adulterated food like this in the UK, although I'm alarmed to hear that Monsanto continues to push for introducing GM crops in the UK (currently banned in Europe).

I've been in despair when standing in the supermarket aisles in the US, reading the food labels and being unable to pronounce the names of the artificial (chemical) ingredients on say, packets of breakfast cereals...some which even proudly state in large text 'artificially flavored blueberries' etc.

The problem is, the Wholefoods grocery chain (where you can buy natural food) is very expensive and commonly known as 'Whole Paycheck'. Whole Foods Market | Whole Foods Market

At least a 'Trader Joe's' opened in our town, they don't have a huge inventory but at least many of their products have cut out most or all of the 'crap'. Trader Joe's

I strongly recommend that any US or UK resident watches the documentary 'Food Inc.' about how food is produced in the USA (free on online streaming for Amazon Prime members)...

UK Residents:
Food, Inc [DVD] [2009]: Amazon.co.uk: Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, Robert Kenner: DVD & Blu-ray


US Residents
:
Amazon.com: Food, Inc.: Eric Schlosser, Robert Kenner: Movies & TV

I'm not resident in the UK but I go there frequently on visits and fill up the car with food to bring back to Switzerland and I honestly don't miss any American food products....I actually went to Costco in Coventry and brought back a huge tub of organic coconut oil and chia seeds, however I did buy US pretzels (Kosher/natural) for my spouse, Typhoo tea bags, box of Cadbury's Flakes, large sized 'Comfort' fabric conditioner and Fairy Liquid. I also went to Tesco's and bought things like Branston Pickle, a box of Jacob's Biscuits for Cheese, 2 dozen tins of Heinz Baked Beans, Marmite, some spices and curry sauces which I can't find locally.

I truly wish I could have brought back some proper back bacon from England, sadly it would have 'gone-off' on the drive back here...

I couldn't agree more! Every time I go to the grocery store I am frustrated. I feel like I am killing my kids slowly - it is so hard to avoid the bad stuff without paying 2 to 3 times more for it. I buy organic as much as I can. I won't miss much from the supermarkets here. I have watched the Food Inc documentary and at this point I have to put it at the back of my mind so that I don't feel guilty for what I buy at the store. Food coloring, high fructose corn syrup, nitrates, high sodium, high sugar (we dilute everything). P.s 6 months after moving here I was diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Bring on: real cheddar cheese, good bacon, real bread, high juice, good chocolate!
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