Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

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buksida
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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by buksida » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:52 pm

lomuamart wrote: I still can't get over your comments about food prices, buks. I did the grocery shopping almost every other day for three people. OK, there were cheeses, decent bread some cold cuts, some veggies, maybe a 4 pack of beer but not much else and there was rarely change out of 20 GBP.
An outdated comment, I know, but I helped a friend do shopping at Waitrose in Acton Town about 7 years ago. There were 3 adults, two growing boys and the shop was about for a week - they'd have needed top up shopping as well. Bill? almost 200 quid. I couldn't believe it.
20 quid is only 900 baht or so - that wont get you much here unless you want to eat like a farmer.

How often do you do that kind of shopping in Thailand? Go to Makro and buy some cheese, meats, fish, pies, imported beer and western supplies - a hundred quid is gone pretty quickly, Thailand is far from cheap for this sort of produce.
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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by lomuamart » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:19 pm

But the two of us here don't normally spend over 7,000 THB a month on grocery and household shopping.
When here, we buy Thai ingredients. When back in the UK, I was buying more western stuff. All I'm trying to convey is that for the "average" citizen of the UK compared to similar in Thailand there's just no comparison for me. The UK is seriously expensive just for basic shopping.
Yes, cheeses etc are far more expensive here because they're taxed to hell as imports. In the UK, Thai good are always going to cost more mainly due to transportation costs rather than imposts.
And we don't eat as farmers. Maybe my wife does but that's because she wants to. I eat pretty much what I want but I do accept that my diet isn't full of dairy stuff any more - just as well for my general well being.
A 1,000 THB buys my wife and I really good food for a week. It'll go nowhere in the UK.

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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by buksida » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:09 pm

I could retire if our household food bill was 1,000 baht a week! We get through that every two days and that's without splurging on western luxuries!

Here are some more photos, these from the stables an old uni friend has up in Oxfordshire ...
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More to follow ...
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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by arcadianagain » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:13 pm

A lot of people in the UK now shop at the likes of Aldi and Lidl, Waitrose is considered "posh" In my little corner of N.Africa we feel lucky to have a French supermarket, Carrefour, but still without the choices available in the UK.
Many years ago I never had any breathing troubles until I was in Oxford Street on a summer`s day, traffic fumes brought on a bout of asthma which persists to this day, so, hay fever or asthma?

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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by Vital Spark » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:19 pm

Love the photos - esp. the horses. Also agree with a lot of what you say about the UK - we've just come back after a month's stay there. Our observations were: people seem more friendly and smiley; food isn't as expensive as it used to be (ditto clothes); people are frightened to say what they really think; the old-style pub culture has almost disappeared :( .

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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by caller » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:28 pm

Vital Spark wrote:people are frightened to say what they really think;
That made me smile. I'd forgotten the knowing looks, or code-speak! When I moved to my village from London, I learnt that didn't apply anymore. People were much more forthright, even when I knew they were talking rubbish (that was based on my line of work, which I kept quiet about).
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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by Bristolian » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:30 pm

This is a very interesting thread. I probably average 2 visits to the UK each year and as such I really don't see the changes or differences, over the years, without a sharp reminder. Good to be brought back to reality and see some really good pics. Keep up the good work Buksi.
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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by Lev » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:33 pm

We have restored your post mags.
margaretcarnes wrote: Hi Buksi - did you take the family with you? Anyway some interesting observations and it must have been a huge culture shock.
I do agree with a lot of what you saw - especially the kids causing problems. I've even had stuff thrown at me in the street by little hooligans no more than 11 or 12 and sadly you daren't do anything to retaliate when there are more of them than you.

Beer prices - yes generally good value, especially for the increasing numbers of craft beers. (On draft - you maybe don't get them down south!) But you seem to have found some amazingly cheap eateries, especially for Thai meals. They would cost much more in Hull even, where I daren't even go to a Chinese with less than 20 quid.

However food shopping doesn't have to be expensive - but only if you have the time to shop around and carry a calculator in your head. I had to laugh at Lomus comment about Waitrose being expensive - of course it is! It's the snob value. Asian ingredients are well stocked at the Tescos but even better if you have a local Asian store. I can now get fresh lemon grass and Lobo mixes etc at mine - plus fresh sea urchins.....

CCTVs - yes - can be a worry at first but after a while you forget they are there, and even come to appreciate the need for them.

Litter - depends where you live and how much the local council will spend on refuse collection. Fly tipping is a huge problem now in many areas, but I've noticed a trend for people to stick empty beer cans onto tree branches and fences which has to be an improvement?

Rail fares to be honest stop me using the trains now, especially when a bus pass is free. And even bus fares sound scary these days. Must say I've used trains in Denmark and Germany which are much better value.

Internet/Sky etc cost as much as people are prepared to spend and IMO many just pay through the back teeth for status, or just don't bother to shop around. And yes stocks of sim free phones are limited in big stores - but easy to find online.

Agreed about all the pharmaceuticals dished out by docs. There is a definite trend for patients to be simply left on repeat prescriptions and not reviewed IMO, which is easy for the docs but not good.

To sum up given more time you would suss things out in more detail, but is it worth it?

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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by buksida » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:58 pm

Went on my own this trip.

I think Lomu was going to the most expensive store - I certainly paid a lot less there for food than I do here.

A final thought is that everything seemed a lot smaller, more compact and compressed. The houses are tiny, the streets are packed with cars and bins and nobody seems to have enough space (unless they can afford to live in the country).

Here are some shots I took of a wee village in Oxfordshire - the camera has a "minature mode" which I experimented with ...
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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by Big Boy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:22 pm

A couple of observations from my son's current UK trip:

Restaurants - he took my brother and his family into a basic Pizza joint the other night - £95 for 5 people (3 adults and 2 kids), no alcohol.

Most of his dining has been Wetherspoons breakfasts, and carveries for main meals - both very reasonably priced.

Hotel - there was a problem with hotel bookings in Plymouth (nowhere exotic). Cheapest he could get for 2 rooms for 2 nights (2 hotels) was £320 (4,000 Baht per room per night :shock: ). The strangest thing, the hotels would not take cash. I had to book the rooms from here online. Tha accommodation was Travel Lodge.

Internet - Internet Cloud is everywhere, and it's free. It might not be the fastest, but good enough to connect with Thailand.
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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by Vital Spark » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:53 pm

Love the minature mode on your camera - it makes the scenes look like models.

A couple of more observations when we were there: I felt like a midget (I'm 5ft4); the cars are more colouful.

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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by buksida » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:01 am

Big Boy wrote: Hotel - there was a problem with hotel bookings in Plymouth (nowhere exotic). Cheapest he could get for 2 rooms for 2 nights (2 hotels) was £320 (4,000 Baht per room per night :shock: ). The strangest thing, the hotels would not take cash. I had to book the rooms from here online. Tha accommodation was Travel Lodge.

Internet - Internet Cloud is everywhere, and it's free. It might not be the fastest, but good enough to connect with Thailand.
Yes, also noticed it is largely a cash-less society now, I bought a laptop with cash and the store literally didn't know what to do with it!

Internet speeds are ten times faster in the UK than here, most people's homes were fitted with 50Mb connections.
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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by Big Boy » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:27 am

buksida wrote:Internet speeds are ten times faster in the UK than here, most people's homes were fitted with 50Mb connections.
What are they paying for it though? My brother had some fantastic speed, but had to give it up because he simply couldn't afford it.

I know its unlikely you can get it in your location, but such speeds are easily obtained in most of Hua Hin (sorry Terry) and in many populated areas of Thailand, at a price. I am very fortunate that I've enjoyed such speeds for over 2 years now, but am paying for much less.

My point is, are those speeds available throughout the UK, or in the more populated areas, and South of Watford only?
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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by buksida » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:34 am

They pay for the package - internet + TV. The equivalent here would be UBC/True + broadband at about 2,500-3,000 per month which is the same as they pay over there but for a far faster connection. I've never seen a house in Thailand with a 50Mb connection.
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Re: Trip report: A visit to England after 18 years

Post by Big Boy » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:54 am

LOL - you've never been to my house. Seriously, many in Hua Hin are enjoying those speeds and higher these days, but most pay a high premium for the service. Didn't we have a thread recently where 3BB were doubling their 50MB to 100MB free of charge?
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