how eu workers work out the costs of working in london.

3 Apr

london 2.25pm 15.5C sunny monday2017

i ran out of black soya sauce, so have to make the trip to chinatown to buy it. on the way there i drop into the tesco express in haymarket and saw they sell £1.99/kg chicken, and what is surprising, they sell the value porridge oats as well.

usually these convenience stores dont bother to stock value brands as the profit margin on it is so low, and they take up space which can be given to high value stuff. but it is great to see they stock it, and so i bought it(75p), as well as a 1.5kg chicken (£2.95)even though it means i got to carry such a heavy load of shopping all the way to gerrard st where the new loon moon where i normally buy the black soya sauce. i chosed the mushroom flavoured one. this time they cost £1.55. of course it has gone up by 20p since brexit. the last time i bought it it was £1.50, that was on 10jan.(before that it was £1.35). so almost 3months the previous  one  lasts me. that is why i am not too bothered about the increase as it seems to last me a long time.

coming back i thought i shall  take the shorter walk to the 24 bus stop, and change to the 88 at trafalgar square,  but all along charing cross road  the bus stops are closed because of road works, with the buses diverted. so i ended up walking double the distance than if i had decided to retrace my route to the 88bus stop instead.

ah well, such is life. but fortunately the foot is healed to a great extant, so i could walk it without so much discomfort. a week ago i would not be able to do it at all.

well i was right glad to arrive back at my flat. but though i would love to just sit on the sofa and put my foot up, i had to cook the chicken. i decided to make a soya sauce stew out of it. originally i had wanted to roast it but thinking of all that palaver with the oven and the heat from the oven on this hot day, i changed my mind. so soya sauce chicken it will be. that means i have to cut the chicken into chunks. if i had roasted it , it will remain whole. 

added 7.37am tuesday 4.4.17 i nick my thumb with the sharp knife when i cut the chicken up. took out a small pieceof skin. sigh. but haha as well. clumsy me! so another ache to add to the one in my foot. but on the bright side now it has clotted over and getting better.

then i got two messages from the mobile. left there by this bulgarian guy . he said he is free today and suggest we meet up. i was very tired of going out, so i said come to the flat. after texting, givinghim my address, i am expecting him at 3pm today.

usually we dont give out our address on a first meeting. but i figured we have chatted about things long enough on the website to make me feel he is genuine.

it is a really nice day, blue sky and all that and would be perfect to go out and sit in the communal garden, but i am too tired to go out, and am just lying down on my sofa with my feet up and waiting for him to come. actually he is supposed to be texting my friend in hallesden about the room let today… so i wonder if he has made an appointment to see it. i would have thought he should do the appt today, unless my friend is unable to show him the room today. i shall be curious to see what happened. 

added 4.45pm 16C sunny. i have met that bulgarian guy. his spoken english is very poor, but his written english is good. anyway i suggested that i talk to my friend for him. and that turned out to be just right. and we established that my friend wanted £345 a month. he was attracted to it, but when he heard that there is a month’s deposit, he said he cannot do it. he said he is used to his bulgarian contacts letting out rooms for 1wk deposit and 1week rent … which is what he is paying now. he shares a room with 3 others in bayswater (zone1 !!!) for £80 a week. all inclusive. i told him straight out, that is a good bargain. he said he wants to share with gay guys… so that he can improve his english rather than stick with bulgarians. it seems they all dont know each other but the bulgarian network is v good so he can get cheap accommodation.

(i say that his room is cheap, about £11.50 a night; but of course it is only from his angle. when u consider the 4 of them are paying a total of £320 a week  for that room, the landlord is really laughing £1280 a month for one room, allthe way to the bank. wow !

 he also told me a hostel in borough, south london, (zone 1)is charging £95 a week, shared room with 2 others. about £13.50 a night each.  so i guess everyone is doing it, exploiting these demand for rooms by these eu workers. when u consider a hostel can charge £25 a night for a bunk bed in a 10 man room, i guess it is cheap!! so maybe i should not be so harsh on the bayswater landlord. 

if u ask how they can afford it, the maths is as follows… £7.50 an hour, minimum pay, for 10 hrs a day =£70. well there u are rent paid just by working one day.  now u realise why they come to work here. good money to be had. if u think 10 hrs is too much, and no one works that much; he told me all last week he has been busy working, he starts 7.30am -9pm.

added. i realise he is working for an agency who farms him out to any vacancy going. he works as a kitchen porter. so his place of work can change week by week. there is plenty of work. every restaurant , hotel will be looking for kitchen porters. they are cleaners. part of it is dishes. but no slaving over a sink washing it by hand. oh no, this is modern life now, he stacks them all up inside the dish washer and switch it on. that is it, then take them out. quite cushy actually, no getting the hands rough and wet from having to wash dishes or pots and pans in soapy hot water all day. 

now he knows the reality i hope he will realise he is better off where he is. and if all he wants is to speak english with english speaking people and make gay friends he can join where there are groups for english conversation. and also gay groups like the one i join, where gay guys come together everyweek in a coffee shop and chat with each other. 

about my friend’s room. he was going to see this afternoon, but my friend says he must come before 5pm as my friend have another appt to keep. so i took out my A-Z intending to lend it to him, so he can walk to my friend’s flat. my friend suggests willesden junction as the nearest station. however, in the map i realise it is a train station… even i can see it is not on. he has to go to kingscross to catch that train.  it is allready 4pm, and he just wont be able to make it before 5pm what with a very long walk , if he does not lose his way, to the flat from there. i suggested hallesden tube station, which on the map looks nearer. even then he need to take the bus . so it is decided he cannot make it in time and to postpone it. then, after the call, we were chatting and he said he cannot find the £700 needed upfront. my friend wants him to pay a month’s deposit plus a month’s rent. i said almost all renters ask this. and that is when he said his bulgarian connections ask only 1wk deposit and 1 week rent in advance.

well, not surprising since where he is staying now 4 people share that room. and so it does not matter if one person decide to leave within a week, giving only one week should be quick to find a replacement what with so many coming over from east europe.

i think it is crucial for these people that they live centrally, zone1 at least, because the transport costs would be crippling if theylive far from their work place, not to mention they work shifts and might finish at really strange hours and they dont want to struggle home on a night bus.

pity my friend’s place is not near the tube. even in northwest london, which is really well connected by tube,  there are places like hallesden that are not really within walking distance of  a  tube station. and also it is in zone 3. which is a no no for him.

as for crystal palace… forget it. isn’t it strange to have people who are poorly paid wanting to stay in zone 1, the most expensive area of london, where even the rich have to pay through the nose. poor people with expensive wants. haha.

i dont remember i was that fussy about where i stay when i first came to london to work in the 80s, and i am a dentist for god’s sake. and in those days we make tons of money as a dentist, and the £ was so strong it was like everything was cheap. haha. but i dont go round wanting and fussy about where i live. 


8 Responses to “how eu workers work out the costs of working in london.”

  1. Sarah M Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    Yeah the hostel I stayed in last month in Elephant and castle was full of East European workers. That was around £11 for a bed in a 33-bed room. In the morning they all elbowed their way into the breakfast room and grabbed at half a loaf of bread and a pile of cheese; clearly they relied on getting their day’s food for that price too. They sat in the lounge every night having loud skype conversations with their wives or whoever at home. The place was quite an eye-opener actually, but I won’t go there again.

    I tried to stay an extra night because I got a job interview and they had put the price up to nearly £30 for the same bed, because they were so busy and only had 4 beds left in the entire place. This is a big place.

    • alifesgayventure Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

      33 bed room? is that a mistake… i never even know a room can be big enough to take in 11 triple bunk beds. and breakfast included too. and summer is not even here and they are allready so busy. hmm, makes u kind of think there is money to be made here.

      • Sarah M Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

        Nope 33 beds and the vast majority were (male) East European workers

      • alifesgayventure Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

        i cannot even imagine it, rows and rows of bed cheek by jowl to each other , and head to toe of each sleeper? next time take a picture and show. i should think it would make the wonder of the world list.

      • Sarah M Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

        Haha I wrote a post about it but didn’t have the nerve to put it up. I was afraid someone would say it was racist. But is an interesting place

      • alifesgayventure Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

        go on, post it, cant wait to read it. and have lots of pictures too. no need to mention where it is though. on the other hand, u might not like them to find it is u, and you wont be allowed to go back there ever again. what surprised me is that u wanted to spend another night there… unless all those men… hmm haha.

      • Sarah M Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

        where else can you put a roof over your head in central-ish London for £11? I found another place around the corner for just a few quid more after that. I won’t go back; it was unbearable and quite dirty. I hardly slept. I always prefer a girl-only dorm if they have one 🙂

      • alifesgayventure Tuesday April 4, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

        not to mention all that snoring (and i wont even mention the farting, except i just have haha)from 33 mouths!!! no wonder u could not sleep. hehe.

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