my water bill, and thoughts on relocating to another country

16 Feb

london 11.42am 11.9C cloudy saturday 2019

its the weekend, and i am still at home, when usually i would be heading towards the library to get my daily dose of the newspapers there. ah well, i have changed my habits a lot, compared to before when i would religiously head to the library. i seem to have gone off the news nowadays.

but anyway, i have been reading a blog about a lady who lives in singapore, and who moved to france to work , to follow her french boyfriend, and she was telling us about the problems with  bureaucracy in france in getting a skilled person’s visa for herself so she can work there. her company which she works for in singapore is applying it for her. but even so, she found it very frustrating as she went from appointment to appointment with various departments. even getting a bank account was difficult. and reading her account makes me realise it is something that all those brits who are thinking of moving to france after brexit, may have to consider very carefully. i think the biggest factor for her, is the language. she is not fluent in french, and that makes life really difficult for her. even simple things like grocery shopping becomes a big deal for her.

and i can well sympathise with her because i have seen visitors to london whose english is no good and they do struggle. the best example i see constantly is their dealings with the bus system. no one could understand them, nor they understand what is said. so they get confused at the payment system for buses here. no cash is accepted , so that is one hurdle for them. another of course is whether they are taking the right bus to where they want to go. and here all written instructions are in english, and no other language. so it is really tough if u cannot read english. i wonder how they feel when the bus is diverted and even the announcement by the driver of the new route is not even understandable to us english speakers nevermind those foreigners.

i got a letter in the post from the water company billing me for water for the next year. it is £316.91.  i have heard and read that it is going to be more, so i was quite relieved when i saw the amount. it is almost the same as last year’s bill.

but i am really glad i can read english. i was made aware of how much it impacts your life in a foreign country if u cannot read the language. that lady who moved to france told how everything she was given in writing was all in french. and everyone speaks french to her. of course she is well aware that it is normal … and why she should expect some of them to speak english is not reasonable of her;  but what can you do if u cannot read or speak it, it is just frustrating for everyone, yourself and the officials who have to deal with you.

it makes me realise that the single most important advise one can make to anyone thinking of moving to another country is this. consider carefully about relocating there if u dont speak or read the language. it is fun if u are a tourist visitng it, but long term stay, forget it!

 

2 Responses to “my water bill, and thoughts on relocating to another country”

  1. Garfield Hug Saturday February 16, 2019 at 2:42 pm #

    Your thoughts and comments are real. A lot of it hinges on language and adapting to the local culture. Without conversant French and doubling that with trying to adapt to the culture, it can be a difficult experience. I hope Brexit ends well for all as it is hard if one is forced to move to a country that is going to make daily living hard.

    • alifesgayventure Saturday February 16, 2019 at 3:32 pm #

      i think there are very few brits going to france to work. people think that because we are in the EU, work for young brits will be easy to get in france, or germany, or spain… but they forget that the language will be a big barrier to working there. i dont think many brits are fluent in the european languages whereas many europeans know and speak english . it is easier for them to come to uk to work than the brits to go to europe and work. also, unskilled work is scarce for brits in europe. as it is, they dont hve work for their own young people, nevermind giving those unskilled and semiskilled work to brits. i cant see them hiring young brits who cannot speak the language for semiskilled work in the catering or hotel trade. i htink there are more retired british people living in europe than working people and i think in spain
      and france, those working there are working within the english speaking communities rather than serving the local french speaking peoples. when you see all those tv programs about brits working abroad, they all show brits serving other brits as their customers, or other foreigners who can speak english.

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