Tag Archives: tourists

eu and our leaving

8 Oct

london 8.51pm 14.2C saturday 2016

trouble with nowadays when news is so easily available and news feeds throw news our way continuously, it makes u feel as if there is so much turmoil in the world.

if not from man made killings, it is huricanes, like the one hitting america’s florida coast. it has devastated haiti, but it seems its force has gone down once it hit the coast. islands by the very nature get the worst blast from them. nothing to block them and deplete their force. these islands are considered paradise , or what paradise is like, but it  is not so paradisical as far as i am concerned. these devastating huricanes are not an isolated incident. it happens almost every year.

not many places in the world are trouble free from nature. that is why i consider uk as paradisical, in that the weather here is friendly and never extreme. if it does go extreme it is not horribly extreme. if that is not paradise, what is?

i had a very pleasant day today. nothing dramatic happened, but got a little bit of everything.

freebies to collect… free coffee from john lewis, and lego bricks from daily mail which i collected from the whsmith store in victoria station. so far i had not felt the urge to break open the pack and build it up.

and i avoided the traffic jam on that part of the west end that borders hydepark. there were marchers who had marched from the north to london to enact king harolds march to hastings to fight the normans, and where he got an arrow in his eye that ended it all. they had amassed at hyde park, and i supposed would have been quite nice to see, as they are wearing costumes, and i daresay the papers tomorrow will show them. but in terms of getting around london, i am glad i avoided them.

its quite a normal day in london, people going about their business, whether shopping or eating out, which is all i see, from the top of the bus. you would think that is all they do, but then they all look like tourists. and they are enjoying themselves what with the £ costing so much less now. its parity now. £1= 1 euro.

i can see the businesses in central london may well depand on the tourists spending their money. how else are they going to get customers, certainly it would not be possible to have so many businesses like there are here making a profit if they only rely on locals patronising them. every  business seem to be full of customers inside. it might be to uk ‘s advantage that the £ is low… tourism will boom.

the papers are also full of articles about the fears of eu punishing uk for voting to leave. they have threatened it, so it is not a fear that is unfounded. we shall see if they really can do it and not make themselves lose money. and obviously they will try their best to steal business from the city of london and other uk businesses. but they are especially eager to bring back financial business back to a european capital, and centre it in frankfurt or paris. though plenty of observers say they dont have the expertise , and the business will go to new york, if they try to cut out london. or the whole thing fails and they do not get london or new york and their own businesses find it hard to raise finances or do any business. we shall see.

in the meantime i think we here in uk will have to keep to our shores, and forego foreign holidays for a time. at least for those of us who like a bargain. because it really rankles when the £ does not buy as much as it did before in europe. at least i get rankled haha. that is why i stopped going to europe when it dropped from £1=1.50euros to £1=1.20euros. now that it is £1=1euro, there is even less reason to go there. for me anyway.

i have yet to hear from my friends who have recently gone to europe. perhaps they did not notice much difference.  perhaps their liking for europe overides the low £, and they will still like going there. i wonder if the low £ will entice even those in europe who dont like to travel to come to england. or will they get so angry with uk voting to leave that they refuse on principle to come here. haha.

i have someone in the gay website telling me he is coming to uk, he is from bulgaria,and recently i got a message from him saying he is here, in london and staying at a hostel in bloomsbury. he wants to find work as a kitchen porter. his written english is good but he says his spoken english is poor. and from the news the govt has conceded that most of those eu citizens who are here will remain, as they cannot be forced to leave legally. so i think anyone who comes in now and work here will be allowed to remain. they will be given automatic leave to remain when uk finally leaves after giving the two year notice. uk is very gay friendly, and is ideal for a gay guy to come and live. 

i ahve a feeling eu citizens will still be allowed to come to work, uk needs them to fill up the vacancies. people should make a distinction between those who come specifically to bring their families and claim benefits from those who come to work and take up the job opportunities for work here. though if the £ remain low, i wonder if they might not find it not worth the effort as the money they earn will get less when they send it back to their home countries. 

added.7am sunday 9.10.16. i had word from him that it is difficult to open a bank account now. he said it was easier in the past. without a bank account it will be difficult to get that job. i suspect it is a catch 22, he cant get a bank account unless he gets a proper address, instead of a hostel; or a proper job.

 i have a feeling lots of new comers will get this drip drip obstacles put in their path. not only in uk with newcomers, but in europe, with uk citizens maybe not being able to get free medical treatment in europe. it is not a problem for uk tourists visiting europe, most will have travel insurance, but the long term stayers, the expats, they will feel it if they dont get their usual free access to medical care. 

added. 8.06pm 12.8 light rain,monday 17.10.16. i got a message just now from the bulgarian guy who came to london to work. he started work on 11.10.16. and lack of a bank account was not needed to get the job, he just needs one so that his salary can be put in it. so he used his friend’s account. it seems very easy to get jobs here. it looks like london need these eu workers to fill the vacancies.

 added. 7pm 13C wednesday 19.10.16 he got a job as a kitchen porter in a 5star hotel,

he says ‘ Yes they give us free meal and soft drinks.
Im working 9-10 hours per day from 7 pm to 5 or 6 am
with 1 hour break and in this hour we eating and drinking in zale for staff.’

its long hours, but hey, if i were him, i wont mind. after all the idea is to make money here. and long hours means the daily wage will be higher. even at minimum wage of about £7 an hour, that means about £70 , less tax and national insurance  so maybe £50 a day. it is possible he might get higher wage scale for the unsocial hours and weekend work. so he is looking at least £1000 a month take home pay. maybe more. hmm, i shall have to see if i can get him to tell me how much he gets. haha. but i can see why this kind of work will not appeal to the british person. such long hours… not to mention if i am on income support that is £65 a week,given to me free money…  plus if i get free housing, (£500 a month, if not more even if it is a room, and if a long term benefit person i  might have a one bedroom flat allocated to him by now, rent free or paid for by social security. ) he would have to earn hell of a lot more than £1000 a month to afford the rent. so no wonder none of them want this kind of work. 


i dont think travellers really gain in the exchange rate

2 Jul

london 8.33pm 17C sunny clear sky saturday 2016

i was in town and saw the exchange rates that the high street money changers were charging. they have a buy and a sell rate. 

if u want to change £ to Euros, they charge u £1 =1.17 euros

if u want to change euros to £ , they charge u £1= 1.34euros. the official exchange rate now is £1=1.19euros.

so it looks like the euro tourists here dont really get the full benefit of the cheap £. i think this is the universal truth … you can never get good exchange rate if u are a foreigner changing your money to the local currency in the country where u are visiting.

that is why it is a wise move to buy all your currency in your own country before u travel. the downside of course is that u are carrying a lot of cash and u can get robbed. alternatively u can pay with your credit card and just pay the exchange rate that applies on that day when the purchase gets processed by your bank.

nowadays i dont like it at all , so that is why i dont visit countries anymore. it is only part of the reason i hasten to add . the other part is because i have lost interest in visiting countries just for the sake of visiting them. i have gone there and bought the t shirt as it were, and seen them and got it out of my system… and so have lost that urge to travel now.

in fact, i seem to have gone the other way round, i dislike leaving london so much so that i wont even take the £1 train that takes 2hrs to bournemouth to visit john. i mean to say if even that low fare does not tempt me, nothing will.

burlington gdn street festival


nothing much happening

1 Jul

london 10.40am 18C light rain friday 2016

the start of july.

london 7.07pm 17C sunny . the day has been a mix of sunshine and rain.

this morning i saw a large carpet rolled up near the recycling bins. it was v heavy. it would be nice to have got it, but then, i also think i dont really have anywhere to put it. my flat has more than enough of carpets. it is strange that i like carpets. i wonder why because living in malaysia I never have any experience of carpets. all the floors in malaysia are either wooden, or tiled. carpets would just make it harder to sweep clean, because u have to lift it up first. not to mention having to beat it now and then. here in uk, we all mostly have wall to wall carpets. but it is not the same thing. the patterns in the carpets are what fascinates me i think, and what makes a lot of people like having them. anyway, when i returned from the library, it was gone. the whole area swept clean, so the removal men have been to clear up i think.

my life now is rather uneventful. my friend john just now wrote me an email talking about what he intends to do with his bedroom. he is (at last) putting in a double bed. it is very small bedroom so he has to juggle everything else to make it fit. for a gay man to have a single bed for so long is v unusual. most of us like to make room for another person to sleep with. so he is spending a bit of money to upgrade his bedroom.

there is turmoil in the political world where two major parties are trying to change their leaders. i am not too bothered with it. there is much jockeying for positions but it is all an internal affair involving the members of the two political parties. i think to all of us on the outside, we just want them to get on and vote and select a leader and then they might get on to the real work of preparing the country for brexit.

the world goes on as usual, with tourists flocking to uk. i see lots of student groups wandering in line or milling about in a crowd around the westend and quite young children too. now of course they must be rather happy as their foreign money goes further what with the £ being cheaper to buy.

as for me, my life really goes on much as before. if anything things are cheaper… the 10kg kohinoor basmati rice which i bought for £10 has gone down to £9 and now go down to £8.50. there seem to be a glut of them now. i wonder why? commercial things like this are a mystery to me. why some things goes cheaper and others not.

veg is going cheap too. right now lettuce and celery are 29p each. usually they are 50p-80p. so i am gouging on them haha. but of course u cannot really glutton yourself on veg. it is impossible. 


Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

lots of kids from europe or at least that is my guess, but dont know why they are all wearing union jack caps; come to london for their holidays. under eros statue in piccadilly square.

duck tours

11 Mar

london 6.48am 4.6C misty it seems, though where i am the sun is comingup and it looks like a nice day. friday 2016

i see these ‘ducks’ around , most times in the thames near where i live, because across the river is where they enter and leave the water , but also now and then stuck in traffic on the roads, haha. this article which i read this morning says they have been around a long time, since 1946 when the first one was bought to form   wiscousin ducks tours. they were originally bought as cast offs army surplus amphibuous crafts during ww2.

they are distinctive not only for their water-land combination but for the running commentary by the drivers. i have not been on them, but i can understand their attraction to tourists. i enjoy the sight of them on the water, actually rather than be inside them looking out. haha.

cold day, forecast snow for london

15 Feb

london 7.02pm 5.9C dark now, sunset at 5.14pm. dry. monday 2016

would be nice if we have snow in london. its very pretty when it snows. and usually the temperature rises too, when water turns to snow, it throws out a lot of heat.

now there is a north wind blowing so if u are out, it is a cold wind blowing at you. if u have your neck uncovered, it can be bitingly cold. they say it will be -2 tonight. i shall believe it for london when i see it. haha. lets see what the weather website says tomorrow.

indoors my nhs thermometer says 12C. i think i will be cold only if it is 9C so now, nothing that a hot drink wont cure.

i was on the bus this morning and watching this foreigner , french i think, who pressed his oyster onto the reader, but it did not work. it might not be his oyster card’s fault, because earlier the reader did not register for me. (though the driver was changing shift, so maybe he had not configured the reader yet.)

anyway, he was about to get off when the driver said something, i guessed about his credit card, because he returned and started taking out his cards and i could hear  him asking the driver to take the payment from the card. instead of just pressing it onto the reader,   he put them on the counter one by one,and i could hear the driver talking, but i wastoo far to hear the words.

 maybe the driver was telling him to press it against the reader, so  i expected him to press one of the cards against the reader, but he did not, and i could hear the driver talking again… maybe he does not understand what the driver was saying… anyway he took back his cards and got off.

i dont know why the driver did not mime it, pointing to the card, pointing to the reader and pressing his hands together… but maybe it never occurred to him that the guy dont understand his accent. because lets face it, people here in uk dont speak the queen’s english. just like when u go to another country they too have their accents, even if they speak english. 

i was thinking it is one of the things i dislike when i am in a country where i dontknow their language. this is one case when not knowing the language make him lose the opportunity.

it is very frustrating, if it happened to me. and that is why i dont go abroad anymore. one of the reasons anyway.

it is a minor thing, but it can really ruin your experience of a country. you ask directions or information and get a stream of language from a person, and you know  he is telling u important information but u just dont understand him.

anyway, it is things like this i see that reminds me how glad i am to be in london and not away in some foreign country.  


just a normal day in london, albeit rather a wet one. hang on that is normal too. haha.

8 Feb

london 7.17pm 9C monday 2016

i am unable to watch tv, the programs live. it says i have a weak or no signal. so i think our  aerial on the roof of the flats have been damaged,  by the storm last night, when it rained really hard for a hour or two, with strong winds.

we can still get the broadband programs on the bbc player, and other channels players. and i can get broadband on my chromebook so my internet access is still available.

added.  i realise i can still watch the live tv programs, on my laptop, because the tv guide allows me to see it live. hmm, it really shows why the license fee is becoming unenforceable, since anyone can now watch tv from their laptops. why bother to pay for a license? hope they will stop that and find another way to finance the bbc. 

so i was able to watch simon reeves travelogue of greece on tv, where he filmed the refugees coming in their boats to a greek island  which is 1 hr from the turkish mainland;  and filmed the conflicts between cultures, and the demonstrations of the young in athens against the older generation establishment who they blame for getting greece into such a bad debt and trouble it is in now. seeing all those trouble and strife, i cannot see anyone wanting to go there for a holiday.

i can understand that report saying most tourists are now going to spain… rather than hotspots like morocco, or egypt or practically every where else, where they can be bombed or shot at by terrorists who are targetting the tourists.

when tourists are not dodging bullets from terrorists, they are dodging  the zika virus in south america. it is really not a nice time to be a tourist… here in london, we are getting rain, it seems a storm is here. storm imogen. all i notice of it is that the rain is heavy but seem to come in bursts of 1-2hours. last night those celebrating chinese new year eve will be very wet. it was a wet night. today it had bursts of rain, so that the covered walkways in victoria are full of people trying to get out of the rain. people just go about doing their business or buy lunch, because that was when i was there. it was the lunch rush hour.

it’s quite a normal day really in london. 

added. 9.2.16 7.19am 7.3C tuesday seems like the rest of the south has got gales and such…

Tourist hotspots around the world are crowded with new visitors – but are they all welcome? | Business | The Guardian

26 Jul

Tourist hotspots around the world are crowded with new visitors – but are they all welcome? | Business | The Guardian.

a good account of the dangers of too many tourists.

it mentioned bad behaviour by the tourists.

it did not mention that the host is also guilty, of fleecing the tourists, and enabling such things as the pedicab rider in london recently filmed whilst asking over £200 for a short pedicab ride to a family.

it also did not mention the prices to eat in the restaurants, or to buy from the shops, will inevitably rise to the disadvantage of the locals, as tourists are more willing to pay the exorbitant prices.

and the locals changing their behaviour to accommodate foreigners , like learning to speak english , or creating some festival, and dressing up just to keep the tourists entertained, and selling international stuff, rather than local stuff , because international by definition has more appeal to tourists. or even changing the taste of their local cuisine to suit the tourists.

i think it is long gone those days when travel is an education, and broaden the minds.

nowadays it is getting to  cheaper places with lots of cheap booze and lots of sun.

personally i think it is just modern life, and though i dont like it, ( that is why i dont travel anymore) i think it is here to stay and i can see the advantages to everyone, as it keeps the economy rolling.

i think it sad that barcelona is banning nudity. spanish laws are liberal and allow nudity in public. i would have thought that is a nice local tradition to keep to distinguish spain from everywhere else, but i guess barcelona is so crowded, they are trying to find ways to stop poor tourists from coming. haha. they want rich tourists who stay a short while, and spend lots and create the least trouble, and then fxxk off. and that is what will happen more and more as towns and cities get overcrowded with tourists.

i think with airbnb, so many will be able to by- pass paying to stay in expensive hotels and crowd even more the cities that are popular to start with.  the authorities cannot manipulate the type of visitors they want to encourage, the rich ones who stay in expensive hotels.

yesterday i was in that stretch of london between trafalgar square and parliament square, and it was just full of tourists and foreigners. i would imagine practically everyone on the street was a tourist. i was a local who was just passing through on the bus. i bet there are very few british born people there. if i were british born, i would feel i am the odd one out. in fact there have been some complaints about that, some were saying they dont hear english spoken in the streets in these places, as there are so many foreigners talking their lingo amongst themselves. i would say to them, dont get upset about it, treat them like they are guests of your country whilst taking their money selling them some junk, haha.