I’m supposed to write a reaaaally long entry about the UK experience, but I’ll save it for next time when I can sit down for hours and write and relive all the magic. For now, I’m sharing you my top 10 UK favorites! Do take note if you have plans of visiting UK in the future!
1. Tube system
Seriously! Getting from point A to point B is never a problem. No delays in the train schedules, and if there are any, they would always inform you and give you alternate routes. Maps are everywhere and though the system is quite overwhelming at the first ride, you’ll get used in the next ones. Then there’s also the Oyster card which can be used in both trains and buses – and they have a daily maximum fare – example, if you reach 6gbp, they don’t charge you in your next rides for the day. Not bad, right?
2. Debit cards/Credit Cards
Every shop, even the food truck lady outside our office accepts credit cards and debit cards! People don’t bring a lot of cash. Tubes/buses accept cards as well. Just tap and you’re good to go.
3. Free cash withdrawals in ATMs
The first time I used my BPI atm in Birmingham, I ranted about how low the exchange rate was. But when I checked and compared the exchange rate with Eurochange, I realized it’s the same and free of charge from bank to bank transactions. Most of the ATMs in UK don’t charge in withdrawals.
4. Online websites
Even the smallest stores down the corner have an online website. And we can always argue the price online and in the store. Usually the online price should be the same as the store’s. If ever not, they would follow the online price if insisted.
5. Amazon UK
I got so frustrated with my phone being not open lined so I had to order an R-Sim and thought I’d buy a UK sim instead without having my line opened as it was quite expensive! My amazon order arrived the next day and when I discovered I ordered a different one (that didn’t work in my phone), I applied for a return item option and they sent me an email how to return the product. Also, they were willing to refund the whole price and more. They also have these Amazon lockers in select malls where you can drop by and get your orders. Amazeballs! Talk about quality service and convenience at its finest!
Take note that this is United Kingdom, and they have the most bipolar weather of all. One moment it’s raining and the next, it’s suddenly sunny. You’ll never know what would be next, really. So it’s always a good choice to bring a jacket or a coat and wear boots. I’ve always been a fan of knit wears, boots, scarves, beanies, and “sweater weather” so I’m really a fan of the weather – especially when the sky’s all gloomy and there’s a bit of rain shower. It seemed like a perfect time to curl up on your bed, think about life, think about the people that you miss back home, cry, and just be depressed. The British are actually a fan of sunny days, they go out and do everything al fresco. Eat outside? Yes. Drink outside? Yes. Try to get a tan? Yes.
7. Cheap grocery items
Everything’s cheap! I could get a mozzarella cheese in less than a pound! I could buy three stack of steaks for 3 pounds or less. Dairy, meat and wheat products are super cheap. We went grocery shopping that’s good for two weeks for only a thousand pesos if converted, and those were for two people already!
8. No traffic.
Especially in the city we were in – Leicester. Most people living outside London don’t like London much because of traffic and they find the place too crowded. But traffic’s pretty okay compared to Manila, of course. Their “traffic” is different from our “traffic”.
9. Edinburgh, Scotland
I love Scotland! I like the way of life, how laid back the people are and how they have a beach and mountains – best of both worlds! If I’ll have a chance to live in UK, I think I’ll choose Edinburgh.
10. Last but not the least, Primark!
They have everything – bags, makeups, clothes, shoes, accessories, swimsuits! Brand-wise, not really much since it’s a local store in UK. Quality? More than okay for the cheap price. Trendy? Yes. Tacky? Kind of. But really, it’s a haven! I can’t even explain how much I loved it.