Thursday, July 21, 2005
I have arrived in the UK. Right now I'm staying at a hostel in Central London. As I write this, several bombs have gone off mere blocks away from where I am staying. The bombings actually occurred as I was walking back to my hostel. I had no idea they had occurred and was caught up in a huge wave of human traffic coming out of the Tube (what they call the subway). I was planning on taking the tube back from my work visa office, but couldn't find the entrance. So my stupidity actually saved my life, the first time that has ever happened actually.
The UK looks a bit like an East Coast city, or maybe it's the East Coast cities that look like it, except the cars are a lot smaller. It's a car fan's dream being here. Virtually every model you can imagine can be seen in the city, and commuters on motorcycles or scooters are numerous. I really see London as the way most American cities will look like in the future because of gasoline shortages. People will drive highly efficient diesel cars and motorcycles. These cars will be small, and population density will be great, as the price of fuel drives people to living nearer to their jobs.
Even though MG Rover went under, I've seen many Rover 75s about, as well as MG TFs. I've read you can get a brand new diesel 75 for about 11000 pounds, which is the same price as a new Golf. The new Golf is a popular car as well, and it looks great. I think it's crazy they haven't released this car in the states.
As I've mentioned before, I am attempting to get work in London, specifically automotive related work. If that fails, I'll try for legal work, for which I have a graduate degree. This blog will continue on regardless. I see it as a sort of analysis bridging the gap between the European and American car experience. My experience with cars is substantially different to most Europeans, many of whom I would imagine will rely almost completely on public transportation and never learn to drive. V8s are a rarity here. A Mustang would qualify as a luxury sports car, because of the amount of fuel it uses and the insurance costs.
So keep reading. Posts will dwindle for the time being until I get settled and find work. But when I do, things should get exciting.
Small cars rule because the pay is low, they have an incredible unemployment, and the dole encorages the same.
They drive small cars because that's what's affordable. The highway system is horrible, except for the M roads.
Why don't we have the Golf? Because it won't meet missions or safety standards.
I could go on, but keep your eyes open for what is really there, instead of what you'd like to see.
So if the "dole" is so good, how come no one is on it? Many of the myths Americans have of a so-called socialist Europe I am finding to be far from the truth. The reason cars are small here is because gas is so expensive, not because their economy is doing poorly. Their economy is actually doing better than America's, one of the reasons why I moved here.
Like I said, keep your eyes open. You are the one with preconceived notions. I lived there. Glad I'm back.
I'm in London too. Hopefully only for a few more months but maybe as long as 2 more years. I hate living in this place. It's crap. The roads are crap. The people are ugly, stupid and annoying. The food, while improved in the past 10 years, mostly sucks. The tube is garbage. The trains suck. Etc. It's as bad as you'd imagine if Rupert Murdoch and Fox owned this hellhole.
You'll hate living in American cities more I guess, because most don't have a public transportation system that holds a candle to this one. And food? The food here might be worse than LA, but it's the same as most of America. I can get a burger or anything American. How are you here for two years? Do you have a Holiday Work Visa?
I'm here on a 2 year work visa. I'm hoping it won't last that long, or that they'll move me to someplace on the continent before going back to the states. Of course, there's also a chance I'll be here for 3 years.
You'll enjoy all the speed cameras, too!
I'd sign in but I don't have a blogger account...
The best thing about this place is that it's close to Europe.