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Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson HalfDork
4/8/10 9:54 a.m.
ddavidv wrote: You mean all British gals don't look like this? (If you haven't seen Coupling, the Brit TV series, you need to rent it on Netflix. But only if you appreciate good sexual innuendo).

Yup, awesome. Think of it as a cross between 'Friends' and 'Sex in the City'. As a taster look on you tube for Steve's 'Lesbian spank inferno'. Visuals are work safe don't worry, dialog is not!

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA HalfDork
4/8/10 1:42 p.m.

Just want to let everyone involved know how much I'm enjoying this thread.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson HalfDork
4/8/10 1:53 p.m.
grpb wrote: To the expat engineers I am curious about something: In the automotive field the Europeans (primarily British and German) that I have encountered have a better working knowledge of the relevant workshop/manufacturing trades than many 'domestic' engineers, and usually are more prone to actually tinker with projects. While the American engineers likely have 'toys', the Europeans I have encountered are likely to have 'projects'. An engineer (mechanical) trained in America can get through the entire curriculum without knowing the basic operation of hand/machine tools or the design/history of essential mechanisms. It seems like the European engineers I have met have a much better working knowledge of the practical aspects of engineering. Is there a fundamental difference in the training an engineer receives over there, or more professional need to balance the theoretical and the practical?

The only possible answer I have to this is that maybe the Engineers who make it over here are more motivated than those that stay? I'm not sure. I don't think it's anything inherent in the education system, but that's changed since I went to school.

I was the last generation to receive a completely government funded higher education. University was paid for in full AND I got living expenses covered. Just after I graduated the government started cutting back of living expenses and eventually you started paying for your tuition too. Now it's broadly similar to the US, tuition I think is similar to state schools, although even Oxford and Cambridge aren't as expensive as Ivy league schools here, if your from the UK.

That change bought about a massive shift in how education worked. When I was at Uni a Bachelors was three years. You did subject related to your chosen field at that was it. Being in Engineering I did one class in business. Everything else was Engineering or Engineering related. None of what I saw when I got over here and people were taking electives in English or diving etc. There were pro's and con's to each. With the old British system you were our in three years as a very focused graduate. With the US (and now British system) where Education was/is a business and the longer they keep you the more $$"s they make off you, it take 4-5 years to graduate, but you potentially come out a more rounded person at the end. No one system is right or wrong, just different.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
4/8/10 5:15 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: Yup, awesome. Think of it as a cross between 'Friends' and 'Sex in the City'. As a taster look on you tube for Steve's 'Lesbian spank inferno'. Visuals are work safe don't worry, dialog is not!

The "Lesbian Spank Inferno" episode was the first one I ever saw. Good lordy, I thought I'd bust an intestine from laughing so hard. That speech he gives at the end is priceless.

"Vegetarians don't eat meat you insane bitch!"

Marty!
Marty! HalfDork
4/8/10 7:00 p.m.

Thread hijack here for a second........

Here Adrian have some Birthday cake on me.

Now continue on......

Doc_1
Doc_1 New Reader
4/8/10 9:20 p.m.

This thread reflects the fact how little most people have traveled. Let alone where and how to eek out a living in various places around the world.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
4/9/10 5:45 a.m.

I think it reflects more on the issue of non-single people being tied down by one spouse or the other. Honestly, I'd be all over the country if not around the world had I not married a (wonderful) woman who can't imagine living further than 30 minutes from her family. Nothing against that, as they are a great family, but I sure as heck wouldn't be living in Pennsyltucky still if this were not the case. Now you single guys/gals, you have no excuse.

JFX001
JFX001 Dork
4/9/10 7:44 a.m.
ddavidv wrote: I think it reflects more on the issue of non-single people being tied down by one spouse or the other. Honestly, I'd be all over the country if not around the world had I not married a (wonderful) woman who can't imagine living further than 30 minutes from her family. Nothing against that, as they are a great family, but I sure as heck wouldn't be living in Pennsyltucky still if this were not the case. Now you single guys/gals, you have no excuse.

Agreed. I would be anywhere from Jackson, WY to Savannah, Ga to Menemsha, MA if it weren't for the fact that My Lovely Wife prefers to be within a 1/2 mile of her mother. The problem that I have is that I like too many different styles/cultures/architecture to settle on one specific place.Henceforth, I will stay here in Ohio and visit...the UK..Paris..Florence..Bavaria. I do envy the people here from Europe though, the relative proximity of day-tripping diversity.

cwh
cwh SuperDork
4/9/10 8:15 a.m.

I have found that ex pats are generally more ambitious, more motivated, more risk takers. An example of that in a broad sense is the Jamaican population around here. Hard working, famous for holding down 2 or 3 jobs, excellent craftsmen. In Jamaica those qualities are much less common. Considering the the US was founded and populated by ex pats, might have something to do with the nature of our country,

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson HalfDork
4/9/10 9:57 a.m.
Marty! wrote: Thread hijack here for a second........ Here Adrian have some Birthday cake on me. Now continue on......

AAwwwee shucks, thanks :) Looks tasty

I'm back! I've been unable to post for the last few hours for some strange problem.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson HalfDork
4/9/10 10:03 a.m.

OK, another Q for those still living in the UK or Europe. What the hell is it with wrist watches? When I left the UK in 94 a wrist watch was something that told the time. If you were rich you bought a Rolex end of story. Now I can't pick up an English car magazine without several pages of watches, what gives? Octane is completely obsessed with them and has articles on them all the time. Evo is to the point where they have at least 2 pages every issue with them, and even the latest issue of Car than my wife just brought back for me has a sections called 'First Look: watches'. It appears as if your leaving the house naked unless you have $5k dangling from your wrist waiting to be scratched the first time you pick up a spanner! When did this obsession start and how did it get so big?

autoxrs
autoxrs Reader
4/9/10 5:29 p.m.
ddavidv wrote: I think it reflects more on the issue of non-single people being tied down by one spouse or the other. Honestly, I'd be all over the country if not around the world had I not married a (wonderful) woman who can't imagine living further than 30 minutes from her family. Nothing against that, as they are a great family, but I sure as heck wouldn't be living in Pennsyltucky still if this were not the case. Now you single guys/gals, you have no excuse.

+1

My father always wanted to be at the leading edge in his field and he moved to wherever his practice was flourishing. So my parents lived in 6 countries from 68-81. After I was born they moved to India so my brother and I could get a glimpse of our heritage. Strangely, their choices were India or Australia... gee dad I think you made the wrong pick there. Even in India we went to a private British school for ex-pats, so there were people from all over the world. I would travel the world much like my father and mother did, but sadly they are of the age where any phone call at an odd hour makes me worry.

Back on topic, to me education is foremost over all else. Sadly this country has a very weak education system from K-12 and undergraduate. For that reason alone I'd never settle here permanently.

Doc_1
Doc_1 New Reader
4/9/10 5:52 p.m.

Not throwing rocks, just saying not many Americans get out. It is truly eye opening when you do. After being "out"........ there is no place I would rather be than ANY place in America. Europe is not too bad but it goes down hill FAST after that.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
4/10/10 5:29 a.m.

I don't get the watch thing either. That's just money that could be spent on cars wasted on a piece of jewelry that most people won't even realize is something (I sure wouldn't).

grpb
grpb New Reader
4/10/10 7:18 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: With the old British system you were our in three years as a very focused graduate. With the US (and now British system) where Education was/is a business and the longer they keep you the more $$"s they make off you, it take 4-5 years to graduate, but you potentially come out a more rounded person at the end. No one system is right or wrong, just different.

Interesting. With the expats I have met here, there is much less of a line between vocation and avocation, they work in automotive, they play with cars. Nowadays this is in definitely not the majority, but perhaps as mentioned the expats are by definition more focused and driven. Maybe 'back home' their counterparts generally work in automotive and play with 'other stuff'.

Although very consistenly I have seen that the expats that live here have minimal interest in the cars of their past, the Brits don't drive/play with British cars, the Germans don't drive/play with BMW's (or NSU's, ha), for the most part they play with iconic American cars. The only constent 'British' cars that I see expat Brits playing with are Fords that weren't imported, or trying to turn the Fords that were imported into the Fords that weren't.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/13/10 2:17 p.m.
ddavidv wrote: I think it reflects more on the issue of non-single people being tied down by one spouse or the other. Honestly, I'd be all over the country if not around the world had I not married a (wonderful) woman who can't imagine living further than 30 minutes from her family. Nothing against that, as they are a great family, but I sure as heck wouldn't be living in Pennsyltucky still if this were not the case. Now you single guys/gals, you have no excuse.

I dunno, my wife loves the sound of a boarding pass coming out of the printer and pretty much the only way to get her out of bed early-ish on a Saturday is to shout "road trip" .

She'd divorce me instantly if I suggested we'd move within 1/2 mile of her parents house, too.

Adrian_Thompson wrote: OK, another Q for those still living in the UK or Europe. What the hell is it with wrist watches? When I left the UK in 94 a wrist watch was something that told the time. If you were rich you bought a Rolex end of story. Now I can't pick up an English car magazine without several pages of watches, what gives? Octane is completely obsessed with them and has articles on them all the time. Evo is to the point where they have at least 2 pages every issue with them, and even the latest issue of Car than my wife just brought back for me has a sections called 'First Look: watches'. It appears as if your leaving the house naked unless you have $5k dangling from your wrist waiting to be scratched the first time you pick up a spanner! When did this obsession start and how did it get so big?

I don't really know much about that, but I did notice that in those UK mags that cater to the part of the population with a higher disposable income (like Octane and Evo). That and cufflinks, actually. I guess that's because these are the only male jewellery items that are generally accepted so you can wear them more or less all the time and it add the necessary 'bling' that seems to be required these days.

I do have a passing interest in classic watches but for a different reason - I've got fairly thin wrists and the modern, large "look at me" watches don't fit me properly. Older men's watches tend to be smaller and thus fit my wrist better.

Oh, and I did notice that some of the glossier German classic car mags mention the odd new car-related watch but they don't normally have two pages dedicated to a watch that would buy you a house Oop Norf.

81gtv6
81gtv6 HalfDork
4/13/10 3:33 p.m.

My family lived in northern Germany (Osterholz Scharmbeck to be exact) in the mid 80s for 4 years, my dad was stationed there with the Army.

I was 15 when we moved back to the states but but I still remember so much about being over there and I think that time was one of the best teaching experiences I could have had. There was hardly a weekend that we didn't go some place but there were friends of mine who family never went anywhere, which even then I could not understand.

It has been very interesting to read everyones posts, it does help to put things in perspective. My one hope is to be able to give my children as much exposure the the world as possible. Thanks .

PHeller
PHeller Dork
4/13/10 3:36 p.m.

I know this is a strictly Great Britain related topic, but what about else where in the world?

It seems like the majority of people are rather stuck on Canada, the US, Germany, and England.

What about Costa Rica? A little U.S. and a little island nation. Or Somoa? Again, a little of both. Brazil? Chile? South Africa?

I've never left the country except for Canada, and I'm sure there are some paradise like places within the US (I hope to find them this summer on my roadtrip) but I hate the idea that I'm stuck in Pennsylvania.

WilD
WilD Reader
4/13/10 4:21 p.m.

Thank you all for reinforcing my oppinion that the US is awesome, especially the midwest. P.S. I'm not a totally sterotypical American aparantly, as I have traveled a bit and have seen just about every region of this country (and both seacoasts), even if I haven't visitted every one of the 50 states. I've traveled to several countries in Western Europe, but not the UK yet. I have lived in Michigan virtually my entire life, but do currently live over 150 miles from where I grew up. I certainly love it here.

Jay
Jay Dork
4/13/10 6:03 p.m.

I've been meaning to chime in here for a while. I'm a (Dutch-Indonesian-)Canadian expat currently living in Germany. I've travelled pretty extensively in the US and Britain (in fact I'll be back in Britain next weekend, big Lotus meet/show in Malvern, woohoo) and also in other areas of the world. I live around 9000 km from the town I was born in, 6000 km from the place I grew up (where most of my family still lives) and for my job I spend a few months a year 10000 km in the opposite direction. Yikes. Ya, I fly around a lot.

Honestly I can't answer "which country is better." I really enjoy travelling in the US and UK and could easily see myself taking a short-term contract in either country. But, both of them have in my eyes severe problems with government surveillance and nanny-statism which would make me think pretty hard about settling there permanently. Germany also has over-regulation issues but I'd say it's not as bad here as Britain (most people still remember the DDR days!), but there are some attitudes that people around here seem to have that I find incredibly irritating. Even though I like the town I live in now pretty well, I don't think I want to settle here permanently either, nor do I particularly want to return to Canada. The only big draw for me "back home" is my friends and family who still live there. I think I'm gonna have to be a lot older before I decide where to make my "home base" (BTW I'm 28.) Even after I "settle" I can't see giving up travelling.

I do a lot of field work in Indonesia (just was over there 8 weeks in Feb/March) and my company has been rumbling about sending me there for a longer time - like six months to a year - which I'm really looking forward to doing. Now it's just a matter of working out the details...

There are areas I haven't been that I'd really like to see also. Hong Kong, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, South America... the list goes on. You can look at these places all you want on the internet but you never really know anything about them until you go there.

Sorry, this post has been pretty incoherent and rambling. I don't know where I was going with it anymore and I have to go to bed soon. I guess my point is everywhere has problems - it's just a matter of deciding which ones you want to overlook and which are inexcusable - and almost everywhere has something awesome about it that you won't find anywhere else. Get out and explore!

cwh
cwh SuperDork
4/14/10 10:16 a.m.

I totally agree with getting out and traveling. I have met people that live in my area, SoFla, that have never been to the Keys. Ridiculous. Most of my travel has been to the Caribbean, and that has been most educational. Best part is meeting people. Just talking to folks in my hotel lobby has been fascinating. Yes, I have been to places that I will NEVER return to, such as Kingston Jamaica, but almost all places have been well worth seeing. Will be going out again in September, I hope, to Trinidad, Barbados, and possibly Grand Cayman. All business, of course.

S2Fella
S2Fella New Reader
4/14/10 2:38 p.m.

Great topic. As someone who grew up in England (Cumbria) and moved to Toledo, Ohio 15 years ago at the age of 27, I guess I am in a pretty similar position to Adrian - and agree with almost everything you say.

The one area of disagreement is food. I've got to say that the UK's reputation for being a foodie's nightmare is very old news and not remotely true any more. I think the restaurants in the UK, especially at the high end, are a lot better that in the US. People are generally more interested in food there too. They make a lot more things from scratch (every recipe doesn't start with a can of Campbell's chicken soup...).

Seems like the worst thing about the UK now is the speed cameras - it's outrageous how the British public has passively accepted this ridiculous intrusion into their lives. Maybe we need to send some "colonials" back there to show them how to run a good revolution.

Oh, and in my 15 years here I've visited every single state. It's a great place to travel.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson HalfDork
4/14/10 3:03 p.m.
S2Fella wrote: Great topic. As someone who grew up in England (Cumbria) and moved to Toledo, Ohio 15 years ago at the age of 27, I guess I am in a pretty similar position to Adrian - and agree with almost everything you say. The one area of disagreement is food. I've got to say that the UK's reputation for being a foodie's nightmare is very old news and not remotely true any more. I think the restaurants in the UK, especially at the high end, are a lot better that in the US. People are generally more interested in food there too. They make a lot more things from scratch (every recipe doesn't start with a can of Campbell's chicken soup...).

OK, the food in England isn't nearly as bad as the jokes say, and let's face it America's great addition to the culinary world is the hamburger! The problem is that although there are many nice restaurants in the UK service in the UK is still an oxymoron and the prices are just stageringly high compared to here.

Now, for all those who joke about English food, you just don't understand. As a result of the colonial days, the single most popular dish in the UK is chicken Tikka Masala, curry in general IS British cuisine. Funny aside. Last week was my Birthday, so naturally I wanted traditional British food, Chicken Vindaloo, for myself and 12 others! I found a great recipe on the internet with lot's of positive feedback. Although the feedback was good, most of it had a comment along the lines of 'great, but triple or double the spice' So I did! The result was akin to death by anal re-bore with a red hot poker and no anesthetic, in other words perfect. My wife pointed out that murdering our guests with flaming hot curry could be seen as a bit of a social faux pas. So I had to make a complete new batch with zero spice, then cut in 20% of the old mixture. I kept the remaining 80% of me and other true believers. It was perfect :)

S2Fella wrote: Seems like the worst thing about the UK now is the speed cameras - it's outrageous how the British public has passively accepted this ridiculous intrusion into their lives. Maybe we need to send some "colonials" back there to show them how to run a good revolution.

It's not just scameras as they are know, it's the appaling lack of personal freedom and the nannying in general.

S2Fella wrote: Oh, and in my 15 years here I've visited every single state. It's a great place to travel.

You've done all 50 states plus DC! Good on you. My personal litmus test to ticking off a state is having spent the night and done an activity there. I still have the following to go.

Washington State (I've set foot there, but that doesn't count)
Idaho (Again I've set foot there, but that doesn't count)
North Dakota
Oklahoma Louisiana Mississippi
Alabama (Set foot there and driven through at night, but still doesn’t count) North Carolina
Maine
Alaska

I think I said 7 to go on the first page, this list is 10, but if you count the three I'm not counting (!!!!) then the two figure match!

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/14/10 3:12 p.m.
S2Fella wrote: The one area of disagreement is food. I've got to say that the UK's reputation for being a foodie's nightmare is very old news and not remotely true any more. I think the restaurants in the UK, especially at the high end, are a lot better that in the US. People are generally more interested in food there too.

That's a fairly recent change though, isn't it? Strangely enough, there's been a rise both in the sale of TV dinners and cook books. Go figure...

Yes, you can get good to very good restaurant food here in the UK, especially at the mid-price or higher level. Trouble is, it's still a lot more expensive than trying to get similar food about 40 miles south of here, and the food quality in regular supermarkets tends to be better on the Continent, too.

S2Fella wrote: They make a lot more things from scratch (every recipe doesn't start with a can of Campbell's chicken soup...).

True. We tend to use granulated chicken stock over here .

S2Fella wrote: Seems like the worst thing about the UK now is the speed cameras - it's outrageous how the British public has passively accepted this ridiculous intrusion into their lives. Maybe we need to send some "colonials" back there to show them how to run a good revolution.

It's not only regular speed cameras, though. It's a lot of CCTV, cameras coupled with numberplate recognition that allow journey tracking to a certain extent (used both for the London congestion charge zone and average speed cameras) etc.

Trouble is, for a revolution, something a little more effective than pitchforks and torches would come in handy...

Jay
Jay Dork
4/14/10 3:16 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote: Last week was my Birthday, so naturally I wanted traditional British food, Chicken Vindaloo, for myself and 12 others! I found a great recipe on the internet with lot's of positive feedback. Although the feedback was good, most of it had a comment along the lines of 'great, but triple or double the spice' So I did! The result was akin to death by anal re-bore with a red hot poker and no anesthetic, in other words perfect.

Can you send me the link? I've been trying to conjure up that authentic British curry house experience in my kitchen for some time.

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