The Rise of the Egalitarian Elitist

Kingstonian

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2,800
England is one of the most fantastic countries to live in, if you're in the right industries and professions. And/or you can live in a decent area. The climate remains atrocious mind you.
I love the climate. No extremes. No tornadoes, hurricanes, excessive heat or bitter cold. Four proper seasons as well. Maybe not a lot of sunshine but I am fair skinned anyway.
 

formby002

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2,018
I love the climate. No extremes. No tornadoes, hurricanes, excessive heat or bitter cold. Four proper seasons as well. Maybe not a lot of sunshine but I am fair skinned anyway.
Well if we didn't have the climate we have, we wouldn't be so green and you wouldn't get this (medieval castle optional):

1627730671657.png
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Messages
8,776
Leicester is a tough gig. My missus thinks its super rough and I can't deny it now I've left. It used to be a solid working class city upto the late mid 80s. Lots of well paid jobs. I don't think you notice the decline when you live in it tbh. I guess its the same all over the midlands and north. I travel to Manchester a bit (pre-covid) and notice it there as well. Leicester seems worse though. Sad to see.
Liverpool is better than it was, I notice that the Dock Road in Birkenhead some of the old dock buildings are turned into apartments and they look good with the top apartments having views across the Mersey to the Liver Building.

Chester has declined somewhat, as a shopping place for sure. It still feels the old Chester in parts, but it's not as busy with lots of empty shopping space, or what was once shops, now estate agents. They have no answer to Cheshire Oaks.

The Wirral Way is better now you can ride on your mountain bikes. Well maintained.

Eastham, Neston, Parkgate and West Kirby are still the same.

Other parts of the Wirral are unrecognisable, Little Sutton has been turned into a mini-Curry mile, utterly bizarre. It went from a village type high street to cheap kebab, chicken and Indian takeaway zone.

But change and not for the better in all places is happening here in much of Europe. My mate left a part of The Hague due to the number of break-ins he's had and the rampant and blatant drug dealing in the historic park next to him. Parts of Hamburg have gone right down and one of my colleagues has moved out and both him and brother-in-law who visits there often, say the city has deteriorated big time in the last decade.

Oh, and to me, quality of food matters a lot wherever I live or even chose to go on holiday.

I remember when food in the UK tbh was mostly horrendous. It is much better now, but you have to seek it out and frankly, it helps having money as the standard supermarket fare is mediocre, not bad but not great either. Lots of variety though
When I first came to the Netherlands the standard of the supermarkets was dreadful, you had to go to the high street butchers, fishmongers, etc to get decent grub. The supermarkets were all sub-standard on par with the old Kwik Save. Now they're pretty good, that's a very recent development.

I love the climate. No extremes. No tornadoes, hurricanes, excessive heat or bitter cold. Four proper seasons as well. Maybe not a lot of sunshine but I am fair skinned anyway.
London is a bit different climate wise to the Wirral, where I'm from. You've got that Cheshire Gap weather phenomena coming in from the Irish Sea that keeps it miserable and winter like for most of the year. The damp, sore throat and sinusitis will get you every year without fail.

Here is a North Sea climate, but it's much better, not in the winter, but the summer here is pretty much guaranteed and starts a month earlier and is a month longer.
Well if we didn't have the climate we have, we wouldn't be so green and you wouldn't get this (medieval castle optional):

View attachment 40241
Also got the best country roads in the world. No other country has that equivalent. Over here, if one or two roads are blocked you're very limited in options, you're basically stuck with no winding lanes and alternatives to get you to your destination.
 
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formby002

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,018
Liverpool is better than it was, I notice that the Dock Road in Birkenhead some of the old dock buildings are turned into apartments and they look good with the top apartments having views across the Mersey to the Liver Building.

Chester has declined somewhat, as a shopping place for sure. It still feels the old Chester in parts, but it's not as busy with lots of empty shopping space, or what was once shops, now estate agents. They have no answer to Cheshire Oaks.

The Wirral Way is better now you can ride on your mountain bikes. Well maintained.

Eastham, Neston, Parkgate and West Kirby are still the same.

Other parts of the Wirral are unrecognisable, Little Sutton has been turned into a mini-Curry mile, utterly bizarre. It went from a village type high street to cheap kebab, chicken and Indian takeaway zone.

But change and not for the better in all places is happening here in much of Europe. My mate left a part of The Hague due to the number of break-ins he's had and the rampant and blatant drug dealing in the historic park next to him. Parts of Hamburg have gone right down and one of my colleagues has moved out and both him and brother-in-law who visits there often, say the city has deteriorated big time in the last decade.


When I first came to the Netherlands the standard of the supermarkets was dreadful, you had to go to the high street butchers, fishmongers, etc to get decent grub. The supermarkets were all sub-standard on par with the old Kwik Save. Now they're pretty good, that's a very recent development.


London is a bit different climate wise to the Wirral, where I'm from. You've got that Cheshire Gap weather phenomena coming in from the Irish Sea that keeps it miserable and winter like for most of the year. The damp, sore throat and sinusitis will get you every year without fail.

Here is a North Sea climate, but it's much better, not in the winter, but the summer here is pretty much guaranteed and starts a month earlier and is a month longer.

Also got the best country roads in the world. No other country has that equivalent. Over here, if one or two roads are blocked you're very limited in options, you're basically stuck with no winding lanes and alternatives to get you to your destination.
Chester has suffered from the increase of race meetings at the Roodee.
 

Panama

Well-Known Member
Messages
624
If I may ask, what were the things that made you glad to move back?

There's a lot of things that pee me off here, the driving culture for one, but overall, I prefer it on a number of indicators: climate and my wife's tax free position being the biggest ones. Along with the cycle lines to keep you fit, the 6/7 months you can use them without that north sea wind biting into you.
I lived in The Netherlands for 4 years between June 2008 and June 2012.

The issues I had were:

55% tax rate
Expensive food except for bacon and beer
Sunday shopping
Store opening hours
Expensive clothing and consumables
Expensive restaurants
Lack of UK international food: Indian, Cantonese. Dutch Chinese food is different.

You name it, it was twice as expensive. Deodorant, razor carts.

I do miss Surinaamse roti meals.
What was also strange, was that the local fields were full of sheep but you couldn't find lamb apart from shoarma vlees or to go to a halal butcher in the ethnic areas.
 
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Pimpernel Smith

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,776
I lived in The Netherlands for 4 years between June 2008 and June 2012.

The issues I had were:

55% tax rate
Expensive food except for bacon and beer
Sunday shopping
Store opening hours
Expensive clothing and consumables
Expensive restaurants
Lack of UK international food: Indian, Cantonese. Dutch Chinese food is different.

You name it, it was twice as expensive. Deodorant, razor carts.

I do miss Surinaamse roti meals.
What was also strange, was that the local fields were full of sheep but you couldn't find lamb apart from shoarma vlees or to go to a halal butcher in the ethnic areas.
Quite a bit has changed since you left, but I recognize several of those issues.

The tax on income is slightly less at the moment at 49.5%. Then you've got a few other complex tax/national insurance stuff that push it over 50%.

The food situation has come a long way in the last 5-6 years. The new Jumbo City's have really upped the competition and range of quality of supermarket food. Lidl with it's fresh vegetables has done a good job of raising the profile of what once seen as the cheap and cheery end of the market. Even Albert Heijn is better too, more international.

You can still get really ripped-off on the clothing front. Big time. You're better to buy on the net if you can. There are some exceptions: The English Hatter is priced acceptably for chino style pants (but they'll try and flog you a scarf for near €300) and Steppin' Out (owned by the same people) is good for boxer shorts. The Oger's and the Pelger's will still want top dollar for average stuff.

Learnt early days on the Chinese restaurants. Here you need to go to Walong in Statenkwartier, or China town in the centre of The Hague. Otherwise what you'll get is not what we consider Chinese and is poor quality. The Indian restaurants are better now and with the influx of Indians in the last decade that was inevitable. But still nowhere near as good as in the UK.

It's still expensive to go out, but all those expat pubs have reduced the prices as they're desperate for customers.
Chester has suffered from the increase of race meetings at the Roodee.
It use to be a great day out in the County Stands in one of the supplier's boxes. It's meant to be like the wild west on race day evenings now. Too many scallies spoilt it.
 

formby002

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,018
Quite a bit has changed since you left, but I recognize several of those issues.

The tax on income is slightly less at the moment at 49.5%. Then you've got a few other complex tax/national insurance stuff that push it over 50%.

The food situation has come a long way in the last 5-6 years. The new Jumbo City's have really upped the competition and range of quality of supermarket food. Lidl with it's fresh vegetables has done a good job of raising the profile of what once seen as the cheap and cheery end of the market. Even Albert Heijn is better too, more international.

You can still get really ripped-off on the clothing front. Big time. You're better to buy on the net if you can. There are some exceptions: The English Hatter is priced acceptably for chino style pants (but they'll try and flog you a scarf for near €300) and Steppin' Out (owned by the same people) is good for boxer shorts. The Oger's and the Pelger's will still want top dollar for average stuff.

Learnt early days on the Chinese restaurants. Here you need to go to Walong in Statenkwartier, or China town in the centre of The Hague. Otherwise what you'll get is not what we consider Chinese and is poor quality. The Indian restaurants are better now and with the influx of Indians in the last decade that was inevitable. But still nowhere near as good as in the UK.

It's still expensive to go out, but all those expat pubs have reduced the prices as they're desperate for customers.

It use to be a great day out in the County Stands in one of the supplier's boxes. It's meant to be like the wild west on race day evenings now. Too many scallies spoilt it.
They now strictly enforce the dress code and have drug dogs at the entry! The problem with the races is that everyone avoids the city centre when the races are on because of the drunken dickheads. And there are many more races than there used to be. Hardly any shops on Watergate St now.

The May Festival Ladies Day used to be fantastic, WAGS, actresses, Cheshire's finest ...not been to that one for many years now...
 

Panama

Well-Known Member
Messages
624
I lived in The Netherlands for 4 years between June 2008 and June 2012.

The issues I had were:

55% tax rate
Expensive food except for bacon and beer
Sunday shopping
Store opening hours
Expensive clothing and consumables
Expensive restaurants
Lack of UK international food: Indian, Cantonese. Dutch Chinese food is different.

You name it, it was twice as expensive. Deodorant, razor carts.

I do miss Surinaamse roti meals.
What was also strange, was that the local fields were full of sheep but you couldn't find lamb apart from shoarma vlees or to go to a halal butcher in the ethnic areas.
For those of you who lived in the UK in the 60's and 70's. My time in The Netherlands mirrored that. Supermarkets closed at 6.30/7pm, half day opening on Wednesday, closed on Sundays. A regional town opened one Sunday a month. Certain places closed for lunch.

Supermarkets were not allowed to refill overnight, so had you lots of teens stacking shelves and getting in your way whilst shopping.

Now there are some positives, every shopping area had a greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger.
 

Panama

Well-Known Member
Messages
624
Quite a bit has changed since you left, but I recognize several of those issues.

The tax on income is slightly less at the moment at 49.5%. Then you've got a few other complex tax/national insurance stuff that push it over 50%.

The food situation has come a long way in the last 5-6 years. The new Jumbo City's have really upped the competition and range of quality of supermarket food. Lidl with it's fresh vegetables has done a good job of raising the profile of what once seen as the cheap and cheery end of the market. Even Albert Heijn is better too, more international.

You can still get really ripped-off on the clothing front. Big time. You're better to buy on the net if you can. There are some exceptions: The English Hatter is priced acceptably for chino style pants (but they'll try and flog you a scarf for near €300) and Steppin' Out (owned by the same people) is good for boxer shorts. The Oger's and the Pelger's will still want top dollar for average stuff.

Learnt early days on the Chinese restaurants. Here you need to go to Walong in Statenkwartier, or China town in the centre of The Hague. Otherwise what you'll get is not what we consider Chinese and is poor quality. The Indian restaurants are better now and with the influx of Indians in the last decade that was inevitable. But still nowhere near as good as in the UK.

It's still expensive to go out, but all those expat pubs have reduced the prices as they're desperate for customers.

It use to be a great day out in the County Stands in one of the supplier's boxes. It's meant to be like the wild west on race day evenings now. Too many scallies spoilt it.
I used to shop at Steppin' Out, I found it similar to Hackett.
 
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