Category Archives: Expat Archive

A place in my memory: Mottingham

Majority of my readers would most likely not know Mottingham. Do you mean Nottingham, of Robin Hood fame?… Native Londoners may recognize the name of the village but give me a quizzical look as to why I would choose to highlight a rather nondescript location instead of one of hundreds of places that are famous

Read More

Tax returns unavoidable

Turns out that even after not having lived in the UK for two and a half years and not having a single penny of UK-taxable income to my name, I still owe it to Her Majesty Revenue and Customs to fill out the tax return for the most recent fiscal year. Failure to do so

Read More

Expensive espresso

An espresso at a European café or even a restaurant is likely to cost €2. Maybe, €2.50. If the restaurant is upscale, it could go for as much as €3.50. But paying more than that for a shot of espresso happens only at the brazenly overpriced locations, such as Venice’s Piazza San Marco. The other

Read More

$4 gallon of gas

In the middle of the night, needing to put gas in my car, I ended up paying over $4 per gallon for the first time that I can recall. I was unpleasantly bothered by that fact. Rewind a few years back, and I used to pay nearly £5 per gallon while living in the UK.

Read More

On store hours

One of the things that we always liked the least in Europe is the intent of people in the service sector to have lives outside of their shops. What do you mean, you are closed for three hours in the middle of the day? Are you so dumb as to lose potential customers by madly

Read More

UK taxes, one more time

Yep, 15 minutes, give or take. January 31, 2010, is the deadline for filing UK taxes for fiscal year 2008-09, and I repeated the self-assessment process that I first mentioned here. This time, I literally typed in three different amounts provided to me on the British equivalent of W-2 form (called P60) and one other

Read More

Speed limits

How the perspective changes with just a bit of time… Precisely two years ago, while describing my preparations for the driving test for a UK license, I noted my annoyance with the speed limits treatment in England. The absence of clearly posted limits on any road where the “national speed limit” was in effect required

Read More

B[b]otH interview: Kimmy

Burlaki.com finally got around to interviewing the youngest member of the family on her impressions and feelings regarding Europe and coming back to America. In the practically unedited words of a 9-year-old… Burlaki [back] on the Hudson: Are you happy to be back in America? Kimmy: Kind of… I miss London, but I’m also happy

Read More

A bit of charity

Natasha realized the she forgot to mention one other thing she misses from England in her little essay. It is not an obvious point either: Charity shops. Where we lived in Southeast London, seemingly every other town had at least one of these, selling everything from second-hand clothes to souvenirs to books and CDs. What’s

Read More

You can’t have it all

Today’s post was penned by my lovely wife. Hers in the next entry in a small feature of everyone in the family discussing their feelings on having lived in England and returning to the States. The previous post in the series can be found here. ——————- Travel was number one on our list of the

Read More

Americans abroad

A person decides to go for a week-long trip to Paris with her teenage daughter. Neither of them have travelled much before, especially to Europe, and they’ve never been to France. Neither of them is much interested in history, art or architecture. They picked Paris as a holiday destination because, well, it is one of

Read More

B[b]otH interview: Becky

It took me a while to follow up on Geo’s excellent suggestion, but I finally started to sit down with members of my family to get their thoughts on living in England and being back in America. First up, the teen. Burlaki [back] on the Hudson: So, what did you like the most about England?

Read More

Weekend notes, 08/24/09

Our weekends have gotten back to what we consider “normal” for us very quickly upon repatriation. A dinner outing with parents. An idle get-together with friends by the pool. A mixed kids-and-adults party in celebration of some occasion. We have not had a single Saturday or Sunday in the last month where we were not

Read More

TV commercials

A quick observation that I cannot properly quantify: We’ve been struck over the last few days how much more commercial time there is on American TV as compared to the channels we watched in England. It feels as if every 6-7 minutes there is a 3-4 minute commercial break. Our recollections of the British TV

Read More

Quick notes on costs

For a casual cell-phone user, the cost of the service in Britain is a proven expense that is considerably lower than here in the US. The difference is in the treatment of incoming minutes. In UK, they are free. On a pay-as-you-go scheme, one conceivably can have zero balance on their account, yet use their

Read More