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Hedgehog
02-05-2016, 12:58 AM
Not wanting to get in the way of pub met ups and ticket distribution, I thought I would start a thread for dumb ex-pats who have been away too long, and are now challenged when it comes to living in London - Please place your questions in this thread, and may be the good ship BBS will help us:

Travel -
It seems a one day off peak 6 zone travel card would be best for getting to the game from Bromley South (or East Croydon).
Q1. Where do you buy these tickets, and can you buy them on the day at the station?
Q2. Do they take good old cash, or is this strictly a machine taking a credit card?

Tipping -
Q1. Is the going rate still 10%, or has it gone more the way of America and is now 15%?
Q2. How about cabs? if the fair is 9 pounds, do you give them a tenner and say keep the change... or as question above, is this now all done with credit cards?

Driving -
Q1. When filling up with petrol, do you still pump first, then go in a pay for it, of is this all done at the pump now?
Q2. I guess you can't still turn left on a red light if all is clear? (Turning left (edit - make that right!) on red is OK in the US).

Dress code -
Q1. Will I be OK wearing plaid trousers, a ten gallon stetson hat and having a Nikon around my neck?

(P.S. The last one is a joke)

StonePenge
02-05-2016, 01:24 AM
Suggest getting an Oyster Card either in advance or on arrival. It's a stored value card for use on Tube/bus/trains and caps out at a certain amount each day.Each ride is cheaper than a single ticket.
https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/visiting-london/visitor-oyster-card

Hedgehog
02-05-2016, 01:30 AM
Thanks SP, I looked at getting a Travel Card ahead of time. It was $19 which I think is good value, then they wanted anther $19 to mail it to me! And that was the standard shipping rate, not express.

I'll take a closer look at the Oyster Card.

It shouldn't be this complicated!

Maybe I'll get my cousin to get me something ahead of time, she goes up into London a lot.

You can see why I started this thread though right?

LLCOOLSTEVE
02-05-2016, 01:35 AM
Driving -
Q1. When filling up with petrol, do you still pump first, then go in a pay for it, of is this all done at the pump now?
Q2. I guess you can't still turn left on a red light if all is clear? (Turning left on red is OK in the US).


1. Either (if the pump has a card reader attached to it)

2. If there is a green arrow in that filter lane then sure

Hedgehog
02-05-2016, 01:40 AM
1. Either (if the pump has a card reader attached to it)

2. If there is a green arrow in that filter lane then sure
Thanks Steve... makes sense.

JJ
02-05-2016, 01:41 AM
Travel -
It seems a one day off peak 6 zone travel card would be best for getting to the game from Bromley South (or East Croydon).
Q1. Where do you buy these tickets, and can you buy them on the day at the station?
Q2. Do they take good old cash, or is this strictly a machine taking a credit card?

When I was over for the SF I didn't bother getting an Oyster card - just bought a travelcard for the 1 day on the day. Got the ticket at the tube station, using my Australian-based credit card. I could also have used cash, though; there was no ticket office as such. I could have used my Australian "paywave / tap and go" card, but I didn't trust the UK system to recognise the Aus card and then charge me a million quid for tapping in and out, so just thought it was easier to buy the Travelcard. I'll be doing exactly the same again for the Final.

Driving -
Q1. When filling up with petrol, do you still pump first, then go in a pay for it, of is this all done at the pump now?

Pump first, then go in and pay (though some pumps give you the option).

2. I guess you can't still turn left on a red light if all is clear? (Turning left on red is OK in the US).

Correct. No left turning on a red light.

Hedgehog
02-05-2016, 02:53 AM
When I was over for the SF I didn't bother getting an Oyster card - just bought a travelcard for the 1 day on the day. Got the ticket at the tube station, using my Australian-based credit card. I could also have used cash, though; there was no ticket office as such. I could have used my Australian "paywave / tap and go" card, but I didn't trust the UK system to recognise the Aus card and then charge me a million quid for tapping in and out, so just thought it was easier to buy the Travelcard. I'll be doing exactly the same again for the Final.



Pump first, then go in and pay (though some pumps give you the option).



Correct. No left turning on a red light.
Thanks JJ - Good to hear from someone with recent experience :lux:

Bintang
02-05-2016, 06:54 AM
I bought an Oyster card years ago. They do not expire and I just top it up when I am back.

One thing you need to brush up on is the latest PC talk. What it is OK to say and what is not. I stay away from any gender / ethnic / religion talk for fear of upsetting someone. What is OK to say in the US is not always correct in the UK.

I will be in Bromley South as well, btw.

old git
02-05-2016, 07:00 AM
Thanks SP, I looked at getting a Travel Card ahead of time. It was $19 which I think is good value, then they wanted anther $19 to mail it to me! And that was the standard shipping rate, not express.

I'll take a closer look at the Oyster Card.

It shouldn't be this complicated!

Maybe I'll get my cousin to get me something ahead of time, she goes up into London a lot.

You can see why I started this thread though right?

Just buy an all zones travel card.The machines issue them on the day and they cost about 12.

Barbara4003
02-05-2016, 07:53 AM
Not wanting to get in the way of pub met ups and ticket distribution, I thought I would start a thread for dumb ex-pats who have been away too long, and are now challenged when it comes to living in London - Please place your questions in this thread, and may be the good ship BBS will help us:



Travel -

It seems a one day off peak 6 zone travel card would be best for getting to the game from Bromley South (or East Croydon).

Depends how long you are staying and travelling. If you intend to be here a few days and travel around, I'd suggest an Oyster card. They can be used on trains, underground, overground, buses and trams.


Q1. Where do you buy these tickets, and can you buy them on the day at the station?

Travel cards can be bought at the station from (mostly) machines. They take card and cash. There is a visitors Oyster card you can get - details here https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/visiting-london/visitor-oyster-card#on-this-page-0


Q2. Do they take good old cash, or is this strictly a machine taking a credit card?

Both card and cash.



Tipping -

Q1. Is the going rate still 10%, or has it gone more the way of America and is now 15%?

Minimum of 10%. If in a restaurant/bar, check the bill for service charge added. If it is, that's their tip so just pay that. If no service has been added, then min 10%


Q2. How about cabs? if the fair is 9 pounds, do you give them a tenner and say keep the change... or as question above, is this now all done with credit cards?

10-15% tip for cab drivers. You can download Apps which you log your card details and choose a tip rate, then you book your cab through the App and the money is automatically taken off your card. Might be a bit faffy just got visiting though.



Driving -

Q1. When filling up with petrol, do you still pump first, then go in a pay for it, of is this all done at the pump now?

At most big petrol stations, you have the option. Look at the screen at the pump and if there's an option, choose which one you want to use. If there's no option, it's pay at the kiosk


Q2. I guess you can't still turn left on a red light if all is clear? (Turning left on red is OK in the US).

Unfortunately not. You can only do that if there is a green filter arrow.



Dress code -

Q1. Will I be OK wearing plaid trousers, a ten gallon stetson hat and having a Nikon around my neck?

If you're intending to sit in the Manc end, you'll be fine ;)



(P.S. The last one is a joke)


:)

dannyb1
02-05-2016, 07:59 AM
Travel

Travelcard zone 1-6 off peak is 12.10 cash bought at station, news agents (mostly displaying the oyster logo outside shop window)

If you're going to be staying a few days then an Oyster card may be handier especially if getting on buses as they don't accept cash anymore.

When you get a new Oyster card, you'll need to pay a 5 deposit. If you decide you don't need it anymore, return your Oyster card to us and we'll refund your deposit

And the fare is 9.30 by oyster.

As for fuel it's mainly pump first then pay but the majority of supermarket forecourts have a card reader to save the hassle of going to pay in the kiosk.

Seagull-Eater_ Miss_Selhurst_ SE19_denizen
02-05-2016, 08:04 AM
if you walk past a ManUre fan, call him a bomberclaart !

jjeagle
02-05-2016, 11:21 AM
It looks like all your queries have been answered. As for Bromley South, you wont recognise it! (Although l don't know how long since you were there?) If you want/ need any local info, just ask.:p

Sodermalm
02-05-2016, 11:30 AM
Don't tip anyone, especially overpriced taxis

Hedgehog
02-05-2016, 12:36 PM
Thanks all.

Big hand for Barbara4003 who put a lot of effort into her answer. thanks.

I'm sure I'll muddle through - just lost a lot of confidence from the seasoned traveler I once was.

Hedgehog
04-05-2016, 01:02 AM
OK - this one might be more for people who live in The US and have returned to The UK more recently than me. Last time I was there I didn't own a cell/mobile phone (In fact they probably weren't invented!)

I have been doing a lot of Googling today, and it appears using a US based cell/mobile in The UK is not that easy. I'm seeing talk of "unlocking" SIM cards, changing SIM cards, buying Pay As You Go SIM cards or phones etc, etc.

I thought I had it all worked out and would just pay $1.50 a minute for voice or $0.50 for texting, then this whole unlocking SIM cards so my phone could connect to a UK network hit the fan.

I can't get a straight answer about calling someone in the UK while in the UK, or calling back to the US. People visiting here from the UK don't seem to have a problem calling me on their phones.

Am I over thinking this?

big bad John
04-05-2016, 02:46 AM
OK - this one might be more for people who live in The US and have returned to The UK more recently than me. Last time I was there I didn't own a cell/mobile phone (In fact they probably weren't invented!)

I have been doing a lot of Googling today, and it appears using a US based cell/mobile in The UK is not that easy. I'm seeing talk of "unlocking" SIM cards, changing SIM cards, buying Pay As You Go SIM cards or phones etc, etc.

I thought I had it all worked out and would just pay $1.50 a minute for voice or $0.50 for texting, then this whole unlocking SIM cards so my phone could connect to a UK network hit the fan.

I can't get a straight answer about calling someone in the UK while in the UK, or calling back to the US. People visiting here from the UK don't seem to have a problem calling me on their phones.

Am I over thinking this?


The last few times I've been back I've just bought a cheap phone. got a great deal last time. Phone and 300 free minutes for about 20 quid. Even if you only use it for a week it's still good value although it wouldn't be much use for calling overseas. I think places like Tescos do good deals though I might be mistaken.

Hedgehog
04-05-2016, 03:14 AM
The last few times I've been back I've just bought a cheap phone. got a great deal last time. Phone and 300 free minutes for about 20 quid. Even if you only use it for a week it's still good value although it wouldn't be much use for calling overseas. I think places like Tescos do good deals though I might be mistaken.
Sounds interesting - I'll look into this.

JJ
04-05-2016, 04:01 AM
Last time I was over for a couple of weeks (rather than a very short stay) I just went into O2 and got a one-off SIM card, stuck 20 quid on it, and used that. Very simple.

Hedgehog
04-05-2016, 04:13 AM
As the thread title says "idiot ex-pats". How do you stick 20 quid on a SIM card? And do you do this because the phone does not work, or to save money?

Bintang
04-05-2016, 04:39 AM
My phone is unlocked. I always buy a Lebara sim card when I go back. Very cheap international rates.

JJ
04-05-2016, 05:03 AM
As the thread title says "idiot ex-pats". How do you stick 20 quid on a SIM card? And do you do this because the phone does not work, or to save money?

To save money, because if I use my Australian SIM card, it basically goes up to the satellite, across to Australia, back up to the satellite and then back down again, hence costing a fortune.

I went into O2 (which is a mobile phone supplier) to get a temporary SIM card. When I got the card I then got them to load it with 20 pounds worth of credit for use in the UK. If you use it all up, you can top up with further cash at any mobile phone outlet. The down side is that it means you have a new (UK) mobile phone number for that period while you're using the UK SIM card. For that reason I take an old phone with me - I keep the Aus SIM card in my "current" phone, and put the UK SIM card in the old phone.

emjayteef
04-05-2016, 09:30 AM
Being one of these ex-pats myself, how are you going about getting a ticket? I presume your not a Season ticket holder hedgehog?

wavey
04-05-2016, 09:56 AM
OK - this one might be more for people who live in The US and have returned to The UK more recently than me. Last time I was there I didn't own a cell/mobile phone (In fact they probably weren't invented!)

I have been doing a lot of Googling today, and it appears using a US based cell/mobile in The UK is not that easy. I'm seeing talk of "unlocking" SIM cards, changing SIM cards, buying Pay As You Go SIM cards or phones etc, etc.

I thought I had it all worked out and would just pay $1.50 a minute for voice or $0.50 for texting, then this whole unlocking SIM cards so my phone could connect to a UK network hit the fan.

I can't get a straight answer about calling someone in the UK while in the UK, or calling back to the US. People visiting here from the UK don't seem to have a problem calling me on their phones.

Am I over thinking this?

I'm currently reading this on my US phone in Surrey. The phone works fine, the charges are exhorbitant. But no so if you buy a 'bundle'. $30 on AT&T gets 120mb of data, and pretty normal costs for texts and calls. Might not be the cheapest but minimal faff for a short trip.

Hedgehog
04-05-2016, 12:43 PM
I'm currently reading this on my US phone in Surrey. The phone works fine, the charges are exhorbitant. But no so if you buy a 'bundle'. $30 on AT&T gets 120mb of data, and pretty normal costs for texts and calls. Might not be the cheapest but minimal faff for a short trip.
Ah - the "Passport" from AT&T.

I was looking at that, and did some chatting with India on the subject. This was the way I was going as it seemed the cheapest (still get charged though, but less). Just was not sure about "unlocking" SIM card.

For 2 or 3 days I really don't want to get into the SIM card route. I think I'll drop by the AT&T store tonight and see if some spotty teenager can help, after I've explained that England is in another country and a long way away. :supergrin:

Hedgehog
04-05-2016, 12:45 PM
Being one of these ex-pats myself, how are you going about getting a ticket? I presume your not a Season ticket holder hedgehog?
Old friends.

TAK
04-05-2016, 01:01 PM
I am meeting friends in Spain beforehand then coming over. They're coming from the UK.

Is there a prepaid sim available in the UK that they could bring for me that also works in Spain at a reasonable rate?

saxoneagle
04-05-2016, 01:08 PM
Not wanting to get in the way of pub met ups and ticket distribution, I thought I would start a thread for dumb ex-pats who have been away too long, and are now challenged when it comes to living in London - Please place your questions in this thread, and may be the good ship BBS will help us:

Travel -
It seems a one day off peak 6 zone travel card would be best for getting to the game from Bromley South (or East Croydon).
Q1. Where do you buy these tickets, and can you buy them on the day at the station?
Q2. Do they take good old cash, or is this strictly a machine taking a credit card?

Tipping -
Q1. Is the going rate still 10%, or has it gone more the way of America and is now 15%?
Q2. How about cabs? if the fair is 9 pounds, do you give them a tenner and say keep the change... or as question above, is this now all done with credit cards?

Driving -
Q1. When filling up with petrol, do you still pump first, then go in a pay for it, of is this all done at the pump now?
Q2. I guess you can't still turn left on a red light if all is clear? (Turning left on red is OK in the US).

Dress code -
Q1. Will I be OK wearing plaid trousers, a ten gallon stetson hat and having a Nikon around my neck?

(P.S. The last one is a joke)

Blimey, you have been away a while mate :)

Smoz
04-05-2016, 01:08 PM
I am meeting friends in Spain beforehand then coming over. They're coming from the UK.

Is there a prepaid sim available in the UK that they could bring for me that also works in Spain at a reasonable rate?

The Three network allows their SIM cards to be used in Spain (as well as a few other countries) at the same rate as in the UK. Your monthly allowances can be used over there too. I imagine that if you went into a Three store you could pick up one on a 30 day rolling contract and cancel when you have finished with it. Not sure how it works on Pay As You Go but have a look at their website.


http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Phones/Feel_At_Home

Edit to add that their website does say that Pay As You Go is included in their Feel At Home offer.

http://www.three.co.uk/Support/Roaming_and_International

Three Pay as you Go info here

http://www.three.co.uk/Support/Pay_As_You_Go

Hedgehog
04-05-2016, 01:12 PM
Blimey, you have been away a while mate :)
2005 I think.

TAK
04-05-2016, 04:09 PM
Thanks Smoz.

Tomo
04-05-2016, 04:20 PM
They should send a documentary crew with you Hedgehog!!

How many days are you over here?

An Oyster Card is your best bet. Stick 20 on and then top up if you need it again.
A cheap phone for 20 from O2/Three should also be fine if it’s just a few days that’ll be fine and probably a lot less hassle if your current network are going to be difficult.

Cabs are generally cash unless you use Uber or similar…

RCUK
04-05-2016, 04:55 PM
Do i count??? Ill technicalll be an ex-pat coming home for the game.

On my annual driving trip with my friends... and on Friday will drive the 800 odd miles back from milan to get home and then the game the next.

Palace have royally shafted my holiday.... but what a great reason to drive a stupid distance!

Brumie Allan
04-05-2016, 06:12 PM
They should send a documentary crew with you Hedgehog!!

How many days are you over here?

An Oyster Card is your best bet. Stick 20 on and then top up if you need it again.
A cheap phone for 20 from O2/Three should also be fine if it’s just a few days that’ll be fine and probably a lot less hassle if your current network are going to be difficult.

Cabs are generally cash unless you use Uber or similar…Bob download the Uber app you can use it in California and you link your paypal ac. No cash, no tip, just star rate your ride.

Hedgehog
04-05-2016, 07:27 PM
They should send a documentary crew with you Hedgehog!!
I'll leave that to Nobby... Probably far more entertaining.

Uber sounds a good idea. I'll sign up. (Another novelty for me, having never used them!)

You are having to teach this old dog a few new tricks here.

petertaylor11
04-05-2016, 07:56 PM
The last few times I've been back I've just bought a cheap phone. got a great deal last time. Phone and 300 free minutes for about 20 quid. Even if you only use it for a week it's still good value although it wouldn't be much use for calling overseas. I think places like Tescos do good deals though I might be mistaken.

Phone warehouse. Either 10 or 20 quid for simple Nokia handset and 02 SIM card with a huge amount of minutes and texts. Works fine. Last November.

Bangkok Eagle
05-05-2016, 12:45 AM
Cup final ticket secured. Bangkok - London (via Middle East) flights booked. Long way to come for the weekend but what the hell, here's hoping we go one better than 1990. At least no hassles about getting to the replay this time.

monkey
05-05-2016, 05:41 PM
If you hurt yourself hedge, don't head for Bromley hospital, it's not there anymore!!!
That's my contribution:p:supergrin:

Hedgehog
05-05-2016, 07:25 PM
If you hurt yourself hedge, don't head for Bromley hospital, it's not there anymore!!!
That's my contribution:p:supergrin:
Farnborough still there?

TopKnot
05-05-2016, 07:35 PM
One thing you need to brush up on is the latest PC talk. What it is OK to say and what is not. I stay away from any gender / ethnic / religion talk for fear of upsetting someone. What is OK to say in the US is not always correct in the UK.


Do you think? In my experience the US is much more sensitive for that kind of thing than over here.

Smoz
05-05-2016, 07:37 PM
Farnborough still there?

It's known as the Princess Royal University Hospital these days Hedgie.

Hedgehog
07-05-2016, 01:34 PM
It's known as the Princess Royal University Hospital these days Hedgie.
So when I'm laying in the gutter in a terrible state, I better remember this! :supergrin:

Breaking rocks
07-05-2016, 04:29 PM
So when I'm laying in the gutter in a terrible state, I better remember this! :supergrin:

Don't worry...all the ambulance drivers know it.

Hedgehog
27-05-2016, 01:16 AM
All went well I got home in one piece without any issues.

Renting the car went well as did the drive to Bromley despite a couple of wrong turns and a surprise that in fact the car stalling every time I stopped was intentional and not me forgetting how to drive a manual. They might have warned me it was an Eco Friendly auto stop car. Took me half way round the M25 to realize it started again on it own!

Got a Travelcard at Bromley South for 12.10UKP I think it was - great value, and easy to use after an initial screw up at Bromley trying to go through the wrong barrier (guard let me through with a shake of the head).

Had a curry lunch Sunday and paid with my credit card. Never seen the pay at the table deal before, and wasn't sure how to deal with adding a tip. Still not sure I did it right - I just told the guy to add 10 quid before he ran the card. Is there a better more discrete way of doing the tip?

Filled up the car at a service station on the M25 on the way back to the airport. Car was a diesel so hope I put diesel in the tank! It was pump first than pay inside, so no worries there, other than it was only 5.70UKP total... guess I didn't do too many miles and the Auto Stop really works!

I even ordered a round of drinks a couple of times without looking too much of a tourist.

All in all, I'm ready to do it again. A few lessons learned that I will remember for next time.

After 15 years I felt very comfortable there. Obviously good company helped both Saturday and Sunday.

RUSSELL
27-05-2016, 01:26 AM
**** tipping!.... If they can't live on their wages get a better job!! Good service should be standard!

RUSSELL
27-05-2016, 01:31 AM
Q2. I guess you can't still turn left on a red light if all is clear?(Turning left on red is OK in the US).

Have you lot swapped sides??!!!

Hedgehog
27-05-2016, 01:55 AM
Have you lot swapped sides??!!!
I confused myself there!

I only had one guy honk at me... I think I pulled out in front of him at a roundabout! :embarass:

JJ
27-05-2016, 06:45 AM
Renting the car went well as did the drive to Bromley despite a couple of wrong turns and a surprise that in fact the car stalling every time I stopped was intentional and not me forgetting how to drive a manual. They might have warned me it was an Eco Friendly auto stop car. Took me half way round the M25 to realize it started again on it own!

There's an on/off switch for that... ;)

Hedgehog
27-05-2016, 12:30 PM
There's an on/off switch for that... ;)
So I was told Sunday night!

Once I figured out there wasn't a problem with the car I was OK with it, but yes I turned it off for the M25 drive back to the airport.

BaldEagle96
27-05-2016, 12:45 PM
Had a curry lunch Sunday and paid with my credit card. Never seen the pay at the table deal before, and wasn't sure how to deal with adding a tip. Still not sure I did it right - I just told the guy to add 10 quid before he ran the card. Is there a better more discrete way of doing the tip?




Usually the machine has a "do you want to add a gratuity" option and then you key in the amount you want to add. If not then I just give cash for the tip..


The pay at the table deal is the norm now as too many incidents of people cloning your card when they take it away to run through a machine in the back somewhere. All needs to be done in front of you nowadays!

Hedgehog
27-05-2016, 07:23 PM
Ah I see... I did see some people punching numbers into the little machine, I just assumed it was a PIN.

RazorsEdge
27-05-2016, 08:05 PM
Ah I see... I did see some people punching numbers into the little machine, I just assumed it was a PIN.

Most probably was a pin.

Hedgehog
30-05-2016, 04:36 PM
I just got my phone bill. I bought a $30 Passport for my AT&T account. This got me a ton of data time, 50 cent texts, $1.00 for photos texted and $1.00 phone calls.

Looks like I had to pay an extra $5.00 for the texts, which included a few photos back to the US.

So all in all $35.00 to use my own phone - I'm happy with that as I spent an awful lot of time on the Maps App.

Brumie Allan
30-05-2016, 05:20 PM
You found your way to the pub ok :p

Hedgehog
30-05-2016, 05:44 PM
You found your way to the pub ok :p
I just followed the red & blue trail!