Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Montreal, Canada
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Be prepared for things to take longer. It took 3 weeks to get phone service, over 6 weeks to get a bank account (still not in my name!), and over 2 months to get internet service.
But, this is a beautiful country. I've found the people to be generous and helpful and genuinely kind. I rarely have to put my stroller on a train or a bus by myself and if the baby cries, people seem to really want to cheer her up rather than being annoyed. I once had a man run to catch up with me at a train station because I left my bag on the train. Once a man on crutches gave up a seat on the bus for me so that I could keep my two year old in her stroller and sit by her. People smile at the baby on my chest, and tell my children they are "gorgeous" and "brilliant". I love that.
I've gotten no negative reaction to the fact that I'm American. People have been nothing but welcoming. Not sure why my ancestors left in the first place (of course back then there was religious persecution and the plague I guess.)
I feel so at home here that my family and I are seriously considering staying permanently should that opportunity arise.
So, a big old American welcome to the UK!
Where do you live?
Getting a phone connected can take 24 hours or a few days, could be a week or so if it's a new build and someone has to come out.
To get internet it's 5 days, it's a UK reg, 5 days not 4 or 3 and 2 months??? nahhhh
bank account is the same day but harder than a US account as long as your here legally, it's simple.
As far as how people react, very different depending on the area. I've been on trains many times where people didn't give up their seat for me and a baby and toddler, I've had people be rude to us many times and I'm British.
On a whole there is a mixed reaction to americans, some hates them, some love them, I'd say most are indifferent, they are just more of the same.
I think if the car seat doesn't meet EEC reg's it's not legal, that said we brought a car seat from the USA to use here. no one will ever check it of course. Many people here stick newborns on the front seat, they arent as anal here with car seats to be honest
It quite possible to get seats that go rear facing until 4 years, or thereabouts, weight wise. You just need to go and look for them - easier in other EU countries than in the UK, or you talk to the In car safety centre in Milton Keynes. Most rear facing seats will happily go up to 13kg rear facing (a 0+/1 type seat that will also go to 15kg rear facing, and possibly higher if you can get the extension seatbelts for their harness) which in centile terms will take almost all children to 18m of age, and most to 2 years (and some further if they are 25th centile and below).