Posts filed under ‘UK life and culture’

How to keep warm?

Here is some advice to keep yourself warm while you are in the UK.

  • In wintertime (especially in December, January and February), pay attention to weather forecasts on television or radio or websites such as: The day’s maximum and minimum temperature will help you to know what to wear. If it is going to be particularly cold, you may want to avoid going out if it means you may have to spend a long time outside. Remember that if there is a strong wind it may feel much colder than the minimum temperature stated (this is know as “windchill”). Make sure that you know how to get home if you are out late at night, and consider going to bed early (the coldest time is in the early hours of the morning).
  • If the heating in your room can be adjusted, make sure that you know how to change it. Tell the owner of your property (your landlord) if you are too cold – it may be that the central heating can be kept on for longer during cold periods. Ask if you can use a small portable electric fan heater in your room. Some landlords will not allow this because of the cost of the electricity – if so, estimate the cost and offer to pay for this. Always be very careful about safety with portable heaters – keep them clear of other objects and do not leave them on while you are sleeping.
  • Wear layers of clothes. You can take off some of these layers when you go somewhere that is well-heated. The air which is trapped between your layers of clothing will help to keep you warm. Much of your body heat is lost through your head and feet, so wear thick socks and a hat and scarf when it is very cold.
  • Buy a hot water bottle and a cover. You can hold the bottle while you are sitting down in your room, and can use it in your bed at night. If you get a good quality cover (such as the sheepskin cover shown below) you will not feel too hot and the bottle will stay warm for longer.
  • A “throw” sized woollen blanket is useful for keeping warm. Buying a sleeping bag can be useful – you can sleep inside this in your bed, or even sit inside it while you are studying, and you can use it at other times of the year if a friend stays overnight.
  • Eating a warm meal, drinking hot drinks, or taking a bath will make your body feel warmer.

July 8, 2010 at 9:04 pm Leave a comment

Is UK tap water safe to drink?

Simple answer is ‘YES’.

Many people just can’t really tell the difference between chilled tap water and chilled  bottled water.  The DWI (Drinking Water Inspectorate) recommends us to drink water from the cold tap and not the hot tap. Sometime tap water can appear cloudy. Don’t worry, it’s simply access air which will disappears in few seconds or minutes.

But, why do people buy so much bottled water? Fashion?

June 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

Free SMS from UK to MAXIS

Sending ‘Text’ from UK to Malaysia network could be expensive. Each international text would cost us 20p (depending on network plan) which is about MYR1.00.

If you’re Maxis subscriber and have family and friends who are on Maxis Network e.g. 012 or 017, you could probably save some $$$ everyday and still be in touch. Please visit, and get yourself registered for free.  WebSMS users will be entitled to 3 free text per day.

Please note: In Malaysia we normally use SMS for text messaging e.g. I will SMS you later. But in the UK, we say “I will text you later”

Hope that’s help!

Question: If you’re in Malaysia and would like to text someone in the UK, what would be the rate for each text?

June 25, 2010 at 10:31 pm 3 comments

I need to have rice !

No problem!

Rice can be easily found in any supermarket (Sainsbury, Tesco, Asda, etc) in the UK and normally sell in a smaller packet of 500g or 1 kilo. If you need a bigger packet e.g. 5kg or 10kg you can get them in China town or some Indian shops.

The price of a kilo of rice ranges from 73p to £2++.

Sainsbury’s Long Grain Rice, Basics 1kg

Sainsbury’s Long Grain Rice 1kg

Sainsbury’s Brown Rice 1kg

Sainsbury’s Basmati Rice 1kg

Note: above prices extracted on the 21 June 2010 and subject to change

What about rice cooker? Do I need to bring one from Malaysia?

Nope, I suggest you do not bring any rice cooker, slow cooker or any electrical appliances from Malaysia. You can get rice cooker in Argos for as low as £9.99 (approx MYR50). If you need to find out more, please check out Argos the largest general-goods retailer in the UK with 750 stores.

Now, can anyone find out how much a kilo of rice sell in Tesco, UK? Please drop me a message or send me a tweet. 🙂

Hints: please visit Tesco UK at

June 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

Childcare or daycare services

The amount of your budget that will be spent on childcare pretty much depends on a number of factors, including:

• Where you live in London (Zone 1, 2 or outer London)
• What type of childcare you choose
• The age of your baby or child
• Whether your employer offers any subsidised childcare arrangements, bla bla bla….

According to the Daycare Trust, the cost of a nursery place ranges between £126 and £375 per week. The typical cost of a full-time under-two’s nursery place is £152. In some areas – inner London, for example – you may find that it costs a lot more than that! While your baby is under two years old, places tend to be more expensive, because babies require more hands-on care so the nursery must hire more nursery nurses. Many also charge penalties when children are collected late.

More information, please checkout

June 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm Leave a comment

What is Gumtree?

Gumtree is one of the largest and most popular online classifieds community websites in the UK. It’s something like Lelong in Malaysia but it doesn’t accept bidding or auctions – it’s purely an online classified site. The main categories in Gumtree are Housing which include “Flat Share/House Share” and “For Rent” and “Jobs”. Everyday, millions of visitors are sourcing their accommodation on Gumtree and you’ll be surprised to see how fast the good flat/room offers been taken off – sometime it’s just couple of minutes or hours and when you’re about to contact the landlord the offer has gone!

If you fancy mobile phones, computers, video games, clothes, women accessories, etc. again Gumtree is a good site to look for new or 2nd hand stuffs at a bargain price. Just to share with you, few days ago, one of my mate bought a brand new iPhone from Gumtree for 280 and PS3 for 50 quids.

Again, if you’re looking forward to buy something on Gumtree and you’re not sure if you’re paying a good price, please contact me or someone who are in the UK for 2nd opinion.

Good Luck!

June 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

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