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An Expat Talks about Moving to Reading, UK

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

Brought With: Computer. They are cheaper in the US and they usually work everywhere (just check the voltage and frequency qualifications on the equipment. If your company is paying for the relocation, why not? Before leaving, go hog-wild in the used cd store of your choice. I used to love buying used cds for very cheap ($3-5) and they were often independent artists. I had my choice of a dozen independent music stores in my area. In England a new cd costs around $25 and even used cds are around $15. Even then, cds from underground American artists are hard to find and there are not as many big, independent music stores around.

Left Behind: An 8ft 2in couch. I found out when I got here that the standard door is only 30" wide while in the US it is 36", so there was no way I could get the couch in. Also, the apartments are much smaller; even if it had fit through, it would have taken up my entire living room. You can find bigger doors and bigger places, but I was on my own (my company had not transferred me and they were not paying for my housing). My toaster, curling iron, and hair dryer, too. These items are cheap enough, just leave them behind.

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

I would have contacted the 3 credit agencies (experian, etc) and blocked my credit activity. As it was, somebody got a hold of all of my credit information and started opening credit cards in my name. When I found out (after they had already charged up 6000 dollars), I had to call all of the agencies and report a fraud. Trying to deal with this situation from abroad can be frustrating; it left me feeling very vulnerable. Basically, if you have a foreign address, they really don't want to deal with you. I had to instruct them to block my account until they heard in writing from me. Also, they won't contact you if there's suspicious activity in your name because you have a foreign address and phone number, which some of them cannot keep in their databases. It was only by a happy coincidence that I found out at all.

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May 27, 2011 05:16

If you are looking for a private school for your children in the Reading area please come and see us at Lord Wandsworth College - 30 minutes South of Reading www.lordwandsworth.org

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