Shocked by England after 5 years in New Zealand

Over an hour to clear passport control in the "fast-track" UK passport lane

If you're foreign, it'll take much longer.

Driving is so slow the satnav asks "would you prefer pedestrian mode?"

And it takes you 10 minutes to find a parking space when you get home.

Everything costs money

It costs money to make local phone calls.

It costs money to park anywhere.

If you want to be safe, and check your car tyre pressure at a garage/gas station, it'll cost you.

You must buy a licence to watch television.

The internet is censored

It's not only China that censors what people can see on the web.

In the UK, Big Brother has decided what you can and cannot look at on the internet. There's a UK firewall blocking websites like Pirate Bay. And the individual ISPs and cell phone operators also censor websites as they wish.

If you come from a country with an uncensored internet, it feels horribly Orwellian. The UK has the strictest censorship of films, games and web in the European Union, besides Germany.

If you want to see a website that's been censored, you can always go through a proxy server, that pretends your in an uncensored country. Proxy servers haven't been outlawed yet.

CCTV everywhere

London has the highest density of CCTV cameras anywhere in the world.

The civil rights group Liberty estimates that the average Londoner is captured on camera around 300 times a day.

BBW claims that Britain has 20% of the world's CCTV cameras and only 1% of the world's population.

Speed cameras everywhere

Britain has by far the most speed cameras in Europe. However, since speed cameras were introduced road deaths have declined slower in Britain compared to other European countries.


Spring 2012 (April, May June) was the wettest ever recorded in the UK.

Summer 2012 (June, July and August) was the wettest summer in 100 years.

And 2012 was the wettest year in the UK since records began.

When I flew back to New Zealand in early Dec 2012, there were literally hundreds of flood warnings in place.

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