Lesson #83 – Importance of a P45 in UK

Coming to the end of a financial year, what is one common activity everyone in the country has to partake in?

FILING YOUR TAX!! It would be a breeze if all factors remain constant – your pay, the taxation guidelines, if you had stayed at the same job and your status (married or not, with children or without or physically challenged or not – what I can think of at the moment).

However, coming to this country, I had taken up one job prior to my current one..so I was assigned one tax code in the beginning but when HM Revenue & Customs was informed that I was paying my tax via another job, they became confused with the ‘dual’ income. Apparently, one need to get a P45 from your first employer(if you are no longer doing the job) and submit to the authorities such that they will be able to re-assign your tax code accordingly.

If one does not sort out properly, it will be cumbersome for you to claim back your tax correctly if you have been paying more than needed but of course the UK govt will not complain when they receive this additional abeit minute amount.

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Lesson #82 – How to enjoy a lovely meal of baked chicken with soya sauce

One of the easiest meal I have made. Simply with dark soy sauce and chicken.

Two step process –

1. Marinate the chicken with the sauce and leave it in the refrigerator over night.

2. Take it out after 24 hours and put it into an oven to bake for about 20-25min.

It’s now ready for consumption!! This recipe is specially dedicated to cooks who have developed an increasing inherent resistance against cooking.

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Lesson #81 – Be confident of your numbers!

Standing at the usual spot each morning, I was surprised to see the usual parking spot of service 33 occupied by service E11 – Drayton Park. Attributing it to a special service on a Wed morning or perhaps E11 was taking a temporary reprieve, I proceeded to ignore it and wondered when my bus will arrive.

As it fired up and stopped at my bus stop, nobody got up the bus…till one bloke went up to make some enquiries. Apparently the bus seemed to go to his destination and he proceeded to board it. The couple of students surrounding me seemed to come into action and they all started boarding the bus one by one…and a thought crept into my head! What if it’s not the bus I thought it was? Right in front of my eyes, the destination of the bus started flipping…and preston, it transformed into MY BUS!

It was obviously too late when I leapt into action. I ran right towards the bus at the same instant as the bus started rolling its wheels forward. As I stood at the boarding spot, staring at the backview of the departing bus, it was yet another new lesson for a brand new day.

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Lesson #80 – Get your free bus ticket for your next ride when your bus terminates before your final stop

Observe your surroundings and talk about your experiences.

After nearly two months of being kept on the hooks about incurring additional cost when bus terminate halfway in order to keep up with the scheduled headway frequency, I finally found the solution to it.

Aside from my friend E telling me about getting a valid free ticket to take the next ride last Nov, I actually observed one guy doing on earlier on Monday. As such, I actively climbed back onto the bus and asked the driver for a similar ticket. After asking my boarding point, he pointed me to the guy in front and told me to follow him. Hence, I bore no additional cost for taking the next ride.

This morning, the same thing happened again. Before alighting, I went to the driver to ask for a free ticket/pass for the next ride. Without further questioning, he pressed a button and out came the ticket for my next ride.

Hope this little sharing will help the rest of you out there to save some transport costs in London!

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Lesson #79 – Need of a PAC code when you change your mobile network provider but would still want to retain your number

Not sure if this sounds silly – but that was the first time I heard about the PAC code.

Apparently if you ever decide to change your mobile network provider – you need to call up the existing one and get them to send a PAC code to you. First you need to go through a series of choice selection then when the operator finally gets to you, they will need to verify your particulars and your address and might even ask for your reason for change. But they will respect your decision if you have made up your mind.

After which they will say :” The PAC code will be sent to your address within 3-5 working days.” Maybe the duration might vary subscriber from subscriber but that’s what I heard from Orange.

Then after you receive it in your mail, you can key it into the website of your new provider(if you have already signed up for it). So lesson learnt – if you have made your decision on the new provider, apply for the PAC code first..so that when you get your new plan, you can move over your new number within the day….

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Lesson #78 – Xmas and New Year ‘Do’s and ‘Don’t’s in London

Xmas in London is totally unlike back home. It is a a time where the whole of the city jus takes a break. Literally.

New Years celebrations include many countdown parties as usual and fireworks displays all over. A friend warned that you need to be at the viewing zones in central London fom 6pm, to get a decent glimpse of it all; but be prepared to stick it out in the cold and the crowd, especially on the way home after.

So lets begin with the ‘Do’s

DO make plans way ahead of time. As air fares and everything goes up during that period.

DO buy your presents as early as possible to avoid last minute buying and posting panic.

DO make sure you have transportation prearranged, should you need to commute to anywhere between the evening of the 24th to the 26th of Dec, as all of London’s public transport takes a break. [only private hire cabs with horrendously expensive service charges are available]

DO buy extra groceries and stock up on home entertainment,  as all the shops outside, 99.9% will be closed.

DO excercise when you can, to shed the extra Xmas weight.

DO try to push forward datelines at work way before xmas eve, so that you won’t feel miserable working while 90% of the office is on holiday, or doing online shopping at their desks.

DON’T believe that all tube stations will be open for free rides on New Years eve after the fireworks display. There will be immensely long queues at only certain stations… according to C it can be quite a nightmare.

DON’T eat too much chocolate. You don’t want to spoil your holidays falling ill.

DON’T go physically to the shops, when there is online shopping offering the same winter sales discounts!

finally….

DON’T worry if you didn’t make any special party or travel plans, as most of us reckon,: relaxing at home, watching tv all day, and having good home cooked meals… are all you need to feel the warmth and joy of the season… …

So… Merry Xmas and a Happy new 2011 to all!

the london TFL brochure for holiday season travel

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Did you know? – That there is a hidden Korean town within London

And it is located in New Malden – zone 4 – outside central London. But it’s not too far away with about 10,000 korean inhabitants, making it the largest and most concentrated korean population in Europe.There was a residential feel emitting from the area and New Malden felt ‘asian’.

Also, it has this large Korean Food Company – with many variations of Chinese and Korean food at low affordable prices.

Plus a street with many Korean restaurants as well as a main ‘town’ street with many shops.

My prizes – Seafood hotpot(a tinge too spicy for my liking) with a bagful of food items including instant dessert!!!

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