I was sent by Wataniya Mobile Palestine to implement a technical project in London for a one-week mission, here I’m documenting my experience, knowing that the project is a little bit confidential so I’m gonna focus on my personal story!.
First of all; I asked my company to book my tickets two days earlier to have some fun in Edinburgh, Scotland!.
Edinburgh arrival – 2/1/2015
As soon as I checked in; I headed to the Gyle shopping center; I was hoping -at least- to grab a Data SIM to be connected during this trip; unfortunately I wasn’t able to do so; all stores were closed by like 5 PM so I missed this, Just I enjoyed the Free Wifi on public transportation buses!.
Next day I visited the Gyle again and had some shopping and Data SIM (THREE) certainly, then headed directly to Edinburgh Castle which I was very interested to visit!, it’s very ancient, old and has great views of the city, I spent couple of hours there; took many photos and had my very first Scottish launch.
When I bought my tickets to get in; the lady told me: “where are you from?” me: Palestine, the lady: “Palestine? interesting! you are welcome“, I thought she was making a compliment, then when I finished she told me “Shokran” which means “Thank you” in Arabic and I was like: OMG!, wait I love this!!
After that; I toured the city center and had some fun there.
London arrival – 4/1/2015
Next day; I had a short domestic flight from Edinburgh to London City Airport (LCY); which is much closer to the city compared to Heathrow, I checked-in my hotel then headed directly to Westminster area to see the Big Ben! It was amazing as expected; I spent like one hour there; couldn’t last more because of the freezing weather!.
Next day; my technical mission has started and I was extremely busy in this project during working days! However; I managed to visit many places:
- Edgware street: I had a walk there then had nice middle-eastern launch in Abu Zaad restaurant, the great thing about this street that you feel at home literally! looks like one of Ramallah streets! Arabs and Arabic language everywhere :).
- London Eye & Big Ben: I visited the place again when the weather was better; unfortunately I couldn’t have a ride as it was under maintenance during my whole stay in London!.
Finally; I was able to implement the whole site successfully with no problems, I was one day ahead of the schedule so I met an old friend of mine (Tareq) who’s studying in Oxford and we had fun in Oxford street, then had launch in Pizza Hut and ended our tour around London Bridge!.
Next day; I packed my stuff and traveled back home!.
Before wrapping up II have some comments and tips to share about the UK experience:
- The country is very diverse!, you sense this from the airport and onward.
- Very expensive! compared to the US and many other European countries.
- I used THREE Data SIM, the only operator that provides unlimited data usage service (all-you-eat plan).
- Too much cold in winter; if you are visiting for fun you should make it in summer.
- Be ware that traffic ways are swapped :).
- British companies are very professional and I really enjoyed working with some of them.
- London Metro is great and Taxis are very expensive.
- I figured out that there were relatively high extra fees for my VISA transactions, so I should have used cash instead.
- I used British Airways to fly and they’re very convenient.
- Tesco shops are a great option to provide anything you need.
- As a general advice; try to pick up your souvenirs from the city center rather than the airport.