Jarre Comes To London?

Talking about Jarre has reminded me how much I like to see buildings lit up at night. Then, after I'd talked about adding myself to the list of LondonBloggers I found Verse Guru's blog. On it he's got pictures of the building I talked about last year fully illuminated as part of its "completion" celebrations. Shame I missed this as I must have passed it less than an hour before the show. Can't help thinking it missed some cheesy electric music to accompany the lights though.

London's Erotic Gherkin

Among his vast picture archive is a shot of the Bloomberg building on the corner of the square Mike and I work on. This one it always lit in primary colours and stands out nicely from the bland buildings around it. Also on his site are some pictures of the Queen putting on her own show. Not a touch on Jarre though Liz!

Hopefully the photos of his trip to the Maldives are pretty much what I can expect of my two week holiday in Sri Lanka which starts on Friday. That is if I don't get shot out of the sky as we leave Heathrow.


    • avatar
    • Peter North
    • Tue 2 Dec 2003 09:50

    Have a great trip Jake. Maldives looks beautiful. It seems to me that you take time off quite often. Thats not a knock at you, rather its an observation and solidifies my belief that us Americans do not have enough vacation time. We spend too much time at work. I know your situation is a bit unique as you are a consultant and can take time whenever you want, you just don't get paid for it. But what it the typical vacation amount per year for you folks on the other side of the pond?

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Tue 2 Dec 2003 09:54

    Suppose I do go away quite a bit. If I were to look in to it I'd guess that I worked as many days as I didn't in the average year ;o)

    For permanent positions in the UK the average holiday allowance is about 20 days (4 weeks) a year.

  1. Wow...4 weeks a year! How long have you been employed at your company? I am here at Sharp 4.5 years now and only get 3 weeks. ;/

    • avatar
    • Daniel Soares
    • Tue 2 Dec 2003 13:37

    4 weeks is average even in Bombay,India.

    Something that I found hard to get used to here in the US where the average annual vacation is 2 weeks.

    Had to save 2 years worth of vacation for a (decently) long holiday in Bombay and Goa recently.

    Thank God my bosses were kind enough to let me go that long :)


    • avatar
    • ferdy
    • Tue 2 Dec 2003 13:54

    Over here, in the Netherlands, i get 29, the average for IT is about 27. But, if you work in any other job then IT, i.e. construction, people get 40 - 50 days a year!

    Bruce, I've heard about few vacation days there, how bout working hours per day? is that more over there? I do think there's benefits in US though, I've heard of very high salaries (70,000+) for plain CLP developers, or were those the good days only?

    Plus, some European countries are tax hell, like mine i.e. :(

    • avatar
    • Peter North
    • Tue 2 Dec 2003 14:46


    You are right on the high salaries, but everything is relative as I believe housing, cars, overall cost of living is higher as well. Europe has it right in many ways, vacation time being one of them. My perception is that overall you drink and smoke more than us yet live longer. Stress kills

    • avatar
    • ferdy
    • Tue 2 Dec 2003 15:04

    Peter, I've heard that from many people and you're probably right, but let me tell you about overall cost of living in the Netherlands for example.

    Income would be a factor 2 to 3 lower than the same IT job in the US. We get taxed from 32% up to 70% of our income.

    Ok, what can we do with the money left..

    Even the most crappy house here takes 2 people working fulltime for 30 years to buy. If you wanna rent instead, you'll have to stay on a waitng list for many years and you're not in the position to complain since you should be lucky if you get one. I know, since I'm on such a list snif.

    Cars...hahaha, cars more expensive there? Every car gets 20% added to its price just to start driving it. Then you pay tax to drive on the roads, plus insurance. Gas, even though we use far less of that, its a few factors more expensive compared to the US. In Jake's country its even worse.

    Any luxury article, which the government thinks is pretty much everything, gets 19% added to its original price.

    So I think the most important costs of living are not cheaper here, not even relatively. Tell me I'm wrong...

  2. Ferdy, I totaly agree. I have to since I am living in the Netherlands as well. But correct me if I'm wrong, the added taxes for cars is 25 - 30%! You forgot to mention our national pride, the dutch railway! It doesn't function, yet prices for tickets keep rising and rising and rising and .......

    I wil stop now, otherwise this will become a complainblog. ;-)

    Peter, so you earn about $70.000 a year. You must be living well then. I just can't believe that the overall costs of living are higher in the US. And now Bush wants to lower taxes, while we have to pay more taxes. Hmm, I get the feeling I'm living in the wrong country. ;-)

    • avatar
    • Ferdy
    • Thu 13 Feb 2003 04:40

    Edsko, the sole reason why americans can get away with low taxes is that its social security system is far below that of most European countries. I.e., not everyone has healthcare in the US from my understanding. the amount of money in youre pocket directly affects the way theyre gonna help you when you have health problems, IF they're gonna help you, that is.

    My country is the other extreme I think, we are too social, which causes lots of abuse of the system, which in turn means high(er) taxes again.

    hmmm Jake sorry...this thread is supposed to be about Jarre. I'll stop, but just know that i can go on explaining for hours ;)


  3. You are complaining about your countries comparing US with Netherlands and England.

    It sucks. Sorry to say this because it really sucks. You better live in Turkey if you want to complain salaries with taxes.

    I am a 29 years old computer engineer. Yet not CLP, but can be anytime as I wish. (100$ is muhc money here) with nearly 6 years of Notes experience. My salary is about 1500$, but with taxes it is about 1100$ for now, will keep on decreasing down to 900$ something to the end of the year. However the later is still much money for most of our citizens, that sometimes I am ashamed to say some relatives who earns a quarter of my salary. This is the bad part.

    Now the good part: However you earn little here, living is cheaper. With your salaries, you can live here like a rich man. Fruits and vegetables are really cheap so are the clothes. Computers and electronics almost same. If you are not searching for much comfort and luxary, accomadation is cheaper too.

    And if we have a look at car prices: Nearly half of the car prizes are cut for the taxes. So a 10000 $ car, here is sold nearly as much as 18000 $. If the car engine is greater then 1600 cc, the tax amount increases, so a 10000 $ car can be bought as much as 22000 $. You have to pay a lot more if the car is a Jeep Cherooke. Taxes can double car price. So you pay 3 for 1. And our gas has the highest price in Europe.

    Any comments?

  4. Serdar,

    I have been to your country last year. I must admit that me and my girlfriend felt a bit ashamed of ourselfs as well. We had dinner in a restaurant for about 40.000.000 liras. This was for two persons! One EURO equals about 1.700.000 liras. Then we found out that the employees of the hotel we were staying earned about 8.000.000 liras a day! We were shocked. They all saved their money and sent about 80% of their earnings home every two weeks or so. And they worked very long! They went to bed at about 01.00 hrs, but were already up at 07.00 hrs. Amazing.

    So, yes I do now how life is in Turkey. It's a completely different world, not to compare with the US, the Netherlands or England.

    What do you pay for gas? We too have high prices for gas. I'm curious. If gas costs so much, then why are their cars everywhere? And I don't mean the Dolmus, which is an excellent system by the way!

  5. Edsko,

    Turkey's main problem is the inequity of the earnings. One can work for a hundred dollars per month without insurance, and his employer can earn thousands of dollars without paying tax. It is our problem. %10 here earns nearly all the half, whereas the bottom 50 can get %10 to %20. So our rich are the richest, our poor is the poorest.

    Our gas price is the highest in Europe, just ahead of France with a little difference. There are cars everywhere because our transportation system really sucks. Istanbul do not have a metro like London or Moscow and if you don't want to go work standing up at the bus for an hour, your only chance is to use your own car. Istanbul has a strait. And two bridges about the strait. And for Istanbul the whole transportation problem comes from the strait. However also maybe most of the beauty.


  6. Serdar,

    Turkey is a big country. This is one of the problems Turkey has. The Istanbul region, the west and south-west parts of Turkey are very attractive to tourism and are very oriented towards Europe. It's the rich part of Turkey. We went to Bodrum / Torba, which they called the "Riviera of Turkey". The other parts of Turkey are very poor and not that "develeped" as the rest of Turkey. It has many natural resources like gold and oil, but they are hardly being used, which is a shame.

    We could go on and on with this discussion, but this is not the place for it. Feel free to mail if you want to continue.

    • avatar
    • Mark
    • Tue 18 Feb 2003 08:50

    A very nice lit building is the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. You should go there for holiday, it is cheap at the moment, the water is > 30°C and you can enjoy all colours on the nice tower.

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Written by Jake Howlett on Wed 12 Feb 2003

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