What I don’t like about living in Australia: let me pre-empt this with the caveat that some of these things are a function of living in Sydney, or being outside of the States and not necessarily a statement on Australia itself.
- Real estate is out of control. It’s way overpriced and the rental market is very tight. This means that the rental agents can treat you like shit, because they know you’re desperate.
- There’s a lot of red-tapey kind of bullshit here that I find annoying. It’s hard to explain, but it just seems like there are a lot of hoops to jump through whenever you try to do something.
- Everything costs more here. Everything. Books are $25 for a small paperback. My mascara costs $20. It costs $14 to eat lunch at a fast food restaurant. Don’t even get me started on the beer. And because of the high taxes, importing things costs a bloody fortune as well.
- In spite of the high taxes, you have to pay for a lot of stuff. Like I found out you have to buy a child’s pass to take your bike on the train. Can I get a whaaaa?
- I don’t like being an American in a foreign country. The “American” that seems to be prevalent in people’s minds is a cross between Homer Simpson and Michael Douglas' character from Falling Down. Plus, every time I say something, I wonder if people judge my country by what I’m saying. And, I feel like if I’m too positive about my country, people will view it as having a superiority complex. I like America! That doesn’t mean I always like it, or that Australia sucks, but I feel fortunate to have grown up there.
- The t.v. here kind of sucks. There are some good shows, but there are fewer of them. I guess it’s the law of proportions – proportionally, there are the same amount of good shows, but because there’s fewer shows overall, that means fewer good shows.
- Customer service also sucks. And that’s saying something, because American customer service hasn’t improved in the past 20 years, in my opinion.
- I never really appreciated our government system until I found out how Parliament works. I don’t like how one party runs everything. And while Aussies point out (justifiably) how much it costs to run for President, or that our government can reach a stalemate on a lot of issues, I really like how I get to vote for the person who represents my country to the world. Thank you, founding fathers, for the system of checks and balances!
Okay, enough complaining. What I like about living in Australia:
- The food here is pretty good. Specifically, the lollies and desserts. I like TimTams, Pavlova, Mint slice (or even better, the generic version) and Crunchie bars. The gummies are pretty good too – better than gummy bears or gummy worms, there’s milk bottles and bananas and teeth and strawberries and cream, all of which are very tasty.
- Bacon and egg rolls deserve a bullet of their own. Get on board America! Or perhaps don’t, because my cholesterol will thank you when we move back.
- Most of the time, the weather here is very pleasant. Okay, summer sucked and I wanted to die, but the other nine months of the year are pretty nice.
- I love the flowers. And looking at (not listening to) the birds. And the kookaburra. Seriously, I’ll miss that guy. He’s pretty cool.
- The scenery is really beautiful, in particular living in Sydney. Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour, the beaches, well, you just don’t find those things anywhere else.
- For the most part, Aussies are pretty friendly. And I enjoy all the colloquialisms in the language. It’s very colorful.
- The sports here are fun. I like cricket and AFL. And the prices are reasonable, unlike the U.S. We paid $30 each to sit in the members section at the AFL game in Melbourne, for a really good game. Does anyone even remember when it cost $30 to go to an NFL game?
Overall I'm happy here, but I think in the long run we will move back to the U.S., where our families are, and where we can afford to buy a house and a paperback novel. Don't worry, we will let you know when we return!