I figured today was just as good a time as any to make my list of things I love about Australia and things I don't really love. Along with the things I really miss about home. So here they are in no particular order:
1. I love the fact that Australia has toll free "131" numbers. example, 131230 is the toll free number for the Brisbane Transportation Line. There is tons of these 131 numbers and they are all free and easy to remember! It is so much easier than trying to remember 1800 xxxxx.
2. I love the Aussie way of life and the Aussie people. I have been helped out by tons of random acts of kindness in my 11 months here and in general people are just really cool here and life is just relaxed and chilled out.
3. I love the fact that there is 16 free to air TV channels that we can watch without paying a dime and they have great shows (a bit delayed from the states) like House, The Mentalist,Top Gear (The British version, this is one thing the Pommies do MUCH better than the Aussie or American versions) and my local Aussie favourite, the ever funny Good News Week.
4. I love the fact that the news anchors here are so informal with each other joking around and calling each other by nicknames. It is refreshing to see them not so deadly serious all the time.
5. Nothing beats Texas BBQ but Aussie BBQ and meat in general is pretty good.
6. I love the fact that I can get almost anywhere I want, anytime I want on public transportation for pretty cheap. Not having a car for almost 12 months has not been a huge problem for me.
7. I love Aussie money. It is all different colours and sizes so you always know what you have. It is also coated in a plastic so if you accidentally wash it, its no biggie! In addition to that awesomeness, they have no penny which is great! And tax is already included in everything you buy so you don't have to mentally add it on later. I love love that! It will be so hard to adjust when I get back home :(
8. I love the fact that I get paid double what I would get paid back home for the same type of jobs. (but stuff is also more expensive here)
9. I love the fact that I am a backpacker here in Australia and for 12 whole months I have been able to do what I want when I want with who I want and just enjoy my life and experience many new things in a lot of different countries all before the age of 26! Also, the Australian Government has been really good to us traveling/working backpackers because we get a good tax return and almost 100% of our taxes back when we leave :)
10. I love the weather here in Brisbane (Queensland in general) Not too hot, Not too cold. I am not a huge fan of the seasons being backwards though. (December is summer and July is winter) right now it is spring and it will go from being absolutely beautiful one minute to pouring rain the next! That is a little annoying. But, Brisbane is great city and I love it here. If I ever moved to Australia for good I would move to Brissy :)
Things I don't like about Australia in no particular order are:
1. The business hours at the banks and other related businesses suck! Generally speaking it is 9-4pm Monday-Friday. That is almost the exact hours I work! It is so frustrating not to be able to get stuff done because everything shuts early here and generally is not open on weekends! Man that makes me mad! Not to mention, banking isn't "free" in this part of the world they charge you usually 5-10 dollars as "account fees" simply for having a bank account and doing normal stuff that should be free! It sucks!
2. The fast food over here is not of great quality, they have basically zero drive thru's, only a few are open past 10pm and the portion sizes are pathetic! Plus you pay double or triple what we would pay back home! Basically eating Maccas or KFC here is just a rip off in my humble opinion.
3. I hate that the prices of food and almost everything is higher over here just because Australia is "isolated" Petrol,clothes,food, almost everything is more expensive than what we pay back home and just because Australia is more isolated doesn't mean they should be getting ripped off! Everything still comes from China anyway lol. Alcohol prices are outrageous over here! We pay 38 Australian Dollars for a 24 pack of "cheap" beer. Back home I wouldn't pay anywhere near that! and I don't smoke but if you want cigarettes you are looking at paying at least 15 dollars per pack,easy! it sucks how bad they "sin tax" everything over here. Going out to drink is just as expensive or more :(
4. I am not a fan of Christmas being in summer and winter coming in July. I guess I am just not used too it but it is just weird to me. Although, I did spend last Christmas on the beach so that was fun haha.
5. I hate the Imperial (American version of measurement) system. I hate it because I came here to Australia I was at a huge disadvantage not knowing how to measure distance or weight or temperature. In the past 11 months I have learned it pretty well and actually found it easier. I wish everywhere in the world would just standardize!
6. I hate being 15+ hours ahead of my family back home. It is a cool feeling to be "in the future" so to speak but it is frustrating when I want to talk with them or do any business back home.
7. I hate that movies and tv are so delayed here. We are constantly watching re-runs or seeing "new" movies only to find out they came out in America 3 months ago! It is frustrating and unfair. They also play the same damn commercials over and over! So many times in fact that Ben and I have most of them memorized! $506.95, anyone? :) (Hint that is a reference for an insurance company lol) and I hate that they constantly recycle the same actors and actresses and use them in multiple shows.
8. I hate that some Australian roads are inconsistently signed so its hard to tell where you are going. Luckily my map reading skills have improved a lot!
9. I hate that Australia is so huge I didn't get to see all of it I wanted too :( and I also have a love/hate relationship with Aussie lingo. I speak "Aussie" now so I can understand almost all of it but, they shorten everything! The bottle shop becomes "the bottlio" relatives becomes Relos. There is many many more but you get the point. It is ok when you know how to "translate" it but, when I first got here I was totally lost! I haven't lost my Texas accent but I totally speak Stralian' now lol
10. I hate the fact that soon I have to leave because while America and Australia profess to be good friends Americans are unable to get a second year working holiday visa here like most nationalities for some weird reason, but such is life gotta move on to bigger and better things.
So there you have it. My love/hate list. Now time for my what I miss about home list in no particular order:
1. First and foremost of course I miss my family and my friends. I do have some great friends here even a few life long ones but I miss everyone back home.
2. I miss my mom's cooking,especially her homemade chicken noodle soup.
3. I miss fried okra
4. I miss biscuits and gravy
5. I miss good Texas BBQ and Steaks.
6. I miss real Dr Pepper
7. I miss Shiner Bock
8. I miss Blue Bell Ice cream
9. I miss cheap fast food that actually tastes good like Whataburger or Wendy that is open practically 24/7. Oh and Taco Bell too!
10. I miss my new car and driving somewhere, anywhere. and I miss going deer hunting!
You may have noticed most of my "I miss about home" list was related to food. I just really miss food lol. It's the small things I miss. The stuff I can't get here. Well that is all the lists I have for you. Just thought I would let yall know.
On a little side note,today was my first day without Ben in about 8 months. That totally sounds like I have lost my wife or something lol. I guess I should take this time to clarify that his actual name is Bernd (He is German) but back when we met in December he introduced himself to me as Ben (I guess he thought it was easier for native English speakers to pronounce) But, he introduces himself to everyone else as his given name of Bernd so I am the only one it seems who calls him Ben. I offered to call him by his given name but he said Ben is ok. So whatever, im good with it.
Anyway he is off to Fiji for ten days and I am still working here in Brisbane. I went grocery shopping today alone for the first time in a while. I managed to keep myself to a fairly strict budget it was just weird not having him there lol. We have a "system" where he pushes the trolley and I walk down the aisle and throw everything in it. We are very efficient shoppers, in and out and that's it! We know what we like and want and we get it and don't mess around. It was just weird pushing my own cart today haha.
Oh ya, last night (since it was Ben's last night here before he left for Fiji) Ben,myself and Bernie had a meat feast! We had kangaroo steaks,sausage,chips(fries) and Bundaberg mixed drinks for dinner and it was great! I was in charge of preparing all the meat and I grilled that stuff to perfection if I do say so myself! Man it was so good! It was good send off for Ben before he left for Fiji.
Well thats all I got for now,Ty