Hello world. This post is coming from you live from Melbourne, which for the time being, is the place I call home. While I like it here, and love exploring all that this glorious country has to offer, its a well known fact that I am a complete amalgamation of everything British. I’m known to break into chants of “I’m England ’til I die”, or God Save the Queen at random intervals, defend our awful weather and annoyingly pick apart any accent that isn’t that of the Queen’s English. Its for these reasons that its hard for me to adjust to a new country, so here are some of my thoughts after my first week as an Aussie resident, some good and some bad!
1. The prevalence of avocados on restaurant menus is DELIGHTFUL. Smashed, sliced, coupled with perfectly crisped bacon…you name it, its there.
2. People are kind of rude. Restaurant staff in particular. Conversations aren’t modelled on the standard British “sorry, hi, yes, please thank you sorry, thanks, cheers, see ya, yeah cheers bye”, and its quite unsettling.
3. 29 degrees is apparently the appropriate weather for donning head to toe fleece.
4. Every single road is like driving on the M25 (even in the suburbs the roads have a billion lanes).
5. There are actually ample bins. Its not like London where any sort of rubbish disposal is considered catnip for terrorists. I can dispose of my litter in peace.
6. Trains seem to come when they damn well please.
7. Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. Great coffee everywhere. Even at McDonalds.
8. There’s a genuine place called Waffee. Waffles and Coffee. Enough said.
9. Frozen coke. Frozen fanta. Frozen sour watermelon. Slurpees. FROZEN ERRYTHANG.
10. They haven’t yet grasped the concept of free cash withdrawals. $2.50 charge for using an ATM that isn’t owned by your bank. SAY WHAT?
11. People repeatedly tell you that Melbourne has unpredictable weather and that you can have all four seasons in one day. I’m from the UK. I am fully used to unsteady climates. I don’t need it to be explained to me.
12. TV advertising is hysterically cringeworthy.
13. Nobody says “pay with card”. Its apparently Eftpos (some sort of unnecessary acronym)
14. Any word that can be shortened, is shortened.
15. The prices of stuff is messed up. A McFlurry costs $5 (about £2.75). Yet a McDonalds ice cream cone (with almost the same amount of ice cream) is 50 cents (30p). WHAT?
16. The fast food monarch we call Burger King has been replaced with a young boy named Jack who requires food. Burger King = Hungry Jack’s (no idea why)
17. The food at Starbucks is far better than the UK. No stale blueberry muffins or dry panini in sight
18. Ive spent a fortune on water. I drink bottled water a lot, and here they cost about $3.30. I miss my 40p Evian from Sainsbury’s.
19. THEY STILL HAVE CADBURY DREAM. That white chocolate that was discontinued for sale in the UK when we were about 12. IT LIVES ON.
20. Everything. Is. Massive. Forget your regular sized shampoo bottle at about 250-400ml. No no no. EVERYTHING IS HUGE AND HAS A PUMPY LID. Litres and litres of toiletries line my shower now.
So those are my initial observations upon spending my first week as an Aussie. More musings to follow….