Thursday, 9 May 2013

Why Australia sucks (except not really)

After more than three years, we are leaving Australia. It is tragic and heartbreaking, even though we are going back to California, a place I also love deeply. To make myself feel better about this transition, I’ve decided to blog about the things that bother me about this far-flung continent. Why does Australia suck?

1. The driving
These people are insane. The roads are narrow, and what was once a lane often suddenly stops when someone decides to park. Everyone drives as fast as possible, as close to the car in front as possible, even in otherwise quiet neighborhood streets. Pedestrians do not have the right of way – no, they will run you and your baby stroller down if you step out in the street too soon.

Cars are expensive to buy and incredibly expensive to maintain and drive, but are worth almost nothing when you then decide to sell them. Also, they seem to attract large spiders.

Filling up the gas tank is also annoying. You can’t pay at the pump, and you can’t click the thingy on the nozzle, so you have to stand there and smell the fossil fuel fumes while the guilt piles up. Then you have to walk inside and pay an actual human being. Ugh!
The scenery: just so boring and ugly, you know?
2. The climate
What the hell is that water coming out of the sky all the time, people? And why is it so abrupt, and always sneaking up on me when the laundry is out?

Also, seriously why don’t you insulate your buildings, and have heating? I guess it’s slightly warmer than England here in Wollongong, but right now I’m wearing a long-sleeve shirt, jeans, fuzzy socks, a sweater, and a wool blanket and just barely surviving. Of course, the ocean is still almost warm enough to surf in a springsuit, but you’ll freeze before you get to the sand. Uncool.

3. The paper
Does it really have to be that long?

4. The creepy things
Ok, it’s true that the US has some large things that can kill you – bears and shit. But they don’t sneak into your linen cabinet to startle you to death while you are blithely going about your daily routine.

And, I really don’t care that the only things here that most terrify me are not the venomous ones…gigantic hairy spiders and leeches are creatures that I prefer not to have lurking in my general 5-mile radius.
The other animals: just so rude. That's my porch, cockatoo!
5. The language
Ostensibly English, but they make everything sound adorable. “Daggy tracky-dacks”? “Bikey gangs”? How are we supposed to take you seriously? You aren’t allowed to have that much fun with communication.

6. The lack of surfers
It’s really annoying when I want to go surfing but no one else it out. I’m too scared of being the only shark bait in the vicinity to go by myself, regardless of the fact that I haven’t seen or heard of any shark sightings here, while they are apparently invading California lineups. 
The people: Always crowding up the outdoors, and being friendly. What the hell?

7. The coffee
It’s so good, and so expensive. And super decadent cakes are usually also on offer. Totally unfair.

8. The waitservice
Since people like bartenders and waitresses actually get paid a living wage, they don’t depend on being nice to customers to get tips and pay rent. If they bring you the wrong food and don’t particularly feel like fixing things, they just blame the menu for being wrong and walk away. I guess you can’t blame them, though. I wouldn’t want to deal with me either, whining about wanting arugula instead of romaine lettuce.

9. The children
They are just so damn happy, running around and playing and not shooting each other. Geez.

Damn, that didn’t really help at all. Well, the only thing to do is embrace the Aussie attitude: “she’ll be right, mate.” Yeah, I guess it’ll be all right, in the end. As long as we get to come back soon.