Living in Australia?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MusicEnthusiast, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. MusicEnthusiast macrumors 6502

    MusicEnthusiast

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    #1
    Anyone here live or have lived in Australia? I'm a college student in the US, but just tonight I remembered of a time in middle school I had a fascination for Australia. Maybe it was when I watched the Crocodile Hunter on Animal Planet while doing a research project in my history class.

    Anyways, what's it like living there? Any really key benefits of living "down under"? haha I can't ever get enough of that phrase. I wonder if being American has any effect on living there too.

    Oh! And one more pondering question I have about Australia. Is the east or west coast better? That might vary with personal opinion, but I'm just curious! :)
     
  2. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #2
    It's always a tough question. How would you describe living in America to an Australian? It's not a short answer.

    America without guns. Or England with sunshine. Mix of both maybe - California or Texas if they were Canadian.

    There's the usual tourist spiel, but you're asking about actually living here. Much the same as in America I imagine. Culturally very similar like Canada is. You've got your small and big towns justlike America, but most people live in the cities and surrounding suburbs so day to day life would be just like any city in the USA. Rich suburbs, middle class suburbs, bumper to bumper commuter traffic, 7-Elevens, office blocks and men in suits, crowded shopping malls, parks, Chinese restaurants, you name it, you could be in any American city 90% of the time.

    From personal experience, I'd say the closest US equivalent for a city like Sydney would actually be San Francisco with the bridge and bay and including Oakland, along with the geographical spread of LA all the way to Pasadena. Melbourne would be more like Seattle maybe. Brisbane, San Diego. Just because of the relative weather I think, affects how a city grows and behaves culturally and recreationally (ie, beaches etc). Perth would be a smaller younger Sydney.

    The current Premier of New South Wales is an American woman (married an Aussie), so an American can do alright for themselves here if that's what you're asking. But I'm sure you're talking about impressing a member of the opposite sex with your accent though. That'd be about the same as an Australian in America I reckon. ;)
     
  3. R94N macrumors 68020

    R94N

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    #3

    Yeah, it's a bit dull weather-wise here. We have been having some great weather at the moment though :)


    I have a friend from high school who emigrated to Australia. Can't tell you what it's like, as I have not asked them about it yet, but I would like to go visit someday.
     
  4. hazza.jockel macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Living in australia is pretty good although i have only ever lived in aus and indonesia. Good weather, good food, mostly good people. I agree with pretty much everything awmazz said.

    West side represent.

    West side is where you go to make big bucks, east side is where you go to look down on people from western australia.
     
  5. iSamurai macrumors 65816

    iSamurai

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    #5
    hahaha, you gotta be here to feel it. well, it's a bit hot anywhere above brisbane... metropolitan and suburb areas I reckon are just like any well-developed cities around the world. a bit dirtier in sydney. I'd say down under x2 (AKA new zealand) is a more beautiful country, but Oz is a comfortable place to live nevertheless. :)
     
  6. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #6
    I lived in Melbourne for a year, and Sydney for a year (2 college scholarships). I'm from Nebraska. The biggest thing for me that opened my eyes was a bit of culture shock (face it; Nebraska is a fair bit conservative). I'm not closeminded, but it was just refreshing to see how much more of a melting pot Oz is compared to the US.

    The winters are tame compared to most of the US (the coldest it got in Melbourne was 8 - 10C; Winters in Omaha? -15C was the norm). No snow, except for in the Alps.

    I have so much more I'll post about this, but quickly, if you want a good outlook on how living there would be, I wouldn't compare it to San Fransisco; instead, compare living in Sydney, Melbourne, or Perth to Vancouver, BC. That will definitely give you a good insight into how things will be.

    More on this later.

    BL.
     
  7. kernkraft macrumors 68020

    kernkraft

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    #7
    It's even better than that but in a slightly villagey-way. (No offence).

    England with sunshine would still be far worse than Australia without it. What makes England bad is not just the weather and the sooner the English realise that is the better for them. I say that as somebody living in a beautiful part of rural Hampshire (after living in Berks and Bucks, working in City, moving to UK in 2001).
     
  8. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #8
    It's pretty nice. It is the middle of winter and I'm just off for a swim, bike ride, and round of golf. It's a beautifully sunny day and 16oC. Will sit in a cafe a bit as well and then am going to do some photography of native plants in winter bloom in the national park near my house later. This is pretty much how all Australians live.
     
  9. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

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    #9
    Have fun with the water.

    Or sheer. all-consuming overwhealming, "oh **** its all gone" lack of.

    ;)
     
  10. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #10
    This is true :D! What I didn't add above is that I will have to supplement my fluid intake with my own urine to reach my daily requirements. It's pretty droughty.
     
  11. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #11
    Okay, back for more.

    Most of my time was spent in/around Sydney and Melbourne, so most of what I have to say will be specific to there.

    Mass Transit. Outside of initially to the airport to enter/leave the country, you can get around anywhere there on mass transit. Trams, Buses, Trains. All of them are easily accessible, and more economical than driving. There were very few places I went that required a car (Warrnambool, Brisbane, Townsville, Gold Coast, Surfer's Paradise). I took the train mostly to everywhere I needed to go (train to Brisbane, drove around there). But you'll find mass transit there on the cheap. Unless you're in a major city (read: Chicago, San Francisco, NYC, Washington, Philadelphia), you won't find anything like that.

    For me, I got a bit disoriented when it came to cardinal directions there. When I felt like I was facing north, I was facing south. So that logically screwed up East/West. And being that far south, you don't have Ursa Minor (Little Dipper/North Star) to correct yourself.

    But other than that, the food is great! A lot of Greeks, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Italians, Indians, Vietnamese, Thai, and others there, so you have a huge choice of food. The alcohol isn't watered down like up here, legal age to drink is 18, as well as the driving age, but see aforementioned mass transit. The football is ****loads better (no padding, just for starters, and lasts 26 weeks! and yes, I'm a huge AFL fan), and the seasons are reversed (It's winter there).

    Only downside is that some of your current TV shows may be a few seasons behind, but that's what youtube and Hulu are for. Other than that, I'd love to live there again.

    BL.
     
  12. jake.f macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I think I can help haha, lived down here for 17 years. Never lived anywhere else. I would have to say the East coast is way better, more populated and more green if you know what i mean by that. Not many Australians actually resemble the crocodile hunter, just a warning...
    As far as living goes I would recommend Brisbane or the Gold Coast over Sydney. They seem to be much nicer. Sydney is wonderful, but only if you have money!! Some of the cheaper parts of Sydney (Some of the western suburbs) have been likened to 2nd or 3rd world countries.
    Now as far as benefits go, one would have to be the climate. On the East coast its not to hot in summer and never freezing in winter. I would not recommend cities such as Cairns, closer to the tropics, as it is always extremely hot and humid there.
    Can't think of much else now, any specific questions PM me haha.
     
  13. iSamurai macrumors 65816

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    #13
    well no duh :D:D:D. rugby union is much better IMO, I think AFL's got too many people in singlets jumping onto each other on a cricket pitch, and like you said "no padding" haha :)
     
  14. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #14
    Some of the most dangerous animals to mankind reside on that landmass.
     
  15. .Andy macrumors 68030

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    #15
    [​IMG]
     
  16. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Should be a constitutional law preventing people from running for Prime Minister if they've ever had their photo taken in budgie smugglers
     
  17. neonblue2 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    What about the south and north coasts? I can't speak for the north but the south has always seemed liveable enough. Alice Springs is also nice but I only saw it in winter, when it was green all over with nice warm weather.
     
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #18

    That's really not true.

    I'm 30 years old. I've lived in Australia for over 6 years, and was born and raised in Canada. I have lived NSW, and now live in Victoria (Melbourne). Regardless of the clear differences between Sydney and Melbourne, neither Sydney-siders or Melburnians are similar to Canadians. I can say the same thing regarding most of the country.


    SIMILARITIES:

    - Sense of humour
    - liberal-thinking people within the middle-sized and large cities
    - Nice, friendly people. :)



    DIFFERENCES: Australians are, in general, louder than Canadians. They talk loud, and are rarely as courteous as Canadians. Many people think drinking is an excuse to act loud, obnoxious, and violent. Most people will say that they know alcohol is no excuse to act like an animal, but at times, it seems that the end result doesn't match the rhetoric. :eek: Expect a surprising amount of public drinking, shouting at each other in public with little (or no) regard for others, and a bit of violence on most weekends and nights out.

    Canada isn't perfect, but there's definitely less of this going on in Toronto then there is in Melbourne, despite Melbourne's city centre being around 10x smaller (I'm excluding all the business areas where nobody drinks or hangs out). Sydney is worse than Melbourne in this regard, but it's pretty similar anyway.

    Australians also get a lot more violent at night after drinking, and I don't think you'd feel as safe as you do in Toronto, Montreal, or even Vancouver. Even Melbourne, which is definitely the "culture capital" of Australia and filled with annoying hipsters and yuppies, has a violence and racism problem. Funny thing is that Melbourne is less racist than the rest of Australia, IMO. :rolleyes:

    Don't get me wrong though. I like Australia, and I have loved every city I have lived in. However, before I ever moved to Australia, I have heard about the racism. I heard this from fellow Canadians who are white (I'm Chinese-Canadian), I heard this from an Irish friend, from people in London, Hong Kong, and from my close friend in Toronto who moved to Australia for 6 months. He is of Indian background, but really doesn't act like it. Before he came over, we talked, and I was surprised when he asked me about it.

    If you're white, then you're safe. If you're not white, then you're still safe, but not as safe. I never had any issues with race in Canada over 24 years, and I've had a number over the past 6 years.



    THE CITIES:

    I've been all over Australia (except the Northern Territories), and personally, Melbourne is fantastic.

    I love Melbourne, but there are so many people who "act" arty and dress in skinny jeans or whatever the most current fad happens to be, and I find very little that is genuine about most people who live near the city centre. My workplace is full of really nice people though, but that's because it's in between the city and the suburbs. :) Having said that, the people who truly are talented are a real treat.

    The weather in Melbourne is horrid. It rains all the time, and when it's not raining, it's cloudy and about to rain soon. :rolleyes: It has a genuine winter where the temperatures drop to around 0-5C at night (like now) and 10-15C during the day. There's also no good beach nearby. Seriously.

    The best thing about Sydney is that the people are more typically Australian than those in Melbourne. Most Sydney-siders are not pretending to be something they're not, which is true for most Australians living in Brisbane, Perth, etc. Sydney is a bit more brash than people in Melbourne, and while that sounds bad, it's actually kind of nice when you've been in Melbourne for awhile. Sydney is huge, and only the city centre is nice. Western Sydney is like the worst parts of Vancouver's downtown core, except it makes up around 30% of the city. In other words, there's a lot of crappy places to live in Sydney if you don't have money. The weather is FAR better than Melbourne, and there's beaches all up and down the coast. :)


    Both Melbourne and Sydney are too expensive. :( Actually, all of Australia is very expensive to live in. Everything costs 0 - 50% more than it does in Canada. Forget buying books, CDs, DVDs, coffee, a bike, clothes, etc. Do it when you're on vacation elsewhere.


    Brisbane is a nice middle-ground. I haven't lived there, but it's trying to become a bit more like Melbourne in a way, and yet it's very modern and not particularly grungy or anything. The weather is far better than Sydney or Melbourne, and both the Gold Coast and Sunshine coast are about an hour away. :) North Queensland is nice to visit, but I wouldn't live there.


    Perth is too expensive, although the coast between Perth and Broome is probably the most beautiful part of Australia. Same with Tasmania (all of it).
    Tasmania is absolutely gorgeous if you love mountains, forests, and the outdoors. However, if you were to go to Tasmania, you may as well just move to BC or Alberta. It's a bit warmer, but that doesn't make it worth moving there rather than BC or Alberta.


    Like in any city you live in, you'll become friends with the people you like, and you're allowed to avoid the people you don't like. In that way, you probably won't have many problems with idiots if you're not hanging out with those people. However, the issues I mentioned will still affect you by being brought up in the news and such.
     
  19. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #19
    I meant Oz has more in common with the USA than differences, like Canada does. Are you really crossing into a 'foreign' country when you cross the border into Canada? You don't even have to learn a new language.

    Being louder or more drunkardly or even slightly more racist still falls within the 10% dfferences I mentioned. 90% of the rest of the time standing in a shopping mall you couldn't tell which country the mall was in. It's even the same muzak drifting through the air - Jingle Bells in December even though it's 40°C outside and not a sight of snow.

    Even driving on the opposite side of the road is the 10%. Otherwise we all drive the same Toyotas and General Motors cars and sit at red lights in peak hour traffic listening to the same inane talkabck head or disc-jockey on the car radio to make it otherwise 90% the same. Angry motorists yelling 'arsehole' instead of 'a**hole'. Stuck behind a 'sem-ee' trailer truck in the middle lane instead of a 'sem-eye' trailer. Minor differences in the overall scheme of things.

    This applies to every population. Nobody has ever met nothing but nice people in any country. There's always going to be a certain percentage of nasty people wherever you go as a natural part of any population. Just like not everyone is honest etc. Which is why I never make sweeping generalizations about Australians being 'the friendliest' or whatever touristy spiel you want to hear. You can't button-hole an entire population anywhere as all being the same. Generalizations are about all you can do, as you say Australians are generally more louder than Canadians, But not all of them. I'm very quiet for instance, probably quieter than most Canadians even when I'm on the turps, and the loud drunken yobbo dickheads annoy the rest of us as much as they do you.
     
  20. OttawaGuy macrumors 6502a

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  21. awmazz macrumors 65816

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  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn

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    #22
    And like I said, many of the similarities are superficial, and your examples illustrate that. Cars, radio, etc, are all superficial. If that's all we're comparing, then Australia is the same as Japan, Germany, or even China, which is obviously not true if you've spent a few weeks in any of these countries.

    So yes, on a superficial level, you're going to see cars, radio, buildings, cafés, McDonalds, etc etc, in the US, Canada, and Australia. It doesn't say anything of the differences between people though.


    True. Like you said, all generalisations are blanket statements that don't apply to every person you meet. I still believe what I said was true in a general sense. For example, I don't work with anyone racist, but it doesn't mean race isn't a bigger issue in Australia.

    My point was that despite the differences between people in a general sense, the OP's new friends would probably not be people he finds offensive, so on a daily basis, differences between Canadians and Australians may not matter as much. However, you won't always deal with friends, so you may run into issues or annoyances. I know you could say that if you're living in any town or city, but the cultural differences between Australia and Canada may exasperate those differences, because they're not just caused by general differences between individuals, but by cultural differences as well.
     
  23. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #23
    I'm still not disagreeing with you. You're just focussing on the 10% differences while dismissing the 90% similarities as being 'superficial'. Which depends what you regard as superficial. In regards to actually living here, I regard teenagers and young office workers getting more loud and drunk and even violent in the city centre on Friday nights compared to Vancouver as superficial. The other 90% pf the time they're sober and doing the same thing the rest of the week in the same boring jobs, paying the same bills, watching the same TV shows etc etc.

    Yes, the 10% difference is what makes them unique, but it's still only 10%. The rest of the 90% is the same when it comes to living here, whether you regard it as superficial or not. When you compare to other countries, that ratio changes depending on the country. Old buildings, long history and different languages for instance in European countries, but still the same modern cars and Nokia phones etc etc so the difference:similarity ratio would be greater, all the way through to countries like Burma or Angola where the ratio would be the complete reverse 90% different to 10% the same. What's superfical or not about those differences is just personal opinion. In the overall grand scheme of actually living anywhere day to day as the OP asks, it all counts I reckon in terms of 'culture shock' when adapting to the new country.
     

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