Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Positives and negatives...

"And make it a flat white..."

I have spent the past two days toiling away on a feature article discussing the controversies surrounding a recent murder. Was it the four guys who beat a man into a coma where he was declared brain dead who caused his death, or was it the doctor who flipped the switch on the life support machines keeping him technically alive? It seems this is not such a cut-and-dried issue.
But as I trawled through information on the story and gathered the opinions of legal minds my mind kept wandering back to my recent holiday in Australia . Numerous colleagues questioned me on whether I am planning on joining the chicken run by moving to Australia . Am I packing for Perth?
Well, there are many good things to be said about living in Australia:
* It’s really clean and almost everything works properly.
* The people are super-friendly.
* Almost everybody obeys the law. If they drink, they make a plan rather than drive home.
* There are NO car guards. And parking at the big shopping malls is usually free.
* Their taxis are of the classy, roadworthy metered kind, not the scary death-traps on wheels that rule our roads and give us stress.
* Their crime rate is low, low, low. I have personally proven this. Firstly I accidentally left the front door to my brother's house standing open. Not unlocked! Wide open, facing onto their front lawn which runs down into the street. No walls, barbed wire or electric fencing. We returned at the end of the day to find the house untouched. On the second occasion after a wild shopping spree I somehow left my handbag standing on the front door step for a few hours (I'm not completely stupid, okay - just distracted and busy). It was after dark and the front light was on, shining brightly down on my lonely bag containing my purse, money and some other interesting stuff - yet nobody took it.
* They have Ikea!!! Oh the joyful, blissful hours I spent there. I could happily live in that store. In fact I think my dream job has to be an Ikea publicist.
* Kid's snacks are clearly labelled, healthy and - unlike our Nik Naks and strawberry Nesquick - do not contain colourants that are banned in the developed world.
* You get paid Aus$6000 if you have a baby. I swear! Plus you get given money every week after that until the offspring reaches adulthood.

That said, there's some stuff that's not so cool:
* Their shopping trolleys can drive you insane. They are demon-possessed, uncontrollable hunks on wheels that have the turning circle of an ox cart. They seem to be manufactured like that. None of the contraptions I encountered could easily navigate supermarket aisles without being lifted, tilted, pulled, reversed and rammed.
* There are no petrol jockeys. You have to work the pumps yourself with zero guidance and there’s nobody to help with wiping your windscreen.
* Child care costs about Aus$100 PER DAY!! That’s R690! For one day. Seriously….
* Ja, the koalas are cute and cuddly. But sheesh! Have you smelt them? AND they are vicious.
* A cup of coffee at the most cheep and cheerful of coffee shops costs close on R25!! It took me a while to work out that it is called a “flat white” if you add milk. Yeah – flat white. Totally obvious!
* If you take hiking boots into the country you are legally obliged to have them inspected by a customs official. Apparently there could be contaminated soil particles from your home country trapped in the grooves of the soles. And this is not allowed in Australia.

So there you have it. Much to contemplate.

1 comment:

  1. Much to contemplate indeed...
    My bestest best friend moved to Oz last September, and I miss her dearly- but they had good reason to leave and they're so happy now.
    I'm not going anywhere though.