I came across a news article this morning about an American backpacker hating things about Australia and immediately got a bit defensive. Strange, huh? I’m a dual citizen of Australia and the USA and I’ve been here for over ten years now, so I’m used to how things work here. I’ve adapted to changes the best I can but there are still things that irritate me. Some of the things I agree with and I was surprised.
Here’s a few things he said and my comment about them:
The Wi-Fi that’s available in restaurants or offered by the cities here is incredibly slow. The internet, in general, has always been slow. It’s been decent at universities but yeah, you wouldn’t want to go to your local McDonald’s and try to get anything done. He complained about it taking 5-7 hours to upload a YouTube video and that’s not wrong. I’ve got faster internet at home, but it’s not as good as it is in the USA. I’m always relieved when I head back to the USA and get online. Australia really needs to do better.
The flies totally ruin my summer to the point where I don’t even want to walk outside sometimes. It’s especially annoying where I am living now (out in the country). I’m actually thankful for the really hot days when they all get cooked. They’re just annoying. After more than a decade, I still hate the flies.
Compulsory Helmet Wearing
Whatever promotes safety is fine with me. I don’t mind if the government steps in to make people comply.
No Free Refills
It was annoying when I first got here (and some places actually DO refills, but it’s not common). It’s one of those things that was just an annoyance but I’ve learned to live with it and pay for anything extra I get. It also cuts down the amount of sugar I have as well.
And have you seen the sizes of cups in the USA? Do people really need those refilled???
Bring them on. If you’re not speeding, you have nothing to worry about and if you feel like the fine you’ve gotten is unjustified, then dispute it. Easy. It’s all about public safety (and also revenue).
Paying at the Petrol/Gas Pump
At most places, this isn’t possible. I’d have to say that I’ve seen it maybe once or twice since I’ve lived in Australia. It was so bad that I was a little confused when I went to the USA and totally forgot what I needed to do to pump gas. I did like that system. The less people I have to deal with, the better.
And now, my very small list:
In a lot of places, the hours stores stay open is terrible at best. When you’re living out in the country like I am, you’re lucky to find any place that’s open on the weekend. You end up having to drive to a bigger town that’s an hour away just to do your shopping. And you have to be quick because these places close around 5 pm.
A lot of places close at 4:30 pm but people leave their job at 5 pm. Yeah.
Instead of putting people in jail or prison, the government would rather fine you. They aren’t cheap fines either. I guess they’d rather have the cash flow than putting people in jail. I totally get it but a lot of the time, people don’t even pay those. I have received one for $250-ish one time for losing my train ticket. I found that ticket by the time I left, so I guess that’s a win?
It’s hard to list the negatives, honestly. I have so many nice things to say about Australia. Obviously, I love living here. I’d much rather live here than the USA, honestly.
Every place has its negatives and flaws and I feel like the positives outweigh the negatives. I’m happy here.
Would I be happy in the USA? I could find happiness there. I never was incredibly unhappy there. I just feel safer here. I could build a life there if I had to but why do that when Australia in general is so awesome.
So, from this American, I love being here and I’m so lucky to live in this country!