Ok so we have had the top 10 things I LOVE about living in Australia now lets see the flip side! These are the things I don’t love about living in Australia! Because lets me realistic nowhere is perfect!
I am not talking here about the obvious things like missing family and friends but more about the things about Australia as a country that I just don’t love (I don’t hate them I just need to adjust!). If you are Australian don’t take this personally – there are plenty of things I can say that I don’t love about the UK but I want to share the (little) things that drive me a little potty about this wonderful country we now call home!
Again this is specific to Queensland – I have no idea what it is like in other states and territories. Yet.
In Queensland they don’t have daylight savings. Everywhere else seems to have it and we loved visiting Melbourne in January and experiencing lighter evenings.
Obviously sunrise and sunset times vary across the state. In Brisbane in the summer expect it to go dark around 6.45 pm while in the winter it is 5 pm. So no lovely long light evenings.
Everyone I speak to seems to want daylight savings. Except the cows apparently.
In the UK I was a teacher so school holidays were a given. 13 weeks. Nice.
In Australia you start a job with no leave. So even though they may give you 20 days (the norm here) annual leave you only accrue it over time. Seeing a paltry few hours appearing on your payslip every 2 week just makes me feel sad. If you want to take leave you will need to have either accrued it or hope your boss will acknowledge that just because you don’t have 10 days of leave accrued at that point you will have by the time you actually take the leave.
If I was teaching here the terms are very different to the Uk in that they are 10 weeks long. (At which point all my UK teaching friends fall over in shock) However between each term there is a 2 week break. The equivalent to the long summer break in the UK is the 5/6 week break over Christmas (so their summer holiday)
Also don’t expect automatically paid sick days either – you accrue those too.
And if you have got sick days make sure after 2 you get a Doctor’s note….
Driving….or should I say Aussie drivers??? Weaving, speeding, tailgating, ignoring your indicator when you want to (shock horror) move into their lane???! And be prepared for massive SUV’s. 4 wheel drives and UTE’s. I had a Toyota Yaris and an inferiority complex. I now drive a Hyundai Tuscon and feel a lot happier! (and higher up if that makes sense!)
Tolls – prepare to pay to sit for hours on end in traffic.
Lanes that just disappear – yep you are happily driving along and then you lane will just vanish! My advice stay in the middle lane – its a little more predictable!!!
Outside of the big cities public transport it dire to non-existent so you will have to drive/own a car its not really an option.
Renting is a pain. I would recommend doing it though to get to know an area before buying or building yourself but prepare for the experience. Particularly inspection time. Make sure your place is spotless because if it isn’t you will get notified to sort it asap. It feels like a bit of an invasion of privacy and even though we rented for the last few months in the UK the process here is a LOT tougher.
Even securing a rental is difficult. Agents have open hours (yes hours – not days) and you are expected to turn up at those times. Often with all your paperwork in hand. Deposits include 4 weeks rental plus 2 weeks upfront. Luckily I had Shelley from Opal Relocations to help us when we moved from Mackay to Brisbane and that made an awfully difficult process a whole lot easier.
Prepare to pay for Netfix, Stan and any other service that gets you access to something to watch on the TV. Because apart from a few cooking shows and some reality stuff the TV isn’t up to much.
This point doesn’t bother me as much as my husband who misses the football. Obviously with the time difference he would have to watch it in the middle of the night. I should have put this in the section of stuff I love about Australia because I don’t miss football one bit!!!
TRYING TO UNDERSTAND MEDICARE AND MEDICAL INSURANCE
No-one does. Not one Australian I have spoken to understands it. Not totally. So we pay a load of money every week for private medical cover.
Whilst you do get a Medicare rebate for a doctor’s appointment (I recently received $37.05 rebate – the appointment cost $75.oo so I was out of pocket by $37.95) you need to check that the doctor bulk bills. Whilst it is a bit of a shock to pay to see a doctor after experiencing the NHS for the past 20 plus years in the UK it is easy to get an appointment here. For example the other day I hurt my knee and happened to be passing the Doctor’s surgery so I thought I would pop in and make an appointment. I was speaking to the Doctor within 20 minutes and had a prescription within half an hour!
NOBODY PHONES YOU BACK
A broad generalisation I know but I think I laugh now when told, “I will get back to you”. I had a great time with Telstra who were promising to install a Wifi connection in our apartment. After a month of calling, telling the same story over and over and still getting no-where (and not being called back numerous times) I eventually cracked. I didn’t get angry I just cried. I had my own dedicated support after that point (still took another 3 weeks to get the WiFi connection though).
This is a frustration shared by many Australian’s I talk to. I don’t know why service levels are so poor but I can guarantee if I need to sort something out it will take more than one phone call.
I don’t know why people don’t call you back – is it that they are overworked and busy or is it (as my husband says) that no-one gives a shit!!!?