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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

Now that I've been here a couple of weeks, I thought I'd write a post jotting down my first impressions of the place.

Like:
- People I've encountered have been very straightforward, down-to-earth and if they're friendly which many are, they're genuinely so. A lot like India. This is a change from the US where they're more artificial or fake-polite.
- The fact that Sydney has a ferry network almost as big as its railway network. Taking a ferry somewhere is as common as taking the train! This makes living in a suburb across the harbor from your workplace a 10-minute commute to work. And it's a great way to start and end the day!
- Walking everywhere and taking the train or ferry to get somewhere else. I used to have to drive everywhere in California and this change feels great! Not only do I feel healthier and more energetic, but my days are also more entertaining.
- GST and tip is included in all prices. No need to calculate 9.5% tax + 15-20% tip on top of the advertized price to guess how much I'll really be paying.
- City living in high-rise apartments. We've got a great temporary place on the 10th floor in an apartment building and we love the lifestyle! Very different from our quaint little two-storied rentals in San Francisco.
- All flats come with a shower booth and laundry room. A welcome change!
- This is a guilty pleasure but I'm enjoying My Kitchen Rules :D. Things are getting a bit nasty now so maybe not for long..
- The fact that I can watch all the cricket live on TV! India touring Australia and the Tri-Nation Series has been a blast so far.
- I saw cricket bats for sale in the stores and had to do a double take. I'm still not used to the fact that I'm once again in a cricket-playing country :).
- Rugby League starts next month and it seems like such a full-on entertaining sport, I can't wait to start watching.
- Late-night-shopping on thursdays. Thursdays here are like a holiday fair. All the shops stay open late and there's also lots of roadside and mallside stalls offering restaurant food, books etc.
- It has a very family-oriented culture. You see kids of all ages all over the place, taking trains, ferries, families going out together. It's a good place for couples and families.

Don't like so much:
- Prices: They aren't kidding when they say Australia is expensive! Prices here are easily 50% more than in the Silicon Valley, one of the most expensive places in the US. Rental prices are quoted per week, not per month and they're also about 50-75% more than the Silicon Valley.
- Finding a rental apartment is very tough here. There's 30 people to 1 place on offer. Quality of housing isn't that good. There's a lot of avoidable old, pest-infested housing around. And since we want to go for a modern high-rise, the supply is very limited since there's not much new construction.
- It's hot here. I expected that but after living in temperate Northern Cali, it's a bit uncomfortably hot here. I'm sure I'll get used to it and back into India-weather-mode in no time. Can't wait for Autumn though..
- Bugs.
- Things are more backward here than the US. Old train systems, old-style construction, nothing open after 7 pm, limited choice in goods.

Will add more if I think of them..
 

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thanks for sharing :) i think it makes such a great impression on people who are not yet here, coming from those recently moved and how they see the world this side of the fence :)
 
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Haha :) I love My Kitchen Rules, but I agree - some of the teams are getting a bit nasty. Don't worry, once some of the mean ones leave the competition it'll get better. I'm glad you're enjoying Australia on the whole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
About bugs: It's an unavoidable fact of living in a hot country.

Thanks, SG and Anjali! I'll keep posting..

I forgot to mention one incident on the train on Friday: A drunk guy heard the train driver's accent on the PA system and started ranting about how foreigners come here, take our jobs, that it was wrong, mate, and so on. I had half a mind to tell him there was nothing stopping him from getting this job if he'd only stop drinking and get his act together. Australian unemployment is only 5% after all and people are being actively sought everywhere! But my station came and I had to get off..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haha :) I love My Kitchen Rules, but I agree - some of the teams are getting a bit nasty. Don't worry, once some of the mean ones leave the competition it'll get better. I'm glad you're enjoying Australia on the whole.
I think their scoring system is a bit flawed. Teams are always going to give others low scores to push them down the rankings.. there should be something to force the teams to be fair in their scores. As it stands, nothing stopping a team from manipulating the rankings by giving others a zero score.
 

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You should have told him he too is not original australian, aboriginals are Pure Australians, everyone else came here some or the other time, his forefathers might have either migrated here some point of time or came here as british prisoner ages back.

About the bugs, try getting the surface spray from coles, bunnings or woolies, spray it on teh window frame for the outside, all vents and exhaust openings, you will be surprised how well they work and wont see many of those atleast inside the house. Spray once and no worrying after that for atleast 6 months
 

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and you have to go see amtch at the stadium sometime, people are cricket crazy, funny how they show matches played with australian on channel 10 and the non Aussie matches on Gem :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the suggestion, Anjali. Fortunately, no infestation in our flat on the 10th floor. That's one of the reasons my wife wants to live high up actually - to avoid the pests on the lower floors :D. I've just seen bugs in houses I've inspected, especially if the building was oldish. But I'll keep your inputs in mind in case..

About the drunk guy: I didn't want to get into all that. Just wanted to make him see that he himself was responsible for not having that train job or any job if he wanted it. He was so far gone though, that it would've probably been a waste anyway.

Yea, I'm seriously considering going to the India-Australia match on the 26th at the SCG. Just trying to get some others to go with. Woohoo if I get to go :)! Have you been to any?
 

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i did not actually mean tell him all that :p.. we had booked for australia india match, the one india won but had to chicken out last moment as the tickets purchased by our friends were in general reserve and not the best seats, with a child you do not want to be stuck in sun feeling irritated and regretting why you did not book yourself plus my husband had some work (thankfully :p)

for peace of mind just spray the windows, it will make you feel mroe comfortable and you wont keep looking at the ceiling corners every time you went to bed :p
 

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make sure you do, the sun is nasty here :p
 
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