This post could easily be renamed to “5 things I hate about Australia” but I wanted to contrast my post of “5 things I love about Melbourne”. Of course, while I love the city, no place is without its annoyances.
History has shown me that people love a hating post more than a loving post, as shown by the popularity of “5 things I hate about Kuala Lumpur” over its sister post, “5 things I love about Kuala Lumpur“. Let’s see if this holds true once again.
1. The damn flies
I @#$%^&*() hate the flies of Australia. Unlike the preventable fruit flies of South East Asia, these “typical” black flies do not fuck around. Whether you’re in the city or out in the outback, these bastards do not rest. They constantly fly at your face attacking your eyes, mouth and ears. They annoy me so much that I wish I had a super power to kill them if they flew within 2 feet of me.
2. Everything* costs more
I say everything and while it’s probably not everything, things do generally seem to cost more in Australia. This boils down to various reasons including its isolated location, emphasize on local goods and sometimes insane taxes. Other than locally grown Australian food which may be cheaper, Australia pays more for lots of consumer goods like electronics, general services and entertainment items like alcohol. Sometimes even common items are obscenely expensive. Bottle of coke? $4. Quite ridiculous.
3. It’s not a yielding culture
I’m going to pick this as one of the things I hate because I’ve grown up accustomed to pedestrians receiving the right of way. That and because I would’ve been run over dozens of times already if I acted like Australia was Canada. Drivers always seem to slow down a smidge before a turn to give you the impression that they may yield to you. When they see you hesitate to any degree, they typically gun it whether you intend to stop or not. It goes without saying that you should always look both ways while crossing the street in Australia!
4. Internet speeds are in the year 2009
Here’s an oddball one. People remark that Australian internet is 10 years behind average first world internet speeds but I’m going to say it compares to what I had in 2009/2010. In my old Melbourne home, we would get internet speeds around 5-7mbps (on a good provider), while at my old work we would frequently have issues with speeds despite being on high-speed business services. Higher speed technologies are arriving in Australia which welcomes Australia to the year 2012!
5. Racism is a bit of a thing
I haven’t experienced much first hand racism in Australia but through a slow trickle of stories and observations, you can definitely feel it’s presence. There can be some pretty old-fashioned ways of thinking floating around, especially if you’re outside the more liberal cities. Coming from a fairly progressive city, it can be a bit of a shock. I’m not sure if the attitude towards racism is improving, staying the same or getting worse but if you’re in Australia, it’s worth to note it.
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