Tuesday, July 3, 2007

First Impressions

As you know, I have been to Australia several times, but here are a few impressions from the perspective of a new resident…
  • People are incredibly polite here. Whether it’s a clerk at the shop selling me a cheap pair of sunglasses or the guy taking tickets for the Citycat, people are generally friendlier than I am accustomed to, even compared with those doling out the Southern hospitality in Atlanta.
  • The birds provide a completely different soundtrack to your life here, as none seems to have a call that sounds like one back in the U.S.
  • Roundabouts really are great for traffic flow, but the double-lane ones that include the ending of a freeway are just downright scary!
  • Good ideas about how to do things differently and better are plentiful here. I can’t see why more of them haven’t made their way to the U.S.
  • My new workplace is wonderful. My office is huge, my furniture is attractive and ergonomic, and the staff have been amazingly effective in getting me set up. I have never experienced anything like it before.
  • Meatpies are a yummy, quick lunch and come in many varieties--including vegetarian!
  • Paris Hilton appears on as many magazines here as she does in the U.S. What is it about her that I seem to be overlooking?
  • This country is obsessed with sports...and not just as spectators.
  • Coffee shops are at every turn. I can’t believe that Starbucks thinks it has a chance in this country (I saw one down at Surfer’s the other day). Of course, it is difficult trying to find a simple cup of coffee that doesn’t come from an espresso roast bean. But on the positive side, the baristas here are great artists. The patterns that they can make with the foam are stunning.
  • The time difference between here and the U.S. makes everyone back there seem especially far away. Well, I guess they are.


Anonymous said...

You guys sound like everything is going well. We are very happy for you guys iot is amazing to think that you are so far but so close keeping updates on things youare doing. we are jelous of the beach i have been wanting to go for quite a while. this weekend we are going to Jamestown R.I. for a saling trip visit. Oh well enjoy the 4th over there I am sure there will be some sort of celebration.

Lots of love and kisses, we miss you
Irwin and Monica

Mooselet said...

Nice to hear you're adapting well! There is also a Starbucks somewhere in the CBD (can't remember where exactly) as well as Westfield Chermside shopping centre. Gloria Jean's coffee is better, IMHO. I never liked coffee til I moved here.

Well, you did come to Brisbane right in the middle of footy season. Want to see obsessed? If you're feeling brave head down to some of the pubs around Suncorp Stadium tonight, especially the Caxton up in Paddington. You'd never guess the State of Origin is a done deal.

Audra said...

Your observations are spot on.

I can't believe you went to surfer's paradise right off the plane...well, now that you've seen it, you won't have to go there ever again...