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.