An objective account of things that are better (and worse) in Australia.

Well, I’ve been in this country for about 8 months now, and I finally feel as if I have the authority required to write a definitive list of what’s better in Australia.  (And inversely, what’s worse.)

BETTER

Wine
I can buy a palatable bottle of wine for $5.  I can buy a good bottle of wine for $12.  Hell, I can buy an absolutely quaffable bag of the shit for less than $20.  Put this together with BYO restaurants and you have a recipe for success.

Cheese
It’s cheaper than water here.  I once bought a 1kg block of cheese on sale for $5.  My household is in the midst of a veritable Rennaisance du Fromage.  I’m putting cheese in foods that I’ve never put cheese in before.  You don’t even know what can be done with cheese until the oppressive confines of cost have been lifted.  The next (or first?) Shakespeare of Cheese could be living in Canada right now, unable to ply his art for fear of financial ruin.

Jaywalking Laws
Jaywalking is not illegal here, unless you do it at a cross walk.  For real.  You need to be 30m away from a designated cross walk if you want to jaywalk.  Not that I’ve ever been ticketed in Vancouver for this, but I have always lived in fear of it.  With every illegal step I take, my hands grow clammier and my heart beats faster.  This is not so in Perth; I cross roads with fucking aplomb.

Words & Names
Reckon, heaps, singlet, beanie.  Words are more fun in Australia.  And names, too!  Everybody in Australia has agreed upon certain nicknames for pretty much everybody.  Is your name Derek?  People will casually refer to you as “Dezza” all the time.  Are you Sarah?  Well, on occasion you’re Sas.  Maybe your last name is Dobson.  If it is, you’re Dobbo.  I assume there must be a codified list somewhere, because everybody I’ve met seems to know exactly what a person’s nickname should be without ever being told.

Wages
Do you know how much money I make to sit in a comfy chair in a pleasant office and perform incredibly easy tasks?  $25/hr.  This isn’t a particularly good wage here, it’s just normal.  Even if you work at McDonald’s you make something like $18/hr.  This is one of the reasons you’re never expected to tip anyone: because they all get paid a living wage.

WORSE

Every type of booze that isn’t wine
It’s expensive.  Like, prohibitively expensive.  A carton of beer is usually $40.  It can get up to $65 for a craft beer.  A bottle of off-brand gin called “Houndstooth” over $30.  Basically I just drink a lot of wine. 

Men’s clothing
There are two styles of clothes available in most stores: dickhead and surfer.  They might sound like the same thing, but there is a subtle difference.  If you’re a dickhead, you wear regular fit jeans, some horrible shoes and a graphic t-shirt.  If you’re a surfer, you wear flip-flops, board shorts and a graphic t-shirt.  And by graphic t-shirts, I don’t mean like ones from the internet with a funny picture on them, or ones that have a band on them, or ones with an obscure pop culture reference on them… I mean like ones with random photographs and french words emblazoned on them.

Northbridge
Northbridge is to Perth as the Granville Strip is to Vancouver.  Except it’s like 7 billion times worse.  On a Friday or Saturday night, it’s like walking through a war zone.  You will probably see blood on the pavement at least once.  You will probably be accosted by gentlemen interested in melee combat.  You will probably see bouncers detaining a dude that knocked out another dude with one punch because he gave the first dude’s missus a suggestive glance.  I’ve read there’s a pretty big problem with speed in Perth, which would explain a lot of what’s going on there.  But still, what the fuck?

Availability of Canadian delicacies.
This isn’t really fair, because Vancouver is obviously going to have a better selection of Canadian delicacies than Perth.  But still… Here is a short list of things that Canadians should never take for granted: Hawkins Cheesies, Old Style Pilsner, Clamato Juice and Root Beer.

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday
There’s not a lot to do here.  Stuff closes early.  I think it’s just a Perth thing though, so I won’t ding all of Australia for it.