It’s two months to the day that we arrived here in Sunny Perth so I thought I’d celebrate the occasion by writing about ten things that I’ve noticed about that fantastic country that we now live in.
I have a feeling that this will not be the last entry I make on this subject matter and as always, please feel free to make a comment:
1. There is not always a red-back or Funnel web spider hiding under your toilet seat.
Neither is there a deadly snake lurking in every crevice or around every corner waiting to jump out at you (that’s if snakes could jump).
We have seen redbacks and snakes and other spiders but in both instances these were safely secured behind glass at Perth zoo. When we see the real things out ˜in the wild’ you’ll read it here first.
2. Parrots are a damn sight louder at 6 am then sparrows and blackbirds.
I remember waking up to the ˜dawn chorus’ in the early hours of the morning back in the UK. Depending on my mood and whether or not I had a hangover it was sometimes a really nice way to wake up.
On the flip side, some UK birds, however much they might try, couldn’t quite grasp the concept of birdsong.
I’ve got to say though, by comparison, even the most annoying UK bird song is positively harmonious compared to the shrieks and squawks made by the local parrots first thing in the morning.
I’d love to be able to tune myself in to bird talk so I could understand what the hell these little guys were shouting to each other in their own little parrot ways.
At a rough estimate I think it would go something like:
Parrot 1: ‘hey Bruce that’s my branch’
Parrot 2: ‘bollocks to you its mine’
Parrot 1: ‘no it’s MY bloody branch’
Parrot 2: ‘look I’ve been here since last night it’s MY branch’
Parrot 1: ‘Bruce, I’m coming over it’s my branch’
Parrot 3: is anyone sat on this branch?’ etc.
Although a tad annoying, I’m sat here writing about the annoyance of Parrots squawking first thing in the morning. In hindsight, it’s actually pretty damn cool. 8)
3. All Aussies do not spend Christmas day on the beach
A very common misconception and if I’m being honest; until I got out here and spoke to â€˜home grown’ Australians it was a view shared by me too.
In Perth, some of the local Australians do go to the beach but this is normally in the evening (Cottesloe is a popular spot as it’s floodlit in the evening during the Christmas Period). This way they can enjoy the beach without the heat of the sun and without the risk of bumping into too many drunken Poms.
4. Aussies are the most compliant folks I have seen when it comes to crossing the road.
Folks living in Australia obey the green and red man at pedestrian crossings like their life depends on it (which probably explains the low number of road fatalities on roads where pedestrian crossings are located).
Many a time I have found myself stood at the side of a road, waiting to cross in Perth’s central business district with about 20 people on either side. There is not a car to be seen but the almighty red man-god says ˜do not cross’ so everyone remains at the roadside until the red mangoes green.
I guess I shouldn’t really joke and I must say it certainly helps when it comes to teaching our four-year-old the ‘green cross code’ with so many obedient people around.
5. Trying to find a house to rent in Perth.
6. Traffic lights do indeed stay red for a very….very…..very long time.
I’d heard and read about this before I came out to Australia but its right, sitting in your car at a traffic light for 2 – 3 minutes isn’t unheard of down under. On the flip side, going the other direction the traffic lights stay green for a very very very long time. Worst case scenario is you get an opportunity to appreciate the scenery around you.
7. Australia daytime TV
I was going to write about how terrible Australian TV was as a whole but now we’ve been here for two months it’s almost bearable. Early morning TV (up to about 9:30 am) is good for the Kids, Early evening TV isn’t that bad either.
Daytime TV, on the other hand, is absolutely terrible. Despite all this, at the end of the day if you need something to encourage you to go out and enjoy everything this beautiful country has to offer, then Australian TV is just that.
One of the main channels, channel 10 has a slogan ˜Sun all day, Ten all night’ so it looks like I’m not alone in my thinking
8. The benches in Perth’s CBD (city centre) should carry a health warning!
9. The local animal quarantine station used for pets flying into Perth is about 45 minutes drive from the airport.
In a country with so much spare land, I’m still trying to get my head around why Byford Quarantine Station is so damn far away.
10. Australian supermarket check out attendants.
I’ve endured 20 odd years trying to pack bags at the local supermarket whilst the young, earring clad check out assistant tries their hardest to break the Tesco/Asda/Sainsbury’s/Morrisons (delete as appropriate) ˜throw the shopping past the scanner in the fastest possible time’ record.
The checkout experience at Australian supermarket is almost a positively relaxing experience. At the main supermarkets run by Woolworths (of all people) and Coles, the check out assistant does something amazing. Yep, they actually pack the shopping for you. That’s right, none of the half-arsed ˜do you want any help with your packing?’ question you’ll often be begrudgingly asked back in the UK (if you’re lucky).
The checkouts here in Aus are designed so that the assistant scans the shopping; places the shopping expertly into a bag (grouping fresh, frozen and other stuff as appropriate) and then hands the full bag back to you before you pay.
Even more amazingly, they do this strange thing called ….speaking. Yes, they actually make the effort to talk to you about your day whilst cheerily packing your shopping for you. Amazing!
More observations to come, I have quite a few more up my sleeve but I’ll save these for another day.