Things I always knew but didn't -really- until I got here

Once again I'm tapping this sat outside. The humidity is up once again and even at 8.30 it's getting incredibly warm.

1. There is wildlife fucking everywhere. And most of it can kill you.
So far we've had a wallaby jumping about on both mornings, a salty has just been captured in the bay, we've had warning about stingers in the water and brown snakes in the grass, there are ants that bite all over the patio and last night I found an inch long insect sitting in the middle of my bathroom floor. It's like living in a zoo when all the creepy crawlies have escaped. This is a crappy webcam picture of my back yard (the rails keep the crocs &c out, but not the bush turkeys):

(My Mum has loads of snaps on her blog. I've not got organised properly yet.)

2. Aussies are the friendliest people you will EVER meet.
The lady who set up our bank accounts genuinely offered to lend us her car for two weeks while she was on holiday. It took us extra time to do everything yesterday because everyone wanted a chat. The man is telestra gave us real estate advice, the woman in medicare taught me how to avoid snakes, the woman in Woolies told us how to get home... No one ever seems too busy to help you out or have a chat. There seems no suspicion of intentions - "why wouldn't I want to help someone out?". A boring day of '1. bank account, 2. Medicare, 3. Internet/phone' was made a lot of fun because of the people we encountered.

3. The NHS is a thing of wonder.
It's not until you go through the rigmarole of registering with medicare here that you realise how lucky we are to just be able to walk into a hospital or doctors and receive treatment without worrying about the cost.

4. Vegemite tastes nothing like marmite.
I know this because marmite makes me want to hurl and I've just had vegemite on my toast for the second morning in a row. Admittedly I spread it quite thinly.

5. While lovely, the Aussies are sometimes very odd.
Mostly through advertisments. Every other one is for life insurance or funerals. There was a sign in woolies that said 'Why pay $10 for a BBQ chicken?!? Our chicken is only $9.88!!!' with no sense of irony. And of course the brilliant quarantine video and airport 'peadophile' warning.

6. Everything here is beyond expensive.
Everything. At least 30% more than the UK. It's like London prices with a little bit on top. Yesterday a lunch of a piece of lukewarm lasagne served on a plastic plate with a crappy coffee cost £9 each. Even subway costs a bomb.

7. You have to wear sunscreen at all times.
Apparently 1 in 3 Aussies will get skin cancer at some point. Yesterday we bought some sunscreen that was being sold by the litre. It's got a little pump on the top. No messing about.

8. They love The Queen.
Honestly, I thought they weren't that fussed here. But there's loads of excitement about the visit, which I didn't expect to see. It's really lovely, and I shall continue to make a toast to HRH before dinner.

9. Some stereotypes ring true.
Although here I'm referring to us. Mum and I have both brought over our own tins of tea (hers being twining Earl grey and mine being English breakfast purchased from the Buckingham Palace gift shop). The aussies don't get it. You really start to notice your accent too and odd little un-Australian quirks.

10. Australians don't speak English.
They really don't. I don't want a schooner, I want a pint. Root means 'shag' so asking someone 'I need to go shopping, can you advise me on the best route please?' means something totally different. Though I may forget to know that purely for my own entertainment.

11. My Mum lies on her blog.
There were no tampons in my bag, but it made for a better story. I didn't scream about the bathroom bug, I calmly went to get my mother to sort it out for me like a proper adult. I suspect I will be publishing more retractions (on her behalf) in the coming months.

12. Jetlag is awful.
It really is. I was so bloody cocky before, but after yesterday evening when we almost couldn't function and waking up at 4.15 this morning I admit defeat. It's really, really horrid.

Today will be spent: getting a car, doing a proper shop and handing out CVs. We're also going to a social for the local sailing club tonight. Given that by 5pm yesterday we were dancing around Big W with coathangers because we actually felt drunk with fatigue, it should be interesting.

Once again though, all this will commence after my morning swim.

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