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  1. OK, here we go! Where do I start? Firstly I need to be careful. my wife's a 'Strayan, so I don't want to be too rude. That said...... We'll have been here (Geelong) 2 years in september, so I feel that i speak with some insight. Hopefully by getting this bile out of my system I'll feel much better. 1. Making friends: why is this so bloody difficult? I regard myself as a reasonably normal person (in his late 30's) who likes a laugh. Here I feel like I'm in the land of the living dead! Many of the blokes I've met and socialised with..well, we kind of speak the same language but its like there's nothing there. Irony, what's that? To cap things of, yesterday I met someone who'd been here 43 years, and he's still having difficulty trying to make friends! Gulp. 2. AFL: I find it bizarre and baffling how everyone young and old male and female alike, seems obsessed by this sport which is let's face it, irrelevant outside of Australia. Oh, the looks you get when asked what team 'ya barrack for', and answer NONE ACTUALLY. It's like you've just spat on their mother's grave. 3. Pubs: I had the misfortune of having a beer at a typical Aussie pub the other day. It was like stepping into Hades...walls covered with TV screens, TAB counter, pokies as far as the eye could see, leery blokes (unfortunately some from my ex cricket club). Why not just call it a seedy betting shop (where you also buy ridiculous little pots of beer)? Yes I've been to other pubs less scary than this but I mention it as one of the blokes I was with described it as a 'crusty local'..I had images of a grandfather clock ticking in the corner, a labrador sleeping by the fire, and an old fella in a cloth cap singing to himself in Gaelic. 4. Australian Men: I had a pretty good idea a very long time ago that this species is probably one of the dullest in creation..but I just didn't believe it, surely I was unlucky. They can't all be strong silent (mute) types, who leave all the talking to the Sheilas. No they really are. Its OK if you are an outdoorsy surfing footy playing type, and have had brain cells knocked off progressively over the years. But try a bit of banter, a bit of humour..oh dear oh dear. I think my joining above mentioned cricket club galvanised my opinion: off-the-field conversation revolves around, er..footy, beer, bigoted racial stereotypes (I hear what you're saying about the pot calling the kettle black), eg all poms are poofters, bigoted opinions on the world, ie everywhere outside Australia is crap..blah blah blah yawn, next 5. Australian TV: I can only tolerate ABC or SBS, and that's only in short bursts, and sadly that is mostly British content. Enough said. 6. Australian Culture: Let's face it, there isn't any. It's an anti-culture, seemingly revelling in all that is crass. There is a celebration of bogun behaviour, eg wearing slippers and pyjamas at the supermarket (WTF), wearing white socks when not doing exercise (!!), its like there are so many Paul Calfs around. Even the politicians try to muscle in on the act, calling every one mate, and trying to be all working class. Grow up. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, think back to the Sydney Olympics closing ceremony, when they celebrated the Hills Hoist (something you hang your washing on)..good grief. 7. Australian Spirit: they think they are the only ones who can show a bit of grit. Everyone likes to see themselves as a 'little battler', which is ironic as they step into their massive Ford Territory to drive 500m down the road to buy milk, then head off home to watch (rubbish) telly on a 52inch plasma. Try sitting in a traffic jam on the M25 for 3 hours, trying to catch a plan out of heathrow. That takes grit. There is also an unsettling sameness about everything. Your accent is the same whether you live in Tassie or NT. you either drive a ford or a holden. The shops look the same, the streets look the same, everywhere. Everyone over a certain age raves on about crap bands that have never been heard of elsewhere..Skyhooks, Hunters and collectors, Cold Chisel. And said bands are the soundtrack to their lives. If you've been in Kuta Bali on NYE, I think you'll know what i mean. I'm not feeling better yet
  2. Hi, I am a self employed carpenter in the UK, me and my girlfriend are looking into moving out to OZ. My brother lived in Brisbane and thought it would be a good place for a young couple to live. Just wondering if anyone could answer some quick questions to help us get started... Where would you recommend for a young couple to live? What visa do we need to apply for?...and how much will it cost? Is there any work for carpenters and pharmacy technicians? How different is carpentry out there compared to England? Is it worth taking tools over? Thankyou Jake & Gem
  3. Hi there all, Just to put you in the picture...we're a young (me not so young , but nikki and JJ are) and we have pretty much decided that now is the time to apply to go and live in Oz. We are very excited about it , but also extremely apprehensive. I am an Electrician and my partner is a bank worker and we have a 5 month old son. Nikki's sister is a resident in Australia and lives in Manly. Now i think im right in saying that i will be able to get over there on a skilled visa, but i am wondering wether we would be better going down the root of Nikki's sister sponsoring us...but how does that work...i dont really understand!? Also the things i am aprehensive about are what sort of lifestyle we would have down under...by this i mean...what sort of wages could i earn? Could i support Nikki and JJ ( the baby) without nikki having to work? If not..what sort of care could we get for JJ? I am just worried that we will go down under and end up struggling financially ect!? I have travelled Australia a couple of years ago but i do realise being a traveller is a lot different to being a migrant! I am worried about taking JJ away from his grandparents too and wonder how people cope with that side of things? Anyway....thety are most of the things i am wondering about and any help/advice/support would be greatly appreciated. Also...what is the best first step to take? Ive been on emigration expert and they say i qualify....but what should i do about getting the ball rolling...and at what point do i look for a job and stuff??? Its all very dawnting!! Oh and not to mention that we have a flat to rent out in the UK wen we move....any advice on the best way to do that??? Thank you so much to anybody that finds the time to help me! Jim x
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