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How Long before you realised that Australia was or was not the place that you wanted to spend the rest of your days ?

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9 hours ago, Paul1Perth said:

Those type of friendly communities exist in Perth. We live in one.

@Snoozy lived in South Wales though and if she grew up in the Valleys the type of community she is referring to is more than the friendly, supportive neighbours that most of us appreciate. To be fair very few places remain unchanged and the pit closures, unemployment and chronic ill health associated with working in the mines have had a big impact over many years, however the beating heart of the Valleys has always been the generations of people and families who live there. Many areas in England manage similar legacies but Welsh topography means these towns and villages are almost set apart, which perhaps reinforces the sense of living in a tight knit community.

Sadly the Valleys are suffering some of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the UK just now and it's been suggested the very closeness of friends and neighbours may be a contributory factor, but I read a quote recently along the lines of 'we need to be close and can't change a culture that's been in our DNA for centuries,' which sort of underlines a sense of community that would be difficult to replicate elsewhere. T x

 

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3 minutes ago, tea4too said:

@Snoozy lived in South Wales though and if she grew up in the Valleys the type of community she is referring to is more than the friendly, supportive neighbours that most of us appreciate. To be fair very few places remain unchanged and the pit closures, unemployment and chronic ill health associated with working in the mines have had a big impact over many years, however the beating heart of the Valleys has always been the generations of people and families who live there. Many areas in England manage similar legacies but Welsh topography means these towns and villages are almost set apart, which perhaps reinforces the sense of living in a tight knit community.

Sadly the Valleys are suffering some of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the UK just now and it's been suggested the very closeness of friends and neighbours may be a contributory factor, but I read a quote recently along the lines of 'we need to be close and can't change a culture that's been in our DNA for centuries,' which sort of underlines a sense of community that would be difficult to replicate elsewhere. T x

 

tea4too, Thank you, that's exactly how my life was in the valleys. My friends are still there, and have kept in touch with me all these years. We went through many hardships, but always helped each other, and our humour kept us going. I am grieving for Wales, my heart is there, I merely exist here. I have never experienced a community like that ever again. I'm not sure where there are communities here, like Paul1 Perth mentioned. x

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1 hour ago, ali said:

Our community is a nice one however,  I've never been one to live in my neighbours pockets and am quite content to wave and say hello.  We don't have street parties now that our kids are older, but  we still have a lot of the same neighbours and I know that we could call on them if needed in a time of crisis.

I too never lived in neighbours pockets. It was just nice to know they were there if needed. Every time I walked out the door, it was nice to be recognised and spoken to, instead of the hostility I have received here. There's not one neighbour here I could call on in a crisis. I''ve accepted that I'm alone, and now don't want anyone around me. This is what I've turned into since living here. 

 

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36 minutes ago, Snoozy said:

tea4too, Thank you, that's exactly how my life was in the valleys. My friends are still there, and have kept in touch with me all these years. We went through many hardships, but always helped each other, and our humour kept us going. I am grieving for Wales, my heart is there, I merely exist here. I have never experienced a community like that ever again. I'm not sure where there are communities here, like Paul1 Perth mentioned. x

Without knowing Paul or where he lives in Perth, and it could just as easily be Perth in Scotland, I imagine he lives in a street in which he has got to know the neighbours, on either side, across the road, down the street. Sometimes, you hit it off with someone almost immediately, and sometimes it takes a while. Maybe the parents get talking to each other outside the school gates, maybe you get involved in a sport - surf club, golf club, bowling club, soccer club. Maybe you join a bushwalking club, play bridge, scrabble, bingo, go to the local pub or club for the meat raffle, quiz night, watching the footie on the TV, or actually going to a game.

 I have had wonderful neighbours in both England and Australia. My next door neighbour in England was VERY kind to me, especially after my father died, and in Sydney when my mother came out for my brother's wedding, our next door neighbour baked a cake with "Welcome Mary" on it. One Pommie, one Aussie, both very kind people.

The idea that Pommies are friendly by default and Aussies unfriendly by default is total BS. You have to reach out to people too if you are going to make connections. I've been in Surfers Paradise for four months now, and I am still getting to know people but there are bars cafes where people say hello to me, people know my name and I can join people at a table when I see them.

My friends have always been a mixture of Pommies, Aussies, people from elsewhere and I don't actually care where they are from. I either like them or I don't.

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49 minutes ago, Snoozy said:

tea4too, Thank you, that's exactly how my life was in the valleys. My friends are still there, and have kept in touch with me all these years. We went through many hardships, but always helped each other, and our humour kept us going. I am grieving for Wales, my heart is there, I merely exist here. I have never experienced a community like that ever again. I'm not sure where there are communities here, like Paul1 Perth mentioned. x

I wish there was an easy answer Snoozy, if only because you have struggled for such a long time. If you haven't already done so, maybe think about a chat with a doctor or counsellor as they may be able to point you in the direction of coping strategies or organisations that might lift a little of the sadness you feel. Either way use the forum to connect with others if you need to, you are not alone in how you feel and as a member of PIO you are still part of a community of sorts. Take care. T x

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3 minutes ago, tea4too said:

I wish there was an easy answer Snoozy, if only because you have struggled for such a long time. If you haven't already done so, maybe think about a chat with a doctor or counsellor as they may be able to point you in the direction of coping strategies or organisations that might lift a little of the sadness you feel. Either way use the forum to connect with others if you need to, you are not alone in how you feel and as a member of PIO you are still part of a community of sorts. Take care. T x

It is unpleasant, especially this year, coping with things like being on your own. Well,  actually coped OK living on my own until we went into lockdown earlier in the year, then with all my social outlets closed I felt like I was in solitary confinement. So, as soon as the border to QLD opened I came up to stay with my brother, just in case there is another lockdown.

I certainly recommend seeing your GP and, perhaps, with a referral from the GP, a counsellor, a route I have taken in the past.

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3 minutes ago, MARYROSE02 said:

Without knowing Paul or where he lives in Perth, and it could just as easily be Perth in Scotland, I imagine he lives in a street in which he has got to know the neighbours, on either side, across the road, down the street. Sometimes, you hit it off with someone almost immediately, and sometimes it takes a while. Maybe the parents get talking to each other outside the school gates, maybe you get involved in a sport - surf club, golf club, bowling club, soccer club. Maybe you join a bushwalking club, play bridge, scrabble, bingo, go to the local pub or club for the meat raffle, quiz night, watching the footie on the TV, or actually going to a game.

 I have had wonderful neighbours in both England and Australia. My next door neighbour in England was VERY kind to me, especially after my father died, and in Sydney when my mother came out for my brother's wedding, our next door neighbour baked a cake with "Welcome Mary" on it. One Pommie, one Aussie, both very kind people.

The idea that Pommies are friendly by default and Aussies unfriendly by default is total BS. You have to reach out to people too if you are going to make connections. I've been in Surfers Paradise for four months now, and I am still getting to know people but there are bars cafes where people say hello to me, people know my name and I can join people at a table when I see them.

My friends have always been a mixture of Pommies, Aussies, people from elsewhere and I don't actually care where they are from. I either like them or I don't.

You have no idea about my life and how hard I've tried to fit in. I am a friendly woman, and have helped many people here. I can't be bothered with this convesation. I knew if I opened up on here I would cop it. I will never talk on this forum again. 

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43 minutes ago, Snoozy said:

You have no idea about my life and how hard I've tried to fit in. I am a friendly woman, and have helped many people here. I can't be bothered with this convesation. I knew if I opened up on here I would cop it. I will never talk on this forum again. 

No-one can ever walk in another person's shoes, but people tend to make value judgements based on their own experience irrespective of whether it is actually relevant or valid. It's not always meant to be critical but can feel that way when no allowance is made for the fact that we are all different and see the world differently. Take a break if you need to Snoozy, but don't allow the opinions of others to silence your voice or stop you posting if/when you want to. Big hugs. T x

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2 hours ago, Snoozy said:

I too never lived in neighbours pockets. It was just nice to know they were there if needed. Every time I walked out the door, it was nice to be recognised and spoken to, instead of the hostility I have received here. There's not one neighbour here I could call on in a crisis. I''ve accepted that I'm alone, and now don't want anyone around me. This is what I've turned into since living here. 

 

I'm from Perth. I grew up there. It's a beautiful city but I hated it for most of my life. I'm pretty unsociable, I really don't need people other than my family. I have a few close friends, but none of them live close. I left Perth the first opportunity I got.

My wife is completely different to me. She is a social butterfly, has lots of friends. I tolerate most of them, but some I like.

I dragged her to Perth many years ago when we were first married. I had thought it was just me, but she hated it. She was bullied, sent to Coventry by the local snobby Mt Lawley crowd. The only people who wanted to be friends with her had issues. She became depressed and we left.

Been pretty happy living in the UK, and just visiting Perth once a year. We may move back to Perth for a year when we retire. The weather is good if you have a pool.

But it's not just you. Perth people can be bloody weird. They can be surface friendly but with no substance. Not all of them obviously. I have some very good friends in Perth. But I have lived in many places, and I've never met people like Perth people before.

I get where you are coming from. You deserve a medal for sticking it out.

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Nearly there! Don't drop the ball now guys! Vaccines are weeks away. Stay safe!

 

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1 hour ago, tea4too said:

No-one can ever walk in another person's shoes

I can actually. I have the same sized feet as my eldest. In fact, my running shoes were previously his. He didn't like them, so I thought, waste not want not! 


Nearly there! Don't drop the ball now guys! Vaccines are weeks away. Stay safe!

 

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19 hours ago, Snoozy said:

I too never lived in neighbours pockets. It was just nice to know they were there if needed. Every time I walked out the door, it was nice to be recognised and spoken to, instead of the hostility I have received here. There's not one neighbour here I could call on in a crisis. I''ve accepted that I'm alone, and now don't want anyone around me. This is what I've turned into since living here. 

 

It certainly doesn't sound as if your neighbors have been kind and that you feel alone.  I don't think most people are being critical (you always get one or two on a forum with thousands of members),  I feel they're  just sharing their own experiences and suggestions of things that might have helped them. 

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12 hours ago, tea4too said:

@Snoozy lived in South Wales though and if she grew up in the Valleys the type of community she is referring to is more than the friendly, supportive neighbours that most of us appreciate. To be fair very few places remain unchanged and the pit closures, unemployment and chronic ill health associated with working in the mines have had a big impact over many years, however the beating heart of the Valleys has always been the generations of people and families who live there. Many areas in England manage similar legacies but Welsh topography means these towns and villages are almost set apart, which perhaps reinforces the sense of living in a tight knit community.

Sadly the Valleys are suffering some of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the UK just now and it's been suggested the very closeness of friends and neighbours may be a contributory factor, but I read a quote recently along the lines of 'we need to be close and can't change a culture that's been in our DNA for centuries,' which sort of underlines a sense of community that would be difficult to replicate elsewhere. T x

 

I'm from Derbyshire and the first 12 years of my working life was with the NCB, along with my Dad, uncles and majority of my friends. I know the type of community well.

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13 hours ago, Snoozy said:

tea4too, Thank you, that's exactly how my life was in the valleys. My friends are still there, and have kept in touch with me all these years. We went through many hardships, but always helped each other, and our humour kept us going. I am grieving for Wales, my heart is there, I merely exist here. I have never experienced a community like that ever again. I'm not sure where there are communities here, like Paul1 Perth mentioned. x

@Snoozy, I doubt there are communities like the Valleys in any city in Australia - but that's not being nasty to Australia.  You won't find communities like that in large cities in most other countries either.  It's the kind of community that grows up in villages, or in suburbs that started out as villages (e.g. in some parts of England).  It's a community that takes generations to develop, and the population in cities is too changeable for that.  

One problem is that different people have different needs when it comes to friendship. MaryRose is happy so long as the barman and the checkout chick recognize him, and he can find like-minded people to chat with in the pub. For some people, it's enough to have one good friend who'll be there for them in a crisis at 2 in the morning.  For others (like you), friendship means having a community which is almost like one big extended family - and that doesn't happen overnight.  

I wonder, if a Londoner moved to the Valleys, how long it would take him to be accepted and make real friends? 

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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20 hours ago, ali said:

Our community is a nice one however,  I've never been one to live in my neighbours pockets and am quite content to wave and say hello.  We don't have street parties now that our kids are older, but  we still have a lot of the same neighbours and I know that we could call on them if needed in a time of crisis.

We don't live in the neighbours pockets either. We know them and get along well but the majority of our socialising and friendship group is via the surf club. People with the same interests gravitate towards one another. 

Same with people at work. Didn't have much in common with them and I could count on one hand the people from work who I'd go out for a pint with.

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There is something peculiar about Perth. I lived there for two years and really struggled with the people and others had similar experiences to me. Not just ex-pats but Aussies from Eastern states struggled with to fit in and make friends. You hear it so often on this forum too. I don't think these people are outliers, they are noticing something about the place that stands out to them. I personally noticed an undercurrent of aggression with people there, not sure wny. I can't talk about my experiences in other cities except for Sydney which I found so much friendlier. I will always love Sydney. 

 

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20 hours ago, newjez said:

I'm from Perth. I grew up there. It's a beautiful city but I hated it for most of my life. I'm pretty unsociable, I really don't need people other than my family. I have a few close friends, but none of them live close. I left Perth the first opportunity I got.

My wife is completely different to me. She is a social butterfly, has lots of friends. I tolerate most of them, but some I like.

I dragged her to Perth many years ago when we were first married. I had thought it was just me, but she hated it. She was bullied, sent to Coventry by the local snobby Mt Lawley crowd. The only people who wanted to be friends with her had issues. She became depressed and we left.

Been pretty happy living in the UK, and just visiting Perth once a year. We may move back to Perth for a year when we retire. The weather is good if you have a pool.

But it's not just you. Perth people can be bloody weird. They can be surface friendly but with no substance. Not all of them obviously. I have some very good friends in Perth. But I have lived in many places, and I've never met people like Perth people before.

I get where you are coming from. You deserve a medal for sticking it out.

Is there really a "Mt Lawley crowd?" I mean, I don't know Perth that well, but it's not on the beach, not on the Swan River, and judging by the map, not THAT close to Perth CBD, so I'm guessing it's 'middle of the road' 'burb? I spent 13 weeks, mostly in South Perth and I can't say I was aware of a "South Perth crowd", or a Canning Bridge crowd, Applecross crowd, or Northbridge crowd - all places I spent time in, doing exactly the same thing, i.e, find a cafe, find a pub - Windsor Hotel, Raffles Hotel for eg.

"Perth people can be bloody weird?" Maybe it's because I'm weird too so I fit in but I did not do anything particularly weird as I remember it, went to a cafe every day, went to a pub every night, spoke to the staff, gradually got to know them. It works in Sydney, works in Southampton, works in Surfers Paradise, works in South Perth, and I'm not an especially "hail fellow, well met" guy. I'm shy if anything, waiting for people to talk to me rather than the other way around.

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2 hours ago, MARYROSE02 said:

Is there really a "Mt Lawley crowd?" I mean, I don't know Perth that well, but it's not on the beach, not on the Swan River, and judging by the map, not THAT close to Perth CBD, so I'm guessing it's 'middle of the road' 'burb? I spent 13 weeks, mostly in South Perth and I can't say I was aware of a "South Perth crowd", or a Canning Bridge crowd, Applecross crowd, or Northbridge crowd - all places I spent time in, doing exactly the same thing, i.e, find a cafe, find a pub - Windsor Hotel, Raffles Hotel for eg.

"Perth people can be bloody weird?" Maybe it's because I'm weird too so I fit in but I did not do anything particularly weird as I remember it, went to a cafe every day, went to a pub every night, spoke to the staff, gradually got to know them. It works in Sydney, works in Southampton, works in Surfers Paradise, works in South Perth, and I'm not an especially "hail fellow, well met" guy. I'm shy if anything, waiting for people to talk to me rather than the other way around.

There is definitely a Mt Lawley crowd.

Mt Lawley was traditionally an Italian/Greek area. Originally (in the 50s) on the outskirts of the city. Market gardeners and the like. It was blessed with a very good high school. Better than many private schools. Still is, so it became a magnet for those with money, but not quite enough money to send their kids private. It became gentrified, and a lot of the Italians moved out. I tend to find that it is the nearly rich who are much more snobby than the rich.

The maylands crowd were much more friendly

Edited by newjez

Nearly there! Don't drop the ball now guys! Vaccines are weeks away. Stay safe!

 

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2 hours ago, MARYROSE02 said:

Is there really a "Mt Lawley crowd?" I mean, I don't know Perth that well, but it's not on the beach, not on the Swan River, and judging by the map, not THAT close to Perth CBD, so I'm guessing it's 'middle of the road' 'burb? I spent 13 weeks, mostly in South Perth and I can't say I was aware of a "South Perth crowd", or a Canning Bridge crowd, Applecross crowd, or Northbridge crowd - all places I spent time in, doing exactly the same thing, i.e, find a cafe, find a pub - Windsor Hotel, Raffles Hotel for eg.

"Perth people can be bloody weird?" Maybe it's because I'm weird too so I fit in but I did not do anything particularly weird as I remember it, went to a cafe every day, went to a pub every night, spoke to the staff, gradually got to know them. It works in Sydney, works in Southampton, works in Surfers Paradise, works in South Perth, and I'm not an especially "hail fellow, well met" guy. I'm shy if anything, waiting for people to talk to me rather than the other way around.

Most of the places you describe you would probably call inner city. 

In the suburbs of Perth, you are in your house with the curtains closed because of the glare, or you get in your car in your garage and drive out after opening the electric door. You rarely go out on the street, and if you do, you never see anyone. Many people even have a man to mow their lawns. They just don't go outside.

It is different for men and working women. But if you are a stay at home mum, Perth can be a lonely place.

Edited by newjez
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Nearly there! Don't drop the ball now guys! Vaccines are weeks away. Stay safe!

 

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7 hours ago, Red Rose said:

There is something peculiar about Perth. I lived there for two years and really struggled with the people and others had similar experiences to me. Not just ex-pats but Aussies from Eastern states struggled with to fit in and make friends. You hear it so often on this forum too. I don't think these people are outliers, they are noticing something about the place that stands out to them. I personally noticed an undercurrent of aggression with people there, not sure wny. I can't talk about my experiences in other cities except for Sydney which I found so much friendlier. I will always love Sydney. 

 

Probably once every 12 months or so I would travel, as a NSW Govt officer, to most states, meeting other state government officials/officers, right up to the level of the Premier's Department in each state. In WA, we would meet at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle for usually a two-day workshop. State governments regularly meet with each other.

On a professional basis at least, I can say that my counterparts in WA were very professional, friendly and keen to accommodate us. We always headed off to the pub after 5pm. I never detected any parochialism or a chip on the shoulder when visiting WA.

The difference between WA and the other states is that the WA government is well aware of how its main population centre, Perth obviously, is such a very isolated city, in relation to the rest of Australia and to the rest of the World .

My observation is that the isolation can lead, in some circumstances to an "outpost" or "frontier" mentality in government and possibly in the general population. Its not a bad thing. Its just that Perth is different because it has less interaction with the rest of the country because of the tyranny of distance both in a physical sense and in a social sense as well.       

  

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22 hours ago, Marisawright said:

@Snoozy, I doubt there are communities like the Valleys in any city in Australia - but that's not being nasty to Australia.  You won't find communities like that in large cities in most other countries either.  It's the kind of community that grows up in villages, or in suburbs that started out as villages (e.g. in some parts of England).  It's a community that takes generations to develop, and the population in cities is too changeable for that.  

One problem is that different people have different needs when it comes to friendship. MaryRose is happy so long as the barman and the checkout chick recognize him, and he can find like-minded people to chat with in the pub. For some people, it's enough to have one good friend who'll be there for them in a crisis at 2 in the morning.  For others (like you), friendship means having a community which is almost like one big extended family - and that doesn't happen overnight.  

I wonder, if a Londoner moved to the Valleys, how long it would take him to be accepted and make real friends? 

I would not say that "the barman and check out chick recognizing me" is all I need to make my happy, but I have to work with what I've got. I have only been here four months, and seeing people out and about who know who I am is a start. I walked into the Surf Club last night with my brother and one of the ladies who works there said "Hello, I'd been wondering where you two were" and that is nice, welcoming too. One of her colleagues called us "the Barramundi Twins." I find these things endearing, and also part of the process of "belonging". Perhaps some closer friendships will develop the longer I stay here, as they did when I moved back to Sydney from England a decade ago.

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Paul1Perth said:

We don't live in the neighbours pockets either. We know them and get along well but the majority of our socialising and friendship group is via the surf club. People with the same interests gravitate towards one another. 

Same with people at work. Didn't have much in common with them and I could count on one hand the people from work who I'd go out for a pint with.

From what I have seen of the surf clubs in both Sydney and Surfers, if you have kids, enrolling them in "Nippers(??!!)" seems like an ideal way to "kickstart" a social life in Australia. (Any kind of sporting activity would work just as well but I guess surf clubs are more of an "Aussie" thing?)

Once they are enrolled as Nippers they can be there for life. I joined two surf clubs in Surfers Paradise  - social member only of course! But I love looking at the photographs, honour rolls and memorabilia. Some of these clubs are a century old now (cue patronising Pommies - "a hundred years? Call that old? OLD?" As it happens sporting clubs in Australia are just as likely to be as old as European ones and some of the AFL clubs were formed in the late 19th century just like UK footie clubs).

One thing I noticed about QLD is that the surf clubs all seem to be social clubs too with bars, restaurants and open to the general public. $10 to join SP SLSC and 25 per cent off drinks - get your membership back in one night! In Sydney they seem to be strictly for the life savers themselves although they often rent the clubs out for social functions, but they still have their "Nippers" . My Dad called me "Nipi"

In contrast I did make friends through work, Friday night drinks to start with, then getting more involved in each other - bush walks, trips away. I still know one or two people from Garden Island which I left in 1996, and also in contact with guys from Royal Mail which I left in 2008.

 

I see people are still saying just how "different" your home town is Paul! I don't get it. The one thing that stands out about Australia is how much the same the people are. They all have the same accent for a start. Listen to the Aussie cricket team. Warnie from Melbourne, Boonie and Punter from Tassie, Lillee and Marsh from Perth, Thommo from QLD, Tugga and Junior from Sydney and Pigeon from ? Narrabri? in NSW. Or listen to people calling in from all over Australia to that show on the ABC "Australia All Over??" Contrast that with the English cricket team. You can pick which part of the country they are from by their accents.

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1 minute ago, MARYROSE02 said:

From what I have seen of the surf clubs in both Sydney and Surfers, if you have kids, enrolling them in "Nippers(??!!)" seems like an ideal way to "kickstart" a social life in Australia. (Any kind of sporting activity would work just as well but I guess surf clubs are more of an "Aussie" thing?)

Once they are enrolled as Nippers they can be there for life. I joined two surf clubs in Surfers Paradise  - social member only of course! But I love looking at the photographs, honour rolls and memorabilia. Some of these clubs are a century old now (cue patronising Pommies - "a hundred years? Call that old? OLD?" As it happens sporting clubs in Australia are just as likely to be as old as European ones and some of the AFL clubs were formed in the late 19th century just like UK footie clubs).

One thing I noticed about QLD is that the surf clubs all seem to be social clubs too with bars, restaurants and open to the general public. $10 to join SP SLSC and 25 per cent off drinks - get your membership back in one night! In Sydney they seem to be strictly for the life savers themselves although they often rent the clubs out for social functions, but they still have their "Nippers" . My Dad called me "Nipi"

In contrast I did make friends through work, Friday night drinks to start with, then getting more involved in each other - bush walks, trips away. I still know one or two people from Garden Island which I left in 1996, and also in contact with guys from Royal Mail which I left in 2008.

 

I see people are still saying just how "different" your home town is Paul! I don't get it. The one thing that stands out about Australia is how much the same the people are. They all have the same accent for a start. Listen to the Aussie cricket team. Warnie from Melbourne, Boonie and Punter from Tassie, Lillee and Marsh from Perth, Thommo from QLD, Tugga and Junior from Sydney and Pigeon from ? Narrabri? in NSW. Or listen to people calling in from all over Australia to that show on the ABC "Australia All Over??" Contrast that with the English cricket team. You can pick which part of the country they are from by their accents.

Disagree.  They say many words differently depending on state/territory.  Film can be filum for instance.  

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1 hour ago, MARYROSE02 said:

From what I have seen of the surf clubs in both Sydney and Surfers, if you have kids, enrolling them in "Nippers(??!!)" seems like an ideal way to "kickstart" a social life in Australia. (Any kind of sporting activity would work just as well but I guess surf clubs are more of an "Aussie" thing?)

Once they are enrolled as Nippers they can be there for life. I joined two surf clubs in Surfers Paradise  - social member only of course! But I love looking at the photographs, honour rolls and memorabilia. Some of these clubs are a century old now (cue patronising Pommies - "a hundred years? Call that old? OLD?" As it happens sporting clubs in Australia are just as likely to be as old as European ones and some of the AFL clubs were formed in the late 19th century just like UK footie clubs).

One thing I noticed about QLD is that the surf clubs all seem to be social clubs too with bars, restaurants and open to the general public. $10 to join SP SLSC and 25 per cent off drinks - get your membership back in one night! In Sydney they seem to be strictly for the life savers themselves although they often rent the clubs out for social functions, but they still have their "Nippers" . My Dad called me "Nipi"

In contrast I did make friends through work, Friday night drinks to start with, then getting more involved in each other - bush walks, trips away. I still know one or two people from Garden Island which I left in 1996, and also in contact with guys from Royal Mail which I left in 2008.

 

I see people are still saying just how "different" your home town is Paul! I don't get it. The one thing that stands out about Australia is how much the same the people are. They all have the same accent for a start. Listen to the Aussie cricket team. Warnie from Melbourne, Boonie and Punter from Tassie, Lillee and Marsh from Perth, Thommo from QLD, Tugga and Junior from Sydney and Pigeon from ? Narrabri? in NSW. Or listen to people calling in from all over Australia to that show on the ABC "Australia All Over??" Contrast that with the English cricket team. You can pick which part of the country they are from by their accents.

Yep, you can get a good meal and night out in any surf club. Better over East as they get the pokie money, so their clubs are better funded and have proper restaurants and bars with paid bar staff. Here they rely on volunteers a lot. Not many have restaurants, unless the restaùrant is a private operation. The bar is subsidised but only open Friday evenings, Sunday lunchtime and sometimes evening, it opens for things like the footie grand final, rugby games etc.

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11 hours ago, newjez said:

Most of the places you describe you would probably call inner city. 

In the suburbs of Perth, you are in your house with the curtains closed because of the glare, or you get in your car in your garage and drive out after opening the electric door. You rarely go out on the street, and if you do, you never see anyone. Many people even have a man to mow their lawns. They just don't go outside.

It is different for men and working women. But if you are a stay at home mum, Perth can be a lonely place.

That's not the Perth I know and love. Maybe they do that in Mt Lawley, not where we live.

On a nice day the parks and beaches are packed with people, even in winter. There must be 100 cafes and coffe shops down the coast between where we live and Fremantle, probably more, plus pubs, surf clubs. They are packed even during the week. In fact that's where you'll find the "stay at home mums" out with their mates and prams. My son works at a beachside dome and the young mums with kids are a mainstay during the week.

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2 hours ago, Paul1Perth said:

There must be 100 cafes and coffe shops down the coast between where we live and Fremantle, probably more, plus pubs, surf clubs

Not being picky Paul, but between Mandurah (where I am ) and Fremantle I can only picture maybe a handful of cafes and pubs along the coast, not sure about the 100's 😬

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