Thursday, June 30, 2011

Warning: This is a major crib post so if you're feeling annoyingly happy (annoying for others, not for yourself) or are pissed off with people in general, you may be better off not reading beyind this.

The past couple of weeks have been so hectic! I've been running around since I moved to Sydney. For one, I need to be at work latest by 9 every morning, so I'm getting an hour & a half less of sleep every night. Less sleep makes me cranky and perpetually exhausted. And just when I had started feeling settled into my service apartment, it was time to move house.

I moved in on Saturday and since then I've spent all my evenings buying things for the house, so I can set it up and make it feel like home. To be fair, it's a reasonably nice house - fairly big for one person, fully furnished with stuff from IKEA, and very conveniently situated right in the heart of the City so that it's a 30 second walk from the bus stop, 2 mins from the train station and a couple of minutes from 2 of the biggest supermarkets in Australia. So why am I complaining? Well, it doesn't FEEL like home. And it's obviously not as luxurious as the service apartment I was staying at, neither does it have a harbour view :(

Australia is so far away from the rest of the world that traveling anywhere is a hassle. A round trip to India costs approx. $1500 (Rs 65-75k) if you book 3 months ahead of your travel date, and the connectivity is so poor that unless you're supremely lucky you will end up with a 10 hour stop over in South East Asia! You can forget about traveling to Europe unless you have $2000-2500 lying spare to blow up on flight tickets and you get a kick out of flying (24 hours flying time to London). You would think that with the technology that we have access to today, life in Australia would be simple. It is a developed country after all. But the truth is that this is one strange country.

In many ways, Australia is ages behind other developed countries. Internet is shit expensive. So are fruits & vegetables because Australians won't open their economy to imports. They have a number of protectionist policies for their farmers & retailers, which is a good thing, but it also means that consumers pays ridiculously high prices for the basic necessities. If there's a flash flood in Queensland, which happens only every month, bananas will cost you $13 for a dozen. Which is beyond ridiculous, it's insane. It's cheaper to drive to work than take public transport. A 500ml bottle of Coke costs $3.50 and pizzas don't have enough sauce. Subway makes horrible sandwiches. Their coffee is too bitter and luke warm and they look at you like you've just escaped from an institution if you ask for milk & sugar (I have baristas offer to put chocolate in my coffee instead of sugar since sugar is high in calories. Really, since when did chocolate become health food?). And no one in this country seems to have heard of plastic bottles! (They still make glass bottles that you have to uncork & pop the lid of, to store water).

You know I'm thinking maybe Australia should increase its minimum education requirement from high school to college. They could certainly use a couple of Eureka! moments.


Priti said...

Yep... so agree on that... bananas are so ridiculously priced in Sydney. Now that I am in India for a few weeks I am busy having a banana feast:)

The knife said...

well I hope the pay account for this...thankfully it's been years since I had bananas... but i was travelling with someone at Oz who would buy eat bananas and eat in the hotel. A Sindhi. So I am sure there are cheaper bananas.

And ask them to make your coffee extra hot. I would

Scarlett said...

@Priti - Enjoy your bananas as long as you can! :P

@Knife - The point isn't bananas, it's the sillyness of this country in certain aspects. Yes the pay takes the cost of living into account, but $13 for a dozen bananas is ridiculous.