I do love Australia..very much so. But I feel a bit guilty about my last post. I love it here and would love to stay but there are some things that really frustrate me. Sometimes I get so frustrated to the point of crying. So, to balance the scales and alleviate my guilt, here are my top ten things that frustrate me about Australia..in no particular order...
1. Shopping Hours - To this day, I hate the fact that I can't go shopping after 5:30pm on a week night. The only night where the stores are open longer than 5:30 is Friday night. Who goes shopping on a Friday night? I'm too busy getting drinks in the pub. Though..after the last couple of weekends, I'm not sure my knees and ankles can keep up with me on the drinking...but that's for another blog.
2. The grocery store - now, to be fair, I should let everyone know that in general, I hate grocery shopping. Always have and I imagine that I always will. BUT the grocery shopping in Oz just makes it so much worse. My very first breakdown from homesickness occurred in the butter aisle at the grocery store. I had been in Australia, and while homesick, I had been dealing with it relatively well. But then one day I was looking for butter and I just wanted Country Crock and wouldn't you know it, they didn't have it. I had to checkout and leave right then b/c I was nearly crying.
3. No free refills - that's right, no free refills even on post-mix (aka fountain sodas). Instead, when you go to a restaurant and you order a soda, they pour it into your glass directly from a bottle. On a positive note, Hungary Jacks (aka Burger King) in Sydney does offer free refills.
4. Qantas - yes, I said I loved Qantas but why do you have to be so expensive?? Getting to Cairns should not cost me $1000 return!!
5. Roundabouts - have they ever heard of a four way stop? The roundabouts terrify me. I never know what lane I need to be in to get off at the right exit. The first time I drove with Max, she had to keep yelling at me "left lane!" to make sure I knew where to go.
6. $1/$2 coins - they're sooo heavy. At least bills won't weigh down my purse!
7. Service - The service in this country is awful. Australia is not a tip-focused economy so this means that anyone in a service-oriented industry feels absolutely no need to actually provide a service. You can sit at a table in a restaurant for half an hour before someone notices you. And if you want any sort of help after you've been served your food - you can forget about it!
8. Yutes - Really? The El Camino? It's not a car, it's not a truck - they're made specifically for people that can't make up their minds and are stuck in the 70's.
9. You can't pay at the pump - You have a car and you want to fill up with gas. In Australia - you still have to go inside the station to pay. This country is great at letting you use your debit card just about everywhere (including cabs - its great) but yet, you still can't use it at the pump when you're filling up with gas!
10. No Mexican Restaurants - There are no good Mexican restaurants in Oz. We've found a couple that suffice a craving but nothing as good as you get in Phoenix. And when it comes to margaritas - don't even think about it. Very few places have tequila and if they do, it's generally the nasty Jose Cuervo stuff.