I have had this post in my drafts for quite some time now, but it wasn't until I saw Kate's post here about the pros + cons of living in Germany that gave me the push and twist I needed for my own. I have been worried to post it because I didn't want to offend anyone, even though I'm sure it still will - it is not. my. intention.
Keep in mind that when I talk about 'Australia' and 'America' I am talking about the places I live (or have lived) in either country. Obviously I don't know things about places I have not been.
Again, I am not trying to offend anyone, and I'm sorry if I do. I am an expat, and I love my country, and I also love America! I think there are good and bad things of living anywhere and every person will have a different idea of what those good and bad things are. So, this is not a personal attack on anyone, obviously.
Living in America : Cons
BAH. Tipping drives me insane. I don't understand it, I suck at math and it is not fun. I think the US should just pay people better and tipping should be outlawed. The only thing that annoys me more than tipping is when people don't tip (contradictawho?) whether it's Americans (rude) or tourists (don't pretend you don't know). Whether I like it or not, tipping is a large part of the culture here in the US and not tipping when you should is just rude as heck.
Yeah I'll probably get all the flack for this, but I care not. I get that you want your freedom and rights and blah dee blah blah. Can't you have freedom without all the deaths? Australia had a massive massacre in Port Arthur in 1996 and it transformed our gun laws. We have 1 firearm related death in every 100,000 now - the US has 10. Which I guess is not horrible especially compared to other countries, but how many massacres will it take to change the laws?
Kill it! KILL IT WITH FIRE.
Honourable mentions go to tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes.
4. Stop signs.
Why are they everywhere? Give me a roundabout, aint nobody got time for stopping.
Side note: I will say Americans have the whole 'traffic light goes out' thing down pat. Here, when a traffic light goes out, most people are like ok no worries we'll just act like it's a 4 way stop and traffic keeps moving until a policeman comes along and directs traffic. In Australia because we have very few stop signs and, as far as I am aware, zero 4 way stops, whichever direction of traffic who had the momentum when the light went out is who keeps going, and going, and going until a policeman comes along and saves the day.
5. Health Insurance.
Bah. Why must it cost so much and be (mainly) offered through your employer? It confuses me.
I want a gosh dang it hot pot of tea and it better be English Breakfast, not no Earl Grey shit.
7. The Seasons 'start' and 'end'
THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. Why can't Summer start on the 1st of June? WHY?
Oy vey, don't shoot me. I am not against religion - each to their own! Before you judge or get mad, remember that I am from a different country with a different culture. You can't apply your culture to me and mine. I don't apply mine to you and yours. I respect other peoples beliefs and I expect the same courtesy. When I say 'religion' being one of the things I don't like about America, I am talking about things happening because of religion that have an impact on everyone (or at least people that may not be of that religion) like what Alyssa talked about here.
9. Being an expat can be so unbearably lonely sometimes.
Even though I am not alone, I am always the odd one out, the one who doesn't understand the reference, the one who hasn't been here forever. No one understands what its like to pick up and move and leave everything behind. Every.thing.
10. I'm a novelty.
9 times out of 10 people introduce me as 'my Australian friend' or like my only redeeming quality is the fact that I'm a foreigner. I have heard every bad joke a thousand times, and listened to unintentional insults about myself and my country from well meaning lovely people. It gets old. But if it goes away, I get sad. I like talking about my country. Go on, tell me a dingo joke. I'll laugh, I promise.
Living in America : Pros!
Living in America : Pros!
1. I'M IN AMERICA.
Um, yeah. It was my dream to live in America ever since I discovered the Babysitters club. Then I read Sweet Valley and watched a million movies and tv shows. Everything looked and sounded so fabulous here and I have wanted to live here for as long as I can remember. AND I DO. I LIVE IN FREAKING AMERICA.
|see, look. I love America.|
2. The weather.
It's so much more predictable here, you actually have seasons (leaves! fall off trees!) and I love how hot it gets here.
3. I'm close to things!
This kinda falls with #1 but it deserves it's own point. Not only can I hop on a plane and go to some amazing places like NYC, San Fran, Florida.... but it is also way closer to Europe. Not as close as England, but closer than Australia. Australia is so.far.away. from everything! Except for NZ and Asia.
|no big deal, just hanging out in DC after we DROVE there.|
3a. YOU HAVE DISNEYLAND AND DISNEY WORLD. You win.
We don't even have the Disney store anymore. It came and went within 10 years.
4. Everything is a novelty.
Almost everything is new to me, I see it with fresh eyes and no preconceived opinions - just like you might see my country, and although I love my country and I miss certain things, I think it's a wee bit boring compared to America or Europe.
5. Big stuff!
Sure in Aus we have the big banana and the big pineapple and a whole other bunch of big stuff but you guys have really big sodas and food portions! Ha! My waistline does not appreciate, but I do!
6. Stuff is cheap!
Even though we make less moolah here, stuff is cheaper. Our monthly mortgage payment wouldn't even cover a week's rent where I'm from. And soda is like 80 cents. And I can buy a dress for $10. It all works out in the end, but that's not how my brain works so let me think it, ok?
7. People come here. Things happen here. I see people. I do things.
When I was a teenager / early twenties no-one ever came to Australia. Bands, celebrities, whatever. Or they didn't come out and hang out with me, or I couldn't afford their concert (Hey Bette Midler). In the 4 years I have been living / visiting the US I have been to more concerts and events than I ever did at home. Including comic con
shameless plug of when I met Matt Smith & Karen Gillan which would not have happened in Australia.
|KAREN GILLAN AND MATT SMITH, NO BIG DEAL.|
Also, I met Chris Young in Nashville. I was obsessed with a capital OBSESSED with him. I got over it not long after that, maybe because I met my husband and I kinda liked him better.
8. Halloween! Thanksgiving! 4th of July! Memorial Day!
You guys win at holidays.
Hey, I like a game of aussie rules as much as the next girl, but dang if Americans don't love love love their sports. I was not into sports when I moved here. Now, I love watching (even if I don't understand) football, soccer and basketball. I still don't love baseball, but it reminds me of cricket. I just love the atmosphere of going at NFL game; it's so much better than home. It's hard not to get into the game when the thousands of people around you are going nuts, or even the people in the bar shouting for their team. I love it. I'm not saying sports aren't big at home, they are just way bigger here.
10. I fit in here + all my friends and 'family'!
Ok I know I said up there that I am always the odd one out, but all my life I felt like I didn't fit in. I never had good friends, I was awkward and a little screwed up in the head. I feel more myself and more like I belong here than I ever have before. I know it can sound confusing because I love my country and my family and I miss it all so very much - but when I was there and I was missing the US I felt like a piece of me was missing.
Besides my husband (who I love with all the loves) and kitties I don't have any 'real' family here (ok I have in laws...) so I have made up for it by making some amazing friends including lots of blog friends! I know blogs are on the internet and the internet is world wide, but I probably would never have started a blog had I not been so lonely and it's nice to understand what you're talking about and be in the same timezone (give or take a few).
|Y'all are my tardis ;) thanks to Jess for this one!|
Ok! I hope I didn't offend anyone - it was not my intention at all. I didn't use the word wrong once, just because it's different doesn't mean it's wrong ;)
|this is me. ok? just in case you thought i hate your country, no way jose!|