Paul1 Posted June 20, 2010 Report Share Posted June 20, 2010 Everybody is at a different stage when the immigrate, families will go the suburbs route, students will go the university, I myself am 30 years old and when I moved to Sydney I wanted to stay in the young trendy suburb close to all the action and hustle and bustle of a big city. I come from staying in the suburbs in Bryanston.I had lived in America for 6 months so I had an idea what culture shock I might be in for. Even though Australia is supposed to be similar to South Africa itâ€™s still very different. Everyone is told about the usual stuff, like itâ€™s a very regulated country, there are signs everywhere that tell you what to do and where to park. I recently saw a sign in the hardware store that said â€œSpray paint is not for sale to person under 18, ID is requiredâ€. Iâ€™ve been kicked out of more clubs in the last year than in my previous life in Joburg (looking drunk, looking tired, having friends who look drunk and tired).So let me tell you about some of the things they donâ€™t tell you about Sydney:A lot of business happens in the CBD, if you are working in the city you will have to catch public transport because there is no parking in the city. Actually there is parking, its R300 per day. I once parked at Bondi beach in the premium parking and the ticket was R560 for 6 hours (but I think thatâ€™s as expensive as it gets).I liked driving my personal car in Joburg, friends of mine in Sydney that are 30 years old still donâ€™t own a car. Public transport is very efficient, when you get on the subway(train) or bus you will be sitting next to the business executive, the high school student, the stripper, the beggar and the pregnant mom. You will get out at Wynyard station and there will be 800 people rushing to get to work in all manner of direction. If you are from Joburg you have no idea what a crazy circus this feels like. If you have worked in London you have an idea. Its seriously overwhelming having so many people in the city and on public transport.30% of the people will be Asian! That was a shock, nobody told me about all the Asians. I thought I would be surrounded by Aussies, instead I work with 2 guys from china, 3 guys from India, 1 guy from the Philippines, 1 guy from Iran. Ooh and 1 Aussie, how novel! I do work in a big bank so its pretty multicultural.Public transport Pros: You donâ€™t have to worry about driving. You can go out drinking and get home safely. You will see a single 10 year old girl getting on the train by herself late at night without any safety issues.Cons: You will be around people all the time on public transport, South Africans are used to their personal space and car. Itâ€™s a bit of a mindset change. Trains stop at 12:30 at night, your friends have to leave your party early to â€˜catch the last trainâ€™Buildings are old (at least 80%), most people love the old style English buildings with mouldy exterior walls. Well everybody except apparently South Africans. â€œWeâ€ are known for buying new developments and flashy buildings. Im kind of getting into the old style, although ive got rental properties in Hillbrow that are better quality than the properties ive seen here. The cheapest 1 bedroom close to the city will cost R2.5mil, people spent 50% of their salary on their bond repayments. There are certain suburbs that attract certain nationalities, you donâ€™t want to make the mistake of renting in Ashfield only to realise you are the only non-Korean!I loved the idea of catching the train with all â€˜like mindedâ€™ young people, the first month I would start up conversations with random people. It was so much fun having come from Joburg where everyone isolates themselves in cars and high walled houses. Talking to people on the train encountered some strange resultsâ€¦ enter â€˜the boganâ€™. â€˜Boganâ€™ is the term given to low class white people in Australia (ok everybody is white, so its basically low class people). Bogans are a new breed of human being that I didnâ€™t realise were capable of being produced, they make people from the rough end of Brakpan look classy (apologies if you are from BrakpanïŠ). Bogans are the riff raff that never made it out of the Bronx. The problem is that you will encounter Bogans every day, on the train, in the shops, driving a car. If they arenâ€™t swearing about how their drunk mother is abusing them, then they are spitting on the train or coughing phlegm. You soon realise that just because somebody is white and looks decent you canâ€™t (or donâ€™t want to) start up a conversation with them. Iâ€™ve stopped speaking to most people on the train.Shopping:Shopping centres are not common near the city, most people shop by visiting small shops on the side of the road, you need to walk around a few blocks to do all your shopping. Or you can catch the train into the city and do shopping at one of the big high rise apartment stores. I have no idea how people get large items back to their property!? You get used to doing a lot more walking when you live around the inner city. I have friends that walk to and from work everyday, and they live 5 km away.Language:You are constantly reminded about your language â€˜quirksâ€™. But these are a minor issue. People look at you confused when you ask â€œWhere are you stayingâ€ instead of â€œWhere are you livingâ€. You will hear all manner of abbreviations, like lippy for lipgloss, swimmers, sunnies. I like all the abbreviations and use them now. I even call the Service Stations â€œServosâ€.People get paid wellThat sounds great you say! Iâ€™d be happy to get paid a lot! The problem is it only works if you are getting paid a lot and nobody else is. Since everyone gets paid well, if you want to call out a plumber to change your washers on your dripping tap it will cost $350 (R2300). The garbage collectors will be dressed in Levis jeans on the weekend and you will meet people at the upmarket clubs who work in the post office. To get someone to dry clean your shirt it will cost you $10 (R70 per shirt).I guess this is how a society should be run, Iâ€™m just not used to paying so much for all these â€˜basicâ€™ expenses.There is so much other stuff to write about you only realise how much there is to tell when you start typing it all.I miss driving my car home from work instead of sharing public transport with dozens of people. I miss the large grassy suburbs of Bryanston with lots of space between properties instead of congested concrete apartments. I miss driving to big shopping centres where you can spend the morning shopping.I was recently back in South Africa for a visit and to see the world cup, I was concerned that I would be very nostalgic and want to come back. I decided to organise friends to meet at the local pub, something that has a lot of young people and an activity like pub triviaâ€¦ooh wait there is not really that option in Joburg, Iâ€™ll need to drive my car 3 suburbs to the Oâ€™hagans. A friend wants me to pick her up because she is to scared to drive at night. I guess Iâ€™ll just have to gauge how much alcohol I can drink because there is no public transport to take me home. But before that maybe Iâ€™ll just walk around the block to the convenience store to pick up some milk, ooh wait I need to drive my car to the shopping centreâ€¦and people donâ€™t walk around outside in SA.I think South Africa is still one of the best countries, most of my friends are happy thereâ€¦ you always like what you are familiar with. The longer you stay in a place the more familiar you become. I wonâ€™t move back to SA. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.