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Two months in Perth


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It took some time to get my thoughts together but I have put together lists of what I love and hate about living in Perth after my first 2 months.

What I love so far:

Beautiful beaches with easy and safe walkways. When the sunset was later we were able to take nice looong walks on the beach in the evenings. It is so nice to see the families and couples picnicing and having barbies on the lawn next to the beaches. Life no longer stops when you get home after work and lock yourself up in your home prison. You can actually go out and do stuff! I also love the dog beaches where people can go to walk and play with their dogs. I do not know if we had something like that in SA. But i can definitely not wait to move out of the rental and get my own house so I can have dogs to take to the beach.

The people or most of the people. At work the people come from all over. I have 2 fellow south africans working with me and 2 more coming as my company also has offices in SA. So every now and again I can even speak a few words in Afrikaans at work. The people have really welcomed me where I work. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and we really have a nice culture at work. I have heard some people complain that the people at their workplace have no sense of humour, but we joke around and tease all the time. Maybe it is because I am lucky enough to be working with a relatively young group of people. Also in general when you ask an Australian for directions or any kind of assistance they go out of their way to help you. Many of them have even approached me when I look a bit lost to try and assist.

Good service. I had my licence, medicare and medical aid cards all within 3 weeks of getting here. Our broadband line was installed in 3 days from the day we ordered it. The phone was installed before my husband even moved in here.

Government cares. The kids at at school are made to wear hats whenever they go out into the sun. In public toilets some of the doors only open when you wash your hands. There are ads on tv to get kids to play outside more to try and prevent obesity. You can see where your tax money goes. There are about 3 huge parks within walking distance where I live and they are beautifully maintained. There are also no illegal immigrants living in the park or any other distasteful characters hanging around so kids can actually play there.

No more hawkers. When I think about Hans Strijdom Road in Randburg and how you are always harassed by all kinds of people who want to wash your window or sell you crap I am so thankful to be here. There are some kids here who hide in the bushes and wash car windows here as well. But the fact that they are hiding tells you that something is being done about it. Also in general there are no people walking around in the street at night. Where we used to live in SA the people hanging around in the streets actually kept us awake.

I can sleep at night. It is so quiet here and I feel so safe that I have NO trouble sleeping at all here and nothing wakes me up early. No dogs barking all night long at people walking around in the streets because there are no people walking around.

What I love and hate

Public transport. I take the train to work. Something I really love and hate. I love the way that I can just relax all the way to work not having to deal with traffic. What I dislike is the fact that the trains are so overcrowded and when the signalling system fails and I am late. This has happened to me twice in the past month. Also there are sometimes some very shaky characters on the train who try and offend everyone around them by talking loudly about the most offensive stuff they can think of. (I am not easily offended but I hate the noise and the way they sometimes get pushy when you ignore them) This does not happen too often.

What I dislike

The shops close too early and I have no time for shopping on weekdays except of course for Thursdays when the shops are open till 9. I can also no longer do my grocery shopping on Sundays. I used to prefer that so that my food is fresh for the week. We eat out a lot over weekends.

Speaking English most of the time. I know I should get used to it and I will but sometimes I just wish I could explain something to my boss in Afrikaans. Another thing is comments about one's accent. I have been asked if I am French or German. But most of the time people just ask you which part of SA you are from to let you know you have a distinct accent.

It is extremely difficult to buy land in Perth. They hold back the release of land and then you have to phone in to a single phone line or go stand in a line to get an opportunity to buy land. Land and houses are also extremely expensive. General living expenses are also generally higher in Perth.

Missing my friends and family. No explanation needed.

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Hi Michelle

Thanks for the post...Perth is still an option after our LSD...but am concerned about "isolation" & lack of inclusion of WA based business in the national economy we will have to start or buy & successfully run our own business in order to get PR, although we met a "semigrant" couple from Sydney who had never done 1/2 as well in their business when in Sydney now they were battling to find enough staff because their business was growing so fast...

We also but loved the laid back lifestyle & cleanliness of Perth ...I don't know why but it reminded me alot of East London.

Have also heard of the problems with home building, once you have the land & have all the plans drawn & past all the regulations ...average time from 1st foundations dug to move in is 2 yrs !!! this is due to shortages of skilled artisans builders/bricklayers, plumbers & electricians. I read somewhere that DIMIA has set up special offices at the high commissions in SA, Canada, UK to expidite the processing of applications from these skilled workers to about 3 weeks !

best of luck & enjoy

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Ag dit was so nice om te lees hoe dit met julle gaan. Bly om te hoor julle settle darem daarso. Verstaan totaal en al die storie van die winkels wat vroeg toe maak en op sondae.

Alles sterkte vir julle!

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Hi Michelle

Thanx for that - made really good reading. BTW what about the taxis? Don't you really miss them heaps?


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Cindy, I think I might just miss them the most. I am so used to the easy going people in traffic here I think I will get mauled if I drive in good old Joeyes now.

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