Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Australia > The Update Forum
Reload this Page >

2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Old Jun 2nd 2012, 4:29 am
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 131
rld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud of
Default 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

I've now hit about 2.5 months in Melbourne. Single, 37 years old, took a job that was the same as what I had made in London (100K gbp now 160K here, didn't do the 2.2 conversion others talk about). Live in the CBD district by Southern cross on the 39th floor, walk to work in 5 minutes and have no interest in joining the commuting masses on the trains, trams, and highways here! I hope this is helpful for any singles considering a move here as most of these threads are family focused.

Costs: Many of these threads focus on the cost of living here. Despite other comments, I find 160K vs 100K gbp to be 'fairly' similar to London when I lived in Canary Wharf. I am leading a similar lifestyle - no car, walk to work, and mostly do my social life Friday - Sunday given I work pretty hard during the week and don't have an interest in pushing out to a suburb / area just to have a point. Food is more, my apartment costs less and is of a higher / newer standard with more space.

Apartment: I did shop around and offered 20% below asking price for an apartment complex that has 25 available at any given time - I figured one landlord would take someone in given all the CBD vacancies and I was right. Other ex-pats coming in here have had similar experience in the high-rise apts in the CBD area (I avoided docklands proper as it is completely dead as others here will tell you). In ten minutes I can take the tram to the paris end of collins which has some nice bars, you can get everywhere from Southern cross easy enough. I wouldn't live on lower floors but long story short if you want easy access it is a good area - being single in the suburbs could be OK but consider your free time carefully and if you want the commuting lifestyle - you will have 30 years of that to look forward to once you are married with kids out here.

Food: I would not let this scare you off Australia, as some of the other threads would. The key is adjusting what you eat. I know I need fruits and veg so I just buy what is on sale: Kiwis today? Fine I'll get them. Bananas actually on sale (ok still waiting for that one) - Ill buy them. 8 dollars for tomatos? Fine I will have a salad with carrots and onions and other things instead. Same goods for meats - the grocery sometimes has good deals / sales so be ready for chicken today and beef tomorrow, and a t-bone 50% off one day because it expires tomorrow. Adapt. Get ready also for bread to cost 4$ one day and be on sale the next as a 2 for 1 for 4$. Prices move so just adjust.

Drinking: Watch for Happy Hours. I've found nice hotels in the CBD for example that run 5-7 happy hours for wine at 5$ a glass, pints below 5$ sometimes - it is all hit or miss so you have to find your favorite spots. Ask prices first - I was somewhere near 30 collins the other day a belgium beer bar that wants near 20$ for a pint of some european import - draw the line, as prices and be ready to change what you order. If you are out with friends consider buying a pitcher of something - not always advertised but sometimes those are better deals too.

Trams: Great value all around. 30 dollars and you can go anywhere in a week. Weekend travel is cheaper if you secure some of the old tram tickets still valid - my work still sells them so I tend to walk during the week and tram on the weekends. So my commute costs are only say 40 bucks a month and I do what I want - beats the heck out of London transport fees.

Aussies: I am an American but I lived in London for 8 years - I would say they are an interesting mix of American arrogance about their culture, the worst fashion sense in the world, with a really laid back attitude to work and a complete lack of, appreciation for, sarcastic humor. I was almost punched twice already due to the jokes going over the head of the guy I was talking to. Most recent case: two tiny Korean girls got a shipment at my apartment, the aussie guy that received it at the desk told them 'be careful those are really heavy, even for me'. The girls promptly lifted them with no problem. I then joked with the guy 'guess you are not so strong after all' - this lead to a whole 'mate, what are you saying, I am strong as F and F you for getting in my business etc etc'. I find I miss British humor and jokes like crazy. Something is in the water here that makes most Aussies all think they are Alpha males which is the main issue overall.

Work attitude: Can only comment based on my firm, but there is a lot of 'good enough' attitudes here - no working late, no focus on good quality work, and a resentment of others that work hard. I was told I did more in my first month then the last (Aussie) in the position did in 6 months and that I should therefore 'slow down' as to not make others feel bad. A lot of time seems spent in meetings and 'looking busy' vs getting anything done. The plus side: work hard and stay in the office till 6 once and a while and you will be a hero.

Women: My partner is from Argentina and I am in a long distance relationship flying there and her here, but, from what I have seen going out with work friends here in the late 20's to 30's: Australia women tend to be somewhat cold and hard to 'open up', unless it is a friday night after 10pm (or saturday) when they make girls from Newcastle look like nuns.

Social: Again, limited experience but the Aussie guys I have met seem very focused on drinking - 5+ pints after work seems normal. Maybe it is my sector. Three weeks in one guy knocked back 9 pints and rolled in the office next day around 11 am looking like a truck hit him. Seen a lot of that since.

OVerall: Fun city. I'd be happy here a couple years but I can see how being here 3+ years might get old - you do feel far away from everything and having lived in Europe and New York / Hong Kong for many years I do at times miss the sense of history, proper world class museums, and not having to fly at laest 5 hours to get to a new country. But overall it is a nice place and for those considering an ex-pat position for a few years hard to go wrong really.
rld1177 is offline  
Old Jun 2nd 2012, 8:51 am
  #2  
jat
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Scotland...
Posts: 304
jat is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Interesting to read your thread. I've just returned to UK from a 6 month holiday in Melbourne although i did live there for 5 years (99-2004). I've been living in Canary Wharf for last 2 years also. I'm now in process of applying for PR to go back to Melbourne. Your right about the distance/lack of humour etc. Can I ask you if you miss London?? I love London but not sure I could live there for ever and think that Melbourne has a fantastic lifestyle that you can't beat. If I move back I'm going to have to ensure I get back to UK once a year for family etc
jat is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2012, 12:28 am
  #3  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 131
rld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud of
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Originally Posted by jat View Post
Interesting to read your thread. I've just returned to UK from a 6 month holiday in Melbourne although i did live there for 5 years (99-2004). I've been living in Canary Wharf for last 2 years also. I'm now in process of applying for PR to go back to Melbourne. Your right about the distance/lack of humour etc. Can I ask you if you miss London?? I love London but not sure I could live there for ever and think that Melbourne has a fantastic lifestyle that you can't beat. If I move back I'm going to have to ensure I get back to UK once a year for family etc
Both have pros and cons. I miss the culture, museums, and history or London as well as the true multicultural feel. On the other hand, I don't miss the crowds, packed tubes, or feeling you are getting ripped off on everything. (A fair bit of that here also, sadly, given the 'buy Australian' push) I guess the other thing I miss is the easy weekend trips on Eurostar, and the cheap flights around Europe. I spent the last year before moving here on secondments to Colorado and Hong Kong so I've been out of London over a year now - with two trips back. It is a great place to visit so I'd agree with you, if you moved out here on a good salary and got back say 2 times a year it might not be so bad.
rld1177 is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2012, 3:34 am
  #4  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Bermudashorts's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 14,284
Bermudashorts has a reputation beyond reputeBermudashorts has a reputation beyond reputeBermudashorts has a reputation beyond reputeBermudashorts has a reputation beyond reputeBermudashorts has a reputation beyond reputeBermudashorts has a reputation beyond reputeBermudashorts has a reputation beyond reputeBermudashorts has a reputation beyond reputeBermudashorts has a reputation beyond reputeBermudashorts has a reputation beyond reputeBermudashorts has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Interesting read.

I share your observations on a few things, particularly the work attitude. I am also in financial services in the big corporations and a very large proportion of people I work with would not survive in a London financial services environment, they would be booted out of the door so quick their feet would not touch the ground.

In London financial services, most people are career orientated or they would not be there in the first place. Just is not the case here in Sydney, people want a job. I have two people in my team that earn over $150k and if you ask them to stay beyond 5pm to meet a deadline the reaction is akin to if I had asked them to hand over their first born.
Bermudashorts is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2012, 7:42 am
  #5  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 335
calliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nice
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Originally Posted by rld1177 View Post
I've now hit about 2.5 months in Melbourne. Single, 37 years old, took a job that was the same as what I had made in London (100K gbp now 160K here, didn't do the 2.2 conversion others talk about). Live in the CBD district by Southern cross on the 39th floor, walk to work in 5 minutes and have no interest in joining the commuting masses on the trains, trams, and highways here! I hope this is helpful for any singles considering a move here as most of these threads are family focused.

Costs: Many of these threads focus on the cost of living here. Despite other comments, I find 160K vs 100K gbp to be 'fairly' similar to London when I lived in Canary Wharf. I am leading a similar lifestyle - no car, walk to work, and mostly do my social life Friday - Sunday given I work pretty hard during the week and don't have an interest in pushing out to a suburb / area just to have a point. Food is more, my apartment costs less and is of a higher / newer standard with more space.

Apartment: I did shop around and offered 20% below asking price for an apartment complex that has 25 available at any given time - I figured one landlord would take someone in given all the CBD vacancies and I was right. Other ex-pats coming in here have had similar experience in the high-rise apts in the CBD area (I avoided docklands proper as it is completely dead as others here will tell you). In ten minutes I can take the tram to the paris end of collins which has some nice bars, you can get everywhere from Southern cross easy enough. I wouldn't live on lower floors but long story short if you want easy access it is a good area - being single in the suburbs could be OK but consider your free time carefully and if you want the commuting lifestyle - you will have 30 years of that to look forward to once you are married with kids out here.

Food: I would not let this scare you off Australia, as some of the other threads would. The key is adjusting what you eat. I know I need fruits and veg so I just buy what is on sale: Kiwis today? Fine I'll get them. Bananas actually on sale (ok still waiting for that one) - Ill buy them. 8 dollars for tomatos? Fine I will have a salad with carrots and onions and other things instead. Same goods for meats - the grocery sometimes has good deals / sales so be ready for chicken today and beef tomorrow, and a t-bone 50% off one day because it expires tomorrow. Adapt. Get ready also for bread to cost 4$ one day and be on sale the next as a 2 for 1 for 4$. Prices move so just adjust.

Drinking: Watch for Happy Hours. I've found nice hotels in the CBD for example that run 5-7 happy hours for wine at 5$ a glass, pints below 5$ sometimes - it is all hit or miss so you have to find your favorite spots. Ask prices first - I was somewhere near 30 collins the other day a belgium beer bar that wants near 20$ for a pint of some european import - draw the line, as prices and be ready to change what you order. If you are out with friends consider buying a pitcher of something - not always advertised but sometimes those are better deals too.

Trams: Great value all around. 30 dollars and you can go anywhere in a week. Weekend travel is cheaper if you secure some of the old tram tickets still valid - my work still sells them so I tend to walk during the week and tram on the weekends. So my commute costs are only say 40 bucks a month and I do what I want - beats the heck out of London transport fees.

Aussies: I am an American but I lived in London for 8 years - I would say they are an interesting mix of American arrogance about their culture, the worst fashion sense in the world, with a really laid back attitude to work and a complete lack of, appreciation for, sarcastic humor. I was almost punched twice already due to the jokes going over the head of the guy I was talking to. Most recent case: two tiny Korean girls got a shipment at my apartment, the aussie guy that received it at the desk told them 'be careful those are really heavy, even for me'. The girls promptly lifted them with no problem. I then joked with the guy 'guess you are not so strong after all' - this lead to a whole 'mate, what are you saying, I am strong as F and F you for getting in my business etc etc'. I find I miss British humor and jokes like crazy. Something is in the water here that makes most Aussies all think they are Alpha males which is the main issue overall.

Work attitude: Can only comment based on my firm, but there is a lot of 'good enough' attitudes here - no working late, no focus on good quality work, and a resentment of others that work hard. I was told I did more in my first month then the last (Aussie) in the position did in 6 months and that I should therefore 'slow down' as to not make others feel bad. A lot of time seems spent in meetings and 'looking busy' vs getting anything done. The plus side: work hard and stay in the office till 6 once and a while and you will be a hero.

Women: My partner is from Argentina and I am in a long distance relationship flying there and her here, but, from what I have seen going out with work friends here in the late 20's to 30's: Australia women tend to be somewhat cold and hard to 'open up', unless it is a friday night after 10pm (or saturday) when they make girls from Newcastle look like nuns.

Social: Again, limited experience but the Aussie guys I have met seem very focused on drinking - 5+ pints after work seems normal. Maybe it is my sector. Three weeks in one guy knocked back 9 pints and rolled in the office next day around 11 am looking like a truck hit him. Seen a lot of that since.

OVerall: Fun city. I'd be happy here a couple years but I can see how being here 3+ years might get old - you do feel far away from everything and having lived in Europe and New York / Hong Kong for many years I do at times miss the sense of history, proper world class museums, and not having to fly at laest 5 hours to get to a new country. But overall it is a nice place and for those considering an ex-pat position for a few years hard to go wrong really.
My observation is that you are single and earn $160,000 a year and you only buy vegetables that are on sale. What is that salary- $10,000 a month take home? What is that all about? This is a really interesting post and very comprehensive, but that just struck me as odd.

Last edited by calliope; Jun 3rd 2012 at 7:45 am.
calliope is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2012, 7:51 am
  #6  
Joined on April fools day
 
Beaverstate's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Hops capital of...well hops festival
Posts: 10,638
Beaverstate has a reputation beyond reputeBeaverstate has a reputation beyond reputeBeaverstate has a reputation beyond reputeBeaverstate has a reputation beyond reputeBeaverstate has a reputation beyond reputeBeaverstate has a reputation beyond reputeBeaverstate has a reputation beyond reputeBeaverstate has a reputation beyond reputeBeaverstate has a reputation beyond reputeBeaverstate has a reputation beyond reputeBeaverstate has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

$8 tomatos $1 per pound for me.
Beaverstate is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2012, 8:56 am
  #7  
Alone again, naturally
 
Pollyana's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2002
Location: Keep true friends and puppets close, trust no-one else...
Posts: 92,264
Pollyana has a reputation beyond reputePollyana has a reputation beyond reputePollyana has a reputation beyond reputePollyana has a reputation beyond reputePollyana has a reputation beyond reputePollyana has a reputation beyond reputePollyana has a reputation beyond reputePollyana has a reputation beyond reputePollyana has a reputation beyond reputePollyana has a reputation beyond reputePollyana has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Originally Posted by Beaverstate View Post
$8 tomatos $1 per pound for me.
If I was on $160k I guess I could afford $8 tomatoes
Pollyana is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2012, 9:03 am
  #8  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 335
calliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nice
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Originally Posted by Beaverstate View Post
$8 tomatos $1 per pound for me.
I pay $2.50 a pound.
calliope is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2012, 9:30 am
  #9  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 131
rld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud of
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Originally Posted by calliope View Post
My observation is that you are single and earn $160,000 a year and you only buy vegetables that are on sale. What is that salary- $10,000 a month take home? What is that all about? This is a really interesting post and very comprehensive, but that just struck me as odd.
About 8800 with LAFHA right now - about to drop! My goal isn't to spend everything I earn - I guess you are right I could buy them easy enough, my point was more that when / if you move here it is worth adjusting what you buy (don't buy) based on what you feel is or isn't good value. I don't think that has to change based on take home income Cheers
rld1177 is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2012, 9:57 am
  #10  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 335
calliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nice
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Originally Posted by rld1177 View Post
About 8800 with LAFHA right now - about to drop! My goal isn't to spend everything I earn - I guess you are right I could buy them easy enough, my point was more that when / if you move here it is worth adjusting what you buy (don't buy) based on what you feel is or isn't good value. I don't think that has to change based on take home income Cheers
Yes quite. Look on the bright side, rld - no $20,000 per year healthcare costs in Australia.
calliope is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2012, 10:08 am
  #11  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 115
benhila is a glorious beacon of lightbenhila is a glorious beacon of lightbenhila is a glorious beacon of lightbenhila is a glorious beacon of lightbenhila is a glorious beacon of lightbenhila is a glorious beacon of lightbenhila is a glorious beacon of lightbenhila is a glorious beacon of lightbenhila is a glorious beacon of lightbenhila is a glorious beacon of lightbenhila is a glorious beacon of light
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Originally Posted by calliope View Post
Yes quite. Look on the bright side, rld - no $20,000 per year healthcare costs in Australia.
Nor are there in Canary Wharf
benhila is offline  
Old Jun 4th 2012, 2:34 pm
  #12  
jat
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Scotland...
Posts: 304
jat is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

My observation from spending last 6 months in Melbourne is that is def not as cheap like it was in 2004 although I think you can still eat out cheap in Melbourne. I learned to adjust like you said with regards to buying certain foods. Ie. I learned the best places to buy meat/veg etc. Toiletries were sooo expensive so I found best places to buy them. This means that you have to shop in several places as opposed to popping into a supermarket then boots (as an example).

People have no idea how hard we work in FS and your right many wouldn't lass 5 mins

I'm in process of applying for PR and still believe it's a great and healthy lifestyle.
jat is offline  
Old Jun 4th 2012, 9:29 pm
  #13  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 131
rld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud of
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Originally Posted by Bermudashorts View Post
Interesting read.

In London financial services, most people are career orientated or they would not be there in the first place. Just is not the case here in Sydney, people want a job. I have two people in my team that earn over $150k and if you ask them to stay beyond 5pm to meet a deadline the reaction is akin to if I had asked them to hand over their first born.
Interesting - I wondered if it was just my bank. I suspect some of this is the Big 4 banking / protectionism that goes on here - I've worked at a few large bank / insurance firms in New York and in London and Hong Kong and lets just say the Australian banking system is not exactly a well oiled machine. The pay is outstanding for the amount of work actually done - focus seems to be on meeting and 'looking good' vs actually producing anything. I am actually shocked at the amount of (lack of) tangible work done over the last year in my area prior to a restructure where they brought in a few ex-pats. The plus side: plenty of quick wins.

The first born comment made me laugh - 5 pm for us is a bit like a school bell going off, which seems to move up to 4 or 430 if it is a sunny day on a Friday. Yet the banks are highly profitable - imagine what they could clear if they were run efficiently. (And for those that hate banking / bankers, imagine how much more tax the government here could pull)
rld1177 is offline  
Old Jun 4th 2012, 10:26 pm
  #14  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 335
calliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nicecalliope is just really nice
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Originally Posted by rld1177 View Post
Interesting - I wondered if it was just my bank. I suspect some of this is the Big 4 banking / protectionism that goes on here - I've worked at a few large bank / insurance firms in New York and in London and Hong Kong and lets just say the Australian banking system is not exactly a well oiled machine. The pay is outstanding for the amount of work actually done - focus seems to be on meeting and 'looking good' vs actually producing anything. I am actually shocked at the amount of (lack of) tangible work done over the last year in my area prior to a restructure where they brought in a few ex-pats. The plus side: plenty of quick wins.

The first born comment made me laugh - 5 pm for us is a bit like a school bell going off, which seems to move up to 4 or 430 if it is a sunny day on a Friday. Yet the banks are highly profitable - imagine what they could clear if they were run efficiently. (And for those that hate banking / bankers, imagine how much more tax the government here could pull)
One of the attractions, to many, of Australian culture is that work is not the be all and end all of existence. Sadly, as the country becomes more Americanised and corporate it is changing, or that is my observation.
calliope is offline  
Old Jun 5th 2012, 2:03 am
  #15  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 131
rld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud ofrld1177 has much to be proud of
Default Re: 2.5 months in Melbourne: single perspective

Originally Posted by calliope View Post
One of the attractions, to many, of Australian culture is that work is not the be all and end all of existence. Sadly, as the country becomes more Americanised and corporate it is changing, or that is my observation.
I don't disagree with that. Just my opinion but (on average) I thought the UK had a pretty good work life balance. People didnt sit in the office till 9 pm at night to impress the boss as occurs in the USA (I am American and worked a number of years there prior to England) - on the other hand, if a project was due, they didnt moan about how they had to call their wife because they would leave at 530 not 5 pm, or act like the deserved an award for clocking in an extra hour once in a while to do a more professional bit of work. To me the irony is at least at my bank people seem to be well (if not overpaid, myself included )paid yet seem to feel entitled to work 40 hours max regardless of the situation. This may be exclusive to my bank only, or my area, however, although given some other comments here it sounds like maybe it is not.
rld1177 is offline  

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.