2nd Year on Gold Coast

Old Sep 26th 2007, 10:26 am
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Default 2nd Year on Gold Coast

On 4th October we celebrate our 2nd year in SE Queensland, a year much different from our first 12 months in Australia http://www.britishexpats.com/article...-se-queensland
After the unsettling first year we have established ourselves into a work/ life routine which we feel comfortable and happy with and hope to build on these in the next year.

Gold Coast
For us it’s just about perfect – great beaches, plenty to do for the kids and a climate that is unbelievable. Carrara suits us fine – it is only a 5 minute drive to the beach, is just about in the centre of the Gold Coast so any where from Coolangatta to Hope Island is only 15 minutes drive. We are very close to our business too which was important. It is one of the more established suburbs on the Gold Coast and to us does not feel as claustrophobic as some of the newer suburbs where they try and cram as many houses in as possible.
We rarely venture into Surfers which is the Aussie equivalent of Blackpool some might find that appealing but we prefer other places such as Broadbeach for its ‘café society’, Burleigh for great beaches and small town atmosphere or Currumbin for beautiful beaches.
We have only been to the hinterland once and intend to explore there more in the next year.

Work/Business
We own Carrara Village News, a newsagency at the Coco’s Food Fair next to Carrara Markets. The news trade is different to UK in that each agent has their own territory which is theirs exclusively, anyone who wants to sell newspapers in an agent’s territory must get their supply through the newsagent (this applies even to large supermarkets). So not only do we have a busy retail outlet we have a delivery ‘run’, plus 5 sub agents and 2 stalls in Carrara Markets. The prospects for growing the business are encouraging – the centre we are in is being expanded and refurbished and we have an opportunity to rent a larger unit on the outside of the centre facing Nerang/Broadbeach Road. If we are successful in this we will have the only accessible newsagency on one of the main highways of the Gold Coast. Our territory includes Emerald Lakes, a huge development of 1800 residences and commercial/retail space which will provide delivery/sub agent growth in the next 2 years. We have 3 employees - a run driver, one full time and one part time shop assistant. Lotto is huge in Australia (as is all gambling) and even after nearly 15 months I cannot believe how much money is spent on both the 4 weekly draws and ‘scratchies’.
My wife and I work an average of 5 days a week so the business is not dominating our lives.

Family/Home
We live in Carrara in a small, established estate. Our house is old for the Gold Coast (25 years!) and it is what we dreamed of when planning in UK – pool, lots of open plan space etc. Your money goes a lot further when it comes to buying property.
Our 12 year old boy is out playing with the local kids all the time something unheard of in our old life. Neighbours are as we like them – wave and say g’day when we see them but not intruding.
Our daughter (16 years) goes to Merrimac High School and loves it. The school is both academically and socially very impressive and she is thriving there. Our son is at Merrimac State School and moves to Merrimac High in January. At the moment he is in Japan on a school exchange with the ‘sister’ school staying with a family and attending the school – If we were told 3 years ago that he would be speaking Japanese and going to school there we would not believe a word!
We have made friends with both Aussies and Poms and our social life is pretty hectic – one observation we have made (this is just what we have in counted and may not be general) is that most social activities are almost exclusively alcohol centred. At various BBQ’s or gatherings most the guests main concern is consuming as much as possible in the shortest time and then often cheerfully drive home as ‘its only 5 minutes away’.
Although they speak the same language (more or less) we have found Aussies to be quite different to what we are used to – their sense of humour or lack of it, wanting to give stick at any chance for any British sporting disaster but not taking a reply in the same way, and wanting to talk but not listen.
For this reason we have enjoyed going to a few expats meets which I can recommend especially to new arrivals, talking to people on your own wavelength is refreshing and is great to see people from different backgrounds getting on.


Back in May 2004 we went to an Australian doctor in Southampton for our medicals and he gave me some advice – ‘you have got to give it 2 years minimum to see how you like it’.
Our 2 years are nearly up and I can now see that the advice was spot on – we have found Australia not perfect but all of our lives are happier, less stressful and our kids especially have better prospects for their future.
My advice to anyone thinking about or planning a move to Australia would be don’t expect it to be UK with sunshine – there is no Tesco, Asda, Next or M&S, no quaint pubs serving warm beer and no real history and tradition as we are used to.
What we have found is an exciting young country which rewards work, is not ‘backward in coming forward’ and has more potential than the overpopulated, stuck in the past country we left 2 years ago.
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Old Sep 26th 2007, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

wow you guys have certainly done alot in under 2 yrs.
How did you guys get into the newsagency business? sorry for being rude, but thats one of the things we are looking at aswell. but they all seem to be going for ridiculous amounts!!.
Hope you keep on enjoying every moment and glad to see that you've settled down and are finally enjoying the good ol aussie life style.

Alex
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Old Sep 26th 2007, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Originally Posted by Carbery View Post
On 4th October we celebrate our 2nd year in SE Queensland, a year much different from our first 12 months in Australia http://www.britishexpats.com/article...-se-queensland
After the unsettling first year we have established ourselves into a work/ life routine which we feel comfortable and happy with and hope to build on these in the next year.

Gold Coast
For us it’s just about perfect – great beaches, plenty to do for the kids and a climate that is unbelievable. Carrara suits us fine – it is only a 5 minute drive to the beach, is just about in the centre of the Gold Coast so any where from Coolangatta to Hope Island is only 15 minutes drive. We are very close to our business too which was important. It is one of the more established suburbs on the Gold Coast and to us does not feel as claustrophobic as some of the newer suburbs where they try and cram as many houses in as possible.
We rarely venture into Surfers which is the Aussie equivalent of Blackpool some might find that appealing but we prefer other places such as Broadbeach for its ‘café society’, Burleigh for great beaches and small town atmosphere or Currumbin for beautiful beaches.
We have only been to the hinterland once and intend to explore there more in the next year.

Work/Business
We own Carrara Village News, a newsagency at the Coco’s Food Fair next to Carrara Markets. The news trade is different to UK in that each agent has their own territory which is theirs exclusively, anyone who wants to sell newspapers in an agent’s territory must get their supply through the newsagent (this applies even to large supermarkets). So not only do we have a busy retail outlet we have a delivery ‘run’, plus 5 sub agents and 2 stalls in Carrara Markets. The prospects for growing the business are encouraging – the centre we are in is being expanded and refurbished and we have an opportunity to rent a larger unit on the outside of the centre facing Nerang/Broadbeach Road. If we are successful in this we will have the only accessible newsagency on one of the main highways of the Gold Coast. Our territory includes Emerald Lakes, a huge development of 1800 residences and commercial/retail space which will provide delivery/sub agent growth in the next 2 years. We have 3 employees - a run driver, one full time and one part time shop assistant. Lotto is huge in Australia (as is all gambling) and even after nearly 15 months I cannot believe how much money is spent on both the 4 weekly draws and ‘scratchies’.
My wife and I work an average of 5 days a week so the business is not dominating our lives.

Family/Home
We live in Carrara in a small, established estate. Our house is old for the Gold Coast (25 years!) and it is what we dreamed of when planning in UK – pool, lots of open plan space etc. Your money goes a lot further when it comes to buying property.
Our 12 year old boy is out playing with the local kids all the time something unheard of in our old life. Neighbours are as we like them – wave and say g’day when we see them but not intruding.
Our daughter (16 years) goes to Merrimac High School and loves it. The school is both academically and socially very impressive and she is thriving there. Our son is at Merrimac State School and moves to Merrimac High in January. At the moment he is in Japan on a school exchange with the ‘sister’ school staying with a family and attending the school – If we were told 3 years ago that he would be speaking Japanese and going to school there we would not believe a word!
We have made friends with both Aussies and Poms and our social life is pretty hectic – one observation we have made (this is just what we have in counted and may not be general) is that most social activities are almost exclusively alcohol centred. At various BBQ’s or gatherings most the guests main concern is consuming as much as possible in the shortest time and then often cheerfully drive home as ‘its only 5 minutes away’.
Although they speak the same language (more or less) we have found Aussies to be quite different to what we are used to – their sense of humour or lack of it, wanting to give stick at any chance for any British sporting disaster but not taking a reply in the same way, and wanting to talk but not listen.
For this reason we have enjoyed going to a few expats meets which I can recommend especially to new arrivals, talking to people on your own wavelength is refreshing and is great to see people from different backgrounds getting on.


Back in May 2004 we went to an Australian doctor in Southampton for our medicals and he gave me some advice – ‘you have got to give it 2 years minimum to see how you like it’.
Our 2 years are nearly up and I can now see that the advice was spot on – we have found Australia not perfect but all of our lives are happier, less stressful and our kids especially have better prospects for their future.
My advice to anyone thinking about or planning a move to Australia would be don’t expect it to be UK with sunshine – there is no Tesco, Asda, Next or M&S, no quaint pubs serving warm beer and no real history and tradition as we are used to.
What we have found is an exciting young country which rewards work, is not ‘backward in coming forward’ and has more potential than the overpopulated, stuck in the past country we left 2 years ago.
Great post. BEST WISHES FOR THE FUTURE.
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Old Sep 26th 2007, 8:39 pm
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Brilliant post!! I love updates..the nice and not so nice bits! Gold Coast here we come Jan 2008
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Old Sep 27th 2007, 2:09 am
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Brilliant post! Very normal if you know what I mean
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Old Sep 27th 2007, 2:19 am
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Great post for those still waiting to go,very encouraging
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Old Sep 27th 2007, 4:11 am
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Originally Posted by SKIPPI79 View Post
How did you guys get into the newsagency business? sorry for being rude, but thats one of the things we are looking at aswell. but they all seem to be going for ridiculous amounts!!.
Alex
Yes, for the reasons I gave before newsagencies do go for a lot of money - very important, if looking to buy make sure you are looking at a 'grade A' newsagency thats one that has an exclusive territory. Some sub agencies look bigger than the territory owner.
Price. It will probably be a multiple of agreed net profit the multiple will depend on factors such as area, prospects for growth, and your own ability to negotiate. Look to pay 3 - 4.5 times agreed net profit. If you are not fussy where the shop is located and can find a vendor who wants to get out quick (illness etc) the multiple might go down to 2 - 2.5.
There are specialist agencies/ solicitors/accountants who just deal with the buying or selling of newsagencies.
If you want more info just ask!
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Old Sep 27th 2007, 7:44 am
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Great post.

Sounds like you are reaping the rewards of your hard work.
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Old Sep 30th 2007, 10:52 am
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Originally Posted by moneypen20 View Post
Brilliant post! Very normal if you know what I mean
Thanks. I do know what you mean - we are over the 'honeymoon period' and settled into a normal life routine. After 3 years of upheaval it feels good to be normal again!
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Old Sep 30th 2007, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Originally Posted by Carbery View Post
On 4th October we celebrate our 2nd year in SE Queensland, a year much different from our first 12 months in Australia http://www.britishexpats.com/article...-se-queensland
After the unsettling first year we have established ourselves into a work/ life routine which we feel comfortable and happy with and hope to build on these in the next year.

Gold Coast
For us it’s just about perfect – great beaches, plenty to do for the kids and a climate that is unbelievable. Carrara suits us fine – it is only a 5 minute drive to the beach, is just about in the centre of the Gold Coast so any where from Coolangatta to Hope Island is only 15 minutes drive. We are very close to our business too which was important. It is one of the more established suburbs on the Gold Coast and to us does not feel as claustrophobic as some of the newer suburbs where they try and cram as many houses in as possible.
We rarely venture into Surfers which is the Aussie equivalent of Blackpool some might find that appealing but we prefer other places such as Broadbeach for its ‘café society’, Burleigh for great beaches and small town atmosphere or Currumbin for beautiful beaches.
We have only been to the hinterland once and intend to explore there more in the next year.

Work/Business
We own Carrara Village News, a newsagency at the Coco’s Food Fair next to Carrara Markets. The news trade is different to UK in that each agent has their own territory which is theirs exclusively, anyone who wants to sell newspapers in an agent’s territory must get their supply through the newsagent (this applies even to large supermarkets). So not only do we have a busy retail outlet we have a delivery ‘run’, plus 5 sub agents and 2 stalls in Carrara Markets. The prospects for growing the business are encouraging – the centre we are in is being expanded and refurbished and we have an opportunity to rent a larger unit on the outside of the centre facing Nerang/Broadbeach Road. If we are successful in this we will have the only accessible newsagency on one of the main highways of the Gold Coast. Our territory includes Emerald Lakes, a huge development of 1800 residences and commercial/retail space which will provide delivery/sub agent growth in the next 2 years. We have 3 employees - a run driver, one full time and one part time shop assistant. Lotto is huge in Australia (as is all gambling) and even after nearly 15 months I cannot believe how much money is spent on both the 4 weekly draws and ‘scratchies’.
My wife and I work an average of 5 days a week so the business is not dominating our lives.

Family/Home
We live in Carrara in a small, established estate. Our house is old for the Gold Coast (25 years!) and it is what we dreamed of when planning in UK – pool, lots of open plan space etc. Your money goes a lot further when it comes to buying property.
Our 12 year old boy is out playing with the local kids all the time something unheard of in our old life. Neighbours are as we like them – wave and say g’day when we see them but not intruding.
Our daughter (16 years) goes to Merrimac High School and loves it. The school is both academically and socially very impressive and she is thriving there. Our son is at Merrimac State School and moves to Merrimac High in January. At the moment he is in Japan on a school exchange with the ‘sister’ school staying with a family and attending the school – If we were told 3 years ago that he would be speaking Japanese and going to school there we would not believe a word!
We have made friends with both Aussies and Poms and our social life is pretty hectic – one observation we have made (this is just what we have in counted and may not be general) is that most social activities are almost exclusively alcohol centred. At various BBQ’s or gatherings most the guests main concern is consuming as much as possible in the shortest time and then often cheerfully drive home as ‘its only 5 minutes away’.
Although they speak the same language (more or less) we have found Aussies to be quite different to what we are used to – their sense of humour or lack of it, wanting to give stick at any chance for any British sporting disaster but not taking a reply in the same way, and wanting to talk but not listen.
For this reason we have enjoyed going to a few expats meets which I can recommend especially to new arrivals, talking to people on your own wavelength is refreshing and is great to see people from different backgrounds getting on.


Back in May 2004 we went to an Australian doctor in Southampton for our medicals and he gave me some advice – ‘you have got to give it 2 years minimum to see how you like it’.
Our 2 years are nearly up and I can now see that the advice was spot on – we have found Australia not perfect but all of our lives are happier, less stressful and our kids especially have better prospects for their future.
My advice to anyone thinking about or planning a move to Australia would be don’t expect it to be UK with sunshine – there is no Tesco, Asda, Next or M&S, no quaint pubs serving warm beer and no real history and tradition as we are used to.
What we have found is an exciting young country which rewards work, is not ‘backward in coming forward’ and has more potential than the overpopulated, stuck in the past country we left 2 years ago.
Wow! Great post, really interesting & wish you continued success
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Old Oct 2nd 2007, 6:37 am
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Originally Posted by Carbery View Post
On 4th October we celebrate our 2nd year in SE Queensland, a year much different from our first 12 months in Australia http://www.britishexpats.com/article...-se-queensland
After the unsettling first year we have established ourselves into a work/ life routine which we feel comfortable and happy with and hope to build on these in the next year.

Gold Coast
For us it’s just about perfect – great beaches, plenty to do for the kids and a climate that is unbelievable. Carrara suits us fine – it is only a 5 minute drive to the beach, is just about in the centre of the Gold Coast so any where from Coolangatta to Hope Island is only 15 minutes drive. We are very close to our business too which was important. It is one of the more established suburbs on the Gold Coast and to us does not feel as claustrophobic as some of the newer suburbs where they try and cram as many houses in as possible.
We rarely venture into Surfers which is the Aussie equivalent of Blackpool some might find that appealing but we prefer other places such as Broadbeach for its ‘café society’, Burleigh for great beaches and small town atmosphere or Currumbin for beautiful beaches.
We have only been to the hinterland once and intend to explore there more in the next year.

Work/Business
We own Carrara Village News, a newsagency at the Coco’s Food Fair next to Carrara Markets. The news trade is different to UK in that each agent has their own territory which is theirs exclusively, anyone who wants to sell newspapers in an agent’s territory must get their supply through the newsagent (this applies even to large supermarkets). So not only do we have a busy retail outlet we have a delivery ‘run’, plus 5 sub agents and 2 stalls in Carrara Markets. The prospects for growing the business are encouraging – the centre we are in is being expanded and refurbished and we have an opportunity to rent a larger unit on the outside of the centre facing Nerang/Broadbeach Road. If we are successful in this we will have the only accessible newsagency on one of the main highways of the Gold Coast. Our territory includes Emerald Lakes, a huge development of 1800 residences and commercial/retail space which will provide delivery/sub agent growth in the next 2 years. We have 3 employees - a run driver, one full time and one part time shop assistant. Lotto is huge in Australia (as is all gambling) and even after nearly 15 months I cannot believe how much money is spent on both the 4 weekly draws and ‘scratchies’.
My wife and I work an average of 5 days a week so the business is not dominating our lives.

Family/Home
We live in Carrara in a small, established estate. Our house is old for the Gold Coast (25 years!) and it is what we dreamed of when planning in UK – pool, lots of open plan space etc. Your money goes a lot further when it comes to buying property.
Our 12 year old boy is out playing with the local kids all the time something unheard of in our old life. Neighbours are as we like them – wave and say g’day when we see them but not intruding.
Our daughter (16 years) goes to Merrimac High School and loves it. The school is both academically and socially very impressive and she is thriving there. Our son is at Merrimac State School and moves to Merrimac High in January. At the moment he is in Japan on a school exchange with the ‘sister’ school staying with a family and attending the school – If we were told 3 years ago that he would be speaking Japanese and going to school there we would not believe a word!
We have made friends with both Aussies and Poms and our social life is pretty hectic – one observation we have made (this is just what we have in counted and may not be general) is that most social activities are almost exclusively alcohol centred. At various BBQ’s or gatherings most the guests main concern is consuming as much as possible in the shortest time and then often cheerfully drive home as ‘its only 5 minutes away’.
Although they speak the same language (more or less) we have found Aussies to be quite different to what we are used to – their sense of humour or lack of it, wanting to give stick at any chance for any British sporting disaster but not taking a reply in the same way, and wanting to talk but not listen.
For this reason we have enjoyed going to a few expats meets which I can recommend especially to new arrivals, talking to people on your own wavelength is refreshing and is great to see people from different backgrounds getting on.


Back in May 2004 we went to an Australian doctor in Southampton for our medicals and he gave me some advice – ‘you have got to give it 2 years minimum to see how you like it’.
Our 2 years are nearly up and I can now see that the advice was spot on – we have found Australia not perfect but all of our lives are happier, less stressful and our kids especially have better prospects for their future.
My advice to anyone thinking about or planning a move to Australia would be don’t expect it to be UK with sunshine – there is no Tesco, Asda, Next or M&S, no quaint pubs serving warm beer and no real history and tradition as we are used to.
What we have found is an exciting young country which rewards work, is not ‘backward in coming forward’ and has more potential than the overpopulated, stuck in the past country we left 2 years ago.

Thanks for sharing that with us it was brill to read.

It's interesting what you said about the tesco, asda and M&S! so many people do moan about these things and a while ago there were some people on a mission to contact such UK stores with a list of people who wanted the services in aus...i mean if you can't realise that it's a different country with different things and get on with it you need to take a long look at your motivations for leaving hey?

Great to see your 12 yr old had trip to Japan

Sam xx

Last edited by sammyg; Oct 2nd 2007 at 6:50 am.
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Old Oct 2nd 2007, 10:16 am
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Originally Posted by sammyg View Post
interesting what you said about the tesco, asda and M&S! so many people do moan about these things and a while ago there were some people on a mission to contact such UK stores with a list of people who wanted the services in aus...i mean if you can't realise that it's a different country with different things and get on with it you need to take a long look at your motivations for leaving hey?

Sam xx
Thanks Sam. I think some people struggling especially early days look to 'comfort blankets' of familiarity. It is a different country, and the quicker one realises this and embraces its differences the more chance there is of settling.
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Old Oct 3rd 2007, 6:15 am
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Originally Posted by Carbery View Post
Thanks Sam. I think some people struggling especially early days look to 'comfort blankets' of familiarity. It is a different country, and the quicker one realises this and embraces its differences the more chance there is of settling.
I am glad things have worked out for you but I have to disagree slightly. I am fully aware it is different here, am fully settled (and have been from day one) and have no intention of returning to the UK. However there are some things here that are crap and being able to get hold of some things from 'home' is about having good quality stuff at a reasonable price. It isn't necessarily about not wanting to embrace the differences.

I celebrated my 2 years this past June and it goes quick doesn't it. Hope your next 2 years are as exciting.
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 8:51 pm
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Originally Posted by northernbird View Post
I am glad things have worked out for you but I have to disagree slightly. I am fully aware it is different here, am fully settled (and have been from day one) and have no intention of returning to the UK. However there are some things here that are crap and being able to get hold of some things from 'home' is about having good quality stuff at a reasonable price. It isn't necessarily about not wanting to embrace the differences.
Glad to hear you have been settled for so long (it took us at least 15 months)
I tend to agree with you about some of the shops selling 'crap' but the analogy I was trying to put across was that it is a very different country and if people want to settle they must realise there are considerable differences.
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Old Oct 4th 2007, 10:50 pm
  #15  
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Default Re: 2nd Year on Gold Coast

Originally Posted by Carbery View Post
Glad to hear you have been settled for so long (it took us at least 15 months)
I tend to agree with you about some of the shops selling 'crap' but the analogy I was trying to put across was that it is a very different country and if people want to settle they must realise there are considerable differences.
Absolutely agree, Britain with sunshine it isn't. I was just trying to say there is nothing wrong with preferring stuff from England and for some people helps the settling process to have familiar things.
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