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9 month update - fairly mundane but --

9 month update - fairly mundane but --

Old Apr 29th 2007, 10:22 am
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Default 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

I don't know where the time is going but I have been in Oz for 9 months. The climate and accompanying lifestyle really suit me. The weekend before last I went to Moreton Island which is about 2 hours from the city centre. Beautiful scenery plus I saw some dolphins swimming off shore as I sat on the beach on Saturday evening. Last weekend I went to Mount Cootha for a "bushwalk" – something I am beginning to really enjoy. Funny because I was never a big lover of walking before but I think the weather and glorious scenery may have a lot to do with it.


On the more domesticated front (boring) I still live in the city centre and pay over the odds for an apartment with a river view. I could rent a house for that if I moved out to the sticks but (a) I don't need a house (b) I don't drive – yet and (c) public transport is not that great. I love living where I do and I think it balances out to some extent in terms of time and travel costs. There is also a gym, pool etc here although I have been a complete bum in that department virtually since I arrived. On the negative side – it is very over crowded – lots of foreign students (noisy and inconsiderate) and the management suck. But you can't have it all.

On the work front – that has been seriously hit and miss predominantly due to my not doing my homework and been pretty awful at job hunting. It took me until November to figure out that the only way to work is to register with loads of temp agencies. I have actually been working since August but ---. Then you do a few jobs for them and get known. Now I have no problem. If I have a few days off I don't get myself into a pickle but enjoy my time off. But that is a big adjustment after a proper job with the Police for several years. I am now beginning to enjoy the flexibility and to some extent the control that way of working offers me. I did one "proper" contract for a big company as an analyst using i2 but the hours and work culture were shocking and although the hourly rate was a lot higher than the norm it all balances out. After a 3 week stint in Perth for them I decided to move on and I am really glad that I have.

Speaking of which – the work culture here is horrific. John Howard and his cronies have done to the unions here what good old Maggie did in the UK in the 80's – crushed the life out of them and workers here seem to have zero rights. People take their jobs (even the most mundane of jobs) very seriously. There is a long hour ethic which has got nothing to do with working hard or effectively and everything to do with been seen at your desk at some stupid hour so that the boss thinks you are the best thing since the sliced pan. I am so over it all now and prefer to contract, get paid for what I do and have a life. It was the same in Perth – in fact it was worse but I have been told that Sydney may be quite different??? I am sticking my head in the sand on this one I am afraid - just hate looking for work and I am simply coasting at the moment.

Whilst on the work subject – I have just had confirmation that I have another year off with the Met – which I am delighted about. Despite it been far from perfect, it is a good employer in many ways, I have made some super friends there and I really did love the work there though it did have it moments as only Met people will know.

In terms of cost of living – eating out is cheaper, household bills are much of a muchness although there is no council tax or TV licence (I don't have a TV as Oz TV is like US – complete junk). Food is slightly more expensive – and not the quality or variety that I have become used to. Salaries way lower – mortgages higher. Property – probably get a lot more for your money so if you had big equity in sterling you could buy a property outright here but earning here it pretty difficult to get on the ladder just like the UK and Ireland. Technology is way behind Europe - especially in terms of Internet speeds and costs. Booze (for those that like a beer) is way cheaper.

Health care is expensive – very expensive but appears to be good quality. I have private insurance but it only covers certain things and some things are VERY pricey. You get some money back with Medicare (their NHS) but for those that moan about the NHS take it from me – there is no better free health care system anywhere else. My asthma inhalers cost $40 each – I used to get 2 for 6 quid in the UK – dentist – check up and clean about $400 – I got a proportion of that back on Health Insurance but my Denplan in the UK used to cover that and everything else completely. Banks – charge $6/month for the privilege of having your $$$ and big charges if you use the wrong cash points. Incidentally I left all my Nationwide accounts open and did not transfer everything across (not that I had much to start with) as I get interest in the UK so ----.

Strangely, and I have not gotten my head around this yet, the $ seems to go a lot further here. I can "survive" on 50% of my UK salary here despite paying very steep rent. There are also many free things to do. All museums and art galleries (and no I have not managed to drag myself indoors to any of them yet with the notable exception of an amazing Shipwrecks Museum in Perth) appear to be free. There are heaps of national parks/islands and other amazing places to visit close by and most cost nothing apart from transport which is not expensive off peak. Even in the city the parks are fabulous and I love watching the lizards bask in the sun.

On the people front – like anywhere that takes time. I have met several people since I arrived in Brisbane and have made a couple of friends though I use the term loosely – it is hard work and we Europeans tend to gravitate towards one another. I have made a couple of true blue Aussie friends also. It has a lot to do with where I have been living and some of the trips that I have done.

Technology certainly makes it easier to keep in contact especially email and text but the problem is when you are living and working in a place it is not like traveling and there is not that much to say or talk about unless just like at home I go somewhere for the weekend etc. I still go to work (when I have it), pay the bills, do all the domesticated stuff that you have to do no matter where you are in the world. So I guess what it boils down to is same old same old ---- except the sky is blue, it tends to be warm and sunny (some say hot) and it hardly ever rains (big water crisis here).

In terms of whether I am going to stay here or not - your guess is as good as mine . I change my mind on that from minute to minute and day to day. For now I just want to enjoy the fantastic opportunity of living and working in Oz. I could stay or this could be the most expensive working holiday ever so watch this space.
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Old Apr 29th 2007, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

Very interesting post I really enjoyed reading it, thanks for taking the time to write it
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Old Apr 29th 2007, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

Hi Sue

Sounds like you're having a great time all in all.

Long may it continue

Tracey
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Old Apr 29th 2007, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

Wow a very informative post.

I love the fact that you have told it like it is and written about all things we wonder about when we (or if) we eventually get there.

Thank you very much for sharing that with us

Kerry
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Old Apr 29th 2007, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

great post. I love the way you write. good luck with the future
bec
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Old Apr 29th 2007, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

Loved this post - seems very honest with some good info.

Thanks
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Old Apr 30th 2007, 8:31 am
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

I've not gotten round to writing up a 1 year in report yet, but I'd just use yours as a template, because I can relate to pretty well all of it. (I'm even wondering if we live in the same block).
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Old May 1st 2007, 9:28 am
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

Good post. Sounds like you are having a great time.
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Old May 1st 2007, 10:09 am
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

Thanks for posting this it was very informative
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Old May 1st 2007, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

$40 for an asthma inhaler? I've never paid more than $10
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Old May 2nd 2007, 8:11 am
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

Originally Posted by Poppett44 View Post
$40 for an asthma inhaler? I've never paid more than $10
Thanks Poppett44 - your inhalers MAY be $10 but not everyone uses that type and this info is for people who are not here yet! My inhalers are "symbicort" and are $30.70 each and I use one per month. Nasonex spray is $38.95! I also use several other damm things but that is with a medicare card and there is NO REBATE with medical insurance as they are already heavily subsidised by Medicare.

Regards

Sue
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Old May 2nd 2007, 5:25 pm
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Smile Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

Originally Posted by suebrennan View Post
I don't know where the time is going but I have been in Oz for 9 months. The climate and accompanying lifestyle really suit me. The weekend before last I went to Moreton Island which is about 2 hours from the city centre. Beautiful scenery plus I saw some dolphins swimming off shore as I sat on the beach on Saturday evening. Last weekend I went to Mount Cootha for a "bushwalk" – something I am beginning to really enjoy. Funny because I was never a big lover of walking before but I think the weather and glorious scenery may have a lot to do with it.


On the more domesticated front (boring) I still live in the city centre and pay over the odds for an apartment with a river view. I could rent a house for that if I moved out to the sticks but (a) I don't need a house (b) I don't drive – yet and (c) public transport is not that great. I love living where I do and I think it balances out to some extent in terms of time and travel costs. There is also a gym, pool etc here although I have been a complete bum in that department virtually since I arrived. On the negative side – it is very over crowded – lots of foreign students (noisy and inconsiderate) and the management suck. But you can't have it all.

On the work front – that has been seriously hit and miss predominantly due to my not doing my homework and been pretty awful at job hunting. It took me until November to figure out that the only way to work is to register with loads of temp agencies. I have actually been working since August but ---. Then you do a few jobs for them and get known. Now I have no problem. If I have a few days off I don't get myself into a pickle but enjoy my time off. But that is a big adjustment after a proper job with the Police for several years. I am now beginning to enjoy the flexibility and to some extent the control that way of working offers me. I did one "proper" contract for a big company as an analyst using i2 but the hours and work culture were shocking and although the hourly rate was a lot higher than the norm it all balances out. After a 3 week stint in Perth for them I decided to move on and I am really glad that I have.

Speaking of which – the work culture here is horrific. John Howard and his cronies have done to the unions here what good old Maggie did in the UK in the 80's – crushed the life out of them and workers here seem to have zero rights. People take their jobs (even the most mundane of jobs) very seriously. There is a long hour ethic which has got nothing to do with working hard or effectively and everything to do with been seen at your desk at some stupid hour so that the boss thinks you are the best thing since the sliced pan. I am so over it all now and prefer to contract, get paid for what I do and have a life. It was the same in Perth – in fact it was worse but I have been told that Sydney may be quite different??? I am sticking my head in the sand on this one I am afraid - just hate looking for work and I am simply coasting at the moment.

Whilst on the work subject – I have just had confirmation that I have another year off with the Met – which I am delighted about. Despite it been far from perfect, it is a good employer in many ways, I have made some super friends there and I really did love the work there though it did have it moments as only Met people will know.

In terms of cost of living – eating out is cheaper, household bills are much of a muchness although there is no council tax or TV licence (I don't have a TV as Oz TV is like US – complete junk). Food is slightly more expensive – and not the quality or variety that I have become used to. Salaries way lower – mortgages higher. Property – probably get a lot more for your money so if you had big equity in sterling you could buy a property outright here but earning here it pretty difficult to get on the ladder just like the UK and Ireland. Technology is way behind Europe - especially in terms of Internet speeds and costs. Booze (for those that like a beer) is way cheaper.

Health care is expensive – very expensive but appears to be good quality. I have private insurance but it only covers certain things and some things are VERY pricey. You get some money back with Medicare (their NHS) but for those that moan about the NHS take it from me – there is no better free health care system anywhere else. My asthma inhalers cost $40 each – I used to get 2 for 6 quid in the UK – dentist – check up and clean about $400 – I got a proportion of that back on Health Insurance but my Denplan in the UK used to cover that and everything else completely. Banks – charge $6/month for the privilege of having your $$$ and big charges if you use the wrong cash points. Incidentally I left all my Nationwide accounts open and did not transfer everything across (not that I had much to start with) as I get interest in the UK so ----.

Strangely, and I have not gotten my head around this yet, the $ seems to go a lot further here. I can "survive" on 50% of my UK salary here despite paying very steep rent. There are also many free things to do. All museums and art galleries (and no I have not managed to drag myself indoors to any of them yet with the notable exception of an amazing Shipwrecks Museum in Perth) appear to be free. There are heaps of national parks/islands and other amazing places to visit close by and most cost nothing apart from transport which is not expensive off peak. Even in the city the parks are fabulous and I love watching the lizards bask in the sun.

On the people front – like anywhere that takes time. I have met several people since I arrived in Brisbane and have made a couple of friends though I use the term loosely – it is hard work and we Europeans tend to gravitate towards one another. I have made a couple of true blue Aussie friends also. It has a lot to do with where I have been living and some of the trips that I have done.

Technology certainly makes it easier to keep in contact especially email and text but the problem is when you are living and working in a place it is not like traveling and there is not that much to say or talk about unless just like at home I go somewhere for the weekend etc. I still go to work (when I have it), pay the bills, do all the domesticated stuff that you have to do no matter where you are in the world. So I guess what it boils down to is same old same old ---- except the sky is blue, it tends to be warm and sunny (some say hot) and it hardly ever rains (big water crisis here).

In terms of whether I am going to stay here or not - your guess is as good as mine . I change my mind on that from minute to minute and day to day. For now I just want to enjoy the fantastic opportunity of living and working in Oz. I could stay or this could be the most expensive working holiday ever so watch this space.
I do love reading your update post, they are very informative and honest, you say it like it is. I really wish you well for the future. Take care.
Clairex
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Old May 7th 2007, 6:01 am
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Default Re: 9 month update - fairly mundane but --

There are lot of dumb managers out there in Brisbane. I often think they will promote the water cooler due to the hours it's in the office

Originally Posted by suebrennan View Post
There is a long hour ethic which has got nothing to do with working hard or effectively and everything to do with been seen at your desk at some stupid hour so that the boss thinks you are the best thing since the sliced pan.
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