Americans in Australia: Get Over Your Cheap Selves
Sunday June 26th 2005, 2:41 am

 

 

 

For as long as I can remember, Americans have been a buncha goofy mothers. Within 18 hours after getting off the plane in Sydney in 1996, I learned it was OK to make such notations aloud. 

Americans, by and large, take themselves really seriously. Fewer than 5% have passports and fewer yet ever spend more than 2 weeks out of the continental USA in one whack. They normally can’t reconcile the childhood indoctrination of ‘Greatest Country on Earth,’ the daily Pledge of Allegiance in school and the singing of the national anthem before ballgames… with what the rest of the world thinks of them.

Aussies can call me a  bastard, a  cunt, a yank, a seppo… all of those being compliments in one form or another. It’s all Strine to me… and it’s all part of the wide brown land I have lived in for approaching 10 years, as much as pissed yobbos, utes and kangaroos on the bullbar. Funnily enough, I like you yobs and sheilas well enough to be one of you- I became a citizen of Australia in 2003. Thanks for having me, ya bastards. We get on fine, thanks.

Now I read of American students in Queensland complaining about being called ‘seps’ or ‘sepos/seppos’ and are so flipped out by this that they are withdrawing from universities and heading home, shocked over ‘abuses.’

Bugger off, I say!

"Sep" or "seppo" is a derivation from English rhyming slang, i.e. yank ‘rhymes’ with septic tank. By rules of rhyming slang, this is shortened to "septic" or "seppo," etc. I figure that anyone who’s going to such lengths to create an inoffensive epithet is fairly harmless.

By contrast, in NY, Chicago or LA, if you’re not being encouraged to commit a compromising act with your maternal parent by noontime, you probably didn’t leave the sofa.

Really, ya buncha sooky seppo bastards, get OVER it… and what the bloke in the pub said about GW Shrub was probably right.

-weez


231 Comments so far
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Intelligent seppos were always able to give as good as they got at university. Those were the ones we respected. Most of the rest were obnoxious edu-backpackers who chose six months at a beachside campus and matured through several shades of brown before returning to their home climate.

Comment by Flashman 06.26.05 @ 2:56 am

Flash, it helped me a lot to not ever have taken the USA all that seriously from the beginning. :D

Comment by weezil 06.26.05 @ 3:04 am

weez, i think you’ve hit on something here. i reckon there’s a real need (rool noid!) for seppo refuses such as your good self to explain to us antipodeans the minutae and gray (grey?) matter of the seppo mind. an mgk category perhaps?

Comment by Walter 06.26.05 @ 10:52 am

Hi Walt,

Taking the piss out of new arrivals in Aus is all part of the culture; it’s a means of indicating tacit approval and helping the newbie assimilate into the general culture of egalitarianism in Australia.

I don’t actually think the topic deserves a sub-category on mgk- I really am not bothered enough by the matter for it to merit such an elevated consideration, to be true.

Fairly simply, it is incumbent upon any person who is travelling abroad to realise that they are actually NOT in their homeland- be they Aussies or Americans.

A little wisecrack here and there about one’s homeland should be taken good-naturedly. In the case of Americans in in Oz, I can see the point where, when the joke has been worn out, one might inform the overboard larrikin ‘ok, mate, I’m American, this is well established…’ etc., but instantly going into ‘offended’ mode is always wrong, no matter who or where.

Some ‘fresh-off-the-boat’ yanks may need a little gentle guidance that Aussies come from a long and proud line of defiance of authority. Americans were openly and outwardly defiant of the Brits in the 1700s. Aussies have a very different relationship with the Brits, one which went from a prisoner-turnkey relationship to one of peerage through the history of ‘currency lads’ and on to the modern day where QEII is still the head of state, but summarily ignored, in the best of Aussie traditions.

When in Rome…

cya

-weez

Comment by weezil 06.26.05 @ 11:20 am

You beat me to this. What a bunch a pussies… Sorry Weez, Get over yourselves and your own hype fellow Americans..If that’s all you can take. What a bunch a wankers.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
I was gonna blog this today. I laughed.

Ignorant Xenophobes Abroad! GEEEEEZ!

Comment by Jon Fox 06.27.05 @ 1:46 pm

you know weez I do feel slightly (slightly) sorry for these kids. not the one that thought every time the word ‘seppo’ was used it was meant as an insult though, that’s just being thick. But its one thing to cop a bit of stick for being a yank, but for the local students to keep on it for months without end.

People say ‘murrkins are insular but how bloody ridiculous is it to get stuck into every one that comes into your orbit for the policies of their president. I bet there was a fair bit of that going on in the Queensland situation. having travelled with seppos I feel sorry and embarrased for them when other gormless gits (aussie, british, french) automatically treat them as the spokesman for their current government – particularly when 18-30yos are far more likely to be liberal/Dem oriented that repugs.

if every aussie o/s backpacking kiddie got called to defend our immigration policy and treatment of indigenous people wherever they went for the entire duration of their trip I bet a few would sook home to mum too.

Comment by mister z 06.27.05 @ 5:05 pm

Mr Z, I do understand that any teasing can go over the top and thence into bullying and villification. I have indeed experienced racism from Australians on the basis that I am American, but I have to say that such events are rare- and never just in general public contacts. I once had a co-worker who was upset that I was hired into a position from which his mate was sacked and this gent decided that my birth nation somehow was germane. That didn’t last terribly long.

However, most enquiries I have about my birth nationality are of a good faith sort from Aussies who either want to go to the USA someday or just haven’t met a living, breathing yank before, rather just heard such accents on TV.

After nearly 10 years in Australia, I yet speak with a very identifiable ‘neutral’ midwestern American idiom and dialect, the sort you might hear in a national US news reporter or anchor.

However, I can now manage to get in and out of a petrol station (or other simple transaction) in Australia without being picked as a yank if I so choose. If I stick to a certain combination of a smile and a nod with a friendly ‘owyagoinmite,’ those none the wiser stay so.

In day-to-day life, I don’t find the fact that I’m an American living in Australia all that remarkable and find no general cause to bring it up as a rule. Here on the blog, it’s a different story- the USA is just a mouseclick away and the cultures frequently clash.

Comment by weezil 06.27.05 @ 8:09 pm

I must admit that I’ve wheeled out the seppo line a few times – I guess I can see how it would piss someone off if you got it all the time though.

Comment by Ben 06.28.05 @ 2:49 pm

Ben, as long as you say it with a smile and a good intent, I certainly would not take offence. However, if such an epithet came in concert with denying me an opportunity avalable to me before my uncontrollable accent announced my origins, I’d object accordingly.

Unfortunately, there are Americans around who would take great umbrage if, for example, their US flag lapel pin were lampooned. It’s yanks like that who make me want to burn a truckload of US flags in their front yards just to prove a point.

Comment by weezil 06.29.05 @ 8:09 am

As am expat myself, I can relate to what you are saying.

I arrived is oz as a 5 year old, with a thick New York accent! My mother still has tapes of me talking, and it is quite ugly.

I think that there are two sorts of ribbing. First is the jocular in good faith type that you describe, and clearly these American students are sissies for their inability to understand oz ‘strine.

The other type is what I experienced in primary school during the 70′s in suburban Canberra – though these same bullies had it in for the ‘gooks’ fresh off the boat from war ravaged Vietnam as well.

Comment by David Heidelberg 06.29.05 @ 5:31 pm

as an Australian living in England, I take umbrage (yyeargh!) if people lampoon my ‘Howard Dean for president’ poster on the wall.

Comment by mister z 06.29.05 @ 5:40 pm

Can’t believe there are Aussies who would be rude just for the hell of it; my fondess memories of the Autralians are of those I fought with in Viet Nam; maybe this closeness was because we were brothers in arms, but I doubt it; some of you down under must have run into a bunch of pussies from the US; we are not all like that- some enjoy a give and take. Go Aussies!

Comment by JIMBO 04.26.07 @ 11:34 am

What a loser! Don’t like Americans? Don’t spend time with them! This one won’t be wasting any time on you!

Comment by Def 07.07.07 @ 7:33 pm

I AM an American, you fucking moron… didja bother reading the post or did your knees start jerking when you had only read the title?

Comment by weez 07.08.07 @ 3:16 am

Why is it sooo difficult for an American to find decent employment in Australia (MEL)? I have a BS and AA degree and its been four months and no employment.

Comment by Mr. Greene 08.07.07 @ 5:13 pm

According to John Howard, there is no unemployment in Australia. Obviously, it’s your problem. ;)

Comment by weez 08.08.07 @ 7:54 am

I’m an American that lived and worked in Melbourne last year and I have experienced what everyone is talking about, except I have the added excitement of being from Texas. I don’t have the stereotypical Texas accent that would give it away but people almost always asked what state I was from. That would immediately lead to a barrage of hateful comments about the US, Texas, and George Bush…because obviously I’m his best friend and political advisor?
At first I was very polite and would try to have a civil conversation about it, but after a few months of not being able to have any type of “normal” conversation about anything besides Bush, politics, or how much they hated me I got very, very sick of it.
I did experience some of the good natured Aussie teasing and I’m not someone who takes myself so seriously that I can’t pick that out, but I actually encountered more people who wanted to get in my face and tell me how much they hate me just for being American. Yes, they would use the word hate. Now, if you knew me you would know that I am probably one of the most calm, nonconfrontational, polite people you’ve met and I can honestly say that I’ve never gotten into any type of verbal altercation with anyone in the US. So to receive this type of treatment was unlike anything I’d ever encountered in my life. It was shocking and I did go home very early from many nights out because people literally made me cry. It really hurts to know that people hate you for a reason that is completely out of your control and that they can’t even fathom having any type of conversation with you that doesn’t end up with the American feeling completely defeated.
I would like to say that I had a great experience in Australia, but I was never seen as an well educated, working, passport holding!, traveling, kind and gracious person…I was only attacked and literally told that people hated me just for being American on a daily basis.
I am now faced with the fact that I have an Australian partner and I will likely be moving back permanently. Honestly, I’m very worried that people will never see me for who I am but what country I come from and that I will never be able to develop true friendships.

Comment by TexOz 08.23.07 @ 4:44 am

I’ve been here for a little over 10 years now and never been told by anyone they ‘hate’ me for being American. I don’t actually talk about the US unless asked- don’t really care. Haven’t been happier anywhere else on the planet and have no plans to go back to the US… until King George is clapped in irons and on his way to the Hague.

Comment by weez 08.23.07 @ 5:36 am

I’m a passport holding, liberal, very well traveled, thick skinned American with an Aussie partner. I’ve lived in both London and Australia. For the past two years majority of my friends are Aussies, so I’m familiar with “taking the piss” and the general Australian humor. However, I agree with mister z when he says that he’s embarassed for Americans when they constantly are attacked for their government. Thank you mister z, IT IS very tiring. I would like to have a pint without someone immediately giving me shit for policies I don’t like and didn’t vote for.

In addition, I’ve been living in Oz for the past ten months and I frequently get told “you’re the fist American I actually like”. Newsflash Aussies, this isn’t really a compliment. It’s all well and good to hassle the “seppos”. By all means Aussies, give it to them. Help them to thicken their skin, everyone could use a bit of that in their lives. But try not to give them shit if they start to get offended. What you may not realize is that you are not the first one to give them shit. You might be the tenth that day. There is a limit to how much one can take.

One is inclined to love their own country. Even if they don’t agree with all of the politics, or relate to all the citizens. Aussies should know this. Especially the expats in London! I’ve never seen so many Aussie flag clad people pueking outside a pub in my life!!! So ease up on the Americans sometimes, and let them just enjoy traveling as much as you do and be comfortable with where they were born. No one should have to be embarassed about something that wasn’t their choice so frequently!!!

Comment by xan 09.19.07 @ 10:30 am

Dude, you’re awesome! I pissed my pants laughing, reading your shit ya cunt. And I mean that as ur my new best mate. I so agree with you on all u said. Im stuck here living in the USA amongst all these dickheads with no escape in sight. I would love to buy you a beer, so when I get my Aussie arse home and drag my yankee husband with me-who actually wants to be just like you, I’m buying!

Comment by digger 09.29.07 @ 2:00 am

For the Love of God, Amen. I’m an American, with an Australian partner.. also with the “added excitement” of being from Texas. (And a Democrat so fuck off) I spent 3 months this summer working in Oz and it does get a bit boring day in day out to hear the same crap. I get it. I hate America (usually, except when I’m shopping for $20 facewash at the australian grocery store :-p) and Bush too, but really, do we have to talk about it all day. Now I just say I’m from Canada because I just get “oh” instead of “oh really?!” followed by 20 minutes of something I’ve heard 100 times before usually in a “Texas accent” that I also don’t have.
The biggest (and only) compliment I’ve gotten in the country regarding my nationality was from an Asian who told me, “Your accent is so refreshing and refined, especially when compared with your feral aussie boyfriend!”

Comment by kumiho 10.29.07 @ 7:06 am

This is one of the threads on mgk that simply will not croak. More than 45,000 unique IPs, most from the USA, indicating how many Americans have an interest in this joint.

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, I’m absolutely not an America hater in any form. I do think it is in the worst period of mismanagement and abuse of power in its history, but the fundamental principles are sound. There’s about 50-100 years worth of post-Shrubya international diplomatic patching as well as installation of necessary failsafes to prevent future abuses… but there’s definitely something left to save.

Comment by weez 10.29.07 @ 12:04 pm

I’m a Canuck and I don’t have a problem with being called that by anyone. And hey, just think about what IT rhymes with….

Comment by Rapunzel 10.30.07 @ 8:12 am

Eh, I just tell people to fuck off if they’re mean to me because of what set of imaginary lines I live between on the globe. They’re ALWAYS total idiots and are just desperate to have some kind of power over Americans in an age of US dominance. It’s so obvious. I don’t give them the pleasure of defending or explaining anything, because for those losers, *nothing* you could possibly say would make them think rationally. So fuck ‘em! There are plenty of cool and nice people to hang out with from everywhere, but sometimes you have to brush off some dickheads first.

Comment by sequoia 11.01.07 @ 5:21 am

Oops – I forgot to say that a little good-natured teasing is fine and as an American you should expect and be able to handle it. But there is a difference between a little ribbing and just plain old being nasty to somebody, which Americans often find shocking because being mean to somebody based only on nationality really isn’t something we do. I think it’s natural to go into defense mode when being attacked and bullied.

Comment by sequoia 11.01.07 @ 6:46 am

I dont agree with that (sequoia) I have seen americans time and time again be mean and nasty to people just because of their nationality. Just try being african or Iraqi, or anything even slightly middle eastern and live in america. Aussies ‘take the piss’ too much in my opinion and we can learn something about changing that from the US. But to say americans dont treat people unfairly based on nationality just isnt right. (in my opinion)

Comment by gloriajean 11.08.07 @ 9:12 pm

I simply think you’re a stupid wanker. I am American and I live in Australia, I have not had ONE person insult me or treat me with anything but kindness. Let’s not lump all Australian’s into one big ball of wax, because it’s obvious they haven’t lumped ALL Americans into one either!
I am proud to be American but since George Bush single-handedly made America a world wide joke, I choose not to live there and be apart of the fucking charade.
As far as Americans treating people unfairly based upon nationality, that goes with ANY country, many do, many don’t! America isn’t any different (as far as citizens go) than anywhere else. We can be arrogant and so can some Australians, I am sure.
I love Australia and will never return to America to live.

Comment by Lisa 11.20.07 @ 7:55 am

I love Australia and will never return to America to live.

Same here, Lisa. I’ve no intention whatsoever to return to the US to live.

I’ve only encountered limited anti-Americanism in Aus and those events were less related to my being American by birth than my being placed in a position which displaced an incompetent worker from the position I filled. Naturally, when the incompetent’s mates found that the replacement worker had a funny accent, it was surmised by the twits having me on that the company had imported me specifically to displace an Australian worker (which of course had nothing whatsoever to do with it). That case did in fact draw a complaint of racism from me because the employer didn’t take me seriously when I complained multiple times of being bullied on basis of my birth nationality.

This is not to say that I have not known any ppl at all who have been badly treated because of their American accent in Aus. It does happen, but my point in writing this post back in 2005 was that if you don’t walk about with a big yankee chip on your shoulder, you’re much less likely to cop any flak.

Comment by weez 11.20.07 @ 8:32 am

This is unrelated but figured the Yankee haters might enjoy learning that you’ve got something I need and you’ve done it better than us. (I am a proud yankee, as I chuckle under my breath) The drug company here has discontinued a drug for “business purposes” right in the middle of my treatment without even telling me. I just don’t count in the scheme of their business deals. Nut I am going to need to go to australia in order to order a prescription of the drug that your country still makes! Go figure thye even have it all over Europe (only their’s isn’t very good)Well just thought you’d like to hear you’ve got one up on us (as far as I’m concerned). I bet the beer is better too! I still love my country but ignore my gov’t, of which the Food and Drug Administration DID allow the discontinuation of my drug. Lucky for me Australians speak English. Italy was hard to translate!

Comment by Jackie 12.03.07 @ 3:25 pm

If you Google “Americans living in Australia”, this is the first page that comes up… should be no surprise that the subject doesn’t die.

*shrugs* I’ve lived in Oz a few years, I can see both sides of the issue (especially being a Texan m’self), but… eh. Not worth my time getting all worked up about the 0.01% “ugly Americans overseas”. And the 0.01% of people who will judge me based upon said ugly Americans are not worth my time, either.

Comment by Americans living in Australia 12.05.07 @ 2:48 pm

If you Google ‘Americans living in Australia’, this is the first page that comes up

There’s dozens of entire websites devoted to the topic and yet one silly blog post leads the Google rankings. Amazing.

The number of ‘ugly Americans’ overseas may be small, but they make themselves fairly noticeable. You can start with the knobs who speak so loudly that you hear them echoing off the back wall of a restaurant.

At least the very ‘ugliest’ of travelling yanks are usually found in McDonalds & Burger King shops, where the beeping of the chip fryer usually drowns them out a bit. :D

Comment by weez 12.06.07 @ 4:32 am

Being mean to someone based on nationality isn’t something Americans do?

Pull the other one, it plays jingle bells.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Americans tell me they hope George W just goes into the Middle East, blows the crap out of the place and puts up a Mall of America. I can’t tell you how many of them I’ve heard say appalling things about Mexicans, as though they’re second class citizens, and the French! Oh, I’m not buying that, it might give some money to the French.

Get over it.

On the whole, I think Americans are far, far more racist than Australians are. We take the piss, they’re actually nasty about it, and ignorant enough to believe that “Mall of America” type of crap is the right thing to say.

On the whole, just talking to your average American, they’re a lot more polite than Australians (not that it would be hard!), but when it comes to racism, they really have no place to talk.

And I worked with an American girl once. She asked me how to stop people from saying “I hate Americans” to her all the time. I told her apart from dropping the superior “this is a cultural, economic backwater where there are no other civilised countries” crap, she could start telling people she was Canadian.

The Canadian idea worked, by the way.

Comment by a. 12.18.07 @ 4:10 am

a., I agree that Americans are a lot meaner in their expressions of racism, but they’re a lot more overt in their general expressions as a rule. Yanks are brasher and noisier, simple as that. It’s not a stereotype if it’s true! :D

When I hear someone saying ‘I hate Americans,’ I usually answer with ‘I hate small-minded, generalising nationalist morons who can’t tell the difference between an American citizen and US govt policy.’

I used the Canadian excuse for a few weeks in 2003. I soon wised up and decided it was better to identify as an American, but one who was/is implacably opposed to Shrubya’s wars and short-sighted policies, both domestic and international.

Comment by weez 12.19.07 @ 8:29 pm

im Australian,
i dont really care about this issue but i just want to say this: Australians are the kindest ppl on earth even though im wog they still treat me as australian never will leave the country love it so badly ( surfing ) lol :D

Comment by auzzie4lyfe 12.22.07 @ 7:55 pm

You don’t really care about this issue… but you’ll bother to leave a comment about it? :lol:

heh, ok….

Comment by weez 12.23.07 @ 5:54 pm

We humans are strange! That’s the first thing that pops into mind after reading this post.

Thanks for your comments weez. You are helping me to toughen up and see the humour in life. I love Australia and the friends I have met here. That is why I keep coming back. I am very committed to my Aussie man which will most likely bring us back here in a few years. He has a wonderful family that treats me as one of their own. We’ve lived here and in the US. I do wish I could say something different when people ask where I am from just to avoid talking about all the problems that involve my country. I like where we live in the US in Seattle and chose to live there for the educated people, community, lack of chain restaurants where I frequent, etc. Anyway, I’m digressing.

My point is that I get a bit afraid of living here permanently sometimes. Again, seeing the humour in life as much as possible is probably the best remedy.

Anyway, I was wondering if you have any advice for me as I feel a bit annoyed (and i know i’m too sensitive and want help to not be!) at statements like the ones I’ve recently heard below:

“Oh I went to the US once, I had a wonderful experience there where a black lady told me to ‘move out of my way’… oh so American!”

“I met an American man who reminds me of your dad, very lovely, not very American at all…”

“An American woman bought property here (look of disgust)”

On visiting the US.. “The thing that got me was: every restaurant is a chain!” (i get annoyed at the chains too but choose not to frequent them, I know a lot are, I know!)…

“I would never drink American wine”

A guy selling me wine… “I went to the US before. I went to Montana, Colorado, California” (I’m thinking oh good he has probably seen beautiful places). “Oh, you know JC Penny over there, I saw sizes XXXL… such a consumeristic society”

I do just get tired of hearing the negatives relentlessly. However, I do often get complimented on my “soft accent”…

Only once was someone being “mean”… I was wine tasting and the man said “this wine was aged in American oak.. which is loud and obnoxious”… I really felt hurt but that is only one weirdo in the world. Nothing like that happened before or since. Maybe he had and loud and obnoxious American girlfriend who broke up with him?

Ok lay it on me…

Comment by Leah 12.26.07 @ 2:21 am

” Americans, by and large, take themselves really seriously. Fewer than 5% have passports and fewer yet ever spend more than 2 weeks out of the continental USA in one whack. ”

5% of the population of the US, 15,000,000, is most of the population of Australia and if most of Americans are like myself, they’re too busy working most of their lives to travel as freely as they would like.

Comment by David 12.27.07 @ 3:20 am

Leah, I think I’d meet such comments with a lot of silence, a wan smile and a curious gaze. I certainly wouldn’t go off about them. If someone is a crass loser, there’s many ways of making that point known without losing your cool.

David, most Americans are incredibly lucky to have any paid sick leave or holidays at all anymore. I think I was pretty generous with my 5% estimate. You really don’t see that many yanks overseas these days.

Almost all Aussies get 4 weeks per year of paid annual leave and tend to travel quite a lot. All depends on what you demand from your working arrangements. If you don’t like the employment situation in the US and can’t negotiate better leave conditions, do what Aussies do…. join a union- or just live in Australia. :lol: I’m approaching 12 years in Aus now, not in the least interested in going back, thanks. :)

Comment by weez 12.27.07 @ 4:28 am

The ABC covered the shit yanks were copping about King George’s foreign policy in this 7.30 Report story from 2003.

One source in the 7.30 Report story is quoted as estimating there’s 150,000 Americans living in Australia, but I do believe that could be a tick high. I do know one or two Americans living here, but I have a hard time imagining that 0.7% of the population of Australia is comprised of Americans. I even live in a VERY touristy place, the Blue Mountains, just an hour’s drive west of the Sydney CBD… yet I just don’t meet many yanks.

Leah, in further consideration of your comments, I really do have to encourage you to stop thinking of yourself as an American, rather a citizen of Earth. I might have been born near Cleveland, Ohio and lived in the US until I was in my young 30s, that being a rather immutable fact, but also a very insignificant one when I consider the roughly 1/3 of my life spent living outside the US, mostly in Australia, but a fair old spell in Europe in the mid-1980s.

Yes, after being here for as long as I have, I also get the soft accent ‘compliment.’ It sounds like a bit of left-handed praise until you have been here long enough to hear whiny, nasal American accents on teev- and find that you yourself are annoyed by them as well. :D

I’ve been here long enough that the ‘aged in American oak [...] loud & obnoxious’ quip actually would have gotten a loud (and obnoxious!) guffaw out of me.

Comment by weez 12.27.07 @ 5:25 am

So I am a conservative American from Pennsylvania. Would I really run into that many problems from Aussies for being so? Does being conservative have to mean that id be mistaken for being best friends with GW? He really isnt my idea of Conservatism at all. I do support the ideals behind conservatism but he is not a conservative in my mind anymore and will be out of office far before I get a chance to see Australia. I understand that Australia leans toward liberalism but does my political opinions and how I talk mean id be less excepted?
Id hate to miss out on a great experiance because of issues people have with my country.

Comment by DansModernLife 01.21.08 @ 5:18 am

Depends on what your ideas of conservativism are in practise.

If you’re opposed to womens’ rights to choose how to operate their reproductive bits, insist that employees should not be able to collectively bargain or go on strike, believe that all people of all socioeconomic/ethnic backgrounds have equal economic opportunity, are opposed to social welfare programs or wear a religion on your sleeve, you’re not going to like Aus much.

As a general rule, individual Americans are not held responsible or vilified by Aussies for the deeds of the Bush administration- unless of course, you happen to think Bush is a good president… and are vociferous about it.

Comment by weez 01.21.08 @ 5:53 am

I’ve been pining for Australian permanent residence for two years now, only to be rejected on a minor disqualification regarding my job history. For what it’s worth, I’m an American who thinks Oz is far superior when it comes to government and the all-around character of its citizens. Unfortunately, being born to Korean parents, I’m told I’m better off at home. Apparently Asian + American = two strikes against me. What’s the deal? Help me get out of this hellhole I’m living in! I have nothing but love for you folks!

Comment by stinksforme 01.31.08 @ 6:50 am

You know, since we’ve just had a change of govt to a rather less xenophobic flavour- the new PM even fluently speaks Mandarin- you might have another crack in the near future. However, the points system can be cruel- hope you can pull it off.

Comment by weez 01.31.08 @ 12:39 pm

Goodness,

I’ve applied for two lectureships in NSW, but I’m becoming concerned that Aussies are no less racist, close-minded, and mean-spirited than the Brits I spent 4 years living and working with. In my years in the UK, things were said to me that I would never consider saying to a foreigner or visitor to the US. And as a Jew, I frankly never experienced anti-Semitism as I did in England.

Aussies, tell me I’m wrong…..

Comment by Yitzhak 02.25.08 @ 2:50 pm

As is true everywhere, less educated people in Aus can be decidedly racist. Show me a racist and I’ll show you a functional illiterate. However, if you’re looking to work in a uni environment, you ought to have better luck.

Comment by weez 02.26.08 @ 8:58 am

Weez,

Thanks, Mate. I tend to agree with you.

Comment by Yitzhak 02.28.08 @ 4:15 am

Greetings All from a “World Citizen”

I am an African American from Mississippi. Through my body flows the blood of Africans, Native Americans, French & Spanish. I have a very strong Southern accent that surfaces and draws attention from Aussies. Most Aussies admit that they love my accent and would love to visit America(the South).

There are some interesting comments here, but I would like to leave a few words to ponder. Educated or not, it would be a good rule of thumb to never “take the piss” out of anyone you don’t know intimately. I know most Aussies think it is cute or it helps to “break the ice”, but such behaviour directed at the wrong person could lead to a negative outcome.

Good impressions are lasting impressions!!! Americans are not coming to Australia to learn about G.W. Bush, American politics & elections, or slang epithets to describe U.S. citizens. Considering the way in which Australia was “founded/occupied”, compared to America, it seems to me that the joke would be on those still loyal to the Queen.

Be proud of being American. America is your birthplace. Never let go of the great qualities aquired through your American upbringing. Respect the country you now live in.

As per the jobseeker with American degrees:
Do not get discouraged. I’m sure your degrees are from accredited institutions, as mine are. Hopefully, the Aussies aren’t thinking you completed your studies via the internet or found your degrees as prizes from “Cracker Jacks”. Understand that this land so far away from your home is less populated, behind in terms of technology, lacking many skilled workers, and most universities here are not ranked very high in the world. Your degrees & experience may be intimidating.

Did I mention the “tall poppy syndrome”?

Comment by Deezo 03.04.08 @ 11:35 am

I would be interested in the source for the 5% figure on the number on Americans holding passports. I’ve researched it a bit and most sources say 20% or more. The lowest figure available (which may be the least accurate) was 7%. In any case, until recently it was possible for Americans to travel quite a lot without a passport. I’ve traveled through America by car and each state is so culturally different it’s amazing. I also traveled through Mexico, Canada, and on to Alaska. Americans do travel and more Americans than Australians are bi-lingual.

It’s interesting to note the insubstantial media propaganda that often fuels anti-Americanism. It seems to appeal to those who are ignorant and eagerly digest any information (or misinformation) available which feeds an existing stereotype.

The media in Australia is obsessed with America and spews anti-American and other nationalistic hatred at an alarming rate. The politicians, media, and even the intellectuals (or what passes for one in Australia) are often openly racist. I think it’s sad that many Australian citizens are being misled by the media with the anti-American smoke screen instead of examining their own government and social problems as they so desperately need to.

Anti-Americanism in Australia is a lazy, self-indulgent form of escapism fueled by jealousy of a country that obviously has more wealth and power.

Comment by .Julie 03.16.08 @ 8:12 am

The 5% figure is admittedly dated (1997 was the last time I looked it up) but came from my calculation of US State Department figures of the number of passports issued vs census counts of persons over age 18 in the USA. The point is that per capita, Americans hold fewer passports than the nationals of almost any other OECD nation.

Julie, be very careful not to confuse anti-Americanism with criticism of US culture and foreign policy.

Anti-Americanism, which is a baseless and generalised hatred of the US & nationals, is almost unheard of in Australia- quite the opposite is in fact the case. If you want to see some anti-Americanism in action, go chat with Ahmadinejad (and his gripes with the US may indeed have some valid bases, r/ Shah, etc). However, if you ask any Australian where they would most like to holiday in the world or what other nation they admire most, the USA is invariably in the top 5.

On the other hand, criticism of short-sighted US foreign policy and of flash & trash American culture/media invasions of Australia are well founded and REASONABLE criticisms of the USA.

Criticisms of the autocratic King George are not anti-American, either. If you think dissing the president is anti-American, you should know that if he could, Thomas Jefferson would jump up out of his grave and kick your ass. The US Constitution is ALL ABOUT preserving the right to critique if not sack a bad US government. Protest is patriotism, simple as that.

Considering your limited knowledge of Australia and Australians, you pretty obviously are not one of the few American passport holders- and if you are one, you sure haven’t been to Australia. If you HAVE been here, you didn’t spend enough time outside of Burger King to find out what Aussies are all about.

Comment by weez 03.16.08 @ 9:32 am

weez,

I found your post as I’m sure have many people interested in travelling to Australia. We could create a business opportunity with the intention of relocating to the country and I wanted to ask a few questions…

1.) Are the people there exposed to such materialistic ideals as they are here?

2.) Where are Americans better accepted as a rule? It’s a big country, where do you think Australians are more tolerant? And no, we’re fairly travelled and we don’t act like AT’s. Shoot me if we do ;)

3.) Our 5 kids – Ages 4 through 13. How do you think it is for American kids to assimilate? Schools and overall?

And BTW, some Americans don’t just act like ATs when they visit other countries, they act like AT’s when they travel to different states!

Comment by Meredith 04.05.08 @ 6:29 am

1.) Are the people there exposed to such materialistic ideals as they are here?

Yes- and much more so now than 12 years ago. However, the general community mind is still fairly socialistic, truly in spite of 11 years of John HoWARd’s war on working families and greater influence of multinational corporates.

2.) Where are Americans better accepted as a rule? It’s a big country, where do you think Australians are more tolerant? And no, we’re fairly travelled and we don’t act like AT’s. Shoot me if we do ;)

I can’t think of any place in Aus where Americans of Anglo/European heritage would not be accepted. However, there’s little racist enclaves where a black American might cop some abuse.

3.) Our 5 kids – Ages 4 through 13. How do you think it is for American kids to assimilate? Schools and overall?

Hard for me to comment as I have no children. I will say that in a lot of cases, the free public schools have been underfunded (some would say deliberately, by the last conservative govt) and thus many are of poor quality compared to private schools, which cost $1000s per year. My housemate pulled her daughter out of a public school when that school’s administration refused to address bullying and abuse amongst students. The private school she selected had specific policies and procedures against bullying and teachers took much more care in managing student life culture.

Comment by weez 04.05.08 @ 8:37 am

Great thread. I’m a Kansan fantasizing about a move to Oz, and I’d like to put my two cents in.

To these sensitive university students, grow a pair or move back to Malibu! Around here, any new arrival is going to catch some hell about where they’re from, whether it’s Mongolia or Mississippi. I always thought it was the same everywhere.

Second, all you expats and visitors should stop bitching about answering for America’s foreign policy. Put yourself in their shoes. If China was acting the way we are right now I’d have some questions for visiting Chinese too.

Which brings me to my final, depressing point. It is NOT just President Shit-for-brains and his shoot-you-in-the-face sidekick. Anyone who’s lived here as an adult or teenager knows that half of the U.S. population are sane, rational, peaceful people ashamed at our situation. That other half, however, actually believe the steady diet of lies we’re fed. They’re afraid that terrorists will eat their babies while the Chinese conquer California and Mexicans rob their houses if we don’t maintain our enormous military and bomb anyone we don’t like. These people are even afraid–AFRAID!–that someday some Democrat will create a national health care system. I know these people exist, I speak to dozens of them every day; they are at least 40% of the population.

Anyway, I’ll continue to research immigration to Australia, and maybe I will move there someday. Honestly, I look forward to being called seppo. Bring it ya Aussie cunts.

Comment by jayhawk 04.22.08 @ 7:54 pm

These people are even afraid- AFRAID! that someday some Democrat will create a national health care system.

I know- that part completely amazes me. Who WOULDN’T want free healthcare for all with a single payer system- besides the medical lobby? :lol:

Getting people to vote against their own interests is a pretty good trick if you can pull it off. I often wonder if anything ever trickled down from Ronbo to Wanda & Billy Joe Jim Bob and their 14 kids over at the Happy Acres trailer park.

Comment by weez 04.22.08 @ 10:06 pm

Helping Americans to vote from Australia is our game! Any Americans in Australia interested in voting should go to http://www.votefromabroad.org to register and order their absentee ballot. Welcome to mgk fans to attend a screening of Uncounted, the documentary on us election fraud. The truth ain’t easy but I’d rather know than be kept in the dark. All the more reason to vote from Australia! No dodgy electronic voting machines! Here are the details. http://www.democratsabroad.org/node/5326

Carmelan Polce
Chair, Democrats Abroad Australia

Comment by Carmelan 04.23.08 @ 11:54 am

Thanks, Carmelan. :)

Comment by weez 04.23.08 @ 12:45 pm

I found this blog just googling around. The differing comments on how we Aussies are perceived makes interesting reading. We do like to take the piss, no matter where a person is from, it is usually not malicious, but if you respond in a way that exudes superiority based on the fact you “come from a better place”, we will happily shoot you down in flames. No dilly-dallying there. Like it or lump it, so to speak. We are not anti-American, however we believe the Bush administration has done your country a major disservice in the eyes of the global community. It is most refreshing, however, to see differing opinions of Americans and the fact that they are now questioning the present Goverment’s polices and vehemently opposing decisions that have been made by the Bush Administration over the last 7 years. The days of blind patriotism seem to be over and you guys are actually having a say. Good on you for that. Any person who loves this country and chooses to live here, regardless of race, religion or creed is more than welcome in my eyes. You just have to understand our humour and our good natured bantering, but also understand our egalitarian nature and disdain at any person’s air of superiority in regards to their nationality, monetary status, religion or occupation. You act like a knob, we will treat you like one. Weez, I hope that your life in this wide brown land is a wonderful one.

Comment by Gina 06.16.08 @ 12:26 am

I would like to make a few points. Before I start though, my background is that of a Pacific Islander that was born and raised in California. I am Muslim with a strong Middle Eastern name.

In the past I recieved shit, but that was when I was younger and mainly when in school. People will listen and after a good conversation, people realize you’re not that different than them. I live in a liberal area where everyone has an opinion, but nobody here will attempt to instill it on you. My experience in the US is a good one, and I am proof that people of many races can live and thrive here.

My wife is a Kiwi. We visit New Zealand at least a couple times a year and I have never gotten any flak for being American. In fact, I rarely get a second look when there.

I have family that live in Australia. They don’t get shit from their countrymen for being a different color.

Here is my point. When I visited Australiaa year or so ago, I recieved more profiling at the airport with customs than anywhere else. The customs officer held my passport for a while. I’m not sure what they were checking, but it took forever to get out of there.

Once out, I really enjoyed my stay in Oz. I got some flak about being American, but when I was able to give it back, I felt that I was accepted as a friend.

Comment by stnspd 06.24.08 @ 6:02 am

Gina, thanks for that. Now approaching 12 years here, not in the least tempted to return to the US.

stnspd, there’s pockets of prejudice in Australia but less now than there once was. Curiously, in 1996, being that I’m a quintessential blue-eyed blonde northern European honkey, some racist Aussies were busying themselves shortly after I got off the plane instructing me on who I should hate; Pacific islanders and ‘abos’ were high on the list.

The Indiana KKK burned a cross in my front yard in 1976- because I wouldn’t join up. I had a fair bit of history in defying accepted xenophobic norms. Racists were the majority in Indiana in 1976, with a long, wretched history. Check out D. C. Stephenson.

Even in a new country, 20 years after the cross burning, I was clearly not about to be peer-pressured into being a racist. I could have made more friends early on if I had been an armchair racist, but I don’t need any ‘friends’ who act like that, thanks. My own company is far preferable.

Despite our last government’s officially sanctioned racism, Australia is still less racist than it once was. However, the 2005 Cronulla riots would never have happened with more responsible governance.

On the upside, our longstanding anti-racial vilification laws are FINALLY being enforced. The ‘Noble Front’ bust is the very first time racist propaganda has been targeted by Australian police.

Comment by weez 06.24.08 @ 7:09 am

Quite a lot of people find this post by searching LeGoog for ‘Americans in Australia.’ It’s been the #1 ranked listing for a while, I’m told. I don’t search the terms often, so I did, just for the fun of it.

Seems a high Google ranking doesn’t guarantee you will be getting good information. From the #2 ranked link:

Americans who see the U.S. as a society in decline, leaning toward socialism, come to Australia for its safer, drug-free environment.

WTF? :lol: The writer has obviously not been here.

If you think the US is socialist (and how exactly is that a bad thing, hm?) and are seeking escape, you’d never come to a country with high taxes, a strong welfare system and universal free healthcare. Australia is decidedly and admittedly socialist.

Australia is also absolutely awash in recreational drugs, particularly cannabis but to a much lesser degree, ecstasy (MDMA) and speed. Cocaine and particularly crack cocaine are very rare. Oxycodone (Oxycontin) abuse is very rare here but it does happen.

Cannabis use is widely accepted, not as prevalent as alcohol in the general population, but is considered by most to be less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. You don’t have to live in Australia long to learn never to leave a garden hose in your front yard overnight- kids will cut bits off or nick it entirely to make homemade bongs.

Injecting drug use makes lots of headlines because it kills people fairly often, but statistically, very few Aussies are injectors. Only in urban areas do you find injecting drug paraphernalia debris. With broad introduction of sharps disposal containers over the last 10 years, even that is pretty rare anymore. Opponents of a supervised injecting centre program in Sydney are actually the worst dumpers of syringes, stolen from a diabetic cat…

heh, ‘Australia’s drug-free environment’, how funny.

Comment by weez 06.24.08 @ 7:42 am

so, here is the conundrum… if you’re an American living in Australia, and are proud of your country (but not completely nationalistically unquestioningly in love with it, but simply have a bit of national pride for it, just like an Australian who is living abroad can in the same breath voice qualms he has with his Prime Minister, but might also pine for and feel a bit of affection for Australia) and someone engages you with their shit-talking about America, how do you convey an appropriate attitude? It’s hard to pretend that Australia is better than America on a global scale, when it simply doesn’t have as much impact. (Note: Now, Australia might be a better country to LIVE in, I’m not arguing either way on that, but simply, America is more influential, economically, media wise, etc. for better or for worse globally.) What do you guys think?

Weez, I think you might want to recheck your facts on drug use here. (I know you were saying that there is quite a bit of drug use here, but I believe you’ve underestimated the amount of meth use in Australia. It’s rising in both countries dramatically: from an article from 2007: According to the report, an estimated 100,000 Australian’s have tried methamphetamines in the past week. A massive 500,000 people have used the drugs, which include speed, ice or crystal meth, in the past twelve months.

Those drugs seem to really be on the rise in people “on the dole”.

Furthermore, Australia just beat out America by one percentage point as the FATTER NATION!!! :) I find it funny, I’m quite slim, and most people always comment on how fat they thought Americans are… obviously, we’re not all the same person :)

Comment by Dani 06.24.08 @ 1:46 pm

[...]someone engages you with their shit-talking about America, how do you convey an appropriate attitude?

Depends on whether their criticisms are accurate or not. If it’s indeed ‘shit-talking’ I might talk a bit of shit back i.e. ‘Wow, is there another USA that I’m not aware of?’ If they’re right, I’ll agree with them. Mind you, I’m usually far more critical of the USA than any Aussie will hazard with me- mainly because I know the US better than most Aussies.

Careful with news reports on drug use stats- look at who funded the study and the media outlet. If it’s based on zero-tolerance wowser approved data and carried on a Noise Ltd outlet, you can rest fairly well assured it’s wrong (way high), particularly when we’re talking about speed aka meth. The War On Drugs is a self-perpetuating scheme and that requires that Joe & Jane Bloggs are gee’d up regularly with outlandish propaganda. Yes, speed use is increasing but the numbers simply don’t hold a candle to cannabis use.

Cannabis is far and away the most widely used recreational drug in the world and Australia’s no exception.

From the 2004 AIHW illicit drug use summary:

Based on responses to the 2004 NDSHS, 38% of the Australian population aged 14 years and over had used any illicit drug at least once in their lifetime and 15% had used any illicit drug at least once in the previous 12 months (Table 4.1).

Marijuana/cannabis was the most common illicit drug used, with one in three persons having used it at least once in their lifetime and 11% of the population having used it in the previous 12 months.

In 2004, the five most common illicit drugs ever used were marijuana/cannabis (34%), meth/amphetamines (9%), hallucinogens, ecstasy (both 8%), and pain-killers/analgesics for non-medical purposes (6%).

The six most common illicit drugs used in the previous 12 months were marijuana/cannabis (11%), ecstasy, meth/amphetamines, and pain-killers/analgesics for non medical purposes (all 3%), tranquillisers/sleeping pills and cocaine (1%).

As said, numbers of speed users are increasing, but 2008 figures won’t be a hell of a lot different to 2004.

Be very careful what socioeconomic group you tar as drug users. Folks on the dole don’t have a lot of disposable income to spend on dope. Working stiffs spend an awful lot more on drugs- because they have it to spend. The ordinary Aussie rec drug user is well employed and may get stoned every night or eat an E and go dancing all night on the weekend.

Comment by weez 06.24.08 @ 6:48 pm

Just a question: What’s the national mood in Australia concerning drug decriminalization or legalization? You mentioned clean needle programs, do you aussies think you’ll abandon the expensive drug war, or stick with punishing victimless crime. I’m not a drug user, just opposed to wasting money, infringing rights, etc.

Comment by jayhawk 06.25.08 @ 3:24 am

ugh! drugs, victimless crime? I just caught a crackhead stealing for drugs in my yard at 1 in the morning. I don’t use drugs but am I’m not a victim? What if I had killed him? My family victims? His family victims? And I don’t live in a “bad” neighborhoods either!

Sorry, don’t want to turn this into a drug thread. It just happened last Monday with husband out of town – still pissed!

Comment by mer 06.25.08 @ 3:46 am

I don’t mind this thread going down the road of chatter about recreational drugs- there’s big differences in community attitudes to rec drug use between the US & Aus and thus is very much on-topic.

Recreational drug use by and large IS a victimless crime- unless as mer says, someone is stealing from you to get money to support supply of drugs of addiction. mer isn’t alone- it was in 1996 that some crackheads decided that my Indpls apt bldg hallway (also in a ‘good’ neighbourhood) was a fine place to hang out. They changed their minds FAST (and departed just as quickly) after hearing the ker-CHUNK of me chambering a shell in my min-legal-length 12ga pump shotgun. Never had to fire a shot, not even into the air- just the sound of chambering a shell was more than enough to send them packing.

However, statistically, the vast majority of rec drug users are not users of addictive drugs (opioids, cocaine) and thus do not steal to fund the drug use. Most rec drug users are well employed. You simply don’t hear much in the news about the people for whom rec drug use is no problem to themselves or others. Why would you? You don’t see news items about ‘man gets tipsy in local pub, takes cab home, goes to work next day.’ No more newsy than ‘man smokes joint, eats bag of chips, goes to work next day’ or ‘woman eats an eccie, dances buns off on Friday night, drinks enough but not too much water, returns to work Monday morning.’

The national mood in Aus would not generally support a blanket decrim or legalisation for ALL drugs, but that’s not to say that strategy or something similar hasn’t been embraced in the past by some Aus political parties, such as The Greens and the (soon to be defunct, for many other reasons than their drugs strategies) Australian Democrats.

Most Aussies however DO support decriminalisation of cannabis. Cannabis is in fact already decriminalised across most of Australia. In NSW, one can be apprehended with up to 15g (bit more than 1/2oz) of cannabis, yet be merely cautioned and the cannabis confiscated. The NSW Cannabis Cautioning Scheme specifies that persons without prior drug convictions may be cautioned on two occasions for possession of under 15g of cannabis. The third apprehension attracts a notice to attend court and may result in a conviction, but usually doesn’t. Convictions for simple possession of personal use quantities of cannabis alone are really quite rare- such a charge is usually applied when there’s other, more serious offences involved such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Many Australians, particularly under-30s, also view MDMA (ecstacy) as mostly harmless with sensible use and would support government testing of samples of eccies to prevent stupid deaths like that of Anna Wood, who died not from completely non-lethal MDMA, but from water intoxication as a result of friends who were too terrified of prosecution to call an ambulance in time. Annabel Catt died when she used a pill she believed to be MDMA but in fact contained PMA.

Aussies do have a healthy disrespect for authority and bureaucratic process and won’t fuss too much trying to change drug laws, rather are happier to simply not get caught with rec drugs.

At the end of the day, drug prohibition has one primary effect- to keep recreational drug prices high and thus keep the black market both highly active and highly profitable. If drugs were legalised, the profit motive would be gone and so would the criminals only in it to turn a buck.

Comment by weez 06.25.08 @ 5:33 am

I am getting ready to go to college for electronics engineering here soon and would like to know what I would need to do to study abroad in Australia since I live in the United States. I am looking to move there eventually when I get some experience and learn more about the life and work styles in Australia, because I would like to gain citizenship there eventually also. I like living in the United States, but I just think it is quite boring living here now having traveled to different parts of the USA. I know someone that has lived there for a few months and she says it is awesome. How is the job security there for Americans and is it easy to grow with a company in Australia being an American? Any help would be nice to hear. Thanks, T.C.

Comment by T.C. 07.03.08 @ 2:21 am

I wish I could give you some good information about visas and studying in Aus, but I can’t. I came here on a ‘fiancee visa’ and just don’t know the ins & outs of how study visas work. I can tell you that just as do out-of-state residents at US state universities, you’ll be a full-fee paying student in Aus.

Job security is generally better in Aus now that we’ve had a recent change of government. The previous govt had enacted some horrifically unfair labor relations laws under a system which was Orwellianly named ‘WorkChoices.’ WC was all about choices for the employer, not the employee. The new Labor govt has dismantled many of the most repugnant conditions of WC, including (partial) reimplementation of unfair dismissal regulations which protect employees to some degree. The unfair dismissal laws now allow for a probationary period of up to a year where employees have limited protections, but it’s still better than in the US, where employees can be sacked without cause or justification. With unfair dismissal protection, I’d say your chances of ‘growing with a company’ are fairly good, but keep in mind that the notion of a single job for the length of one’s working life is ancient history, either here or there.

Yes, I’ll agree that living in the US can be a bit boring, but you can be bored here, too.

It’s an awful lot harder now to get a permanent residency visa (allows employment, access to our national healthcare system) in Aus than it was back in 1996. Citizenship eligibility now requires one reside in Aus for about 5 years before you can apply. As I recall, there was only a two or three year residency requirement when I applied back in 2003. However, if a permanent resident is eligible to apply for citizenship, I’d warn that it is very wise to apply as soon as possible. Even long-term (>30 years) permanent residents, who have known no other country nor language, have been deported on character grounds. I always advise permanent residents to mind their political tongue while in Aus- even dissent can get you deported if you are not a citizen.

There is a ‘points system‘ for qualifying applicants to migrate. It tends to favour people who bring a skill, an education or a lot of money to invest in starting a new business in Aus.

It’s no small decision to make and you will certainly make some sacrifices to live here. Australia does not have a Bill of Rights, something which I thought back in 1996 was a bit of a quaint and dated formality, but the lack of such boilerplate rights protections have got some real practical problems, even for domestically born Australian citizens, as this situation dramatically illustrates.

The thing which the majority of Americans will most appreciate about Australia is, frankly, the weather. If you’ve had it up to your nose with snow, this is the place to be. ;)

Good luck- and I hope you’re able to come here and at least do some if not all of your schooling here.

Comment by weez 07.04.08 @ 5:10 am

Weez, Thank you for the information. I am planning on studying here in the USA for 2 years at a Technical college and then going to Australia and HOPEFULLY study for the next 2-4 years in Australia and hopefully get citizenship there. I will keep posted on my progress of getting this done and will be asking questions as needed also.

Comment by T.C. 07.04.08 @ 5:53 am

Oh yeah and as far as the bill of rights thing iam not really concerned about that as I know how to abide by the law.

Comment by T.C. 07.04.08 @ 5:55 am

Sounds like a plan.

The Jovicic case was admittedly extreme- he’d been either convicted or before a court more than 150 times for burglary or theft in support of his heroin habit. However, Jovicic came to Aus as a 2-year-old. He was a product of Australian society. He’s our responsibility to fix, not Serbia’s. Deporting him was draconian and malfeasant all at the same time.

The lack of solid rights protections hasn’t bothered Aussies much as a rule… until governments started very seriously abusing that lack of protection. The restrictions put on civil liberties for APEC and any GW Shrub visit really set people off. The present civil rights revocations have again lit the debate, but in a way that has involved the general public, not just the ‘usual suspect’ protesters and activists.

This latest abuse of our good nature will probably lead to a general push for a Bill of Rights, which would be part of the greater debate regarding establishment of an Australian republic, where we are no longer a colony under the control of the Queen of England.

Comment by weez 07.04.08 @ 9:19 am

T.C.- Most countries, U.S., Australia, U.K. included do not count years studied there towards residency requirements. I have several friends trying to stay in the U.K. and America right now from various places after having finishing Uni there, and it’s almost impossible. Not to bust your bubble, but just to warn you it may take a lot more effort than you imagine/are willing to expend. I,for example, am married to Australian, and STILL waiting for my spouse visa 6 months later. At this moment I cannot work other than temporary employment, or access the Medicare scheme. When I tell this to Australians here they are quite shocked to realize all one has to do to become eligible for “semi-permanent” residence here, even if you have a “really good reason” such as being legitimately married to an Australian. (Oh, in addition to this, I have a “much needed” uni degree that IS ratified over here… but that’s another thread! (How in SA they are “really hurting” for tertiary educated workers, but when we get here, they refuse to use us, I’m from the U.S. by the way for reference.)

Weez- I’m not really going to continue along the drug-use thread, but it’s pretty obvious to me that people who use phrases such as “victimless crimes” have not had a serious drug addict either in their family, or close to them. As someone who works with drug and alcohol addicted clients (100% of whom are ON THE DOLE, by the way), and also as someone who grew up with two alcohol addicted parents (yes, even though it’s a legal drug) I can indeed say there are victims. Now, I will make the distinction between recreational use/ use/ abuse, but the problem is that some people cannot draw the line between where their use turns into abuse and starts to damage relationships/finances, etc. Having said that, I don’t really feel that the legalization of drugs such as marijuana or mushrooms would be bad, but I’m definitely not for things such as meth/heroine/cocaine. Specifically in a country where we have to support most of these drug users through high taxes. Perhaps in a place such as America, we could have a more “let them do what they want, we don’t have to pay for it anyway attitude” but not in Oz. *steps off soapbox* :)

Comment by Danielle 07.07.08 @ 7:31 am

Danielle, I’m with you in a general sense with regard to use of drugs of addiction eg alcohol, opioids, heroin, etc not always being victimless. However, if you are engaged to counsel drug & alcohol addicted clients who also happen to be unemployed, you’re never in contact with the vast numbers of people who do manage to remain in gainful employ and hurt no one with their drug use.

This is a conversation I’ve had to have numerous times with one resident of this household who coincidentally does the exact same job you do, counselling unemployed drug addicts. She quite often has to remind herself (usually with my assistance) that she’s only seeing a tiny fraction of the the cohort of 3% of this (or any other) general population who are addicted to some flavour of drug. One simply cannot rely on empirical evidence (even if that’s from daily experience) if engaged as a drug counsellor to claim that all drug users are unemployed. It’s a slippery slope. Naturally, counsellors never meet the people who don’t have any problems as a result of their drug use.

Comment by weez 07.07.08 @ 8:04 am

just so you know most Americans don’t have passports because every climate in the world is within our borders, so they don’t need to leave to go on vacation to a tropical island or a snowy mountain. I have been living in Australia for 3 years now and am married to an Aussie but I will never give up my citizenship. I am proud of where i come from and shame on your for giving up on a country which gave you so much in the first place. I am sure if you had been from some 3rd world country it would have been a lot harder to become a citizen here in the first place.

Comment by Jessica 08.09.08 @ 2:52 pm

Jessica, hate to say it, but your Americanism is showing. If you think that the only reason for Americans to leave the USA is for a different climate, that seems to imply that the rest of the people in the world don’t exist or don’t matter. Most Aussies would look you square in the eye and say ‘typical narrow minded yank.’

Sure, I agree- it would have been more difficult for me to get residency and citizenship in Aus had I not been an educated white boy with English as a first language. Of all the people in the world who DIDN’T need to migrate to Aus, I’m at the head of the list. And yet there’s people whose lives are at risk who desperately need to get out of where they are- and 12 years of HoWARd government policy abandoned many to their fates- even kicked out a few asylum seekers back to their homelands where they were promptly (or not so promptly) murdered by the very people the asylum seekers sought to flee.

SHAME on me? HA! :lol: I haven’t given up on the USA at all, where did you get that silly idea? Though I have no desire to live there at the moment, I also have retained my US citizenship. Could be a handy thing someday, even though when I leave Aus these days, unless going to the US where I must, by law, enter on the US passport, I travel as an Australian. Not being American in some localities is a real plus, thanks to the neocons’ assassination of any notion of American benevolence. I may not be responsible for the neocons’ abysmal US foreign policy, but there’s certainly people out there willing to kill me for that policy.

What I really need is world citizenship and no bloody passports at all.

Comment by weez 08.09.08 @ 4:42 pm

Jessica, I hate to say it but I agree with everything that weez is saying. Your Americanism is showing with the temper and hate. Who knows you are probably one of the many Americans living beyond there own means. I know some of the reasons I am wanting to leave this country is basically because the priciples of what this country was created for has gone to hell. For instance, “Home of the free” yes we might still have more freedom than other countries, but we need alot more regulation to keep us all straight. Our country will not allow GOD in the pledge of allegiance anymore because it offends people of foreign religion; they should just tell these epeople to go back to where they come from if they don’t like it because, again, this is what America was founded on. And just announced in the news of China becoming the biggest industrialized and manufacturing country in the world. So basically this country is not America anymore it shoulsn’t really have a name anymore because we let all the other countries of the world influence our country. I could keep going on and on about America, but I am going to stop because by now you can get my drift on why I want to leave this country. By doing my research, visiting, and knowing people in Australia it shows for a higher standard of living because with a promising economic future and also has the same climates as America has.

Comment by Tcscivic12 08.13.08 @ 6:19 am

but we need alot more regulation to keep us all straight.

You ARE kidding, right? What regulations do you propose and who’s in charge of them?

Our country will not allow GOD in the pledge of allegiance anymore because it offends people of foreign religion; they should just tell these people to go back to where they come from if they don’t like it because, again, this is what America was founded on.

Your chastisement of poster Jessica for showing her stereotypical Americanness should be directed squarely at yourself. Foreign religion! Hah! As if christianity was dreamed up on the banks of the Potomac! As if Jesus was from Pittsburgh! :lol:

Yes, forcing me to mouth the ‘god’ platitude, even when I was a kid, was patently offensive to me; I did not believe in any gods then or now yet was forced to knuckle under and essentially pray. I was born in Summit County, Ohio. Ya reckon I should go back there?

Kids still say the pledge in most US schools for what it’s worth and disappointingly, the wording hasn’t changed. Popular rumour among far-right nutbags who want religion put back in public schools. You can’t go any further than the ‘establishment clause’ of the 1st Amendment, which prevents state sponsorship of religion, to get a clue of what America was founded upon; I got a clue for ya, it wasn’t anyone’s god/s.

America isn’t America anymore because extreme right authoritarians got hold of government and have defied the main tenet of the US Constitution ever since, that being that the American people run the government, not the other way around.

Comment by weez 08.13.08 @ 7:11 am

Jessica, you’ve just proven why so many people around the world think Americans are ignorant, arrogant and insular.

You don’t need passports because every climate is within your border? What about culture? What about exposing yourself to something other than wallmart and McDonalds?

American people get a bad reputation because of idiots like you. And sorry, you are an idiot. It’s probably better you don’t leave your own country. You’d be an embarrassment.

Comment by Emma 08.19.08 @ 10:10 pm

Those seppos look pretty good out there right now vs. the Aussie basketball team.

Comment by Yank 08.20.08 @ 11:20 pm

The average Australian is fatter, pollutes more, is more arrogant, and less polite than the average American. The first and second are inarguable facts (fatter and more polluting), and the 3rd and fourth are my opinion.

I invariably find anti-American Australians to be utter losers. Unfortunately, they seem to make up 30% of the population.

It’s time for American-hating Australians to shape up, and have a good hard look at themselves.

By the way, I’m umpteenth generation Australian, think Australia is great, and like Australians and Americans… but, Australia will be greater still if we manage to get the whining anti-American Australians to shut up and stop whingeing.

Oh, Emma… anyone who thinks American culture is nothing but Walmart and McDonalds, as you clearly do, has obviously never been there and has no idea of what they’re talking about. I recommend that you stick to things you know.

Comment by CaptainReality 08.22.08 @ 11:42 am

Oh, by the way, anyone who uses the term ‘seppos’ for Americans is a ‘look at how Aussie I am maaaaate wanker’. Go get the flag tattooed on your forehead, losers.

Real Australians speak like Alexander Downer. Try-hard, poorly educated losers speak strine.

Comment by CaptainReality 08.22.08 @ 11:45 am

I invariably find anti-American Australians to be utter losers. Unfortunately, they seem to make up 30% of the population.

I’m sure it’s because I’m American, but few Aussies bag out the US in front of me- at least not until I’ve done so first. ;)

anyone who thinks American culture is nothing but Walmart and McDonalds [...] has obviously never been there and has no idea of what they’re talking about.

Add to that list those who think all Americans are wealthy, carry large handguns and drive Hummers.

Real Australians speak like Alexander Downer.

That’d make him the only real Australian then. I can’t think of another who so proudly sounds like such a toff. :lol:

Comment by weez 08.22.08 @ 12:11 pm

Oh, by the way, anyone who uses the term ‘seppos’ for Americans is a ‘look at how Aussie I am maaaaate’ wanker. Go get the flag tattooed on your forehead, losers.

Oh for God’s sake, get over your cultural cringe will you. I have always called Americans Seppos, (Septic Tank, rhymes with Yank), it is just part of rhyming slang still used by many, including myself.

As for speaking like Alexander Downer, isn’t he the one who referred to policies on domestic abuse as “the things that batter”. Do not dare associate me with that dick head!

Comment by Gina 08.24.08 @ 9:57 pm

American culture is not solely McDonald’s and Wallmart–there’s also Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Target. In addition to the wonderful food and shopping, we have more than 500 channels of television all playing reruns of “The Golden Girls” and “Designing Women”. If only we could get rid of all those weirdo hippie freaks with their art museums and music festivals and all that national park bullcrap everything would be great. :)

Comment by jayhawk 08.25.08 @ 3:17 am

Gina wrote:

isn’t he the one who referred to policies on domestic abuse as ‘the things that batter’.

He was. That doesn’t mean he’s utterly without worth. Alex the Downer also has kept editorial cartoonists in bread and water for many years.

I’m sure Bill Leak is crying in his beer over Frank N. Downer’s retirement. :lol:

jayhawk wrote:

there’s also Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Target.

You neglected White Castle.

I’m a bit sick of the national park bullcrap myself. I now live in the middle of a UN world-heritage listed national park, but the tree-huggers are enough to send me round the bend. Cmon, there’s profit in them thar old-growth forests! :D

Comment by weez 08.25.08 @ 6:31 am

Cut all the trees down. I’m almost a kilometer away from the nearest walmart and my fat American ass needs a closer one. Less trees! More box stores!

Comment by jayhawk 08.26.08 @ 10:43 am

I have recently returned to the US after over 2 years of travelling, including living in Oz for a year. And this is what I’ve noticed…and this comment is in direct response to all those out there who hassle traveling Americans over how few of their country’s men and women hold passports, blah blah blah…

When I travel I try to immerse myself in the country. Learn from the locals, eat their food, attend their museums and overall get a sense of what there is to offer. That is so much more than I can say for sadly, majority of the Aussie’s I met overseas. I was appalled at how few Aussie’s when visiting Italy had even heard of the Uffizi, seen David, attended the Colliseum or the Forum. When my Aussie boyfriend and I signed up with some friends for a group trip to Running of the Bulls we were assigned a green and gold tent and saw more Aussie flags than Spanish. In Laos more Aussie’s seemed to be heading towards the Mekong to tube while on acid rather than visiting the Buddhist temples. I could go on and on.

Sorry to those amazing adventurous, cultured and curious Australians such as my boyfriend and close friends for what I’m about to say; however, I would rather be a career oriented American who values family and hard work, and opts for those things instead of travel than be a drunk, loud, uncultured Australian abusing every American they meet. Maybe if more Australian travelers saw more than the inside of a pub I’d deem them “world travelers”.

Comment by xan 09.17.08 @ 8:09 am

To the bloke whos an Aussie now..more power to ya mate, your welcome here. I think many Americans are a tad touchy, perhaps they don’t understand if an Aussie doesn’t stir ya ..they don’t like ya. Its just our way. But at the moment no one is happy with America, this finacial mess you have got many countries into is hitting us hard in our back pockets. It extends right the way round the globe. You have to excuse the whole world for not being happy with that. I think Australia needs to focus more on our own region, countries like China and Japan where our main income stems. None of us can afford to go to your wars now America, because we don’t have the money to do that, most Governments are try to save their countries ecoonomies.

Comment by slipstream 11.03.08 @ 9:30 am

Slipstream, I resent what you are saying in a way. Not all of us Americans have caused this Financial Crisis. I for one haven’t. I really have any credit the only credit I have is for a truck that I pay for monthly and double the payments to pay it all down and off. I for one can not really live beyond my means and will not ever live beyond my means. I understand how you feel about America, as I want to leave this country someday and am going to college right now to get some good work experience to get out of this damn country myself. I for one have been looking at Australia as a new place to live and do see that it is going to take time for me to get there and I am doing my research about the economy of Australia and right now it has not ben hit as hard as other countries and is still showing alot of potential for growth. The cost of living is higher there compared to America, but that is one thing that will keep alot of people from living beyond there means. Another thing…I also agree with you on the War in Iraq and Afghanistan we should leave and let them people do what they will and worry about ourselves. One of the main reasons I want to move to Australia is for a better living and also the beautiful landscape that is everywhere in Australia.

Comment by TC 11.03.08 @ 11:47 am

slipstream, thanks for the welcome. I have always liked my possum stirred, not shaken. :lol:

I sincerely believe that the election of President Obama will markedly improve America’s ‘soft power’ around the world. Being viewed in a more positive light is worth a dozen armies.

Comment by weez 11.09.08 @ 9:08 am

TC, Australians are the most heavily credit leveraged folks in the G20. We carry more debt load per dollar of income than just about anyone. Banks here are outright predatory; they frequently lend to people who have little hope of repaying. I know several disabled pensioners, on a $267/week benefit, who frequently get letters from their banks about a pre-approved credit card limit increase. Trap, trap, trap.

The only reason Australia’s economy looks so rosy is because of the resources boom. China is buying a massive amount Australia’s coal and iron ore, so much that the rail links to carry the stuff to port are now woefully inadequate.

It’s very hard these days for an American to migrate to Aus. There’s a ‘points’ system in which your education, age and how much cash you’ll be bringing with you are factored in. Now takes much longer to obtain permanent residency in Aus, which gives you work permission and access to Medicare (national health system). I also think you need to be sponsored. Your sponsor will be responsible for posting a bond in case you need to use health services before you are eligible and to guarantee your financial support. Hit Goog and look for Australia + migration + points and see what you get.

Comment by weez 11.09.08 @ 9:18 am

Weez, I have done my research and know what it takes to get into Australia, but thanks for helping out also. Also, there might be alot of people there that are getting “ripped” by the banks like us Americans, but the ones with common sense are going to be the smart ones to come out on the top of the global financial crisis. I have worked for a worldwide banking and investments company I know about the hard times from working at a bank.

Comment by TC 11.09.08 @ 12:06 pm

I’d never go to America, too many Americans!!!
(piss take) ha ha

Comment by Andy 12.16.08 @ 9:18 pm

By the way,I’m an ex-pat Pommy bastard,I could’nt give a shit what people call me,
lighten up America,dont take your selves sooo
seriously,the rest of the world is laughing at you so why not join in!

Comment by Andy 12.16.08 @ 9:24 pm

I’d never go to America, too many Americans!!!

zackly. :lol:

Comment by weez 12.16.08 @ 10:07 pm

I’d never go to America, too many Americans!!!
(piss take) ha ha

I agree, but don’t be so mean I am here by birth not choice.

Comment by TC 12.17.08 @ 12:47 am

Well, I was born in the USA by chance as well. I definitely chose to live in Australia- and I’ve never made a better move.

Comment by weez 12.17.08 @ 6:48 am

LMAO!!!

Comment by TC 12.30.08 @ 8:47 am

Well, the old Cold War foes of the US have been predicting the fall of the US since about, oh, I dunno, 1917? You’d think that dire warnings of collapse from moral turpitude would be a bit rich from a mob who once thought Stalin was a great guy, hm? :lol:

However… you don’t have to go to the Russians for tales of the demise of the US anymore… you could start on Main St. USA.

Comment by weez 12.30.08 @ 4:42 pm

Well I am looking to move away from the US I don’t like the way of life here anymore and I don’t wish to raise my son in such a country. I am very young and have little experience traveling. I have spoken with many ppl who say Oz is the place to move…..
My question is, is it really worth living in OZ everything is so expensive i’m not a “dick head” nor am I “a narrow minded yank”. But I am inexperienced with diff places. I want to live in a place where I don’t live to work….I want to work to live???

Comment by Nina 01.05.09 @ 9:59 am

Before I get started, I need to inform readers who have subscribed to this thread using a Hotmail address that your notification emails will probably bounce. Hotmail have an incompetent spam filtering system and frequently bounce emails from machinegunkeyboard.com because my hosting service once had a spammer sharing the same mailserver as mail.machinegunkeyboard.com… so, to the idiots at Hotmail, machinegunkeyboard.com is a spam originator. :roll: Please don’t subscribe using a Hotmail address. Use a Gmail acct. Much better managed operation.

Neen, I think you have a better chance at moulding your corner of the USA into a place worth living in, now that King G is (almost) out the door. If I had been making the decision to permanently depart the US with the knowledge that someone like BHO had been elected prez, I’d be very excited at the possibility of a big fat restructuring of the USA with a lot of corrupt pols looking at some serious jail time, a fair bit of it in The Hague.

If I were you, at this moment, I’d be very tempted to hang around… unless you live in some rabidly and backwardly conservative shithole, under which circumstances I’d be looking to move interstate instead of internationally.

Yes, Aus is a somewhat more expensive place to live than the USA, but your healthcare is included in the income tax you pay. What you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts. If you are a very high earner, you will probably pay less tax in the US but any savings is dissipated in what you pay for healthcare.

I don’t want to put you off, but moving internationally is a big deal, made much more difficult when you have a child. I suspect you are a sole parent, meaning there may be a visitation order for your son. This gets very expensive and complicated when you live a ~$3500 round-trip flight away from the USA and may have to pay for your son to travel to/from the US a couple of times a year. If you have no visitation issues, it’s a lot easier, but even then, it’s still very difficult. Australia has a points system for determining eligibility for migration. Younger people with an education are favoured. If you can bring buckets of money with you to start a business, you’re a shoe-in.

Failing eligibility under the points system, do what every befreckled Irish girl does- overstay your tourist visa and work for cash under the table at an Irish pub. Start cultivating that County Cork accent. ;) However, if you have a boychild who must be enrolled in school, that plan doesn’t work so well…

Comment by weez 01.05.09 @ 6:50 pm

And didja hear- Al Franken is set to win the Senate race in Minnesota? Waa hooey. :)

Wonder if legislation Senator Franken drafts will require anyone to wear conehead skullcaps or consume mass quantitites of alcohol. :lol:

Comment by weez 01.05.09 @ 8:49 pm

1. Nina, my honest advice to you is to stay at home in America. Don’t leave a good thing. The American dollar will always be stronger and the American economy will survive the “so-called” economic crisis.
2. It’s “funny”(i.e. stupid) how the Aussies use “taking the piss out of you” as a way to disrespect the leaders(Americans) of the world. When America (George Bush) ordered Johnny Howard to “jump”(i.e. follow U.S. into occupation of Iraq), Johnny didn’t ask how high? He just did it.
3. Education: Australia are purposely kept ignorant by the government, but they most Australians don’t care to seek higher learning. Instead of seeking truth for themselves, they opt for television, other media/propaganda & the pissheads at their local pubs for education.

Now, with President-Elect Obama about to take office, you would think that Aussies would be applauding the U.S. for exercising our rights to vote for change. I think it is sad that Aussies or anyone would be more concerned about the possibility of an assassination attempt on our President-Elect. There should be more positive dialouge between Aussies & Yanks (as they call us), considering the checkered histories of both countries.

FYI – If most Aussies would finish high school, turn off their TV sets & read more books; then find enough courage or balls to travel abroad, they would learn that Yank or Yankee is not the best word(s) to use for most Americans.

With that said, I just took the piss out of all of yous, Mate.

Comment by Deezo 01.06.09 @ 1:15 am

Nina,

I have lived in both Aus and America for many years and there are pro’s and con’s to each. So I’ll list them as objectively and fairly as I can.

Aus Pro’s:
Wonderful ‘way of life’, still has small town community and people oriented feel. People care and look out for one another. An attitude of ‘everyone gets a fair go’ and less division between rich and poor.

Cost of living is expensive, but relative. Things cost more, but people get paid more. Minimum wage is quite high and the governments social security system (social welfare) is among the best, most open and highest in the world, alongside its free health care system, (of which there is a wait) there is an excellent and subsidized private health care system.

Education-I have been to university in both countries and although they have different emphasis, there is no great difference between quality (except Ivy Leagues Aus does not have such) Also, students are eligible to be paid a living and study subsidy from the government-just to help out and the overall cost is lower than in the US. I could not have afforded to live or study if I had done so in Australia for my first degree.
Elementary and high school teachers are highly paid and very well supported and both private and public are government backed. Teachers are highly trained and strenuously, continually tested for quality.

Greater religious freedom, more tolerant accepting of alternative lifestyles and many varied beliefs.

Aus Con’s:
Aussies often Ear-bash Americans because of the bad wrap the world media gives them and of course, of how the ‘Ugly American’ is portrayed.
Many American stereotypes are presented and glamorized or demonized and Australians tend to group all Americans as one.

There is less cultural diversity in Australia, despite having the global populace represented widely, most people have or adopt the ‘Aussie’ philosophies, some good, some disheartening. Don’t expect to take any Americanism’s with you and they be accepted. One is expected to become Australian as much as possible… and love it.

I hope this helps and provides some different avenues of though Nina.

Comment by Nobelle 01.06.09 @ 2:49 am

Reading the above comments, I sympathise with the annoyance some Americans must experience when they were “blamed” for the terrible mistakes made by the Bush “regime”. What those Australians conveniently forget is that the dreadful, right-wing Howard government supported everything Bush stood for and did more to encourage racial vilification and divide this nation than any other government in history! This does not mean that Australian individuals travelling overseas should be made scapegoats for the horrific legacies of the Howard government and, in the same way, only a complete moron would blame an American civilian for the woes of his country. I have travelled extensively around the world and have been to the US many times. For the most part, I found Americans outstandingly hospitable and friendly. The only problem, I experienced, is that, generally, Americans are completely ignorant of most countries (especially Australia) outside of America. The fact that only about 14% of Americans hold an international passport says a lot about the insular nature of many Americans. Even though a lot of Americans are well educated, in my experience, Australians and New Zealanders tend to be more travelled and knowledgeable about world affairs. It is regretable that America gets a lot of bad press around the world, however, many people (outside of America) have a cynical, contemptuous (and even fearful) view of the flag-waving, one-eyed patriotism that appears to be prevalent in that country. The American conviction that they alone are the “moral” guardians of the world is one that is not tolerated outside the US and prolongs the negative stereotype Europeans and antipodeons maintain of America and Americans. Having spent a lot of time in America, though, I have met many Americans that do not condone these attitudes. I look back on my travels throughout America with fondness; it is a truly beautiful country and many Americans I met were sincerely interested in learning about cultures and opinions of people visiting their shores. I know we all do it, but stereotyping of people is unfair and can be hurtful if the opinions and beliefs of that stereotype bear no semblance to the individual.

Comment by Katie 01.09.09 @ 9:43 am

Fantastic post Katie! Sums it up well! I am an American, married to an Aussie, so I’m well versed in both countries shortcomings, and agree with all you said!

Comment by Sassa 01.09.09 @ 11:47 am

Thanks to all for their comments. The most popular search term referring readers to mgk is indeed ‘Americans in Australia’. mgk leads the Google search results for the phrase, as well. Naturally, this is also the most popular post on the blog, having surpassed 250,000 reads. Not bad for a 3 1/2 year old blog post. ;)

Now into my 12th year in Aus, 10 years without returning to the US, I find that Australia is significantly more Americanised than it was in 1996. To the best of my knowledge, you still can’t buy a video player at 4am in Sydney such as you could in LA in 1996, but no longer do they roll up the sidewalks in Sydney at 5pm. It used to be that there was an 18-24 month delay before American political memes popped up in Auspolitik; seems these days that Australian conservatives check last night’s email from the US to plan their strategy du jour.

In essence, Americans relocating from anywhere in the US aside from LA, CHI & NY to Australia won’t find a whole lot of difference. Sydney still has a bit of a small-town feel; Aussie folks are almost universally friendly. In example, it’s not at all unusual in most places in Aus for motorists to stop and offer aid to a person having car trouble. If you drop money, strangers will pick it up for you and tap you on the shoulder.

‘Blue state’ Americans will be very much at home in largely socially liberal Australia. I had to giggle at an email sent to me quoting a welded on American right-winger who was considering moving to Aus to escape the ‘Marxist-socialist’ Barack Obama. Australia isn’t Scandinavia by a long shot, but we probably are the most ‘socialist’ English-speaking country on the planet.

I struggled in 1996 with the notion that I would be kissing off the protections in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and yet do, to this day. Absence of boilerplate protections for freedom of speech in Aus are a continuing problem for all Australian citizens. A recent Aus government bid to put mandatory filtering in place for all internet services is painful evidence of that. We absolutely need a constitutional (not statutory) Bill of Rights or Human Rights declaration. Statutory bills, those enacted by parliamentarians, are subject to revocation and alteration at the whim of the government of the day. Such a device must be part of the constitution, where modifications are largely out of reach of pols. Some Australian proponents of statutory bills of rights claim that they’re better than nothing- I claim that they’re time wasters. It’s not a boilerplate if the pols can muck with it, so why bother?

I can’t think of any American I’ve met in my 12 years here who has ever been held personally responsible for the fuckery that was the King G administration. ‘Course, I’ve never walked down any Sydney street waving a US flag and wearing a ‘more blood for oil’ t-shirt. ;)

The biggest hurdle most yanks will encounter is learning how to drive right-hand-drive cars left-of-centre and that towels and sheets are called ‘Manchester’ instead of ‘linen’. Oh, and the fact that you can’t possibly freeze to death in 99.5% of the Australian landmass. Americans from the mudwest will think they’ve found endless summer. I still kinda have that impression… and I don’t miss shoveling snow much. ;)

Comment by weez 01.09.09 @ 2:17 pm

Hi, my bf is an American, he also lives here in Australia, your so funny. My boyfriend seems to try to be Australian, he sometimes even sounds aussie. But he still has his accent. i love americans, they are funny, but yes i think they probably do take them selfs to seriously, like my bf, it can be a problem on certain levels. casues problems in the relationship. But on certain other levels some seriousness can be good in a way

Comment by Ange 01.14.09 @ 12:04 am

Seriousness and taking one’s self too seriously are rather different things, Ange. ;)

Your bf will eventually recover from his Americanism. You’ll know he’s well when he reads a blog post like this one and mutters ‘bluddy yanks.’ :D

Comment by weez 01.14.09 @ 12:08 am

I honestly think our (merkin/seppo) reputation would improve a great deal if we would simply stop bombing people for a while. It would also help if we exported the good stuff we make–Breckenridge and Boulevard rather than Budweiser, Popeye’s rather than KFC, etc. While I’m posting, I have to tell all you Australians I’d much rather be called a seppo than a yank. To us, a yankee is someone from the northeast and I for one can’t stand those nasal-voiced, gold-chain-wearing, oh-my-gawd-if-you-don’t-live-in-New-York-City-you-may-as-well-die, whiny-ass…F#*@!% YANKEES!

I say that with love, of course.

Comment by jayhawk 01.14.09 @ 4:58 pm

Well said Jay. I am from South Carolina and for those of you never been in the USA that is the South and I have that southern “twang” accent and the few Aussies that I know like it for some reason.

Comment by TC 01.15.09 @ 1:24 am

Thanks for that, Ange. :)

In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t suffer fools gladly.

Comment by weez 01.19.09 @ 12:35 am

Since Barack has been elected, things appear to be getting much, much better. Image makeover I guess.

Comment by Chris 01.19.09 @ 1:02 am

Chris, the man doesn’t even take the oath of office for 2 more days! He’s officially done nothing yet!

You know, the hardest job Obama will have is managing expectations, which are unbelievably high for the poor beggar.

Relax- there’s big changes afoot, but don’t expect the Age of Aquarius or anything, certainly not in the first 100 days of the Obama administration.

Comment by weez 01.19.09 @ 1:08 am

i must say you make me laugh, you’re very funny. this part made me laugh. one of your comment to some other guy. (i copied and pasted what you said down below, so you know what I’m talking about) (that’s why i love Americans, they are so funny) (thank you weez for making me laugh)

I AM an American, you fucking moron, didja bother reading the post or did your knees start jerking when you had only read the title?

Comment by weez 07.08.07 @ 3:16 am

Comment by Ange 01.19.09 @ 12:23 am

Jayhawk,

As a gold chain wearing New Yorker, I’m wondering if you typed that message from your trailer or your meth lab. ;)

Comment by Sean 01.22.09 @ 5:03 pm

Sean, come on, by now I think you’d be used to being made fun of by folks from what New Yorkers call ‘out west,’ which from your perspective includes Passaic. ;)

Mind you, I think jayhawk’s parochial comment came from his Kansas trailer, not the meth lab. :lol:

Comment by weez 01.22.09 @ 5:10 pm

Very interesting, glad to find this blog. My husband and I have an invitation to live and work and the Gold Coast. I am a non-mormon in Salt Lake City, Utah USA..I get bigotry. Thick skinned and a humor gets me through the years. I believe if you show people asshole you get asshole back :) Anyhow..I am more concerned about my 10 and 11 year old children. I little teasing seems pretty normal to me, but what does the “bully” look like?

Comment by alice 01.23.09 @ 8:40 am

Welcome aboard, alice.

While I did not attend school in Australia, I can say that schoolkids in Aus are just as kind or cruel as you find anywhere in the USA. Your kids will just as likely be teased a bit as be a source of fascination for their Aussie schoolmates. Most Aussie youngsters are completely obsessed with the US, so I’d be more hopeful than not.

While it depends on the school (and some are much better than others), most have got anti-bullying policies these days. Taunting of new students from foreign countries would be especially dimly viewed, even if that foreign student were white as the driven snow and speaks English well.

You should take up that invitation! Rare opportunity. Migrating to Aus is much more difficult without such an arrangement.

Comment by weez 01.23.09 @ 8:56 am

Thank you very much. My kids are very fascinated with Australia, Sounds like they will do fine.

Comment by alice 01.23.09 @ 9:20 am

I think so too, alice.

You can Aus-proof them a bit before they come here. Not inordinately drawing attention to one’s self is valued in Australia, and that includes one’s speaking tone. Quieter is better. We Americans are stereotyped as loud and obnoxious, but that’s one of the few generalisations you’ll ever find which is totally true. I frequently hear American tourists in restaurants from the other side of the room.

There’s a phenomenon in Aus known as ‘tall poppy syndrome‘ where those who stick out tend to get lopped off. Your kids (and you) will do well to try to blend in, at least at first, until others get to know you.

Comment by weez 01.23.09 @ 9:44 am

Good to know. I will give it a shot but my husband and daughter are loud by american standards. Perhaps a muzzle is in order :)

Comment by alice 01.23.09 @ 10:23 am

heh, instead of the muzzle, just suggest ‘more listen, less talk’ and she’ll be roight, mite. ;)

Comment by weez 01.23.09 @ 10:27 am

Alice, the above comments, in my opinion, are enough to make you unjustifiably terrified about coming here. I am an Australian, very widely travelled who has spent 2 years travelling and living in America. I have been employed in Australian schools for nearly 15 years and I can assure you that our schools and universities are among the best in the world. My elder brother spent four years at Harvard University (studying Media and Commercial Law) and found it inferior to Sydney University and Dublin University (where he also studied). My younger brother has been living in New York for five years and can’t wait to get back to Sydney (he absolutely hates NY and finds hates it for the following reasons: the environment is hostile and threatening, the city (in his opinion) is downright ugly, the people are consistently unfriendly and uncaring and the weather sucks). The comments above about our standard of education here are completely false. Our standard of education is extremely high and our literacy rates are, in fact, much higher than in America. There are, indeed, very strict anti-bullying rules throughout the State school system in Australia which are stringently maintained. Generally, Americans are well liked throughout Australia and now that the dreaded Bush, and his lapdog Howard, have ignominously departed, most intelligent Australians won’t heap scorn on visiting Americans (downloading their contempt of Bush on your shoulders). Your quality of life here will improve and I know your children will be a lot safer in our school system. Fortunately, our sensible gun laws will ensure that the chances of them being shot to pieces in the classroom is highly unlikely. Also, the fact that our society is completely intolerant of carrying and owning weapons facilitates (but does not guarantee) a safer environment for your children in the community. Australians can be irritating en masse (as are people en masse from anywhere) and, unfortunately, the uneducated Ocker mentality is alive and well. However, generally, Australians are extremely friendly, tolerant and very laid back. Unfortunately, I must admit, as most of us really do believe that WE have the best country in the world, we do not take criticism very well. We are a young, immature country but our accomplishments over a mere 200 years have been phenomenal! I know you will love it here and you are very welcome!

Comment by Katie 01.24.09 @ 10:57 am

Thanks Katie. For all those expats out there, is there anything you miss about the states..anything I must bring with me (other the my gun collection :))

Comment by alice 01.24.09 @ 3:30 pm

Katie wrote:

Alice, the above comments, in my opinion, are enough to make you unjustifiably terrified about coming here.

Which comments were those, Katie? Surely can’t be talking about what I said!

Comment by weez 01.24.09 @ 4:02 pm

Alice said:

anything I must bring with me[?]

Yes! Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. :lol: It’s the only thing in my 12 years in Aus that I miss from my 35 years in the USA. I have yet to find an equivalent in Aus.

Comment by weez 01.24.09 @ 4:06 pm

Did I write that post from my meth lab or my trailer? I wrote it from my trailer, while high on meth. My wife (a sheep) had been cheating on me with my meth dealer, who’s married to a goat (they have beautiful children), so I was in a bit of a bad mood. Sorry to all you Yankees out there. I actually love the northeastern U.S.–right where it is, far away from me. :)

Comment by jayhawk 01.25.09 @ 6:21 am

Weez, I feel your observations about Australia are fair. However, Deezo’s comments dated April 3, 2008 about our standard of education are woefully incorrect and warrant a reply. I think Deezo needs a reality check! The sad thing is that, generally, Americans often view our system of health and education as “socialistic”, but the education and national health system in Australia is one of the highest in the western world (and certainly light years ahead of America). Alice, if for no other reason in the world, come to Australia for our equitable health system where poor people are not thrown on the street because they can’t afford health care. Also, we have a system of education here whereby government assistance ensures that everyone (including the children of our poor) can get a good quality education. If university education in America is so expensive, how is the “American Dream” attainable for the poor? Answer = attainable only if you are rich or have “contacts”. If a country can be best judged by the way it treats its poor and unhealthy, Australia wins hands down. Until the day America sees the advantages of a health and education system that is fully funded and free for all, the disadvantaged and poor in American society will continue to be at risk (which contributes in no small way to US astronomical crime rates). Australia is not perfect by any means, but here (as in France, England and Sweden), socialistic care is not a dirty word. Hopefully, the new Democratic government (under Obama) may rectify the horrific health care system introduced under your Nixon regime. Currently, however, based on existing “standard of living” indexes, I have drawn up a list of six other countries that I could live in (besides Australia) – America is not on that list. Even though I really like Americans, I honestly believe that they have been “brainwashed” into really believing (incorrectly) that they are the greatest country in the world. This statement, of course, has many European countries laughing and Australians and New Zealanders gobsmacked! In fact, the only ones who believe that lie are American red-necks who have never been away from its shores. Americans have been short changed by ruthless, self-seeking Republican leaders. It is a tragedy, because I believe that Americans deserve more.

Comment by Katie 01.26.09 @ 8:59 pm

Katie wrote:

Even though I really like Americans, I honestly believe that they have been ‘brainwashed’ into really believing (incorrectly) that they are the greatest country in the world.

Amen sister, the 1950′s are over and we Americans have been left behind. As Australia, Europe, etc. put money into health and education, we have funded an out of control military in hundreds of countries, buying the bullshit nationalism our government feeds us every day. Here’s hoping we’re turning a page. We’re not the greatest country in the world, just a great country–one of many.

Comment by jayhawk 01.27.09 @ 4:29 pm

Katie, I agree with your comments! I was raised in Australia since I was 12 years old, but presently live in the USA. The education in Australia is superior. I have taught in both countries and was shocked at the much lower standard in the US (and Americans were sadly so unaware of the difference). I love both countries, but Australia is IMO a better place to live in most regards, but it is getting very expensive (most Australians don’t realise how expensive)….So it’s all about perspective

Comment by Lelani 02.01.09 @ 4:44 pm

Alice, the above comments, in my opinion, are enough to make you unjustifiably terrified about coming here. I am an Australian, very widely travelled who has spent 2 years travelling and living in America. I have been employed in Australian schools for nearly 15 years and I can assure you that our schools and universities are among the best in the world. My elder brother spent four years at Harvard University (studying Media and Commercial Law) and found it inferior to Sydney University and Dublin University (where he also studied). My younger brother has been living in New York for five years and can’t wait to get back to Sydney (he absolutely hates NY and finds hates it for the following reasons: the environment is hostile and threatening, the city (in his opinion) is downright ugly, the people are consistently unfriendly and uncaring and the weather sucks). The comments above about our standard of education here are completely false. Our standard of education is extremely high and our literacy rates are, in fact, much higher than in America. There are, indeed, very strict anti-bullying rules throughout the State school system in Australia which are stringently maintained. Generally, Americans are well liked throughout Australia and now that the dreaded Bush, and his lapdog Howard, have ignominously departed, most intelligent Australians won’t heap scorn on visiting Americans (downloading their contempt of Bush on your shoulders). Your quality of life here will improve and I know your children will be a lot safer in our school system. Fortunately, our sensible gun laws will ensure that the chances of them being shot to pieces in the classroom is highly unlikely. Also, the fact that our society is completely intolerant of carrying and owning weapons facilitates (but does not guarantee) a safer environment for your children in the community. Australians can be irritating en masse (as are people en masse from anywhere) and, unfortunately, the uneducated Ocker mentality is alive and well. However, generally, Australians are extremely friendly, tolerant and very laid back. Unfortunately, I must admit, as most of us really do believe that WE have the best country in the world, we do not take criticism very well. We are a young, immature country but our accomplishments over a mere 200 years have been phenomenal! I know you will love it here and you are very welcome!

Comment by Katie 01.24.09 @ 10:57 am

Katie,

As an Aussie I must say you need to travel more…what a condescending, xenophobic post!!!!

Comment by fish.01 03.19.09 @ 12:38 am

Disagree, fish. Nothing xenophobic nor condescending in Katie’s post at all.

Comment by weez 03.19.09 @ 7:45 am

The tragedy is that it’s natural to be uncomfortable around people who are unlike you. Sometimes it’s spoken out loud and sometimes it’s shown through our action/inaction. We all do it to others in our own country. “This person is not as rich as me,” or “not the same color.” “They have brown hair that’s frizzy” or “they are fat.” “He’s homeless and that makes him scary” or “she’s rich and snobby.”

As a Texan, I have been disrespected all over the states and as a brief resident of France. I’ve settled on the fact that I am different from most people. I laugh out loud, I smile when others speak because I know that as comfort, I say y’all and never meet a stranger. I’m young, loud, joyful, passionate, and spontaneous. I can try to be someone I’m not so that others will accept me or I can remain who I am while being respectful to the culture I am in and set the trend of loving others for their differences and peculiarities.

-KB

Comment by Nicole 03.23.09 @ 3:02 am

This comment is directed to the very misinformed DEEZO. Deezo you really are the epitome of what most aussies perceive as an insular American. You actually believe that America is the best country in the world LMAO. I lived there for 12 months and I have to say that your health care system is atrocious with very little care(if any) for the underprivileged. The racism is the worst of anywhere I’ve ever seen and the list goes on. You actually are saying that our education in Australia is sub standard. That is a joke considering a friend of mine at school went over there on a school exchange program and she could not believe how easy the work was compared to our aussie schools. Couple of years behind apparently. Its funny you should say that Australians listen to their governments and the media. That is exactly the way that most Aussies would describe YOU and your COUNTRYMEN. How ironic. You also claimed that our universities arent as accepted or as prestigious as American ones are. From what I can see in America, you can open a cereal box….you can get a uni degree. EVERYONE and their dog goes to “college” as long as their parents college fund will allow it. Seems to me you can get in whether you’ve earned it or not. And to say that we shouldnt “take the piss” just shows you also take yourself FAR TOO SERIOUSLY. You really need to lighten up and stop having a God Complex. It gets really old when every time some American opens his mouth it is to extol the so called virtues of his home country…..ENOUGH already..we’ve heard it all before. AD NAUSEUM… Obviously by the way you are talking, you actually believe your governments’ bullshit about all Americans being KING OF THE WORLD while systematically dragging every one else’s young men into fighting a fight that should never have been started in the first place. We have lost a couple of Aussie soldiers in Afghanistan in the last two weeks, as well as some more being injured this week and all you can do is BAG AUSTRALIANS!!!! You should be ashamed of yourself!

Comment by Stacey 03.26.09 @ 1:41 pm

im an aussie and many aussies think of americans being igorant,fat,lazy,racist and like shooting and killing ppl. im only in high school and thought about going to school over in the states but its to dangerous with the muders and a chance of a terroist attack its just not safe its like a 3rd world country right now

Comment by wynny 04.13.09 @ 8:36 pm

i have never heard the tern seppos use against americans the only yanks i no are great ppl and love australia and dont like talking anythink about the US but as an aussie and someone being from another country and an accent its our basic instinct to approach and ask where you are from and most aussie do especially high school students literally enbrace amercians. older yanks take it more seriously because they always whinge because they think there getting teased which there not its our culture and plus your guys are the powerfulist country of earth we got to hate someone lol

Comment by wynny 04.13.09 @ 8:42 pm

In answer to Wynny’s response, the term “seppos” is an old strine term linking it to “Septic Tanks” = “Yanks” (I think it may have originated in England). Its not used very much these days. Such strine (and other colourful forms of Australian idiom) are, sadly, becoming obsolete due to the Americanisation of our language (mainly caused by television, movies and the huge influx of international technology, eg facebook etc). For example, your use of the American word “guys” was unheard of in the 1960′s and 1970′s when the word “blokes” or “mates” was the order of the day. Now, all you hear is the X-Y Gens say “You guys…” – I am not particularly happy about it. Its a real shame we are losing our colourful, iconic Australian language as it was very entertaining to listen to and unique. The absorption of so much American slang and idiom into our language is rather tragic as it facilitates the slow disintegration of our own culture. As I said earlier, I love America and Americans but I am a proud Australian and want Australia to be different from America – that’s why I choose to live here. By the way, Wynny, America may not be the most powerful national on earth for very long – we may all need to learn how to speak Mandarin!

Comment by Katie 04.13.09 @ 9:34 pm

I can’t think of any place in Aus where Americans of Anglo/European heritage would not be accepted. However, there’s little racist enclaves where a black American might cop some abuse.

Hello Weez, just curious where those racist enclaves are? I’m moving there soon..

Comment by Trav 04.15.09 @ 9:20 am

Trav, while every person in Camden NSW could not be called a racist, there’s a fair few there who have fought bitterly against a proposed 1200 student Muslim school. Similarly, an Islamic prayer & multiservice centre in Annangrove NSW met concerted resistance when proposed in 2002. The site was vandalised, with pigs’ heads put on pikes on the site. It finally opened against objections of a small number within the community. The local council initially rejected the building application, but the decision was overturned in the NSW Land & Environment Court. Toowoomba QLD has had a flareup over migrants not long back as did Tamworth NSW. There’s a few really hardcore racist nuts around who do tend to go out into these communities to help stir up a little good old hatred from time to time. I do have to say that the racism situation in Aus in general is a whole lot better than the mudwestern USA, but it definitely exists.

Comment by weez 04.15.09 @ 1:08 pm

I was in Oz in March and loved it. If it were possible to migrate there I would but no American my age (unless they’re a millionaire) can do that. I’ve known for years that the US isn’t close to being the best place to live. How can it be with all the poverty and the horrible health care system? Anyway I digress, my experience in Australia was a good one and I had no trouble getting along with anyone.

Comment by csh 04.27.09 @ 5:01 pm

I like your article, but being a sep myself, I have to correct ya on one thing… seppo, sep, what-have ya, comes from the tanks we gave the brits in WW2, the famous “tommy cooker’s”… well the brit’s thought they were crap tanks, and so septic tank, sep’s, and finally the aussie twist… seppo’s. I learned that while visiting london as a young Marine… the bloke who told me about it was quit to the point as he didn’t care for “my type”… America might be “the greatest Nation”, but it can’t do shit for it’s image overseas! Thnak God the Aussie’s would still have us… I love this place, just bought my first home in Oz.

Comment by Bill 05.03.09 @ 11:33 am

Welcome to Australia, Bill. Don’t worry what some Pom tells you. Did you ask him how he was going to change the worldwide impression that England is full of whingeing Poms? hehehe!

Comment by Katie 05.06.09 @ 10:45 pm

Don’t get me wrong, as I love to be compared to vessels that contain tons of shit, but “Septic Tank” is rhyming slang from England and it is a derogatory term. It has nothing to do with a kind of tank used during WWII. That’s a bullshit story.

I am married to an Australian and lived in Melbourne 15 years ago to return 10 months ago after returning to New York. I We have family here and I have a lot of lifestyle activities that I pursue. The weather (even in Melbourne) and ability to golf, go to the beach, etc. is why we moved here and it doesn’t disappoint.

I have to disagree with people who say that there isn’t a huge amount of anti-US sentiment here which is based not on education and travel, but hateful ignorance. As everywhere, people here are slaves to media and there is a hefty dose of cartoonish stereotypes about Americans that people love to buy into.

Overall, the place is much worse than my experience here years ago and on many subsequent trips had led me to believe. This might be a shocker, but people in NYC are much more friendly and polite than Melbourne. I honestly believe that I am living in a more mean-spirited place than the one I left – although there is a lot more space. The group beatings, stabbings, unbelievably aggressive driving (and I spent the last 2 years in NJ!!), constant CBD punchups – this shit simply didn’t exist 15 years ago and I’m afraid that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. My car has been robbed twice already (once in my driveway), hit and run dented, key scratched, etc. (by people who don’t know me and therefore did it without even knowing that I’m such a jerk!)

People are louder, pushier and even more mobile-phone uncouth than my darkest days in NY longing for an escape. I just don’t remember this many “Type As”.

Net/ net – It’s a good place to live, but not as good as a lot of expats think and dreadfully shy of the high marks that the natives give it.

The place to be is Auckland (or anywhere in NZ), where as my wife’s cousin (an Aussie) described “they’re just like Aussies, except they’re friendly.” I just went there a few months ago for a few weeks and the place absolutely blew me away.

Go to the land of the long white cloud!!!

Comment by chris 05.27.09 @ 9:15 pm

I have long been a part of this blog. Specifically since I was living in Sydney in 2007. There have been great entries, and there have been downright ridiculous ones.

I wanted to comment/post again based on two things: 1) the last comment by Chris and 2) over a recent experience in Los Angeles.

1) I completely agree with Chris re: the Anti US sentiment in Australia. While I was living there I was frequently berated for being American. It was NOT the friendly country the Aussies seemed to pride themselves on. Not in the slightest.

2) My husband, an Aussie, and i were recently watching a basketball game in local LA bar. There were a group of about 5 Aussies standing next to us. The more they drank the louder they got…and their main topic of conversation was how ignorant and ridiculous sounding americans were. I could not believe how rude and abnoxious they themselves were being. Not surprisingly my husband was very embarassed.

The truth of the matter is, every country has good and bad aspects. But I have frequently heard Aussies chastise Americans for being loud, abnoxious and ignorant. I’m sorry to say, that most Aussies I’ve met embody these characteristics. They may travel more, but they head straight to the pub. I’ve met Aussies in Italy who hadn’t bothered to visit Vatican City or the Duomo because they were getting drunk in a bar that served Australian beer! What kind of traveler is that?

Aussies, be proud of your country, but do so without putting other down for theirs. And before you go chastising Americans for some of their negative qualities, take a good hard look at yourselves.

Comment by Sassa 06.03.09 @ 8:42 am

I was saddened to read Sassa’s report on loud-mouth, uncouth Aussies abroad – but, regrettably, not surprised. Unfortunately, Sassa, you are correct in your observation about the ugly Aussie Yobbo abroad as I have seen and overheard them myself. However, there are also many, many nice “ordinary” Aussies – the quiet majority, who go about their travels without annoying and berating others. There are good and bad in every country its just that these ignorant, loud mouthed “ambassadors” (to use the word reluctantly) are more noticeable and more vocal – the old saying: “Empty Vessels make the most sound” apply here. In the UK, they have the unbelievably obnoxious football hooligans from England, Scotland and Wales (who have literally destroyed England’s reputation for being well mannered especially in countries like France and Spain) and the USA has their share of crass, one eyed morons who compare every country they go to with something “bigger and better” in their homeland. We all have them – these appalling, self-centred idiots roaming the world giving everyone a taste of their special form of ignorant criticism of cultures and traditions outside their limited experience. Don’t judge a whole nation by the misdeeds of these few. I have travelled extensively and have met many wonderful Australians, Americans and British people overseas who enjoy meeting new people and seeing new places (as I do). Sassa, I wish I could apologise on their behalf and let you know that we are not ALL like this, but it appears the damage has been done. Hope you don’t judge us all too harshly for the actions of these ugly Yobbos. Good luck to you.

Comment by Katie 06.03.09 @ 11:12 am

hey there.

i am an american, born and raised in california. i recently graduated from college in san diego and moved back to the bay area only to get a job in retail, as that was all that was available.

while looking into living abroad in many different countries, as it has always been a dream of mine, i found australia’s working holiday visa, found here http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/462/.

anyway, i was wondering if this was a good idea. in reading all the posts, it seems half the people here think americans will be accepted while the other half believes they will be mistreated, regardless if they agree that the US is a bunch of ass-backward “seppos.”

i’ve been fascinated with the down under ever since i was a kid, and if this is a real opportunity to be able to see it for longer than a two week vacation, i would love to jump at the chance. however, i’m not gonna try to fit a square peg into a round hole, so if it isn’t gonna work out, i don’t wanna force it.

so are there jobs for people not really looking for anything serious, like barback jobs and retail? where would be the best place to live? in a big city like perth, melbourne or sydney, and which one? and are americans really well liked or despised everywhere they go in oz?

any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

thanks!

Comment by rich 07.15.09 @ 8:21 am

Rich, it sounds like a great way for a young person to see Australia. However, jobs are scarce for everyone here at the moment due to the economic downturn. I wouldn’t like to see you fully depend on earned income while here in case you can’t land a temp job. Have a fallback plan ready, like a credit card with a few thousand available balance or a kindly relative who can help in a pinch.

I don’t think you’ll run into any cultural issues that will keep you unemployed; you may just have the same trouble finding work that others are having. Hit the web, look for suitable positions in the areas you’d like to travel to and see what turns up.

Good luck, hope it works out for you. :)

Comment by weez 07.15.09 @ 12:48 pm

Rich, with regard to where you should go, your best chance of a job is in the capital cities (notably Sydney & Melbourne) and to a lesser degree in touristy places such as Gold Coast, Surfer’s Paradise, etc. However, as I said previously, jobs in general are tough to get, so hit the employment ads in Australian newspapers and also independent employment sites like seek.com.au. May also pay to look up contract employment agencies in your field and submit your CV to see what might be coming down the pike.

As regards Australians’ general attitude to Americans, you’ll get asked where in the US you’re from, but that’s about it. We’re not as much of a rarity here as we once were, so fewer people comment than 10 years ago, when I couldn’t get out of a shop for being queried about the US. Americans can generate resentment in certain positions (such as former CEO Sol Trujillo of telecom carrier Telstra), but I think the Australian public knew that his problem wasn’t being American, it was being an asshole. Else, I think you’ll do OK as long as you don’t hold any opinions about the USA sacred.

Comment by weez 07.15.09 @ 6:08 pm

weez,

thanks for the help! i’m planning to do it around the beginning of november. this will give me some more time to save up a little more money and allow me to see the rest of the baseball season (that might be the only american thing that i would hold sacred, i suppose).

and when it comes to people poking fun or humorously making fun of my american-ness, i enjoy a good banter back and forth. i just didn’t want to be immediately hated for being american everywhere i went because some village idiot botched our already shady foreign policy for eight long, long years.

thanks again!

Comment by rich 07.16.09 @ 4:38 am

No worries, Rich, I think you’ll do fine. :) Now, if you WANT to be hated as a result of the actions of the immediately past US govt, I definitely can find you a few places on this earth where you can get that response, but Australia’s not one of them. Even with the village idiot in charge, Aussies by and large recognised that individual Americans named ‘Richard’ were not to be held accountable for gov’t policy… unless their surname happens to be Cheney. ;)

Drop us a note here when you’re in Sydney & surrounds, I’ll put the coffee pot on. :)

Comment by weez 07.16.09 @ 4:58 am

As an American who spent 2 years living in Australia recently, I can’t imagine why any American would want to live there in the long-term unless they were offered a job making 200k+/year. It’s fun to live overseas when you’re young and see the world, “sow your wild oats,” etc., but seriously, 750k for a house that’d be 250k in the states(even before the recession in the U.S.)? And they aren’t even nice houses…500k minimum for anything slightly spaceous, on more than .0111 of an acre and was built in the last half of this century. 60k for a car that’d be 20k in the U.S.? And all this, considering our median income is nearly 10k higher than Australia’s. Not to mention the “progressive” taxation system that punishes those who have the get-up-and-go to earn a high income, and channels the proceeds of that down to the weaker links of society who aren’t capable of figuring out how to make their own way.

The standard of living in some country towns of Australia is appalling…Old, beaten up shacks that were built over 50 years ago and selling for 400k, people using old broken microwaves, yes microwaves, for mailboxes…People who can’t even afford to scrape by on the most basic groceries, bills, rent payments, and buying an old junker car to get get themselves around…And these aren’t welfare losers whom you’d get in America living in the same conditions. They’re hard-working people who are just that flat broke because it’s next to impossible to make a living in Australia.

My impression was that most Australians have an unrealistic view of these things due to their high placement on the UN Human Development index. The obvious, of course, is that those rankings are based largely on accessability to government subsidies…Which is to say, the dole bludgers in Scandinavia and Australia receive a more generous handout than in the U.S. When it comes to general living standards of average, middle class people on the whole, America and Canada are so far beyond anyone else in the world that even a 20 year depression wouldn’t bring us down that much, comparatively speaking.

Not that life is about materialism but quite honestly, most(if not all) of the Americans and Canadians I met who were living in Australia on a permanent basis were either students with filthy rich parents who weren’t concerned about money, or the aformentioned who would be making 60k in America as an Engineer but were offered upwards of 150k in Australia.

As with anywhere else in the world, you’ll get people in Australia who will take you as you are and judge a person based on their character. You’ll also get the trendies, bogans, bitchy pseudo-intellectuals, etc. who will piss and moan the second they shake your hand about “Awww, I fuckin’ hate Americans, cause like, I know stuff…Everyone hates Americans, cause like, you guys voted for Bush ‘n’ stuff.” An idiot is an idiot anywhere in the world, and Australia has their fair share just like America.

All things considered though, the women were great…LOL…I’ll give credit where credit is due…The Aussies breed some beautiful women and if you play your cards right, having an accent can certainly work to your advantage at times.

Comment by Steve 11.28.09 @ 2:08 am

Steve, I have several comments and queries about your objections to Australia.

1) Why, as a person who writes in the past tense about having lived in Australia for 2 years, are you writing from an Optusnet IP, in the Brisbane area?

2) Your comments sound like someone who has strictly limited experience living in Aus and buying property in general. Your figures are waaaaaay off and appear to compare apples with oranges. $250K will buy you a palace in Paducah but much more modest digs in San Diego. Similarly, $750K will buy a castle in Penrith but a rather ordinary place in Rose Bay. You’re clearly shooting from the hip.

3) I have lived in Australia for approaching 14 years and have seen some creative mailboxes in my time but NEVER have I seen an old microwave used as one. Creative mailboxes are usually so not because that’s all the resident can afford but because of a delightful Australian character known as ‘larrikinism.’ Look it up.

4) .0111 acre is 483 sq ft. My loungeroom is significantly bigger. My house alone is a bit over 4000sq ft. The lot it is on is about 12,000 sq ft, about .27 acre. That’s you shooting from the hip again.

5) You obviously haven’t been shopping for property in country towns. $400K would buy you one of the most well appointed homes in a small town in rural/regional Australia. Nothing wrong with old homes as long as they have been well cared for. Like a lot of Americans (notably young ones), you’re working with the delusion that unless the mortar’s barely dry, a house isn’t worth living in. That might be true in the midwestern US, but houses last a bit longer in Aus.

6) Yes, taxes are high in Aus for high earners, but if you consider that healthcare is included in the taxes paid in Aus, it’s about the same either way. Income taxes in the US are artificially low for high earners, especially when you consider the loopholes in the US income tax system which are only available to high earners.

7) NO new car worth $AUD60K in Australia could be bought for $USD20K in the US. Compare a car you can buy in both places such as a Toyota Corolla. In Aus, a 2009 Corolla is worth about $AUD27,500. MSRP for the same in the US is about $US20K. Currency exchange rates at the beginning of the 2009 model year will account for much of the difference. Also, right-hand-drive cars are somewhat more expensive in all locales worldwide where they are used, if but for the fact that they are made in smaller quantities than LHD counterparts. Shoot from the hip much?

8 ) Never, in nearly 14 years living in Australia, have I ever heard an Australian- not one- ever try to blame individual Americans for the policies of the US government, bad as they were under King George. Seriously, what was the immediately preceding conversation you had with the Aussie who blamed you for US policy? If it was anything like the bogus complaints you’ve registered here about Australia and Australians, I’m not surprised that you got raked over the coals with anything said Aussie had handy.

9) I would not touch your comments about ‘Australian women’ with a 100 foot pole, except to say that you sound like you know perhaps 4 or 5 of them. Good grief, where did you live in the US before moving here? Iowa, perhaps?

I absolutely agree that an idiot is an idiot, anywhere in the world. Through your wildly exaggerated figures, limited life experience and lightweight priorities, you’ve demonstrated yourself to be one- one Australia can definitely do without. A person like you is quite specifically one of those Americans living in Australia that I had in mind when I wrote this bit some years ago. Grow up and try Australia again when you’ve got a bit more life experience under your belt.

Comment by weez 11.28.09 @ 7:58 am

Well said, Weez! Steve, as much as I like America and Americans the major difference between the both countries is “quality of life” – we have it in spades but, alas, America does not. There is a gun-tolerant, violent, materialistic and superficial way of life in America that many down-to-earth Australians find purile and soul destroying. In addition, what you say about wages and housing costs here are simply not true. Many Australians I know earn in excess of $200K per annum and own at least one investment property. The quality of life in America is far below Australia, New Zealand and many other European countries, eg Italy and Greece. I know you Americans are brainwashed to believe you are the “greatest” but, sadly, most of us antipodeans and Europeans know better!

Comment by Kathy Byrne 11.28.09 @ 10:03 am

You’re having a lend of it, Kathy. I enjoy living in Aus and have lived in the UK, but to state that the standard of living in Oz and Europe is much higher than in the US is absolute fiction.

This guy sounds bitter, but he is absolutely right about the houses. This is the biggest property bubble on the planet. AUstralia is every bit as superficial and materialistic as the US and you’re every bit as brainwashed to think that you’re the best at everything. Your piece perfectly reinforced that that poster was trying to say.

Comment by chris 11.28.09 @ 11:29 am

We moved here from America almost a year ago. I have had some unpleasant experiences mostly over the phone. My husband who was raised in Sydney has much better luck with simple tasks than I do. It is not that I am rude, I am very polite.
I am suprised at the anti American attitude given the fact that they are so obsessed with everything American here. It’s the media, yes, but it is obviously being watched by the Aussie’s or they wouldn’t be playing it, right?
Racism is EVERYWHERE. My husband experienced it right here in Sydney as a child for having greek parents. He was called a Wog (whatever that means) his entire childhood.I have experienced racism from my husbands family for “not being greek” and continue to from some.
My husband was welcomed with open arms by most people he came into contact with in America 10 years ago. They loved his accent and were very curious about him.
My son attends school in Sydney and just last week he played handball with about 10 boys and every single one of them was from a different country(one is Australian). That is an awesome experience for him at his age.
To the person who started this blog, stay in Australia, you are obviously happy here. Good for you.
America is absolutely awesome and so is Australia. It depends on the moment. At times they both suck, as well. Differences are what make the world more interesting. I think we are all resistant to change at some level.
I intend to enjoy this experience in spite of those who may enjoy making it difficult at times. Australia is a beautiful place.

Comment by Stephanie 02.17.10 @ 9:17 am

Chris said:

This is the biggest property bubble on the planet.

If you compare apples & apples, ie. Sydney with LA for example, it was about the same bite out of an average income until the subprime crash flattened US property values, particularly so in the mudwest.

AUstralia is every bit as superficial and materialistic as the US and you’re every bit as brainwashed to think that you’re the best at everything.

It can be, but in much more isolated pockets. Average quality of life in Aus is much better than the avg in the US. You’d know this if you’d lived about 30-odd years in the US then 14 in Aus, as I have. Australians have a concept of ‘enough’ and can be quite happy with less than a $1m house & a couple Mercs in the garage. Nothing wrong with that. In a place with such fantastic weather compared to 90% of the USA, it’s a bunch easier to be happy.

Your piece perfectly reinforced that that poster was trying to say.

Sorry, that’s rubbish. Kathy nailed it.

Stephanie writes:

We moved here from America almost a year ago. I have had some unpleasant experiences mostly over the phone. My husband who was raised in Sydney has much better luck with simple tasks than I do. It is not that I am rude, I am very polite.

Ah, yes. That happened to me in my first year or so here as well. Americans have a very different approach to social interactions. We’re all about “get ‘er done” and most believe that we’re doing others a favour by being economical with niceties. Americans who are not acclimated to the pleasantry traditions can be perceived as brusque and short by Australians. You must get used to the obligatory ‘g’day mate, owyagoin’ followed by the rhetorical ‘not bad, you?’ answered with an equally rhetorical ‘not bad, eh’ before getting on with biz. Greases the rails every single time.

I am suprised at the anti American attitude given the fact that they are so obsessed with everything American here. It’s the media, yes, but it is obviously being watched by the Aussie’s or they wouldn’t be playing it, right?

Try the above and see if you still encounter’anti-Americanism.’ I think you’re probably just seeing a reaction to being ‘new round these here parts.’ You’ll fit in. Adjust your pace and soften your approach and I think it’ll work out for you.

Racism is EVERYWHERE. My husband experienced it right here in Sydney as a child for having greek parents. He was called a Wog (whatever that means) his entire childhood.I have experienced racism from my husbands family for “not being greek” and continue to from some.

This much is definitely true, but Australians don’t like to acknowledge the undercurrent of racism in this land. Many Aussies are racist but not through willful hatred, rather through simple insensitivity. The ‘Jackson Jive’ players who did the blackface skit on Hey Hey were genuinely and innocently shocked that it was found offensive by anyone. What is Australia, >90% European? Some crazily high percentage. In burgs outside Aus capital cities, many Aussies only meet of people of different ethnicities by visiting their restaurants. :D

My husband was welcomed with open arms by most people he came into contact with in America 10 years ago. They loved his accent and were very curious about him.

Yep, so few Americans travel that I bet he was a bit of a curiosity.

My son attends school in Sydney and just last week he played handball with about 10 boys and every single one of them was from a different country(one is Australian). That is an awesome experience for him at his age.

You bet. Sydney’s great for that.

To the person who started this blog, stay in Australia, you are obviously happy here. Good for you.

Oh, I am. I’ve lived across the USA and travelled all 50 (yes, incl Hawaii) on my trusty old BMW motorcycle, have covered about 1/3 of Aus (not been to NT or WA yet) and it’s not even a fair fight. There’s just no comparison.

America is absolutely awesome and so is Australia. It depends on the moment. At times they both suck, as well. Differences are what make the world more interesting. I think we are all resistant to change at some level.

100% agreed.

I intend to enjoy this experience in spite of those who may enjoy making it difficult at times. Australia is a beautiful place.

Hang in there, Stephanie. I know it’ll work out for you in time.

Comment by weez 02.17.10 @ 12:54 pm

Thx Weez! You are probably right, I am in a hurry all of the time. This comes from being American and a mom of four( from ages 1 to 18) I know we will be ok eventually. I have to comment on previous posts about quality of life. We are in a very good position to comment on it because we have been here for less than a year. My husband is making pretty much the same even with the exchange rate, maybe a lil more now. In Tampa, we had 3 cars, a 2500 sq ft house with a pool in a gated community with tennis courts, gym, community pool, etc. In Sydney, we have a 4 bedroom house in a suburb I won’t mention, it is very standard but safe. We own 1 huge van to tote our huge family around with more than 100 K’s! I am spending well over $1100 a month on groceries compared to my approximate $700 Walmart groceries. I know Tampa to Sydney may not be a fair comparison. I think New York is more comparible and much more expensive. Sometimes I do say,(usually every time I am at the grocery store again) Is it worth it?
Then I have my moments at Centennial, Bondi Beach, etc. and I answer myself. It is worth it for now. Sydney is like New York City and California Beaches all bundled up in a 20 minute drive from each other.

Comment by Stephanie 02.17.10 @ 6:09 pm

Yep, Sydney tends to be exxy; whenever a lot of people want to live in the same place, supply & demand kick in. When I think of NYC, I think miles and miles of super-high-density, snowy winters and being elbow to elbow all the time. I rather think SYD is a bit more like San Diego or other suburban SoCal. Not quite as densely built & populated.

Tampa’s probably a bit more comparable to Brisbane, in size, cost of living and and character. If I recall correctly, property prices in BNE are about 25-30% lower than Sydney. Groceries etc are about 10-15% lower.

If there’s an Aldi near you, try getting your staples there instead of Coles/Woolies. Harris Farm and other fruit & veg mkts have better quality and lower produce prices than C/W. I know it’s less convenient to have to go to several places to get stuff, but the alternative is a monster box store that drives out all competition and then raises prices. Bad enough with the C/W duopoly.

Without a doubt, Sydney is a city with a character like no other. However, after living in various bits of mainly eastern Sydney for the first 10 years, I became quite fond of the Blue Mountains and have a place there now. These days I still see the Sydney CBD, but on the horizon through a telescope. :) Housing is cheaper in the Mountains but groceries are more exxy, so I do most of my shopping in Penrith.

Only 100K on your van? Lucky you. My yoot has 300K. :D S’okay, after converting to LPG, it’ll last around a million. :)

Take your time and enjoy, you’ll fit in, Stephanie. :)

Comment by weez 02.17.10 @ 7:04 pm

so many views and opinions,I am a patriotic person who loves the native U.S. I have birthright here in AU. Love it here too. There are all sorts of people no matter where you live.I welcome all cultural diversity and try to respect all individuals. If some wanka want’s to talk crap you can either give it back or take it, but never compromise your values in the process.

Comment by cjc97 04.04.10 @ 10:07 pm

These are just a few quick observations and my opinions of things that I have seen in my time here in Australia:

The cost of living here is absolutely ridiculous.The same stroller(pram) that costs $700 here costs $200 at wal-mart. A can of Coke costs $3. $300 buys you about $100 worth of groceries. Cable tv, telephone, and internet are unbelievably expensive and don’t offer value for your money.

It cost me less than $100 to register two cars in California for one year, but it costs close to $1,000 to register two cars here.

The schools(public) are terrible.It is a shame that you pretty much have to pay money to send your kid to a private school if you want them to get a decent education. My son is in the 12ht grade and he isn’t required to take Math or Science. Teachers don’t take the time to teach you, they just expect you to already know what is going on. On two separate occasions I have known kids that were in the 6th grade in the US that were moved to the 8th grade here.

Children have absolutley no respect for adults.I cringe everytime a kid calls me by my first name.I have seen kids swear at their moms and dads in public. Because of the laws here kids have no fear of punishment from their parents.

15 year olds can buy pornographic magazine such as Picture,Penthouse,Playboy, and other magazines at almost any corner shop or convenience store. Many of these magazines are sold uncovered. I have seen on numerous occasions underage kids reading these magazines. Profanity,sex, and nudity are aired on public tv and radio.

Kids can quit school at 15 or 16, move away from home and get money from the government. School-based extracurricular activities are almost non-exist or are only available in certain areas. If you want you children to participate in these actvities you have to pay for it yourself. And just like everything else most of these avtivities are over-priced.

There is no scholarship system that allows the brightest students to get a full-ride to university. That is why there are so many Austrlaians going to university in the US.

A lot of Australains don’t even have basic common courtesy such as saying thank you, excuse me, and you’re welcome.

It is a bit offensive and rude to “take the piss” out of someone you don’t know.

The schools don’t even have cafeterias. Kids have to eat their lunches outside on a little bench or in their classrooms.

You only need 50% to pass.The school my kids go to doesn’t even offer world history.

You can join the Army with Only a 9th grade education.

There are only 50 universities here in Australia compared to over 3,000 in the US.

A lot of Australains have an over-inflated sense of importance of their place in the world.
I know that person that said the University of Sydney was better than Harvard must have been joking.

I have been living in Australia for the last 6 years and everyday I can’t wait until I am financially able to go back to the US.

There is good and bad everywhere you go. But after living here and seeing all of the anti-American comments I am ready to get out of here. SOME Australains seem to be obsessed with America and are more worried about what is going on over there than what is happening in their own country. Why should Americans be overly concerned about what is going on in a country that is 14,000 miles away?

If Australia is so much better than the US why do so many Austrlaians go over there to “make it”?

Comment by rdrjo 04.29.10 @ 8:37 pm

I know I am going to get crap for “MISTYPING” Australians about 5 or 6 times in my previous post. LOL.

Weez,

It seems like you are trying a little too hard to fit in and to be accepted as an Australian. Your constantly negative Anti-American remarks throughout your initial blog and subsequent posts have been worse than all of the posts by the people that were born here.

If I have to put down my country of birth and turn a blind eye to the problems here in Australia to be accepted as an Australian then that doesn’t say much about Australian culture”.

Also it doesn’t say much about Australian culture when putting others down for being different is acceptable and considered a good thing.

I don’t blame those American students for going back to the US beacuse they had enough the constant Anti-American crap. They came here to further their education and shouldn’t have to deal with name-calling and harrassment based on the decisons of their home country’s government. I can guarantee you that none of the thousands of Australians that have gone to university in the US have had to go through being harrassed for just being Australian.

Weez said:
Fewer than 5% have passports and fewer yet ever spend more than 2 weeks out of the continental USA in one whack. They normally can’t reconcile the childhood indoctrination of ‘Greatest Country on Earth,’ the daily Pledge of Allegiance in school and the singing of the national anthem before ballgames… with what the rest of the world thinks of thinks of them.

What difference does it make how many Americans hold a passport? Does traveling internationally inherently make you a better person? If not why do you and so many others make a big deal out of it? Since you say that you have you have been to all 50 states you would now how diverse the US is.

Therefore, a lot of Americans don’t feel the need to travel overseas. There are millions of Americans that have traveled and lived abroad. But why go through the hassles of international travel when you have so many different things to see within your own country’s borders?

What is so wrong with thinking your country is the best in the world? I have heard more Australians proclaim that they live in the best country in the world than I have Americans say the same thing. On numerous occasions I have
had Australains ask me which country is best or say Australia is better than America. I have never had anyone back in the US ask me which country is best. They are more concerned with what is going in their own communties
instead of obsessing with what is going on in
another country.

Comment by rdrjo 05.01.10 @ 9:04 am

rdrjo, your comments about our education system and the comparison with our system with that in the USA is unfounded and totally incorrect. It is regrettable that your experience in Australia has not been a good one and you do sound a bit bitter. However, it does not warrant you making unfair and totally incorrect statements and unfounded generalisations about this country and its people. Our standard of education is one of the highest in the world and Australia has a 99.0% literacy rate which equals the USA as one of the highest literacy rates in the world (only Georgia is higher at 100%). Personally, I think that you have an over-inflated opinion of the level of education in America. My brother studied as an Honours Graduate in Media Law at Harvard and told me he thought the university was below par and was shocked to learn that what was being studied in the 2nd Year in Media Law at Harvard was fully covered in the 1st Year at Sydney University (which is a University that has world class reputation and standard). Also, our universities do offer high achieving students complete scholarships and another of my brothers (who topped the State in 4 Unit Maths about 15 years ago) was the recipient of such a scholarship to read Actuarial Studies at Macquarie University. So you are completely misinformed. The fact that we have less universities than the USA, surely, is no surprise – we only have 1/10th of the population! However, the standard of our universities is renowned and that is why we have thousands of high paying students clamouring to get in from all over the world! Also, rdrjo, I am offended by what you say about Australians. Your comments are untrue and very unkind. Whilst we don’t blurt out the rota and superficial, insincere comments like “Have a nice day”, Australians do say what they think. Australians and New Zealanders are very down to earth people; not prone to suffer fools lightly (I grant you), however, our sincerity, generosity of spirit and friendliness is something I really missed when I was in Europe and the USA. I spent a long time in the USA and travelled throughout the country extensively. I really love America and its people but there is nothing I saw there that is better than anything we have here (except for your absolutely breathtaking mountain scenery, of course!). There are good and bad things about both countries. Quite frankly, I could live in many different countries (including the USA) and have travelled around the world many times. However, in cities like Los Angeles and New York, I found a level of superficiality that was not appealing. Australians are genuine, adventurous, laconic and ruthlessly honest which, I admit, will often offend the sensibilities of some Americans. All I can say is that what is said is not (usually) meant in malice. Actually, if the truth be known, most Australians I know feel a kinship with America and Americans that some of us no longer feel with Britain. However, whilst this country may seem like an odd blend of Britain and the USA, Australians and New Zealanders are very different types of people. Basically, we are more fun loving and hedonistic, less materialistic and mercenary and very much more brash, genuine and down-to-earth – of course, this is a generalisation of “type” and does not apply to some very rude individuals that exist here; as they do in America. It is a real shame you are judging the whole country by what a handful of rude individuals has said. Although, having said that, my question is: are you sure they were not responding to something derogatory YOU said at the time? In my experience “you get what you give”. I have always been careful to be courteous to people I meet whilst I am a guest in their country … and, as such, I have mostly been treated with friendliness and courtesy overseas (there were exceptions of course). It is unfortunate, I agree, that many Australians were (rightly) very critical of George W Bush (as they were with John Howard the Coward), but I have to say that I have not met many Americans here (or overseas) who actually admitted to voting for Bush and were also very critical of him. Perhaps most Republicans don’t travel much, eh? Which brings me to your statement: “What is so wrong about not having a passport and that a lot of Americans don’t feel the need to travel overseas” … how sad! This is why so many Europeans, Australians and New Zealanders (who travel so extensively) think that some (not all) Americans rank among the most insular peoples of the world. The USA is not the only country that is diverse. Australia and NZ are extremely diverse as well but most of us still feel the urge to experience new cultures and adventures and it is this very spirit of courage and adventure that has forged our individuality and our curiousity about what happens beyond our shores. The fact that we are a long way from the northern hemisphere is probably seen as an advantage by many of us, but does not make us insular. Many well travelled Australians have always been interested in what happens in Europe, Africa and America and that won’t change (thank goodness!). Sorry your experiences here have not been good but, fortunately, you are in the minority. I have met many Americans here and overseas who have really enjoyed their time here and have found our people incredibly friendly, hospitable and generous. Also the rate of Americans and Canadians emigrating to Australia is on the increase and they are always welcome. Perhaps the time is due for you to return; hope you won’t be disappointed. Often, the memory that one holds of their homeland during a long absence is a “legend in their own mind” and when they return they realise the reality is not as good as they imagined. Good luck to you!

Comment by Kathy 05.01.10 @ 11:35 am

I don’t think that a lot of the comments about the Australian education were right, but the shotgun anecdotal approach used by people Kathy knows doesn’t have a shred of credibility. I’ve been to university in the UK, US and Australia and my experience is different to your brother’s.

I also think that how you describe different nationalities to different characteristics like you would make to describe the traits of breeds of dogs is oversimplified and a testament to a self-aggrandizing mythology.

I’m comfortable with my life in Australia, but I think that people in the US are much more friendly on the whole – even in New York City, strangely enough. Arguments between nationalists are never really going to get anywhere.

Comment by chris 05.01.10 @ 12:22 pm

I am more likely to believe the person that actually had the experience themselves, sorry Kathy.
Sorry if the common courtesy that Americans are taught such as “Have a nice day” offend you but it is some of us(the lucky ones) are taught to behave as young children. It shows that someone is polite and respectful and ,I for one, mean it if I choose say it.
As a general rule, people are not rude “on the street” in Sydney. I have, however, found that on a professional level, a few customer service courses wouldn’t hurt.
Americans understand clearly that if they act rude “on the job”, they will be replaced very swiftly by the next person waiting who can do that job better. I am not saying that I have never experienced horrible customer service in America but I know that I can report this to their superior and it will be dealt with. I don’t feel that way here at all.
I have encountered rude Americans and Australians but I believe employers hold their employees more accountable in America. This makes for a much better experience when trying to do daily, everyday things.This really adds to the frustration of relocating and does not give a good first impression of Australia.
I spent 5 weeks at home and I miss the US terribly. Honestly, I can’t wait to go home permanently but it is more because the US is where I feel “at home” right now. I’ve been here a little over a year and I hope my feelings will change.
With that said, however, I was seriously ashamed, pissed off with, and embarassed for some of the parents I saw in southeast Virginia. My 3 year old son was seriously traumatized by some of the children on the playgrounds in the US while their parents (holding their pants up to keep them from falling down were cursing at each other and not paying a bit of attention to their children)
I also have to agree with an earlier comment Weez about your anti-American talk. You were respectful to me and I appreciate that but some of your comments don’t serve Americans well if they are trying to “fit in” in Sydney or anywhere else.
I grew up in Virginia, lived in Florida for 8 years, stayed in California for an extended period of time, vacationed all over, and I have family living in the midwest, which I have visited extensively and I completely agree that the US pretty much has it covered. It is soo diverse that we really don’t have to leave the United States and we can still experience plenty. The people are so diverse that we are exposed to many types of cultures as far as food, customs, etc. The land is so vast and diverse that we can experience mountains, beaches, and pretty much any activity that one can think of is available in America. I am not sure why the fact that Americans choose to travel within their own country would offend an Australian or anyone else for that matter. How and why does this bother you? Americans are more involved in their own communities and I care more about raising my children to be productive responsible adults than I care about the daily news is in your country (when I am in the US). I was actually slightly disappointed when we first arrived to see so much of America in Australia. I was looking forward to experiencing the “culture” of Australia and I am bombarded with what Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are doing blasting from the radios and the tv’s. What a disappointment, at first. I have come to find comfort in watching the familiar shows with the familiar accents over time so I am grateful for it now but I am American. Why do Aussie’s really care that much what Americans are doing? I really can’t understand. Furthermore if they are going to tell about American news here in Australia they could try airing some of the good stuff. With some of the stories I have seen aired on your nightly news, it is not a mystery why some people might think we are nuts. I can’t believe they actually aired on your 5 pm news a story about an American woman wanting to be the heaviest woman in the world. Really? She is obviously mentally ill but why is that news worthy in Australia? I don’t even think that would make our nightly news on a slow day, Dr. Phil maybe but that’s entertainment, not news. Help me understand…

Comment by stephanie 05.01.10 @ 4:07 pm

Kathy,

I am going by what I have seen after living here for 6 years. I have 4 kids that go to school here. Almost every American that I have met has said the same exact thing, that the education system is terrible. Go back and look at what I said about the education system because I stand by every bit of it. Please disprove anything that I said about the education system.

I have also met several Americans that like it here and never want to go back to the US. It’s all about what suits the individual and their family best.

How many people have you known to get an athletic scholarship to a university here in Australia? My whole point is in the US pretty much every high school has grade-based extracurricular actvities that allow the best students to get a scholarship and go to univeristy for free. That is why there are over 200 Australains playing basketball in the US right now. Also scholarships here are usually for a specific field. You go and look at any world univeristy ranking and tell me where Harvard is and where the Univeristy of Sydney is. This is a good link to a world ranking done by a university in China: http://www.arwu.org.

Why is it sad to not hold a passport? Does it make you a better person? What is the big deal about holding a passport? Does it make you smarter? I have been to several different countries and I have several relatives that have never been out of Texas. Does that make me better than them? I never said that the US was the ONLY diverse country in the world. But it is by far more culturally diverse than Australia. What I am saying is a lot of people don’t feel the need to go to another country because they are happy enjoying the things that their own country offer.

I am in no way trying to stereotype all Australians.I have met some of the nicest people during my time here, and I have also met some of the most arrogrant, ignorant, and obnoxious people during that time too.

After reading your reply to my post Kathy I get the impression that you are a really nice person. I am sorry that I offended you. You are not one of those people who spews Anti-American rhetoric just for the heck of it. I went back to the US 2 years ago and I didnt want to come back.

The main thing that drives me nuts is the cost of living is just ridiculous and sometimes the high prices seem a bit criminal. Plus, the overall lack of respect in society here like I said in my previous post. FROM WHAT I HAVE SEEN children here as a whole are a lot less respectful to adults than they are in the US.

I just didn’t expect the Anti-American sentiment. You would think that the US had bombed Australia with the way some people act towards Americans

Sorry to offend anybody. I thought Australians were thick-skinned and didn’t get offended as easily as us over-sensitive Americans do. LOL.

I think Chris had the best post on the whole blog.

Comment by rdrjo 05.01.10 @ 4:36 pm

Now I change that to Stepahanie has the best post on this blog. LOL. When I came here I didn’t expect to see so much about what is going on in the US. I agree 100% with everything you said Stephanie. You have obviously seen the same things I have seen in my time here.

Customer service here is terrible. You go up to the counter and th eperson serving you often time acts as if you were bothering them by walking up to their counter.
In most places in the US people care about the community as whole and not only what effects them. When I try to talk to young kids misbehaving people look at me like I am crazy. Where I am from it is not unsual for an adult you don’t know to tell you off for misbehaving.
When I lived in the NT I used to see kids under the age of 12 running around late at night and no one seemed to care.

Comment by rdrjo 05.01.10 @ 4:57 pm

RDRJO – Your observations are quite valid. I totally agree about the education system here in Australia, as well as, the disrepectful children being raised by many mis-educated Aussies. Most of the disrepectful children & parents as well are not living in the NT, but all over.

Truth: America was occupied & colonized by England’s political prisoners & unwanted intellectuals. On the other hand, Australia was occupied & colonized by criminals.

Any American living in Australia should know and understand the differences & why Aussies would attempt to get under our skin by any means. It is jealousy or the “tall poppy syndrome”. American=Tall Poppy

Comment by USMC Retired 05.01.10 @ 5:43 pm

I have 4 children also ages: 2, 3, 15, and 18. Yes, I probably am a lil nuts, lol.
Anyways, someone said that they have a year 12 child and I am curious how he or she has adjusted. I have a year 11 boy (he was moved up a year by the way, Kathy)and he has found the adjustment difficult. We have found Gridiron football through a university for the Under 18′s and the team is great especially the coaches. I am also looking for junior baseball if anyone has contacts, please let me know. He has tried Rugby League but he didn’t seem to like it. We may try Rugby Union. I have been trying to get him to get involved in the traditional “Aussie sports” but he is resistant. It is a very hard age to leave all of your friends and enter a different culture.

Comment by stephanie 05.01.10 @ 5:53 pm

I hope your son at least gives rugby a try.I am in my 30′s and would love to learn how to play. It would be much easier for him to learn how to play because he is much younger. I did mention that my son was in the 12th grade here. He was actually born here in Australia, and I met him and his mother in the US when he was 3. We moved back over here when He was 11 years old. He isn’t into sports that much. The only sport he really likes is Gymnastics. How does your 18 year old find living here? Was the move to Austrlia a temporary move? Good luck to you and your family.

Comment by rdrjo 05.01.10 @ 7:55 pm

Retired USMC,

Thanks for the back up. LOL. There is good and bad everywhere. I just think the main problem with SOME Australains is that they are too concerned with what is going on in another country. So did you meet an Aussie while you were here in the Marines,get married, and move over here after you retired? That’s what I did. Well, kind of. LOL. Right now I live in a small town in SA and I must say that I am surrounded by some of the nicest people that you could ever meet.

Comment by rdrjo 05.01.10 @ 8:53 pm

rdrjo,
My 18 year old likes it but it did take a while. She is into fashion design, which Sydney is a great market for and she has a job where she is finally meeting friends. It does help that her boyfriend from the US is here attending school also. She has always been an outgoing girl with loads of friends and she has even found the aussies slow to warm up to her. I think I would find Sydney easier to adjust to if I did not have kids to think of. It is strange, I have an American friend who lived here for 5 years and she had made friends with a person from every ethnicity you can think of except aussie. Then she moves to Korea and just told me that she met a couple from Sydney with kids. Crazy. I guess we just kind of bond with people we have something in common with. I guess the bond is that we are in a country that is not our own a lot of the time. I met an Aussie girl the other day and I actually was able to hold a conversation with her for longer than a few minutes because she had experienced living in Los Angeles for a year and knew how difficult the transition can be to a different country even if it is engligh speaking. I also have to add for everyone else who has made comments. If we say, “In America….”, it is not because we think we or our country is better. It may be because that is simply all we know or all we have to compare it too. It is the country I lived in for 34 years, ofcourse I will speak of it. I wish people would not get offended. Would you be offended if I were speaking of a 3rd world country, is it just because it is America? It is all I know, just as you would compare in your own mind or out loud to Australia if you were to go to America. It’s simply normal to do so. My husband is Australian but lived in the UK for a few years and then the US (where we met) for 10 years. He has also found Sydney different than he remembers it growing up and we plan to go back and raise the youngest two in Tampa in the next couple of years. We thought it would be a good move to be around his family (turned out to be for a reason, his dad passed away just 11 months after we arrived unexpectedly) for a little while and have the older kids experience a different culture. It is yet to be seen if this was really a good decision or not overall for the rest of the family. My opinion changes daily right now, which is not a good sign but I will keep my chin up with a smile, it’s the American way :)

Comment by stephanie 05.01.10 @ 9:13 pm

Stepahnie,

Thanks for sharing that with me. It is good to hear your daughter has begun to fit in and is enjoying it in Sydney.
I have noticed a lot of people want to be mimick Americans but they don’t like the real thing. Just tlike when I was in Darwin you had a lot of guys running around trying to imitate Americans but whenever a ship would come into port some of them would start fights. A lot of it was just jealousy because the local girls would go crazy over the American military guys.

I have met some Americans that don’t associate with other Americans. It seems like they just want to distance themselves from everything American and fit in more as Australian.But that is impossible considering 75% of the entertainment here is American.

I can understand moving over here so the kids can be near your husband’s family. We came over here for the same reasons. Only problem is her family could care less. I feel sorry for my kids because they dont have any cousins here.

Like you said before there is no “Australian” culture. Most of it is just a copy of things from other places. All you can do is keep your head up. Good luck to you and your family.

Comment by rdrjo 05.01.10 @ 10:02 pm

RDRJO – I did visit Australia when I was in the Corps back in 1988. Australia was a different place then. It seems there was a bit more respect towards Americans, As there should be. We saved their asses from Japanese Invasion. Of course many Aussie guys are jealous of American soldiers & sailors, coming off ships rooting as many Aussie chicks as we can muster before heading back to sea.

I met my Aussie lady in America away from all of the anti-American rhetoric. She wanted to come back to Australia for a few years. A few years has turned into 6 years. She now wishes she had remained in America. Australia is slowly becoming an American state, so Aussies should stop their crying(whinging), and get a piece of the pie (apple pie, not meat pie).

Comment by USMC Retired 05.03.10 @ 9:29 am

USMC RETIRED,

You are going to get a lot of backlash from your comments. LOL. But I am sure you can handle it. Personally, I try not to make such bold and brash statements because they just reinforce a lot of the negative stereotypes people have about Americans. Anything I have said on here or anywhere else is just in repsonse to the things that I have seen and heard during my time living here in Australia. It is just that SOME Australains try to make Australia out to be this care-free paradise while the US is just a hell hole. There is good and bad EVERYWHERE.

My family and I are lucky enough to be in a wonderful community right now that has some of the most supportive,helpful and friendly people you could ever hope to meet. We truly are blessed. But you have those type of people all over the world.

Comment by rdrjo 05.03.10 @ 2:49 pm

USMC, I must inform you that Americans did NOT save Australian arses from the Japanese. Australians were fighting in the 2nd World War long before Americans even entered the war. Australians have a long, reputable history of being great soldiers – in fact it was the Yanks who were getting their arses kicked in south east asia. My father fought on the Kokoda Track and I can tell you they were among the bravest soldiers in the war. He once told me the only cowardly soldier he ever saw was a Yank bawling his head off on a bridge in New Guinea too scared to cross. It took my father and three other guys to get him across! The only reason the Americans came into the 2nd World War was because Pearl Harbour was bombed. It was the ANZACS that clawed back the areas of New Guinea and south east Asia – you must get your facts right (according to history – not according to the American one-sided view of history). Just because America dropped a H-Bomb on Japan doesn’t mean you won the war on your own. Get over yourself! It seems that you are making inflamatory comments to annoy people and I can tell you, you are going to get on the wrong side of a lot of people out here who know how long and hard our soldiers had fought overseas in our defense. Its the ANZACS that we are thankful to for saving this country. Australians in Kokoda were twice as experienced (especially in jungle warfare) – because you entered the war late, most Yanks were inexperienced and as green behind the ears as babies.

Comment by Kathy 05.03.10 @ 6:28 pm

What a load of nationalistic Australian tripe! The idea that Aussies were amongst the “bravest soldiers in the war” is not only completely rubbish, but disparaging to everyone else who participated in it. The US mobilized three million men in the Pacific Theater. The US largely won the war in the Pacific. You don’t have to like it, but it is in fact true.

The idea that Australia entered the conflict out of some sense of moral superiority is also nonsense. You entered because the UK did and they entered to protect their empire.

Every time I hear an Aussie crap on about the “late” entry into the war in the pacific, I ask them where they were when the Japanese invaded Manchuria. That usually shuts their overconfident gobs.

Comment by chris 05.03.10 @ 7:28 pm

Chris, you’re a legend in your own small mind and I would suspect the epitome of the Ugly American! America has NOT got a great history of winning battles, eh? Vietnam? Korea? And now (thanks to that absolute moron, Bush) you are losing Afghanistan. The US believes its own bullshit! You are brainwashed, man!

Comment by Kathy 05.03.10 @ 8:52 pm

Kathy: You are a moron and a nationalistic pig. The US actually does have a pretty good track record in battle. Incidentally, all of those conflicts that you mentioned were also joined by the Australians! Australia believes its own bullshit! You have shit for brains!

Comment by chris 05.03.10 @ 9:08 pm

Chris, there is no need to get abusive. We are entitled to find your comments offensive. I don’t think you have any idea what you are talking about but that is all I have to say on the matter. I bet you are a gun-toting, flag waving Republican, eh? Yeah, right! Its overtime that you realise that America is NOT the centre of the universe. The rest of the world (including Australia) can do very nicely without you, thanks all the same.

Comment by Kathy 05.03.10 @ 9:15 pm

I suppose that you don’t recognize your own commentary as abusive… I was only trying to hold up the mirror to you! The problem is that you’re not used to taking any stick and you can’t handle it when someone dares to challenge your worldview.

I’m a New York Democrat. I just don’t like it when people piss down my back and then tell me that it’s raining. You are the nationalist here. Not me. You are the very epitome of the juvenile knee-jerk anti-US reactionary sentiment that is so pervasive in Australia and you are guilty of the exact same behavior that you profess to despise in others.

Comment by chris 05.03.10 @ 9:29 pm

Be respectful to one another or I’ll close the comments thread, mkay?

Comment by weez 05.03.10 @ 9:30 pm

Stop hating on the yanks OZ if they took their entertainment away from you what would you watch on tv…neighbours…home and away? What would you listen to? The artist you have that nobody in the world has heard of, stop being so unappreciative of the things the US gives to Australia and stop thinking you’re all better than the rest of the world. You say that about americans but your all hypocrits I’ve lived in queensland for 7 mos. people act like australia is so damn perfect and talk bad about america, well then stop watching our movies that you like so much, and all the songs you hear in the club yeah i’ll take them too now your left with jimmy barnes and mic dundee. Remember australia, america is your friend wether you like it or not…CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG!

Comment by Willliam 05.23.10 @ 6:23 pm

I hope more American men visit Australia! Has anyone seen this documentary Black Soldier Blues? Here’s a link to an excerpt from the documentary.
Apparently, the Black American GIs were treated better by Australian men and women than they were by White American GIs…They even showed some Australian women how to ‘slow dance,’ to romantic jazz songs instead of doing the ‘hokey pokey.’ Haha…That says it all, really. At the end of the day, Black American culture is very cool, and Australian culture is really daggy. But I suppose opposites attract, sometimes!

Comment by Frances 06.02.10 @ 6:48 pm

That’s just more feelgood Australian nonsense. When did the White Australia Policy end again?

It reminds me of those documentaries of Miles Davis in France where the women are shocked by American “racisme”, but yet the arrondisements were all ethnically French in the postwar era.

Wank wank wank.

Comment by chris 06.02.10 @ 8:42 pm

mate, im an aussie and the large Percentage of us like 98% dont mind use coming and living here we get along with use. well i mean use saved us against the japs and we have always gone to war with u so why not live here i know alot of aussies that live in usa. well anyway dw wot ppl think mate use r welcome here.

Comment by ash 06.16.10 @ 1:53 am

Cheers for that, ash. :)

Comment by weez 06.16.10 @ 7:26 am

Interesting thread. Seems petty concerns and gripes from housewives dragged downunder by their spouses are the order of the day, combined with big talk from Yank Alpha male dropkicks just eeking out an existence. Neither really equipped or designed for travel outside the 48, but here by a quirk of fate! Its no wonder they dont like it here. I was raised in Australia by an American monther and an Australian father, I have a US green card but each time i go to the states i know i cannot stay longer than a month before i need to detox. I know some tremendous American people, but on the whole, its not for me. Just have a look at FOX News. enough said….(i jest, well, partially).

Comment by Rob 08.10.10 @ 7:21 am

I’ve lived for years and have traveled to dozens of countries. I’m more than eeking out a living and I’m more than equipped to handle leaving my home. I’m sitting in NY detoxing as we speak. I need to after being amongst such unbearably nationalistic hoons.

Complain about FOX news if you want. You come from a country that voted for John Howard 4 times!

Bottom line is that Australia is ridiculously overrated, but the Aussies haven’t got the memo yet.

Comment by chris 08.10.10 @ 7:33 am

Well said Chris! Well said.

Comment by Sassa 08.10.10 @ 8:39 am

Ouch, I’ve just been cyber bullied. The virtual high five from Sassa was the proverbial straw. Ok you got me, Australia sucks. I’ll just just soldier on as best I can down here :)

To correct an earlier “Truth” though…..America was founded by Criminals and Religious fundamentalists (Puritans). Australia was founded by criminals, hence the lack of religious tripe in Australia. I know my preference.

Comment by Rob 08.10.10 @ 9:06 am

I now will virtual high five you too Rob, as I’m cracking up over here at your comment…

In truth, I’m a big fan of Oz…I wouldn’t have married an Aussie, and wouldnt spend all my vacation time down there, if I didn’t love the place.

What I DO get tired of hearing, is Australian complaints regarding American flag waving, as I’ve never experienced anywhere quite so patriotic as Australia. I’m truly tired of the hypocrisy.

If both sides could just admit the long list of blatant similarities between the two countries, this blog might not even exist.

Comment by Sassa 08.10.10 @ 9:29 am

Your preference was obvious from the start. Funny that you mention that you need to come back to Aus, yet you denigrate people whom you erroneously see as unable to handle life outside of their bubbles.

You’ve got plenty of religious tripe down there by the way. Look at who you’re about to elect as PM.

I think that the Americans on this thread are complaining about the obvious bigotry that exists against us here. How about that Age column yesterday talking about “American toxic culture” invading Australia. Every few weeks it seems like a whole new level of insanity.

Here’s the link:

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/with-american-lingo-weve-imported-toxic-us-culture-20100805-11kmn.html

This is supposedly a respectable broadsheet!!!

Comment by chris 08.10.10 @ 9:35 am

Sassa, I’m with you on that. Both countries are incredibly diverse and ones experiences are really dependent on their personal circumstances. Personally, I am very glad to have been born an raised here, and to be identified as an Australian. I can also understand why Americans feel the same way though. The whole best country in the world thing that citizens of both countries like to claim, is in my opinion a load of rubbish and those that want to push that barrow do so as an escape from their own less than brilliant reality.

Comment by Rob 08.10.10 @ 9:46 am

Chris do you mean the single female PM that will be elected? Clearly you have some serious problems with Australia, come on spill the beans, what happened? You are amongst friends here :)

Comment by Rob 08.10.10 @ 9:51 am

Once again, agreed Chris!

My husband was welcomed in America by friends, family and colleagues, with open arms. Everyone has treated him with the deepest respect for who he is, and where he’s from.

I was welcomed to Australia with snide remarks and excessive hassling about my “ridiculous fellow seppos”. This was not “aussie humor”, it was rude behavior.

I’m trying to look forward to heading down at X mas with my American family and a few friends…but am truly nervous they’ll experience the hostility and leave wide eyed.

TBD

Comment by Sassa 08.10.10 @ 9:52 am

And agreed Rob!

Time for me to retire from this blog today, and go have a pint…because, YES Aussie’s make better. At least better than the cheap American Bud and Coors.

I’m sure all could at least agree on that :)

Comment by Sassa 08.10.10 @ 9:58 am

I mean, “make better beer”…sorry for the typo and lack of sentence structure…lol

Comment by Sassa 08.10.10 @ 9:59 am

I really don’t have serious problems with Australia. I am married to an Aussie. My kids are Aussies. I just don’t see the cultures as being all that different and I think that the US is often Aussies collective whipping boy and I think that turnabout is fair play.

If there was real reciprocity and fun involved in it, it’d be no big deal. But I sense that the animosity is very real and given that I’ve got a dog in this race, it grates on me. My wife never received anything but gushing compliments during her 10 years in NYC and I receive a steady diet of how Americans are Aussies inferiors.

Incidentally, I don’t know who will be elected, but I think that it’s going to be close. The only thing that I know for certain is that I’m happy to be on holiday and missing the campaign.

Comment by chris 08.10.10 @ 10:01 am

Guys, I know exactly the type of stuff that you can encounter in Oz. You see, Australians spending time and doing business in NZ get the same thing. I know, I’ve experienced it first hand. It’s like a little brother syndrome, but perhaps better labeled as malicious little cousin syndrome. It’s not their/our fault it’s just the way they/we have been raised. Looking up at the big cousin, laughing when he stumbles, picking out his foibles etc makes us feel better about ourselves. Of course, there are those that are above this and these are people who will accept you as a person first and foremost, and people you want to know.

I can understand however that often in American-Australian families, marriage brings you into contact with borish halfwits, and this is something that is just roll of the dice!

Chris, the campaign is exceedingly dull, our PMs drovers monotone perhaps a highlight so far!

Ps. There’s nothing wrong with having preferences, but being a prick to someone due to their accent is just moronic.

Comment by Rob 08.10.10 @ 10:24 am

Having followed this debate over the last two years I can see that there is little difference between moron Australians and moron Americans just as tolerant Americans and tolerant Australians are similar. I’ve travelled to the US and have only been shown kindness and good intent and I reciprocate those qualities when I meet American visitors. There’s more good in our national relationships than bad and in this less stable and secure modern world that is worth remembering.

Comment by Paul 09.30.10 @ 1:09 pm

I’m going to respectfully disagree with that. I think that there’s more bad than good in this collective relationship. Americans treat Aussies well. Aussies treat Americans like shit. Americans are just as bad I’m sure, but the collective malaise is reserved for other groups. In Australia, it is largely reserved for Americans.

Look at the Paul Sheehan article yesterday and comments as a case in point.

Comment by chris 09.30.10 @ 7:57 pm

Well said, Paul! I think this debate has gone on long enough. Bottom line: both countries have pluses and minuses; no country is perfect. For the most part I have always believed that Australians have a lot more in common with Americans than with the British. We were both colonies (but started off differently and became independent in very different ways) and we have very similar goals, beliefs and standard of living. I think we should concentrate on our SIMILARITIES and stop harping on differences that, after all, make us unique. C’mon, let’s make up! Australia and America have had a long, long harmonious relationship and will continue to do so. For the most part, most Australians that I know like America and Americans. Personally, I have visited America many times and found the people open-handedly generous, very polite (except for New Yorkers) and gregarious. Let’s face it, after the debacle of the Bush government, America needs all the friends it can get … on THAT account, I must say that we are relieved to get rid of the toxic Howard as well! The little Garden Gnome (Howard) is in America at the moment and we are very keen to make a gift of him in return for Oprah!

Comment by Kathy 09.30.10 @ 8:04 pm

chris said:

Americans treat Aussies well. Aussies treat Americans like shit.

Can’t disagree more. Australians treat me universally well once they’ve heard me speak and politely ask ‘Do I hear an accent?’ (happened today, in fact)

I admit to being ‘a recovering American’ and say that I’ve been here nearly 15 years. I don’t dwell on the topic simply because it’s fully irrelevant to me given the span of time I’ve been here.

Comment by weez 09.30.10 @ 8:14 pm

We’re going to have to agree to disagree then. I don’t feel like making apologies about where I’m from to get in the good graces of a stranger who is more than likely prejudiced to the negative side. You basically have to kiss ass to get treated well. I won’t do that.

And I’m from New York and the people in Australian big cities are much more rude than New York. That wasn’t true 20 years ago, but it definitely is now.

Comment by chris 09.30.10 @ 8:32 pm

I don’t make apologies for being American, but I DO adopt an Australian frame of mind and conversational style. This entails a little self-deprecation and humour. If an Aussie picks up a defensive or arrogant attitude, you can bet they’ll treat you like shit- and you’ll deserve it, too.

I don’t find it any more unreasonable to greet an Aussie with ‘gdayowyagoinmite’ than I do a Texan with ‘howdy.’

Could it be your approach, Chris?

Comment by weez 09.30.10 @ 8:51 pm

Chris, that is not true. I have travelled all over the world over many years and know, without a doubt, that Australians are among the friendliest most welcoming people in the world. Its a country that I love more than any other and one that I am so grateful to come home to. Its the people of Australia that make this country so great and I believe we really are the greatest country in the world (an opinion, I am sure, not shared by you). I have just returned from Canada and, quite frankly, found the people in BC very austere and rude (with, I might add, an open hostility to Americans). Other countries that I found where the people were incredibly friendly and hospitable are: Chile, New Zealand, Argentina and Japan. I don’t know what unfortunate experience you had here, Chris, but you seem to have a real chip on your shoulder. Wish you would give us details. Fortunately, your obvious bias against us is not represented by many Americans that I have met who have really enjoyed the hospitality shown here. I have been to New York many times and I find it hard to believe that anyone could beat them of their mantle as “the rudest people in the world” (except, perhaps, Parisians). I sometimes think New Yorkers take a warped pride in their notoriety… perhaps that is the reason why you are openly antagonistic on this forum? Anyway, we forgive you. Most Aussies will “give back” what they receive and if you exhibited arrogance and disdain during your visit, I am not surprised that you, in turn, got it back twofold. Australians don’t put up with BS and will let you know it in record time. When I wrote my comment, it certainly was not my intention to try and get you in my “good graces” .. quite frankly, I don’t give two hoots. Another thing, noone expects you to kiss ass .. that is something egalitarian Australians abhor. Also, I can assure you that I am definitely NOT prejudiced to the negative side. It is unfortunate but America, like Australia, has its share of people (do you fit into this category, Chris?) who lump a whole nation together because they were treated unfavourably by a handful of individuals. Think carefully about what you said, did or inferred as to why you attracted such unfavourable reactions down here? What goes around, comes around. Enough said! Have a nice life, Chris. Perhaps you should visit Iceland for your next holiday, eh?

Comment by Kathy 09.30.10 @ 9:00 pm

I think that the idea that Australians are self-deprecating is a myth. I don’t treat people in an arrogant or defensive way. I just go about life. Quite frankly, I don’t have to engage them at all to see how people think. I see openly bigoted statements in the press and bogs on a daily basis.

Comment by chris 09.30.10 @ 9:55 pm

You’re making an awfully big assumption that I’ve invited this upon myself Kathy, especially as you are such a self-professed nationalist.

I too have lived in a few countries and traveled the world. I’d agree that people in NZ are incredibly friendly. I’d also add Turkey to that list – and France. Not Argentina, though and certainly not Australia. NYC is one of the friendliest big cities on the planet and it’s certainly better to visitors than Melbourne, where I live. Sorry if that doesn’t fit in with your rose colored view of Australia, but that’s the way I see it and what I experience on a daily basis.

It’s amazing that you find me openly antagonistic when you have been extremely antagonistic towards me. I guess that’s part of the greater problem here, though. Any American who proclaimed that they came from the greatest country in the world would be ridiculed by you and weez and the vast majority of Australians, I suspect, and it’s hypocritical in the extreme. Why should this be acceptable behavior when Aussies do it? ANother interesting thing is that Aussies like to believe that there is give and take in taking the piss. In my experience they can dish it out and not take it. You seem to lend credence to that meme. For the record, I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think about my opinion either.

And I’m far from the only American expat who feels this way – or expat from anywhere else. I don’t even think that I’m in the minority. Anyway, you can keep your finger in the dyke for only so long and it doesn’t matter a whit what we say in here in the grand scheme of things.

Comment by chris 09.30.10 @ 10:14 pm

Chris said:
I think that the idea that Australians are self-deprecating is a myth. I don’t treat people in an arrogant or defensive way. I just go about life. Quite frankly, I don’t have to engage them at all to see how people think. I see openly bigoted statements in the press and bogs on a daily basis.

I would have to completely agree with this statement as I do with most of the things you have said on this message board. I have never heard an Australain put themselves or their country down. They are too busy proclaiming that they live in the best country in the world.

If you ask an Australian who spews anti-American rhetoric why they do so, you won’t get a real answer. You get the same old because “Yanks are arrogant” nonsense. It seems like everytime I read a major newspaper there is at least one negative article about the USA or it’s citizens. I just don’t understand why it seems like SOME people and the media are so obsessed with the USA. When you come to another country you hope to learn about that country’s culture and not to be constantly reminded of the shortcomings of your native country.

Having said that I have met some Australians that light up and become extremely friendly when they hear my American accent. A few years ago Reader’s Digest did a project where they measured the courtesy of people from 35 of the biggest cities around the world. New York City was number 1 and Sydney was tied at 23. Here is the link: http://www.readersdigest.ca/mag/2006/07/polite.php

Comment by rdrjo 10.02.10 @ 3:03 pm

man everyone takes this whole american/ australian thing to seriously. it almost sounds as if some of you are damn near traumatized with the experiences of living in another country. im a american that has lived in australia for five years. ive lived in WA, QLD, currently in Mel, and to be honest dont think i would move back to the states although miss alot of things about home. the question i used to get asked alot was if i liked america or australia better. how do you answer something like that? im starting a family, have the best job of my life and am happier in my adult life then i ever have been. but at the same time my friends, family, and my most fondest memories are back home. australians may take the piss a bit but that doesnt mean most of them arent good people. damn i cant wrap my head around some things that people have said on here. some americans saying they hate there country, what bullshit. most wouldnt be alive or as healthy as they are if it wasnt for there country. or some of you saying how mean or hateful australians can be, again what a load of shit. where are you guys hanging out? obviously not around the right crowds. i wont deny that ive got shit for being american in australia. but the same would go for me being back home and getting shit for being white in a city that is 80% latino. i dont know where im going with any of this, or why i care for that matter. it really does intrigue me though. at the end of it all no one should ever judge anyone for what they are or where they are from. and at the other end of the stick you shouldnt worry about them, fuck them, obviously something is bothering them and thats there problem. and besides australians would be speaking japanese if it wasnt for america.. joking!! well.. just a little ;)

Comment by Jsin 01.16.11 @ 8:52 pm

Hey Weez, love the thread. I need some advice from you,since you seem like a well adjusted yankee immigrant.

I’m a young American who is considering immigrating to Australia. I am two classes away from completing a double major in History and Philosophy. After I complete my bachelors, I’m planning on getting my master’s in Cultural Anthropology, which could land me a career in any type of research related field. The Gamut goes from market research, advertising (I would hate this), to HR work (Which according to Victoria’s immigration site is in demand). I will also have teaching experience, since I plan on teaching english in South Korea for a year after my master’s. After my education, (and my teaching job), I will be twenty seven or twenty eight. What do you think my chances are of acquiring permanent residence status?

You see, the economy is still really bad over here and the political situation has taken a turn for the worst. From what I have read, Australia sounds like a great place with amazing opportunities.

Oh and the whole “taking the piss” thing sounds awesome. In fact, it’s what me and my friends do. If I like a person, I playfully insult them. It’s all in good fun. Whenever I traveled in Europe, I would do the same thing with my new european friends, and guess what, they did not have a problem with it! If someone has a problem with being called a yank, they really need to get over themselves. I’ve mostly had great experiences while travelling abroad. It’s not hard, don’t be arrogant, try to assimilate yourself into THEIR culture, and show a genuine interest in their country.

Anyway, any help would be appreciated. You bloody nation building seppo bastard.

Comment by Phil 01.25.11 @ 6:05 pm

Skilled migration to Aus is based on a points system. If you are under 30 and bring an armload of sheepskin, you’re way ahead, but there’s no guarantees. Depends if your skills are in demand at the time.

I think your head’s in the right place as regards fitting in socially.

Avago, mite. :)

Comment by weez 01.25.11 @ 9:26 pm

My response to Phil is that people like you will always be welcomed down to Australia. You sound like a really nice person with a great sense of humour! People like you, Phil, will have a great time no matter where you go. A sense of humour (and a thick skin) will go far down here and it appears you can “give as good as you get” which is OK too. I’m sure your application will be successful because you sound like you have a great educational background (and teachers are in short supply). Good luck to you!

Comment by Katie 01.25.11 @ 9:58 pm

Weez,
I hope it works out. I plan on hiring an australian migration agent once I’m in South Korea.

Katie,
I would not mind teaching, but I could not get skilled sponsorship based on my area of study. The government sponsors math, science, technical, and foreign language teachers. I could teach history,cultural studies, or any number of humanities courses. Also, I’ll have teaching experience but I won’t have certification. Who knows, we’ll see.

Comment by Phil 01.26.11 @ 1:20 pm

I’ve been investigating the points system. Geez. Well, maybe I should find a nice Aussie girl in Korea, and marry her. :)

Comment by Phil 01.27.11 @ 6:58 am

Phil, I’m not so sure about the value of migration agents. I didn’t use one when I came here, but then again, I arrived on a fiancee visa, which doesn’t have a terribly complex set of rules, at least not back in 1996. All one had to do at the time was arrive by a specified date and marry one’s intended by a certain date. I suspect it may not have changed much but I haven’t researched it lately, either.

Best of luck to you. :)

Comment by weez 01.27.11 @ 9:33 am

oh, and… while I would not recommend breaking any laws, I will say that there’s a large number of holiday visa overstayers in Australia, notably from the US & UK. It seems that some significant percentage of them find an Australian citizen fiancee or spouse while in country and manage to obtain a permanent residency visa.

Comment by weez 01.27.11 @ 9:36 am

Hey Weez….is there any statistical proof to your last comment or are you a U.S. ex-Pat who is trying to impress Aussies or are you just on the run from the U.S. government?

Comment by Deezo 01.27.11 @ 9:35 pm

Absolutely no statistical basis to it at all- but I have met quite a few people in the mentioned circumstance. It definitely happens.

I’m afraid I’m not exciting enough to be on the run from anyone.

Comment by weez 01.27.11 @ 10:03 pm

Hi Guys I shall comment :)

I’m an American who’s lived here 3 years now. Just got Permanent Residency yee-haw. Married to an Aussie.

To Phil: Australian employers do not much care for our liberal arts degree tendencies from the U.S. I have a B.A. psych degree – I tried to get HR, research, counseling, social work jobs here. no luck. (They want sales people for HR, researchers with PhDs for research, counseling degrees for counseling, and social work degrees for social work.) They don’t have a “transferable skill” culture like we are “taught.” I’m currently as assistant teacher at a nice school while I study 3 more years to be a psychologist. What I’m saying is your Masters of Cultural Anthro will be fun, but it won’t lend you to any careers here other than University research based possibly. If you really want to move here (and it’s a great place) and you’re interested in teaching: I would go get your teacher’s certification and major in the fields they are looking for. Teachers start on about $50,000 a year here. Not bad my friend. You can’t teach here without a teacher’s certification, unlike some places in the U.S. and abroad where you can teach with your Bachelors.

Also on the spouse option. Really, only do it if you love the person it’s a pain in the butt. It took me 7 months to get all the paperwork together. You have to provide emails, phone bills, flight ticket stubs, valentines day cards, cards addressed to both of you from mutual friends, prove your lives are combined financially (proof of joint bills), physically, socially, etc. etc.

Hope that helps some

Comment by Danielle 01.27.11 @ 10:05 pm

I just want to say to americans that as an aussie born and bred citizen i have never been the type who puts americans down.I actually love americans.Do not assume that every aussie is anti-american.americans,do not assume that all aussies are the same..I wont condemn the whole of america for some american who doesnt like australia….And you should do the same…stereotyping each others country isnt very fair cause you dont know the whole populations opinions…I actually place great value on the anzus treaty, not because of what americans can do but because i like americans…I have always wanted to visit america to see what it is like.

Comment by kylie 03.06.11 @ 11:15 pm

Word to the unwise: Do not post comments which are abusive of the host of the blog you’re trying to comment upon. You just might find your abusive comments summarily deleted without further comment. In other words, fuck you.

Comment by weez 05.17.11 @ 12:08 pm

lol

Comment by TC 05.18.12 @ 4:47 am

Ok…here’s what I have to add to this long drawn out discussion. I am an American who came here on a work Visa, married and subsequently divorced an Aussie, obtained my citizenship, have lived, worked and paid taxes here and even had a “half-breed” child…..and whilst I love many, many things about Australia, I still love where I come from and would find it traitorous to say anything to the contrary. That said, I do not find the Aussie “taking the piss” anyting but insensitive, ignorance when it gets to the point of upsetting anybody…Americans, Asians, Europeans, etc. C’mon guys….you all know that Tall Poppy Syndrome is alive and well here! I agree, if you choose to live by the airport, then don’t complain about the noise the planes make…but I also feel the need to point out that there are a heap of American Telivision Show Watching Aussies out there that need to pull their head out and realise that there TV is not an accurate pictorial of all Americans…further, where are your manners??!! There is a world cultural norm that you may be familiar with and that norm is a littlesomething called tact and common decency! I’m sure you’ll have plenty to comment back as there is nothing an Aussie hates more than to be told what they already know is the truth!!

Comment by YankeeDutch 06.23.12 @ 5:26 pm

its cocktail time people . My Wife is Aussie. She is the most Majestic Wonderful Human being ive ever known . Her Love and Pride for her Country runs through her blood veins . I’m of course a die hard Yank and damn straight I’m proud of it. My wife and I are Moving to Australia in 6 months its a change of Life I’m very much looking forward to . Austriala is Gorgeous country cant wait to explore it . Australias population is 23 million beautiful peeps . Ok California by its self has 29 million happy suntan face folks in it . Jeeeez that still leaves 49 more glorious states . Point is America is the big buffed good lookn Brother that watches over and protects his little siblings . Just sayn . I know I’m a idiot but at least I’m not politically correct. I will love Australia cause any country that produced a brilliant beautiful Woman like my Wife must be EPIC .

Comment by jesse 06.27.12 @ 1:08 am

Just a small note to indicate my shock at the longevity of the discussion thread on this post, which for those of you just joining, was written in 2005. The post has surpassed 500,000 views and is the 2nd ranked result on Google for the search term “Americans in Australia.” It’s dropped a position since a few years ago, when it was the top-ranked result.

Most of the commentary has been realistic & civil; I have only had to trash about 3 comments since 2005. I’ve tried to let the conversations run their own course as much as possible. A few comments have brushed perilously close to abuse, but the wiser commenters have jumped in & rounded them up for the most part.

I don’t get time to respond to each comment put on the blog- I confess that there are some that I haven’t even read up until today. I’m caught up now, though.

We’re about 2 weeks away from the 16th anniversary of my arrival in Australia. Never happier.

Thanks for visiting & please be good to each other.

Comment by weez 10.01.12 @ 10:04 am

I’m a true-blooded Southern Gentleman (not a yank for you yaboos out there), lol. I’ve been visiting Australia for a few years now (annually) I find most Australians to be genuinely wonderful people. I recently took a cruise out of Sydney and the mix of people was quite refreshing. I found the Aussies giving it to the Kiwi’s as much as me, and I tried to give the Aussie’s a language lesson on how to pronounce words like y’all, lol. Having lived all around the world (Germany, Central/South America, Middle East, as well as much of the US) I must say that all-in-all Australians are a lovely group of people. Yes, they will poke fun at you, but they’ll also take a poke or 2 themselves. It appears to be a social right of passage, and good natured humor.

I’ve been trying for 3 years to move to Australia as a matter of fact. With the changes in Immigration, I’m finding that difficult to navigate (they seem to have nice little boxes they want to put me in and I don’t quite fit into any of them). Having traveled much of Eastern Australia, and meeting a wide variety of people, I truly look forward to coming (if ever given the opportunity).

Comment by JT 10.08.12 @ 6:53 pm

BTW, some wretched asshole is sending spam using machinegunkeyboard.com as the domain name in the return addresses. My mailserver’s SPF is configured to tell sending mailservers that only my MX is authorised to send email with that domain in the return address, but there’s many SPF ignorant email systems out there which let the spams slip through.

There’s also a few incompetently operated email systems that use shitty spam filtering that presumes the return address has anything at all to do with the actual originating domain. Hotmail is one of them. All emails containing machinegunkeyboard.com as the sender are bounced by Hotmail- and that happens to include the notification emails to participants in this thread who used a Hotmail addy when they posted their comments. Please don’t use Hotmail. And please don’t use a Hotmail addy when you post comments. I have to delete them from the commenter database and you’ll never get the notifications you were expecting.

Comment by weez 10.08.12 @ 7:29 pm

Bloody hell this blog is looooong! It’s interesting to see comments from both nationalities and opinions. I read somewhere on another blog (or was it this one?) someone saying they were a citizen of mother earth. I like that.
I was born in a small town called Katherine. For those that don’t know, it’s in the Northern Territory, Australia. Raised there most of my life. I always found it interesting talking to overseas nationalities, especially Americans. It was always interesting to try pinpoint what part of the states they were from. I spoke to a bloke for less than a minute and I guessed he was from Colorado. He was very surprised that I guessed that one. I think it’s good for people to always keep an open mind to their surroundings and other people and always treat them the same as you’d want to be treated. I admit to being one who takes the piss out of people and I get it back too. But I always make sure I get to know that person first. And i never take the piss out of where a person comes from.
To Those americans that are here, sorry you have had those bad experiences while being here. It sucks to hear. I’ve shut down a few of my work mates that have said something offensive about the US or any other place in the world. Have they been to the states? Fuck no! Don’t bloody judge shit you see on tv! The times I have been over to America I was always treated with respect and friendliness. Those ignorant aussies can take a leaf out of that book.
One thing I blame the Americans on is my permanent addiction to dr pepper, a&w cream soda hostess twinkies and Reese’s peanut butter chocolates. And those are just naming a few haha! ;)

Comment by Eddie 10.11.12 @ 10:35 pm

Funny shit Eddie . Thanks to my Wife I’m hooked on Vegemite . Being Americano I’m a rare breed that will eat that tasty axel grease . Aussies are a groovy people very patriotic & proud . I dig you all my wife is the greatestest Aussie ever very hot to . Moving to Melbourne in 51 days.

Comment by jesse 02.01.13 @ 5:45 am

These comments seem to have been going for some time heck years so I would like to relate a story of my own in the US.

Our family holiday took us to Falgstaff some years ago in November. I had hired a car in Vegas and drove out. We stayed at the Hilton for a 2 nights and what a great spot. It snowed the first night we go there and the next morning my wife had the kids out the front of the hotel throwing snowballs. For an Aussie from Queensland this was great fun and after I decided to go for a drive as I had never driven in snow before and so I went by myself being careful to follow other traffic.

After an hour I came back to the hotel confident that a short trip would be ok so off the family went to the local Wal Mart the entrance being on a slight downhill slope which I approached slowly.

I felt the car begin to slide and told the kids I had lost it, and as boys do they thought it was great fun.

When inside I heard a woman say ‘Hey did you see that guy loose it at the entrance’ I looked down and didn’t answer.

Anyway while my wife was shopping I stopped at the local bank branch and was talking to the tellers about the procedures of opening a bank account. There were two people there and the gentleman on hearing my accent ventured the opinion that being a foreigner I must hate Americans. His workmate looked pale as I said No as a matter of fact I think Australians and Americans have a lot in common.

look wherever I have travelled their is racism religious or whatever. There are dimwits all over the world but luckily they are in the minority.

Jim

Comment by Jim 03.11.14 @ 11:46 pm

Queensland is a great place. I was there back in 2012 for vacation and I plan to go back permanently in the near future.

Comment by TC 03.13.14 @ 12:24 am



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