Australia vs. Germany (Part 1)

Pro Australia

Public space

  • Free water
    You find water dispenser all over the city. In parks, train stations, university, hospitals and even at beaches. Most restaurant serve you tap water without asking for it. Bars and clubs often have a tap or a pitcher with glasses at the side of the bar.
  • Free public toilets and showers
    All public spaces like parks and train stations have free public toilets. They get cleaned regularly, have toilet paper and often soap. A few even play relaxing music during your “business”. At beaches you’ll find a shower almost always.
  • ATMs everywhere, but often with additional fees
  • Smoke free public areas like universities, train stations, parks etc.
  • Sign: “To do our bit, these amenities utilise rainwater harvested from the terminal roof.” Nothing more to add. Please more!
  • Why not sitting together in a more communicative way? (Spotted in Sydney, Botanical Garden)

Transportation

  • Smartcard for public transportation – an easy way to pay just by taping on, when you enter, and off when you leave. Every big city has (unfortunately) its own system. Opal for Sydney, Myki for Melbourne, go card for Brisbane and so on.
  • Trains have flexible backrests. Depending in with direction the train is driving or if you want to sit next to each other.
  • Bicycle helmets must be worn by law.
  • Buses and trains are tracked by GPS and observable in an app.
  • A small Smart as an emergency car. Perfect for a doctor to squeeze through the traffic.

Nightlife

  • (so far nothing positive)

Language

  • Aussies say “sorry” all the time, even if they are not to blame for.
  • “No worries” is THE way of life and no foreigner can escape from it
  • Belittlements become part of the official language and being used in advertisements and signs.
    amber fluid – beer
    arvo – afternoon
    barbie – barbecue
    brekkie – breakfast
    cozzie – swimming costume
    esky – insulated box for keeping beer etc cool
    g’day – good day, traditional Australian greeting
    good on ya – well done
    Kiwi – person from New Zealand
    mate – friend, general term of familiarity, whether you know the person or not
    mozzies – mosquitoes
    piss – beer
    pissed – drunk
    sheila – woman (can be somewhat derogatory)
    sickie – day off work ill (or malingering)
    smoko – tea break, go and have a cigarette
    surfies – surfing fanatics
    walkabout – lengthy walk away from it all
    more…
  • Why not Whynot? There are too many boring names anyway.

Food

  • Some restaurants donate for charity with every meal you eat there. Actually it was hard to decide.
    IMAG0706_donate1IMAG0705_donate2
  • Big supermarkets offers you everything to brew your own beer (including bottle caps).

Miscellaneous

  • This is PHENOMENAL! I had to be there to register my car. It can’t be simpler. One government, one office, one phone number and even just one internet address for all legal issues. I NEVER enjoyed being in an government office so much!”Service NSW is an award-winning NSW government initiative delivering improved one-stop services for government customers. Service NSW has been shaped by our customers – who want easier and more online access to government services and a single point of contact.”
    “Service NSW delivers more than 800 transactions – including driver licenses, birth certificates, Seniors Cards and Fair Trading licenses through one digital service, one phone number and a network of one-stop shops.”
  • Ridiculous high penalties on everything. Yes, I think this is a good thing, because then even the rich consider to follow the rules. Examples:
    Parking without ticket for $1 (0,76€), I had to pay $73 (55€) (happened to me because I was in a rush)
    No seatbelt on $347 (265€)
    Drink and driving with slightly over BAC 0,05 (Promille) $578 (442€)
    Failing to wear appropriate bicycle helmet $100 (76€)
    Fail to give way when entering roundabout $410 (314€)
    The full list of penalties
  • A small niche, but they are still existing. For people who prefer something physical even in times of VoD (video-on-demand).

Pro Germany or negative side of Australia

Transportation

  • Buses have no notification inside where they are and what the next stop is. Also their timetable is quite irregular, sometimes every 20min, then in between just every hour.
  • No public transportation after 1am, fortune for Taxis and Uber, which is common to use here.
  • Pedestrian light stays red if not pressed, so you always must stop and wait. If you are in a hurry, that’s kind of frustrating. At least there is a nice audio signal during the green phase that awakes you from checking your smartphone.
  • Jetstar, the Airberlin of Australia don’t allow calculators and Gameboys during takeoff and landing. 🙁

Nightlife

  • Strict regulations where to consume alcohol. It’s prohibited to drink in the streets, at the beach or any other public area. Alcohol being sold in special shops called Bottleshops or Liquorland. Taxes are quite high, so a 0,3l beer in a bar cost between $4,50-20 (3,40-15€). Maybe even more.
  • Bars and clubs have securities in front and control always your photo ID (as a traveler your big valuable passport or driver license), only to know if you are older than 18. Ridiculous that you can’t enter without, even if you look way older than that. And often they don’t even look at it. Just: “You have it? Go inside!”
  • Bars close at 12 or 1am latest, depending on their bar license, which are very expensive. That’s also why there are almost no small bars, because they don’t get enough customers to pay the taxes for serving alcohol and stay open until late.
  • Casinos with slot machines (aka VIP Lounges) are open 24/7 and serve alcohol all night. Law makes an exceptions to gambling because this brings them so much taxes.

Language

  • (nothing bad so far)

Food

  • (nothing bad so far)

Miscellaneous

  • Widespread cashless payment (I’m not a friend of having no overview of what I’ve already spent, especially at night)
  • No or very low bottle deposit ($0,10 – 0,07€) and with that no valuing of trash. But maybe there is a good recycling system behind that?
  • Tiny waste containers… why?
    imag0658
  • For $7,90 (6,00€) you can get a ready-to-eat pre-roasted chicken. This stand is warmed constantly. Yummy?
  • Why does the guy with crutches has to take the left door? Is he not temporarily invalid enough?
  • Without words

My résumé after 4 month of australia:

Australia with its rigorous rules appears like a strict and fastidious old british mother with accurate behavior and never running riot. However from this new point of view Germany seems more like the old father with big belly who wants to be in charge and just reprimands you if you push it on too much. He is also accurate but when it comes to fun, he knows how he was once in his youth.

To be continued!

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