I saw this post on Facebook from Yankeebean at the I'm not from Yorkshire blog. And I have to out-and-out steal it because I have some things to say about Brisbane Australia.
I'm not annoyed about Australia, like Yankeebean is with the UK in her post, but I do have some observations:
1 - DOWNTOWN
Driving in the CBD (Central Business District, Downtown) is a DRAG! There are so many pedestrians who seem to assume right-of-way, walking right into the street without looking. Just assuming you, the driver, will step on the breaks. The pedestrians gather in huge groups on the corners, spilling into the street. Are you walking across or waiting for the light?
All of the roads are one way. If you pass your destination, the return route is circuitous enough to give you a headache.
AND, there is no parking. AT ALL. One day Jerry parked in a parking garage for four hours and it cost him SEVENTY DOLLARS! On another day I was seven minutes getting back to my car. It cost me 200 dollars. AND I had to stop the tow truck from taking my car!!!!
Also, my GPS doesn't like the CBD. I guess the buildings block the signal...
2 - AMERICAN FOOD
There is none.
Don't be fooled by anything advertised as "American". It is SO not American.
Anything advertised as "Mexican" or "Italian" is not good either...
Yeah, food is a biggie for us. We SO miss Panera! lol
3 - PRICES
The main thing: everything is so high here. Food, gasoline, property, clothing, postage, laundry soap, eating out...everything! And that's too bad, because I love to eat out! (or should I say "I dislike cooking"!)
4 - OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE NOT HERE
'Nuff said there!
5 - CARS AND DRIVING
The steering wheels are on the wrong side of the car AND we drive on the wrong side of the road!!! The streets tend to be quite narrow. People drive those little cars fast! And the motorcycles drive down the center lines of the road...like in LA! After over three months here, I still walk up to the door on the right side of the car!
6 - STREETS
There is nary a city planner to be found in Brisbane. The roads are so weird with these odd little half-assed exits and merges...it's like someone dropped their earbud chord into their purse, then dumped them onto the table three weeks later. THEN and arranged the Brisbane streets into the shape they saw from the chord. Chaos.
In fact, tonight I realized that there is no wrong way OR no right way to get from one point to another in the city. Chaos.
But that is it!
Otherwise, we love it here! The people are wonderful. There are many parks and public activity spaces. The weather is amazing. Bike riders have such freedom and equal rights on the road. People are extremely environmentally aware and actively live conservatively. Cars and homes are smaller, requiring less fuel and power usage. There are many solar-powered homes. Stores and other public places close down at 5 pm, even the mall! (Others might disapprove of this. But I like it!)
People are very self-sufficient. People, in general, have "can do" attitudes. Brisbane has far better public transportation options than St. Louis does. Families travel a great deal. Certainly, people have some religions, but the state is secular and religion almost never even comes up in conversations. Religion is private and does not have power and control over large numbers of people. In fact, many politicians are publicly atheist! People don't seem to be as obsessed with having things. Health care is socialized and everyone, I mean EVERYONE, has access to medication, therapies, physicians, medical specialists. It's a wonderful thing. And, homeschoolers who have medical or social issues get discounted or free curriculum. Nearly everyone I have spoken to is politically-active and aware of international news and events.
So, yeah, it's quite great here! It's not perfect, no, but it is a wonderful place to have our family!