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Life Style

in Australia

(Index Page)

Life Style in Australia: Australians are very friendly and helpful people, with a great sense of humor and a natural ability to tell jokes and play with words. Some times we may appear cold because of our "private nature" which has been imported over the past 2 decades, but it is just takes time to "break the ice", and everything goes well. It means you can talk about any subject, but for more personal matters, things will take a little bit longer to come out in the open. 

The majority of Australians live in coastal areas because the interior of the country called "the Outback", can be a very arid area with many deserts and lack of water. Australians tend to follow each other a bit, like sheep on a hill. This happens because of the stability of Australian Institutions and the strong economy. For example, since the beginning of 2003 there has been a boom in the housing market, which has made thousands of Australians buy and sell homes for investment. The result has been that so many people did it created a steep rise in house prices. For a couple of months every single place I went, the talk was about houses. Because of this stability, Australians tend to plan for the long term, which can make life a little bit boring sometimes.

Australians were born to compete! In reality, Australia is considered one of the most competitive nations on Earth. This covers all areas of life including the work place. For example, Australians surfers broke a long-term hold on the Surf Scene by the Americans and Hawaiians, and today there is not a single international contest without at least many Aussies running in top position. Companies that sponsor sports events such as Billabong, Rip Curl and many others broke the Australian borders to become a symbol of Aussie culture all over the globe, displacing many bigger foreign companies on the market. These great Australians Companies, today almost dictate what young people and teenagers are wearing worldwide.

Fishing in Australia: Well, well, well, this is a big thing in Australia, and it is amazing how passionately Australians feel about fishing. It is difficult to resist fishing, because of the number of fantastic places to fish, and the number and variety of species available, combined with a very good climate, sunshine almost all year long, and idyllic locations. Anyway there are 3 important things to know. The first is that in all States except Queensland, a fishing License is required and can be easily obtained in tackle shops or convenience shops in small towns. The license is cheap and lasts for different amounts of time. The second important thing to remember is that not all fish can be captured. In every state there are rules about size and quantity (called Bag limit). These rules are explained in a booklet given for free in tackle shops and government institutions. It means that if you catch a fish that doesn't comply with the rules, you must return it immediately. Also, there are rules for quantity and size of oysters, mussels and other shellfish. Crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters, prawns and yabbies have an extra rule that states that no females can be taken. No worries, because everything is explained in the booklet, and if in doubt, put them back to the water. The only important thing you have to take with you when going fishing besides the gear and the bait is a ruler to measure your catch. To drive a boat you also need a license, except if the motor is less than 6 horsepower. 

Cinemas in Australia are disappearing from the streets and are moving to inside Shopping Centers. Most are now divided in many smaller theatres, showing 3 or 4 different movies at the same time. Prices for Adults are about AU$ 13,00 and Children and students with ID pay around AU$ 10,00. On Thursdays there are specials with the entry costing AU$ 8.70. Thursdays have become a big day out in Australia, cause the Shopping Centers are open for extended hours; 9 pm instead of the regular 5pm. Young people use this time to catch up on the gossip! 

Australians are compulsive buyers having some of the biggest credit card debts in the world. On rainy days (no beach to go) it is very hard to get a parking place in a Shopping Center, and over the Christmas period and Boxing day (the day after Christmas) it is almost impossible, with lines of car parking on the streets outside the shopping area. Shopping is very good here with lots of variety and good offers. In all Australian Shopping Centers smoking is prohibited. There are also suburban small shopping centers to look after the locals. They are pretty close together and almost always have a bakery, a Pharmacy, Medical center, a small supermarket, dentist, Fish and Chips shop, Pizza Shop and small eatery. It is difficult to see something unusual or unique in these shops. 

Nothing demands as much attention from Australians as a House. It is as a national symbol of security. Firstly, it is relatively easy to buy a house in Australia, as soon as you have a job for more than 6 months. The banks finance them for up to 30 years, and the government is giving an incentive for first homebuyers. Secondly, it is considered the best long-term investment due to the market increase that grows over the years without risks. That is why it is easy to find places to rent in Australia. There are lot of people who buy 2 or 3 houses to rent out and let the rent pay the bloody Mortgage. Another interesting detail is that many Australians don't grow roots in the place they were born, especially younger people starting careers. They sell the place and buy another one wherever the job is. As an example: None of my neighbors are the same, as when I moved into my place 4 years ago. Everybody has gone to another city or another house. It is kind of like changing clothes. Very easy to do! Older people also don't stay long, because as soon as they have the Mortgage paid off, they sell the place; buy a smaller one, put some cash aside for retirement and travel. Many retirees sell the home to buy a campervan or motor home and hit the road in style. The price of the rent regulates the price of the mortgage; meaning that if you have one house paid off, you give that one as a guarantee for a second one, and rent it out to let the second house pay it off. Do you get it? That is why houses are a very big deal for Australians. 

Going to the beach on weekends in Australia is a very popular exercise, just as much as going to the Shopping Center or doing any sport. The so called Australian Beach Culture, is similar to California, Rio de Janeiro, and the Mediterranean. Australians live by the sea, and the beach complements the house creating an extended backyard in which to play. With the exception of some places that can get some winter weather, most of Australia is sunny throughout the year. This provides an excellent alternative of relaxation all year round, but you also must know that because of the thinning of the Ozone layer above some areas, there is a greater danger of harmful rays from the sun. The sun here is very strong and burns the skin really fast. Australia is has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world; so if you go to the beach, take hats and sun block. DON'T EXPOSURE YOURSELF FOR TOO LONG UNDER THE SUN. Other important matters concern the rips and currents most Australian beaches have. Sometimes the sea can present itself as calm as you like, but rips underneath can be strong and unexpected. So, if you are not very knowledgeable about the sea, you'd better swim only in patrolled waters between the flags placed by lifesavers on the sand. By the way, it is prohibited to sell anything on the beach without a council permit, and wherever dogs are allowed, they must be on a leash. 

If you are not going to a special event, the fashion in Australia is pretty casual and laidback. Australians are very informal when it comes to clothes, despite the fact that some work places require a good standard of dressing. "Casual Smart" is required for companies where presentation and image are important. It consists of a long sleeve one-color shirt, with sleeves folded to just below the elbow, long pants of a good fabric, and leather shoes. No tie is necessary. Jacket and tie are usually only worn during business meetings, by businessmen or Real Estate Agents. Australians vary in their style of clothing, some loving colorful clothes and stamps, some hating it.  At the beach it is more common to wear shorts than Speedos or bikinis, for both, males and females. Australians don't like to show off their bodies pretty much, still a consequence from the 1900's, when it was prohibited to have a swim in the ocean, and wear nothing that could permit a tan on your skin. Melbourne is the top fashion place in Australia. 

Australian Television: The salvation is the SBS channel, with lots of good programs and documentaries. It is also the only channel that reports about every continent on the Globe and shows Soccer games from all over the world every Saturday. Other channels show boring programs such as; reality TV, American sitcoms and tourist programs that make you feel like the poorest person on Earth etc... Sometimes I think that television in Australia is made to be boring so that it encourages you to get out and do something or work for longer shifts. That's right, if I have to choose between watching TV until 10 o'clock or working until 10 o'clock, I will take the second. Australian Radios are another difficult thing to get along with. The repetition of songs day after day is a pain in the ass and none of the radio stations seem to have any individuality. 

Preservation of the environment is ten out of ten for Australia. It is amazing; how much care conscientious Australians dedicate to preserving the environment. It doesn't only cover nature conservation such as mountains, rivers, forests and oceans, it spans into the cities as well. Australians love Australia and are very proud of having a clean and beautiful land. The majority of the population are very concerned about ecological and preservation matters, involving themselves as much as possible to keep it that way. Not only will normal people report damage to the environment, but the authorities will also give you heavy fines for dumping anything you are not allowed to. Streets and locations are very clean. I have been to beaches where you have to walk on a wooden path so as not to disturb the sand and native grass that is underneath. There are selective rubbish collections for most homes with recycling bins separated from bins containing other materials. Also, Councils from all over Australia, do an Environment impact study before authorizing any new construction and development. As I said before, it is 10 out of 10.

Read about facts and Australian Life Style such as Australian Culture, Cost of Life in Australia, Food in Australia, Surf in Australia, Laws & Rules of Australia, Personal security in Australia, Transports in Australia, Courses in Australia by checking other topics on this page.




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