It's only been a short time since we left America for Australia, and there are many things and people that we miss. However, I think my dad had a good idea to reflect on a few things that we don't miss.
1. We Don't Miss The Gravel Road to Our Old House
The gravel road to our house in Central Missouri was 3 miles long. It may not sound that long if you have never lived on a gravel road, but it took us 10-12 minutes of bumpy, dusty, muddy, snowy, pot-holey, washboardy driving to get to black top, which means that we went through tires more quickly than ever before. We also never had a clean vehicle, and when the roads were really bad, we had to deal with mud getting packed under the wheel wells which created a vibration at high speed. The video below was taken on the way to the airport when we were leaving for Australia. Keep in mind that this vibration is not happening on the gravel road, but on the interstate. We had just stopped to wash the car and try to improve the ride. Not only did the ride not improve, it got worse. So we had to stop a second time to wash the car. Who does that? Who stops TWICE on the way to the airport to wash their car? People who live on gravel roads, that's who.
2. We Don't Miss The Cold
This one probably goes without saying, but we don't miss the winter. It's been in the mid 70s and 80s here. Although it is the rainy season in Brisbane and we've had constant rain for the last 2 days, we are loving the temperature. Sure, Christmas seemed a little strange with palm trees and a warm breeze, but we like it a lot and don't miss the Missouri cold...yet. For the record, Morgan disagrees. She said she prefers to be cold.
3. We Don't Miss The Uneven Price of Things
An ice cream in Brisbane is $2. A muffin is $5. We have not seen any pricing that is $1.87 or $4.79. Maybe it is because we are in a touristy area, but we really like the even pricing. Strangely, we still have to dig around for coins, because they have $1 and $2 coins and no paper money less than $5. While I'm on the topic of money, we don't miss American money either. The Australian money is so much more sophisticated than ours. Their paper money won't tear and it can get wet. It even has a see-through security feature built into it.
4. We Don't Miss Grumpy Service
Again, maybe this is just because we are still in the touristy area, but nobody in the service industry is grumpy here. Everyone we have dealt with from the hotel staff to the city bus driver to the kid at the toy store checkout counter has been, not only pleasant, but helpful and friendly. We must look ridiculous as we stand there in shock when waitresses or store clerks talk to us. They smile, are engaging, helpful, and generally seem happier than Americans. Our bus driver took us to the South Bank for free. The waitress helped me off the floor when I fell out of my chair at breakfast. The toy store guy gave me the name of a great beach to visit on the Sunshine Coast. Troy asked the KFC worker for a cup of ice water, and the guy gave him a bottle water at no cost. Could it be that the workforce is valued and appreciated so they feel happier? Are they just better trained? Is it just Brisbane or is all of Australia like this?
To be fair, when I talk to Australians about their experience with traveling to the United States, they think the opposite of me. They think the service is better and the people are friendlier in the US than Australia. So, maybe it is just that the country of origin treats visitors better because they have a different accent or because they look helpless. Either way, it's nice to be on the receiving end of service.
I am a wife, mother, and exercise physiologist with one foot in the world of travel and one foot in the world of fitness.
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