Australia isn't Asia (and other observations)

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December 1st 2010
Published: December 2nd 2010
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It's taken me a while to get used to backpacking in Australia. The hostels are cleaner and better run than those in Asia, but seem much less fun to stay in. Pretty much everyone is working or planning to work over here, or is just visiting Oz for a couple of weeks - I've only met one person in 4 weeks who is actually travelling.

The main consequence of this is that no-one has any desire to explore their surroundings. In Asia, everyone wanted to go out and investigate places where they were staying for a day or two - here, most people spend their time working or looking for jobs.

Australia is also too much like being back home in the UK - lots of rules and regulations about what you can and can't do. The rules about alcohol are particularly irritating: No drinking on the street between 8pm - 9am, on the beach, in the hostel after 11pm, etc. The freedom of Thailand seems a long way away.

Plus beer is so expensive! 8 dollars (5 pounds) for a pint in most pubs. In South Australia, they don't even serve proper pints. What they call a 'pint' is only 435ml. This is unacceptable. If anyone from the UN Human Rights Commission is reading this, please can you investigate this matter with the utmost urgency.

The kangaroos I've met seem less friendly than their TV counterparts, with little conversational skills or interest in solving mysteries.

They (the government, not the kangaroos) do need to sort out the public transport over here. 3 buses a week along the Great Ocean Road and into the Grampians, with only one train weekly between Adelaide and Alice Springs. It's hardly the DLR.

On the inside the roses grow

Obviously went to Ramsay Street (Pin Oak Court) while I was in Melbourne. It's actually really small and the houses weren't as impressive as I'd anticipated. Saw the outside of the TV studios where they filmed Prisoner Cell Block H from a distance, which, along with seeing the lighthouse where they filmed Round the Twist from a moving coach, was a definite highlight of the trip so far.

The Neighbours Quiz Night was great fun - meeting Dr Karl Kennedy and Madge Bishop. Annoyingly didn't win the quiz though. However, I have been successful on the first 3 quiz machines I've played over here. Mousetrap and Cluedo are the games of choice. But why are the Quiz Machines called Barry???

Adelaide has now been taken over by thousands of England cricket fans (with their familiar refrain of 'Michael Ball's Bar Miami'), so I'm heading to the centre. A 19 and a half hour bus journey sounds like fun, as does the 37C temperature in Alice Springs. Not quite sure what everyone back home is going on about - there's certainly no snow here.


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