Things I’ve learned while away

Probably the main one is that we should appreciate living in Australia more than we do.

Why?

We do not have many of the problems that exist in countries like America and Canada.  Our politicians, or as they are called here lawmakers, are stupid, but they do not hold workers to ransom to score points.

We do not have the multicultural problems at home like there are in both Canada and America.  Perhaps that’s because we live on an island, and there’s no need to build walls.  We just have people arriving in boats.  Or used to.

But politically, we have developed a universal attitude that all our politicians are like children, you only have to read Hansard to discover how childlike they are, and nothing ever gets done because we have a three-year political cycle.

Best of all is the political campaigning at election time.  Each side blames the other for the lack of progress and promises to make it better.  And once elected, blames the other side as the reason why they can’t.  The end result, another three years of nothing happening.

I can empathize with everyone in America.  Your politicians or lawmakers are the same as everywhere else, blame the other side, and bury their heads in the sand.

But…

At least everything is cheaper than at home, or almost.  Lego in Canada is dearer.  Or perhaps I should say you never can tell what the price of anything is in Canada because there’s the price on the shelf, then the one that ends up on the receipt at the cash register, invariably higher.

At home, the price on the tag is THE price.

Petrol is cheaper, though out in some areas it can be very expensive, and particularly on Manhattan island, where the price is three times that in New Jersey.

Books, which is one of the reasons I was excited about coming, are dearer than at home, much dearer in fact, so I’m leaving disappointed.

As for the tourist experience, we have had only one bad experience, and that was in an Avis office in New York where the black woman behind the counter called me ‘stupid’ in front of other customers, for breaking the GPS which she did not think to check before giving it to us.

It was a case of treating foreign white trash with contempt, and it was amusing, not annoying.

It was the only bad experience, and every other person, no matter what nationality were the epitome of the best ambassadors their respective countries could offer.  I have nothing but respect for people who sometimes work in very unappreciated positions, but all of that can easily be undone by one person.

This time it did not.  I just will never use Avis in New York ever again.

There’s more positives, but this can wait for another time.

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