12 weeks in Townsville went by quickly and I am already back in Germany. Wondering what I am even doing here. The temperatures dropped below 10 degrees (which is usually the time where I am taking out my winter jacket) and I had to leave my girlfriend behind (so no one who would warm me :(). If it wouldn’t have been for my family and some things I need to take care of here in Germany I probably would have turned around in Singapore (where I again had an amazing time waiting for my connection flight => Spending a day at Singapore airport).
But coming back is always a good time to reflect what I’ve found out (on the way ;)):
1. It’s so easy to eat in Australia
Already cooked chicken, precooked and/or cut vegetables. It’s fairly easy to have a good (and healthy) meal in Australia. Especially if you are lazy (or time efficient as I would say it ;)). You just buy little bags of precooked veggies and chicken, put it in the microwave and have it a couple minutes later (okay, we could argue that putting it in the microwave isn’t as healthy anymore but still healthier than eating junkfood). And if you can’t find the time or the energy to even do that there are still heaps of smoothie places around or even prepacked smoothie packages you just have to blend. Not to mention wraps, you can always have wraps!!
So I find it fairly easy to eat in Australia. I believe that I would somehow find all of that in Germany but I actually had a look and it’s just not as easy.
2. The Australian winter is still better than the German summer
Last year Hamburg hadn’t had a single day with tempertures above 30 degrees and therefore not a single day that would be considered hot. This year however they had heat waves with very little rain (my mom’s lawn turned brown) and temperatures up to 40 degrees for several weeks. So while most of the people in Germany were boiling in their own apartments, have I spent another amazing “winter” in Townsville. In my 12 weeks there it was raining exactly twice. Once in the morning and once overnight (which therefore doesn’t really count). All of the other days I was greated with blue sky and temperatures around 25 degrees (Which is perfect to enjoy yourself in the sun without melting away – and getting a tan while doing that ;)). So I definitely would still prefer the Australian “winter” over the German summer (hot or cold there is obviously no in between).
3. It’s so easy to pay in Australia
Before I took off to Australia my sister (who is working in marketing for an online bank) asked me what is keeping my from mostly paying with my credit card, why I still prefer to pay cash. And the answer was simple. It’s just not as easy as in Australia. In Australia you basically just wave your credit card at the card-reader unit and then you are done. It’s that simple. In Germany you usually have to figure out which way you have to put your card in the card reader and then you either have to remember your pin or you have to give a signature. So it takes at least a minute to pay. And that is probably the same amount of time elderly people take to find the right amount of small change. So while in Australia I can basically live a cashfree life I am now back on heavy coins in my pocket (not willingly!).
4. Barely anyone smokes in Australia
Another thing I really like in Australia is that due to their striked laws you barely see anyone smoke in public. Occacionally some people on the streets but definitely not as many as in Germany (where they even found a way around the law not to smoke in bars or restaurants by calling their venue “Smoking club”). Some smokers would probably argue that it’s there right to enjoy their beer with a smoke and that I don’t have to go to a “Smoking club” but I had a look around in Australia. The people there, they live. And look like they actually enjoy their beer. Even without a smoke.
5. Australia is a little bit behind with saving the world
When it comes to saving the world from plastic Australia is a little bit behind (or a lot). While we in Germany already baned reusable plastic bags and replaced them with paper ones Australia only just baned the single use plastic bags that they handed out for free up until June this year. And then they actually went back on that cause customers complained that it would only be a way of making money (yeah right and all the pictures of animals chocking on plastic are fake). Even if I am not the best leading example when it comes to saving the world I feel like Australia could do more for that. Raising awareness, not going back to single use plastic bags and maybe inventing a depositsystem for plastic bottles.
6. Australians are not really dog friendly
My girlfriend will probably strongly disagree (she is the dog friendliest person ever and likes them in every shape – even the small ones I wouldn’t even call a dog ;)) but Australians are not really dog friendly. At least compared to Germany and when it comes to letting them into public places. While in Germany it’s perfectly normal to bring your dog to a restaurant, café or even to the shopping mall they are just not allowed in these places in Australia. If you bring them to a restaurant they have to lay in a save distance to your table, even if that table is already in a save distance to the kitchen. So no wonder that Australians barely walk their dogs but let them poop in the backyard (which is a no go for german/european dogs ;)).
7. Australians can’t do strawberries
I know, I am a little spoilt when it comes to strawberries. Freshly picked from the fields they are rushed into the cities and then sold the same day. So they are super sweet and ripe. In Australia they can’t really afford to let them ripe until the very last minute (otherwise they might go to waste before being able to be sold). So they usually arrive with a green top in the supermarkets. I tried them several times but they are just not as good as in Germany. Not even close.
So if you’d asked me where I would like to live it’s not as easy to say. I know that I don’t like the cold (I am actually already thinking about going somewhere warmer soon) and I know that I really enjoy the “winters” in Townsville. But it will get hot and humid there soon and that might also not the weather I’d like to live in. So if anyone knows a place that has 25 til 32 degrees all day everyday, where it is as easy to get food and pay for it as in Australia, a place that is close to the beach and allows dogs in restaurants let me know and count me in :).