TEN THINGS I LIKED & DISLIKED ABOUT AUSTRALIA

Jan 23rd, 2004, 12:28 PM
  #21  
Janese
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I don't know where you ate in Byron Scurry, but 4 of us when out to the Club the other night and 2 had a roast dinner, 2 had Thai Chicken one had beer and the rest of us polished off a bottle of wine and the bill was $42.50 Au.
I always eat in Lygon (sp?) Street in Melbourne and mains are usually $12.
I do agree that that price of Xmas Dinner in ANY establishment is a rip off but that is because the staff are actually paid wages here and they get triple time for working on Christmas day, which does effect the price.
However the last time I was in Sydney I ate at Doyles "pub" at Watson's Bay and the meal was steak and the cost was $17Au and I must say that it was the nicest steak I have had in a long time.
Restaurant prices have gone up in the last couple of years and I have always looked at a restaurant meal as one that I have if I am having something to celebrate, else I go to Bistros, clubs, pubs etc. So those of you who are travelling in Australia check out the previous suggestions for eating cheaply.
 
Jan 23rd, 2004, 12:59 PM
  #22  
 
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$10.60 each for four dinners, a bottle of wine and a beer? Wow -- Good job!

Btw, I'm not saying that there aren't inexpensive places to eat in Australia, I'm just refuting the idea that on the whole the cost to eat out is comparable to the US.

The Byron pizza place was called Earth & Sea. The sushi place next door was quite expensive as well -- although the beach hotel dinner was very affordable & good.

Surprisingly, the breakfast at the backpackers next door to our motel may have been the best food & best value we had in Byron! Although maybe it was the jetlag.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 01:38 PM
  #23  
Janese
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Anyway Scurry if you "must" eat junk food I have no sympathy for you ;0)
There is always Subway and there are always those wonderful sandwich places which make terrific bread rolls with just about every that is good for you.
I would have thought that if you spent a lot of time in Brisbane you would have eaten in the Valley most of the time. For Melbourne eat in Lygone (sp??) Street and in Sydney the best selection is in Newtown for cost etc. Then of course most towns have a wonderful Fish and chips place but suggest that people ask locals where that is - costs about $6Au for your fill. Noosa has one of those I know.
Then again Scurry was here in the Mango season and I just can't understand whats wrong with Mango smoothie for breakfast - Mango Frap for lunch - Weiss Mango Bar for afternoon tea and fillet of Mango with steak on some b b que for dinner.... must rush off to make my Mango smoothie now, Bon app................. or something or other.
 
Jan 25th, 2004, 02:07 PM
  #24  
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The $14 buffet at the Royal Crown Casino in Melbourne wasn't bad. Great salads, so-so mains, and good desserts.
The orange and gold retro decor was a bit of a hoot; reminded me of a 1960's Interstate Dennys.
Airsick_ is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 12:58 AM
  #25  
 
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Around A$20.00 for a main meal in a restaurant is pretty normal in Australia depending on whether there is seafood involved if there is then it can be up to A$25.00. Not too unreasonable for a good meal at a good restaurant.

If you want fries with that, then you can certainly eat cheaply in Australia. A good old fish and chip meal from the local greasy will cost less than A$10.00.

As for grocery prices in Port Stephens well I have just spent 4 weeks there and found the prices to be very good.
If you want to see outragous prices then go shopping in Alice Springs.

Cheers

Paul_S
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Jan 26th, 2004, 07:56 AM
  #26  
 
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I'm truly puzzled by Airsick's comments on coffee.
While it's possible in Oz to find dishwater almost as tasteless as the muck they drink in North America, we found Australian coffee - from the stuff Qantas served to what was offered in every restaurant and coffee shop - excellent, freshly brewed and reasonably priced. Indeed in Sydney it became something of a fetish.
And Australian Australian coffee (brewed from Australian beans) quite outstanding. So good we've brought tons home with us.

No-one goes to Bondi for the scenery: its surf, its handiness to the rest of Sydney and, these days, kids' opportunities to hang out with other kids is what it's all about (though the food at Moorish is about the best we found in the Southern Hemisphere). Criticising Bondi for its buildings is like criticising New York for its lack of mountains.

And what possible business is it of Airsick's or anyone else's what Australians put on their feet? If she finds bare feet unusual, that tells me more about Canada than it does about Oz.

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Jan 26th, 2004, 11:38 AM
  #27  
 
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Tell me, Flanneruk, what does 1 person's comments about feet tell you about Canada?
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Jan 26th, 2004, 12:08 PM
  #28  
Janese
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After reading your comment flanneruk I thought I would re-read Airsick's original post again.
Feet: part of a human's anatomy which in the holiday season in Australia is released from the burden of shoes for as long as possible. As a Queenslander I used to take my school shoes off as soon as I got around the corner and couldn't be seen and for the rest of the day my shoes would live in my school case. I still don't wear shoes at home and love it that way. If I go out I wear thongs most of the time.
Coffee: Australia grows some of the best coffee in the world. We drink it differently from other parts of the world and until Starbucks in the USA offered a real choice of coffee I used to drink tea in North America because the coffee was so bad in my view. The tea was even worse but I used to drink Australian tea which made up for it.
I really wish that Airsick had prefaced her comments by giving others some idea of how much she saw of Australia which was about the same as visiting L.A. San Diego and San Fransisco which in my view is not indicative of seeing the USA by the way - nor Australia - but only a very small part. I am very pleased to see people giving follow-ups of their trips but please be fair and factual, if you are going to the Hyatt for Christmas dinner expect to pay for it as our employers in Australia pay high wages to their staff in the hospitality industry and pay triple time for a holiday like Christmas day. So staff are paid the equivalent of $1200 per week pro rata for those public holidays which is quite a different story from North America.
Mateship: this is how we are and this is what makes us different from other people with the exception of Kiwis. I "know" that I am included if someone says "g'day mate" they don't have to say "g'day mate and g'day Elizabeth".
As I said before we who live in Australia know where to go and get bulk food, bulk cosmetics, groceries etc if we want and we don't need people to tell us that we are stupid and don't know the price of things. If you are shopping in a holiday centre in the middle of the holidays you can expect to pay premium prices - for instance try getting a Christmas meal around Niagra falls on a Christmas day!
Finally Torquay and Bells beach are far from being the centre of the surf culture in Australia - most surfers wouldn't even know where they were!
 
Jan 26th, 2004, 01:19 PM
  #29  
 
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>>>>>>Mateship: this is how we are and this is what makes us different from other people with the exception of Kiwis. I "know" that I am included if someone says "g'day mate" they don't have to say "g'day mate and g'day Elizabeth".<<<<<<

I've lived in four English-speaking places : Southern Africa, Canada, USA, and Australia. It's been my observation that the different nuances of English in each place can trip one up. One may go to an English speaking country for the first time and THINK one understands what's going on, without understanding the different connotations that words carry.

As far as "mate" in Australia is concerned, I think it shares something in common with "y'all" in the American South. This is not to say "mate" and "y'all" mean the same thing. Rather, the similarity (I think) is in the fact that, when the term is used to address a local person or people, he / she / they know the intention behind it and whom it includes.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 01:59 PM
  #30  
 
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Wow -- Airsick's original post mentioned ten opinions on what he/she liked about Australia & only five on what he/she didn't care for.

Airsick also stated, "Well, I can't think of anything right now under "dislikes." There is far more to like about Australia than dislike... and I would recommend it highly as you will find out for yourselves.....It is indeed a country with much heart, brain, and courage!"

However, almost all of the post replies have addressed Airsick's dislikes and attacked many of his/her opinions. Certainly you can disagree with someone's opinion, but how can you say that they are wrong or tell them that it is none of their business? Aren't opinions always 'fair & factual'?

Would you prefer that this board was 100% glowing about Australia -- that it has no warts?

As visitors to your fine country, we certainly appreciate local Fodorite's travel advice (as I would try to provide you on the USA board), but some of these latter defensive posts have really bordered on jingoism, in my opinion.
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Jan 26th, 2004, 11:55 PM
  #31  
Janese
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Would you, Scurry, then prefer that I make mention of my trip to Boston and Philadelphia as what I thought about the USA?
Or perhaps you would prefer that I do ten likes and 110 dislikes about my trip to Detroit and make that the blanket statement for the USA.
When someone makes a statement whether that statement be a pro or a con that same statement must be factual as there are many people who read this forum and try and get a general idea of what Australia is about and when something is not right then it should be pointed out.
i.e.
"The Christmas Day buffet at the Melbourne Grand Hyatt was $200/person! I've never seen anything that expensive - even in a major North American city." Sure that is expensive but surely if you were working on Christmas Day you would want triple time too Scurry but nowhere is it pointed out that in Australia people in the hospitality industry are paid a regular wage unlike in the USA where tips make up the best part of a person's wage in the hospitality industry. I would also point out that I have seen prices like that 10 years ago in New York at the 5 star hotels and not on a major holiday either.
Ditto the coffee situation - what a load of bollocks! We were drinking Capuccino before you Americans/Canadians had even heard of the word.
"But even the groceries were expensive! I stayed with a friend in Port Stephens and in fairness, bought the groceries. Everything is downsized,but you pay North American price for half the quantity" Bollocks again - what is the evidence for this" What is downsized? Because the main street in Port Stevens doesn't have a mega barn that does not mean that it is representative of the whole of Australia. Let me say that the opposite is true - you can get better quality fresh fruit and vegetables all year round in Australia and the cost is nowhere near that of say Canada with the exception of those foodstuffs that are a speciality there.
"If only the Australians knew how much they were being ripped off! They should start a massive consumer revolt!" Who is Airsick talking to? Would it surprise some of you to learn that some of us actually go outside our borders and are well aware of what prices are where and at what comparison price. This is what I am talking about when I say that you must be fair and correct if you make a statement. We Australians are not all nit wits who have not ever been anywhere and don't know if we are being ripped off or not. If you make a statement like that one preface it with " I found that Port Stevens was expensive and I could not find a large bulk service retailer there that sold things for cheaper prices in larger quantities - perhaps we should have asked a local for some directions"
"The places to get a good and cheap coffee are few and far between. I don't like McDonalds coffee in North America, but in Oz it started to taste pretty good.Australians drink a lot of instant coffee, even in the complimentary coffee provided by most hotels" Again this is a load of crap and again perhaps it should have been prefaced with " perhaps we should have asked a local where to get a good cup of non-instant coffee, we didn't and couldn't find any good coffee anywhere.
One thing Scurry that you should have learned while you were here in Australia is that most of us don't care too much for bullshit!
 
Jan 27th, 2004, 01:23 AM
  #32  
 
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You're right, scurry - the responses to Airsick's report seem to have taken on an increasingly defensive (and in the most recent post, aggressive) tone. We Australians should be mature enough to take a little criticism with good humour, and where it may be ill-founded, offer a polite correction. This thread seems to have become, dare I say it, a storm in a coffeecup. And, given that (I think) Airsick is Canadian, Lord only knows how the Americans got dragged into this one!

While this country has matured a lot in the last few decades, there remains a lurking sense of insecurity about our place in the world that at times can manifest itself in .... yes, I guess "jingoism" might be the right word. Fortunately this is a declining phenomenon - I hope.

Having previously pointed out that Australian waiters and waitresses don't rely on tips to eat, I now feel the need to point out that neither are they quite as well-heeled as a previous contributor suggests. In reality overtime rates are the exception, not the rule, and a typical wage is a flat AU$12-15 per hour - not penury, but hardly a fast track to a BMW either.

Airsick, and other visitors, please don't be deterred from offering an honest opinion about your experiences in Australia. The brickbats are more entertaining than the bouquets anyway!

Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 27th, 2004, 02:00 AM
  #33  
 
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Janese et al,

First off, I love Australia and Australians. If I didn't, I wouldn't have spent so much of my life there & wouldn't count so many of your countrymen as some of my closest friends.

That said, let's lighten up here. Airsick made some personal opinions about your coffee, expensive rstaurants and preference in footwear -- there was no brutal attack on Steve Waugh, Flag, or Queen. I don't ever even recall anyone calling anyone a nitwit.

Janese, if you made some blanket statements about the USA based on a trip to Detroit, but then ended it with "There is far more to like about America than dislike...and I would recommend it highly as you will find out for yourselves...It is indeed a country with much heart, brain, and courage! -- I would honestly be thrilled.

I know Australians don't care for B.S. -- but that's not what Airsick gave you, he/she gave you their honest opinion: good & bad. You obviously don't agree with the negative stuff, but I really don't understand the hostility.

Let's all share a mango & have fun.
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Jan 27th, 2004, 09:40 PM
  #34  
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Hey Neil from Oz....I love ya! You should have been voted "Australian of the Year" instead of that whatchamacallit cricket player! And Scurry....I'll break the peace mango with you any day.
Love "Airsick," a.k.a. A caffeine-crazed Canadian with a foot fetish!
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Jan 28th, 2004, 10:44 AM
  #35  
 
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Aw shucks, Airsick .... actually I think my nomination for Australian of the Year must have got lost in the mail, unless that bloke in the pub who I paid to sign the form forgot to post it. I did start to worry about him after the Rolex he sold me for $20 stopped working.

Actually a lot of people have strenuously objected to giving a sporting personality the award, but given the fact that the process seems to be controlled by a committee based in the bowels of the Prime Minister's Department here in Canberra, it's no great surprise. Try to imagine an ice hockey player scoring Canadian of the Year, if (God forbid) you have such a thing.

Scurry, as a sports-averse republican who'd like our flag redesigned, I for one wouldn't care too much if you did feel the urge to beat up on Mrs Windsor, cricket etc. But I know that you'd be too polite to do that (and the return fire could be withering!) I for one appreciate your well-considered contributions.





Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 28th, 2004, 11:34 PM
  #36  
 
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Heres my list of Likes and Dislikes:

Likes:
1. Unique wildlife
2. Vast blue ocean and white sand beaches
3. Australian Architecture like Sydney habr Bridge,Sydney opera house, Swan bells etc. Guidebooks promote Victorian architecture but OZ styles are outstanding.
4. Natural wonders like 12 Apostles,Ayers Rock, Wave Rock.... Nature has blessed Australia.
5. Convenience of Public Transport.
6. Many Aussie souvenirs to choose from.
7. Ironing equipment inside the hotel room.


Dislikes:
1. SHops closed too early except in Chinatown.
2. I agree with AIrsick. Food is expensive.
3. Graffiti.

Overall, Australia is beautiful.


leniram is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 06:09 PM
  #37  
 
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I've got one minor dislike:

The early Checkout time at hotels. I think all the places was 10:00 a.m.

Dude, I'm on vacation. I usually sleep till 11 & then need at least an hour or two to get my stuff together.

Most of my hosts were very understanding and gracious, but I know I didn't make any friends with the housecleaners who wanted to get on with their days. Hopefully some of the beers I left in the room served as a thank you/I'm sorry.
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Jan 29th, 2004, 08:42 PM
  #38  
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[email protected] Gee Neil, I must have bought the same watch from the same guy. Mine conked out as soon as I crossed the Equator.
When I got home I thought maybe if I moved it to my "Southern Hemisphere" by strapping it around my knee, it would perk up again, but to no avail. I don't know what else to do other than to take up cricket and then nominate myself for "Australian of the Year",(they won't check, will they?)and acquiring a taste for Vegemite sandwiches. (The shoes will remain on, though, as it is twenty-below here!)Frankly, I'm getting tired of this darn watch -- or "timepiece" as the bloke corrected me. I'm afraid this "captive audience" was indeed "fair game." My naievete
was about as indiscreet as Uluru. Could "timepiece" also mean
"She's worth the time to sell this piece of s**t."
! I think you should be happy to find that while in Australia I was not privy to any jingoism. What I did experience was an an abundance of esprit de corps.
Anyways, I've also enjoyed and learned much from your commentary.Thank you!
I have another question: Since you are from Canberra, is it really as dull as Bill Bryson portrays it? Didn't he also refer to it as "The Gateway to Nowhere?"
Surely Bryson can't be right; if Canberra is even as half as interesting as you are, I'll definitely tag it as a "must see" next time I cross back over the equator!
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Jan 29th, 2004, 10:11 PM
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Hi Scurry - a lot of cleaning staff are paid hourly on casual rates and often they have other jobs to go to. so if someone is still in bed at 11am and the check-out is 10.00am and there are no other rooms left to clean it means that the operator has to pay the cleaner for waiting for the guest to vacate - that's if she can wait. Late checkouts can often be arranged, but in the case of a small operation expect to pay a "late check-out fee" as it means a cleaner will have to return to do the room. Also, in an area such as Cairns, there are no night flight curfews, which means planes start landing as early 4.10am from Japan. Making the check-out time later than 10am would be really tough on these people as they wouldn't be able to check in until they were nearly dead with exhaustion!
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Jan 30th, 2004, 09:02 AM
  #40  
 
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Pat,

Thanks for the explanation. I guess if you made the guests clean their own rooms, the management could save even more money!

Obviously, I'm just kidding. My point though is that there's always a business reason behind strict rules and processes. As a business operator you should ask yourself if you're doing it for yourself or your suppliers (the cleaners) -- or are you doing it for the customer. Is there a compromise or a different, more flexible way of doing something so all parties win? Perhaps not, and in this case it may not be an issue for 99% of your customers.

Regardless of the reason, it was a dislike of mine.
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