It’s been a little over two weeks since I left Canada and I’m sure all of you are dying to know how things have been so far! So here is an account of what’s been going on 🙂
I spent an inglorious two days in Shanghai (inglorious for China’s reputation, not me lol). Before going there I was super excited to revisit the city after nine years. However, after spending two days there experiencing and observing the behaviour or the locals, I became completely turned off and will never visit China again. The city itself is quite attractive and modern, great shopping and an abundance of food.
What turned me off was the attitudes of the people themselves, the worst situation I experienced was on my second day there it was pouring rain and the hotel I stayed at had umbrellas on loan. I had to wait until other guests returned their umbrella. I saw two umbrellas returned and the hotel staff went to get one for me, before he got to them, two other guests (a Chinese couple) went and grabbed both of them and didn’t even go outside, they took them into the elevators to ensure they wouldn’t have to wait later. The hotel staff didn’t give a rats ass, but I was completely shocked at how people could be so rude and inconsiderate! It was inconsiderate on multiple levels, they only needed one umbrella, they were a couple and could have shared! Also, taking them upstairs so they wouldn’t have to wait later, that just crossed the rudeness threshold with me and that was when I decided I would never go back to China.
What’s the big deal? There’s rude people everywhere right? That’s true but to them what happened wasn’t even considered rude, as one of my friends who was born in China said “sounds like a typical day in China” when I told her what happened. With this every man for them self attitude they’re not going to make it very far in terms of tourism and hospitality. I noticed that 90% of the tourists were Chinese from other parts of the country, western tourists were few and far between, and for good reason. I never really paid attention to the stereotype that Chinese people are rude before because I have had many friends from China and even traveled to China before. There is a huge difference between going there on your own and going with locals. If you still want to visit after my complaints, I recommend you go with someone local. In terms of technology, consumerism and food China is up there, they still have a long way to go in terms of social etiquette though. I mean…I took a shuttle bus to the gate for my plane departing to Australia and it smelled like urine, something is terribly wrong if it’s acceptable to pee on buses if you can afford to fly internationally. If you want to experience great shopping, go to the M&M’s store, maybe go to Starbucks, eat delicious food and encounter some rude people just save your money and flight time and go to New York instead.
Now for the good stuff, I’m in Australia and I love it here! I do miss home a lot and barely know anybody here yet, but I have to say I am really impressed 🙂 The weather is as amazing as I thought it would be, it’s winter and over 20 degrees everyday. It’s pretty funny they find it cold and when it gets down to 10-12 degrees at night everyone is in their wool coats, hats, warm scarves etc. Then there I am in a light jacket just laughing at how weak they are!
Aside from the weather, what’s impressed me most about Australia so far is the people! I am amazed at how polite people are here, people always thank the bus driver and I have had doors held open for me many times (not just by men). Canadians are known worldwide for being nice and polite, but this goes beyond anything I’ve seen in Canada…but then again, I spent most of my independent adult life in Toronto and we’re rude by Canadian standards.
I am also super impressed by the coffee here, it’s amazing!! and I consider myself a coffee snob. One very funny thing about coffee here is, they hate Starbucks! lol. Admittedly, I never really get just coffee from them and usually get a frapuccino or some sort of flavoured latte….but in general, we have great love for Starbucks in Canada, here, not so much. The only people who go to Starbucks here are foreigners like me 😉
Food here is also amazing, I should have kept a food journal of all I’ve eaten since I arrived here but in a way I’m glad I didn’t cause I would have read it and felt complete guilt! Miraculously, I’m shrinking despite indulging in deliciousness. There is an abundance of dessert….pastries, cakes and macaroons are everywhere! Starbucks and McCafe have cheesecakes and donuts. There’s amazing ice cream everywhere, prawns are more than double the size of what we get in Canada and everything I’v eaten has been heavenly! I hope this losing weight while eating whatever I feel like keeps up 😉
There have been a few things I’ve noticed about Australia that have surprised me, I imagined there being a lot of fit hot people here, but that’s really not the case. It actually seems there are more chubby people than Canada lol. Apparently all the fit people on the Gold Coast and they’re just fake Jersey Shore types so that doesn’t really count as being fit or hot. In my opinion Canada, Toronto in particular has the best looking people, I suppose I’m a bit biased though lol. Another thing that has surprised me is the bogans…bogan is their term for hick or red neck. Despite being a fairly large city, there’s a lot of them around. I’ve actually had a couple bars point out to me and was told that’s where the bogans go. Too funny, definitely no bogans at bars in downtown Toronto.
I’m surprised at how small and suburban this city feels, I was anticipating something comparable to Toronto, but it feels more like a sleepy little town where everything closes early and the transit system is awful. Hmmm, kinda reminds me of a place I lived for a year before I left Canada, haha! Ok, I won’t go as far as comparing Brisbane to Ottawa…the shopping here is awesome, whereas Ottawa was complete crap for that. The level of stylishness of the women here on a night out is below Toronto but above Ottawa. So that’s perfect, once I make friends to go to parties with I won’t feel completely overdressed as I did in Ottawa, but I will definitely stand out a bit 🙂
Another big surprise is how much I’ve had to lower my living standard 😥 This is probably the one part that has been most disappointing for me. My apartment is basically shoe box size with no natural light, where I have to share a kitchen and laundry with other people. I’m just thankful there’s a gym that nobody else but me uses, (I’ve confirmed this by leaving weights laying around everywhere several times) a pool and a beautiful garden that nobody else sits in lol. I guess I will just have to spend most of my time outdoors. That really has been an eye opener for me and made me realize I was really living the life before, always being in beautiful new places never having to share anything with others.
The one thing I find absolutely disgusting here is the bugs, on my second day in my place I saw a cockroach and screamed my head off. Apparently it’s normal to see them here, even in new places 😐 ugh. Since then I have set off bug bombs in my apartment and thankfully the property management has sprayed the building again.
Tomorrow is my first day of classes, omg I hope the other kids all like me! I miss all of you, not a day has gone by since I’ve left that I haven’t been in touch with friends from back home and I can’t wait to see you all again. I will definitely be blogging more later this week once school gets moving along. I am going to try my best to be social at school, normally I don’t approach new people, it’s not cause I’m mean or snobby, I’m just shy 😦
I am thinking of starting a blog series called “Bogans in Action” where I take photos/videos of them and post, hehe, not sure yet if it will happen, but it’s an idea….