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ty slothrop
11-08-2004, 07:46 AM
or anyone who has been to or is familiar with the aussie world...

I am an American in the fortunate position of having an opportunity to relocate to Sydney (Double Bay, to be precise) for business. I have always been extremely intrigued by Australia but don't really know that much beyond the laid-back, easy-going image that most Americans have in their heads about the Aussie people.

My question is, how is your society being transformed by the recent developments in the world (i.e. terrorism, Iraq war, all of this junk)? I am not happy at all with the direction America is heading. In light of Bali, has your government, media, and society maintained its openness and friendliness? Has your society on the whole become reactive and fear-driven like ours, or begun to lean in that direction?

For the record, please no responses from anyone in America like @hole. Your gloating is not welcome in my thread.

Thanks in advance, mates!

rhubarb
11-08-2004, 07:50 AM
Sorry?

Radical Shot
11-08-2004, 07:41 PM
Double Bay is a great place to live. Posh suburb - what line of work are you in!?

No doubt about it, the world is changing, but I doubt that Australia will ever become as difficult as America is. If a civil war ever broke out here, the men probably couldn't be bothered turning up - too busy in the backyard shed, or have a BBQ or football match to watch.

A lot of Australians fear that the US culture is starting to transform the Aussie way of life. Unfortunately, whatever happens in America seems to make it's way to Australia sooner or later.
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K!ck5w3rvE
11-08-2004, 09:39 PM
Double Bay is posh. lol There aren't many laid back easy goers there, because you have to work really hard for a long time to be able to afford to live there (or have rich parents).

People are kinda worried, but not much. If your living in Sydney, try to get out in time for the Adidas International in Sydney, which is a lead up to the AO.

If your worried about safety and whether or not to come, I'd come, because its a lot safer than USA, and their is no threat of anything happening.

jings
11-09-2004, 12:12 AM
Great country, wonderful lifestyle. Sydney is fun, great food and about as good a melting pot of international influences and Aussie lifestyle as you'll get.... and I'm a Pommie! The MAJOR upside of course is that you'll be able to really learn about cricket!

Seriously if someone put Sydney in front of me I'd bite their hand off and ask where the aeroplane tickets were.

galain
11-09-2004, 04:38 AM
Jings - i didn't know you were a Pom! How's the expat life treating you in Singapore, lah?

As the others have said - Double Bay is very nice. You might find your neighbours checking you out to see if you "fit in" with the neighbourhood though. Australia is still a nice easy going place to spend some time, although Sydney is probably the most frenetic of the major cities. It's also the most physically beautiful of the cities (and Double Bay would be great place to live to enjoy this) and there is great "outdoors" culture all across the country (even where I am in Melbourne - which is not known for its fine weather).

It's a safe country, although don't be too taken aback if some of our more ignorant decide to blame you for President Bush and the Iraq War (it happened to one of my patients 2 weeks ago - a girl from Seattle). I do definitely think there is a little more concern generally in recent times - many of the Jewish schools near me now have full time security guards on patrol (which doesn't really do much to help the image of Australian Islamic people unfortunately) - and we've also just come through an election too - and national security was a strong platform for both candidates. So yes - where once we probably would have not spared a thought to how "safe" we are, i think it's a more conscious thing now.

Having said that, most Australians don't get too carried away with such things. It's easy going and a pretty egalitarian place. Most people arent' going to care who or "what" you are. Whether you're a garbage man or a doctor or a politician - if you're a good bloke you'll be okay.

And Melbourne is not that far from Sydney - come down for the Open.

007
11-09-2004, 04:41 AM
Canada + Austrailia have way more in common....good common that is....than they do with the USA in terms of politics, socioculture, and lifestyle.

ty slothrop
11-09-2004, 05:35 AM
thanks everyone for your comments, i really appreciate you weighing in. one topic I left off: what's the tennis scene like? obviously tennis is huge in australia, but is it a club sport? how expensive is it? is there easy access to public courts?

here in the northeast USA, it's 0 degrees this morning, and the prospect of sweating on the tennis court under the hot aussie sun in january has me more than a little excited

Radical Shot
11-09-2004, 12:28 PM
Expect hot, hot summers, with mid-range humidity in Sydney. Many tennis courts, and if you're living in DBay, you're probably going to be next door to someone who has at least 3 different surfaced courts in their back yard! ;-) Break out the TournaGrips, you're going to need them...oh, and don't forget to bring an esky, a stubbie wetsuit, your thongs, some zinc, and a boomerang, just in case some stray wombat decides to invade the court while you're playing.
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galain
11-09-2004, 04:17 PM
LOL at stray wombats scurrying across the court!

Tennis is extremely accessible here. There are many public courts that are relatively cheap to hire if not completely free. I played an hour on Show Court 1 at Melbourne Park on Friday and it cost $20 - which is really probably the most expensive you'll ever get. I can't speak for the Sydney scene but Melbourne is much more of a "club" environment than my home town of Brisbane - up there it's a lot more laissez faire.

I think Patty Rafter is living around Double Bay these days.. Radical is right - in Double Bay you'll find more than a few places with their own private courts.

Radical Shot
11-09-2004, 04:52 PM
The stray wombat thing is not too far from the truth. I've been swooped by magpies, irritated by insects, buzzed by butterflies, dogged by dogs and the worst of all, laughed at by kookaburras whilst playing tennis here in Australia.
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jings
11-09-2004, 05:00 PM
Galain, yes Pom thru and thru I'm afraid, although I'm one of the lucky ones and had orthodontics at a young age and take the odd bath! Expat life good fun, been here 7 years now with wife and kids but Aussie is our great escape when we feel the need for more familiar surrounds, it's a bit nearer than SA where the better half is from. Tell me about Melbourne weather ... was down there for a chum's wedding, sorry mate's, couple of weeks back and then stayed on for the "Cup". Don't know if the race stopped the nation but the weather as good as stopped my circulation!

bertrevert
11-09-2004, 06:41 PM
Just up from Double Bay, in Rushcutter's Bay, is also famously (semi-famously?) the tennis shop called... Strung Out (well, Kings Cross is up the road from Double Bay), as you can see here (http://www.strungout.com.au/).

Good location (can get to city, beach, harbourside) and should be a great-mate time!

White City is close-by (http://www.whitecitytennis.com/) and has grass courts and so on. This little map shows just how close (http://www.whitecitytennis.com/contacthtml/map1.htm).

But that is a bit of a club to get into. But there's many moer courts than that!

Fantoro
11-09-2004, 09:10 PM
Galain, still waiting for THAT hit!!!scared or shy? Anyway...Pat Rafter lives in Mosman which is a wide serve across the harbour.

For your tennis, get used to synthetic grass in Sydney and doubles competition only...Melbourne is THE hub for tennis comp or otherwise, sorry. If you play competitively, try the Illawarrra Tennis Club in Rockdale, known as one of the largest/ best in NSW.

Radical Shot
11-09-2004, 09:12 PM
Yep, Rockdale tennis centre is the place to hit.
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galain
11-09-2004, 11:43 PM
Fantoro

email me privately - absent@datafast.net.au. I'm free tomorrow, Friday and Saturday - would love a hit if the weather holds!

galain
11-10-2004, 12:08 AM
Sorry mate - should clarify...free tomorrow and Friday during the day, not evenings. Saturday any time, Sunday morning is good too. Or next Wednesday night - let me know. Moved house a few months back and "filed" a lot of stuff I can't find anymore - including your number! Lets catch up.

Dedans Penthouse
11-10-2004, 10:57 AM
or anyone who has been to or is familiar with the aussie world...
Thanks in advance, mates!

ty slothrop: great place! the plane ride is longer than long......you'll be chopped liver for a day or two.

"Australia" The Kinks

Opportunities are available in all walks of life in Australia
So if you're young and if you're healthy
Why not get a boat and come to Australia

Australia--the chance of a lifetime!
Australia--you get what you work for.
Nobody has to be any better than what they want to be
Australia--no class distinction!
Australia--NO DRUG ADDICTION!
Nobody's got a chip on their shoulder.....
We'll surf like they do in the U.S.A.
We'll fly down to Sydney for a holiday
On sunny Christmas Day
Australia! Australia!
No one hesitates at life or beats around the bush in Australia
So if you're young and if you're healthy
Why not get a boat and come to Australia
Australia, sha-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la
Australia, sha-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la
Everyone walks around with a perpetual smile across their face
Australia, sha-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la
Australia, sha-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la
Everyone gets around, and nobody can ever get you down

We'll surf like they do in the U.S.A.
We'll fly down to Sydney for a holiday
On sunny Christmas Day!
Australia...Australia

good points: beaches, Aussie women, "Aussie slang," scuba diving off Great Barrier Reef, and Aussie women. Also: Aussie women.

bad points: Vegamite! Vegamite! Vegamite! Also: Funnel web spiders.

silent bob
11-11-2004, 04:20 AM
Devil's Advocate:

Oz is beautiful . . . shame about the people . . .

Actually, you will probably enjoy it . . . if you're white.

Seriously, Sydney and Melbourne are nice, but very small, and these are the only "blue states" in the country. The rest of Oz is Bush country in more ways than one.

The big difference between the American Red-neck and the average Aussie is that the Aussies are better-travelled. (Nevertheless, they are known as the "white trash of the English speaking world" in most of the paces they frequent. ) This travel results in people that, even though they share the red-neck xenophobia etc, they also adopt the prevailing world-view of America, which is very negative. Americans are generally referred to as "Seppies", which is short for Septic Tanks (which rhymes with Yanks - C0ckney rhyming slang that reminds one of the country's penal colony history.)

Good Points: Beaches. Weather. Outdoor lifestyle. Sports. Food. Visitors.

Bad points: most Aussie women. most Aussie men. all Aussie slang. Racism.

Bottom line: You should still go. It is certainly no worse that America, and it will give you and your family a different perspective.

Dedans Penthouse
11-12-2004, 08:19 AM
Bad points: most Aussie women. all Aussie slang.

Bottom line: You should still go. It is certainly no worse that America, and it will give you and your family a different perspective.

silent bob: I guess I must stand corrected regarding a number of things Aussie, and granted there are those "provincial" types of wannabes (read: wannabes), but as far as the Aussie women goes (well, the ones I met), I still 'stand' by my contention that for the most part, Aussie woman were good (when in the saddle), and if they weren't....well.....either I didn't remember "those other ones" or I fortunately must've been hammered enough to have enjoyed the alternative reality: "a 2 is a 10 at 2 a.m."

"No worse than America?" yo bob, I don't know if that's the result of some post-Election Day James Carvelle-esque hangover (I didn't vote for Bush either), but.....did you say "worse?" What's up with that? Without some sappy, sentimental-sounding violins playing "My Ol' Kentucky Home" in the background, I could however, easily name you a zillion....well, half a zillion good/great things about this "worst" dump of a nation---from Big Sur/Montery eastward to oatmeal soap skinny bathing at 6:00 a.m. in a New Hampshire lake with some happy, buxom "local flower"........that is, from sea-to-shining-sea. Amen!......Now say Halleluia!! :wink:

Zverev
11-13-2004, 04:26 AM
OZ is a great place for tennis.
You can play it all year around, 12 months a year, mate!

I live in the small country town (around 5000 people),
there are 3 tennis clubs, each has 5-6 tennis courts(artificial grass).
Annual membership is $40 - unlimited access, so I took membershipship in all of them, just in case.
Can play tennis every day, the only thing that holds me back is my injuries.

Besides, Aussies are THE greatest people on this planet,
prawns are cheap, lamb is tasty and the beer is good.

Regards
Zverev
(4 years of OZ life experience.)

tennisphotog
11-29-2004, 09:28 AM
You are quite fortunate. And you are right to worry about the direction of America. If I had your opportunity, and having spent lots of time in Sydney, I would relocate and never return to the states. As they say "you are going to a better place"

ty slothrop
12-13-2004, 06:19 AM
thanks everyone for your great feedback. my opportunity has been pushed back until probably late in 2005, but I'm seriously considering going for it.

just in time for melbourne 2006 (jaden gil agassi def. donald young for men's title)!

AndrewD
12-14-2004, 05:07 PM
Gee, thanks Silent Bob for completely trashing my entire country lol.

I do take exception to most, not all, of what you wrote but I am sorry that somewhere along the line you've managed to get such a negative view of the place.

Ty, Australia is no better or worse than most other places in the world but if the opportunity comes to work there I'd say give it a go. You learn more about a country when you have the opportunity to see it as more than just a tourist so I think it would be a great experience.

As Bob said, Sydney and Melbourne are small in comparison to capital cities in other countries but therein lies the charm. As regards the people, there are the same types you get anywhere. What you call 'white trash' we might call 'yobbos' (the only people who would use the word Seppo). Still, live in a nice area = meet nice people. Live in a crappy place = meet people you wouldnt like.

Yes, there is racism but, unfortunately, show me a country where there isnt any. Put it in some context. The worst racism Ive ever seen was when I worked in Indonesia for 12 months. The most out in the open Ive seen was in Scandanavia and Germany. Nowhere is immune and Australia suffers just the same as everywhere else. One bright spot is Melbourne, where you cant turn around without bumping into someone from a different culture.

I've spent 10 of my 35 years working and travelling overseas and Ive yet to find anyone who thought that, just because Im Australian, I was 'white trash'. I'd say, on average, we're friendlier than the Engish, on a par with the Canadians and genuinely puzzled by the Americans lol. No, we're not as sophisticated as the Europeans (or as world-weary) but happily not as class conscious as the English or suffering from the desire to tell the rest of the world what they should do and think.

One thing though. Bring a sense of humour and learn to appreciate and recognise dry-wit and sarcasm. Australians do like to 'poke fun' at each other and aren't really a good match with anyone who takes him or herself too seriously.

Good luck

Radical Shot
12-14-2004, 05:13 PM
Well said cobber.

Totally agree about the need to learn to appreciate and recognize the Aussie sense of humour. Many Americans in particular get caught out by it and get easily offended, when usually the opposite is meant.
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AndrewD
12-14-2004, 06:05 PM
Thanks Radical Shot. We mightn't be the 'greatest' nation in the world but at least we have Australian Rules (apologies if you're a Rugby fan lol). Although it is a bit embarrassing when you have to admit to the rest of the world that 1) we have yobbos and 2) we let them travel LOL

Radical Shot
12-14-2004, 06:39 PM
Yeah, but there's a bit of the Aussie yobbo in each of us, just waiting to come out after a few homebrews.

The Aussie bloke is an interesting creature indeed.

Love the AFL. Go Swannies!
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Cuzza
12-29-2004, 01:04 AM
Yep, AFL also makes our country great.

Australia is often called the lucky country. We would have a more laid-back approach to America, especially with wars etc.

Tennis is great here too. I think its the most played sport in the country. Well, I'm in Melbourne, so I can't say for sure in Sydney, but there are tennis courts everywhere here. There are heaps of competitions/tournaments. Tennis is fairly big down here.

K!ck5w3rvE
12-31-2004, 03:46 PM
Some tennis places you'll want to check out are:

Sydney International Tennis Centre. Its at Homebush. It is the venue of the Sydney International, but the public can play there. There are heaps of Rebound Ace courts (love this stuff).

Tennis Ranch. Its a big tennis shop at Gladesville.

Top Serve Tennis, at Burwood. These guys travel the tour stringing for pros everywhere. They are the official Luxilon stringers in Australia (Luxilon sends all its strings to TST, then other shops have to buy them off TST). Their play-test facility for getting a new stick is excellent.

Here's some sites:

www.tennisranch.com.au
www.********tennis.com
www.sydneytennis.com.au

K!ck5w3rvE
12-31-2004, 03:48 PM
weird.......that second link isn't supposed to have all those ********, its supposed to say 'top serve tennis' (without the speech marks and spaces).