from an Aussie-American
Clerk to patron: "Only 7 more weeks til I get to go back to Australia!"
July 27th, 2007 11:38pm
I ask the question--he looks like a mixed race black guy so....he tells me his father was in the US Navy stationed in Australia, married an Australian, had him. Parents divorced but he has dual citizenship.
So of course, I ask him which is better, America or Australia.
He says no doubt, Australia.
1. high standard of living--but Aussie jobs pay better and it works out better than here
2. I get health insurance and good hospitals
"You can become an Australian automatically if you join the Australian Navy for only two years!"
Of course, I'm too old. Otherwise I might consider it.
July 27th, 2007 11:40pm
Anyway, it was really depressing to hear that from someone who has spent many years in both places.
America really does suck compared to other westernized countries.
We really do.
July 27th, 2007 11:42pm
Does wanting to get away from the super-competitive nature of LA traffic (all hours of the day and night) count? (plus smog).
I drive an hour and a half plus to work every morning. Then I sit down and email helpdesk, about 30 ft. or so away, to which they seemingly never respond, but if I walk over there and ask them, they'll give me an answer. Living in LA is absurd in many ways.
July 28th, 2007 2:08am
> "the super-competitive nature of LA traffic"
What are you competing for?
Locutus of Borg
July 28th, 2007 2:50am
I'm not, that's the problem. See how close one come come to zipping in and out of traffic without dying, coming as death as possible, that seems to be how it's done. Then there's this weird thing with chasing going on, like one or more cars will do it.
Driving eighty miles an hour, trailing one another, mirroring lane changes at about 5 ft. apart or less. It's weird, it's even worse at night than during the day, really odd. I see it night after night, like even nascar drivers don't get as crazy as some of these people. You have to see it for yourself. And you guys that stand completely up (not exaggerating - I've had relatives in town witness it) on your motorcycles doing 60 mph in heavy traffic. You guys are complete bores next to the chasers - they must be on meth or something.
Everyone just expects someone to do a suicidal move at all times, make way, it's pretty ridiculous.
July 28th, 2007 3:28am
We call those types of motorcycles "donor-cycles."
I've only driven in LA traffic in the evening when it's not as bad - I'm still the slowest guy on the freeway.
Are wages in Australia really that good? trollop?
July 28th, 2007 3:31am
It's weird, if you get suddenly stuck behind a guy going 55, they fly by you on both sides at 80 mph. And the roads here are all curvy as heck (some blind curves), up and down, virtually no straightaways as far as lanes are drawn. People put on their blinkers and won't get over because they expect you to fly by them.
July 28th, 2007 3:31am
Don't forget culture differences though. In America, everyone says "Have a nice day, and means it".
My last boss was Australian. He loved it there, of course, he missed having the tons of holidays they have over there. But he said if someone blocks in your car, like at a construction plant over there, they would just look at you and walk away, leaving your car stuck there all day. He says they are basically like 'I don't give a f, it's your problem', over there.
July 28th, 2007 3:46am
Of course he was smiling when he said that, used to it, didn't bother him at all. I was the one shocked, it seems.
July 28th, 2007 3:48am
Kinda like, F U, mate, now have gudday. lol. I've liked all the Aussies I've met, in meatspace.
July 28th, 2007 3:50am
That result is about par for anyone stupid enough to park in a construction xone.
It's hard to compare - so much is the same and yet so much is different. If anything the gap between is comparable to that between USA and Canada.
Minimum wage is officially AUD$13.47 per hour (about 11.90 USD/hr) but there's a lot of casual workers being ripped off. You can make a bloody fortune in WA driving mine trucks but the cost of accomodation and food there is also skyhigh. Unions are much stronger than in the States and the gloves are off for an election later on this year:
Tipping is virtually unknown outside fancy restaurants and hotels.
Medical/pharma is public/private mix and far cheaper than the US. Employers don't get involved.
It's pretty hard to freeze to death outside of the high mountains or SW Tasmania. On the other hand, the heat ...
And drive on the left, please. LA sounds like our Western Ring Road. It's B-Doubles doing 110kph on your arse that give me the willies.
And if you don't want to cop an earful, stay off politics or claim to be Canadian (no, we can't tell the difference).
Tell us more about the climate.
Does it get hot over there ?
Here you are:
Did I mention metrication? Anything over 40 degrees is a bit warm.
heh. Aussie-Amer clerk went through the list of industries possible to work in but I forgot them. He did say limestone quarrying is HUGE and ship building is HUGE (for the Brits), in his words.
July 28th, 2007 10:40am
I don't get it. Why's he clerking in the US then? Go pick up an ax.
"Linux, if you hate LA so much, why do you live there?"
Mainly because it's the best market (location) for IT, that I can think of. NY, Chicago, LA, DC (with clearance).those are the best places. Maybe Atlanta, too, but Atlanta is the size of a tiny speck, compared to LA - hard to imagine the same number of jobs.
Now, if I have a few more years exp. on my resume, then the possibilities for moving may begin to open up more. The weird thing is that it's been only recently that I suddenly had this urge to leave, last few months.
It's seemed to me many a time like a good goal in LA is to make a fair amonunt of money doing something, then retire somewhere else, I've just never been on the winning end of that equation. Australia seems like a country where people can be pretty well taken care of. In the U.S., it seems like you are only as good as your family, upbringing, in-born talent.
...unless you get a govt. job. I can't believe how many people have govt. jobs here, there are so many. Seems like every single chick on dating sites is a teacher. From teacher of the impaired, dropouts, broken homes, you name it. I almost became a probation officer. They have billboards on the freeway I drive saying become a cop and make 73k - been up there for months. I know people in police, fire, many teachers.
It's amazing how big, and well-hidden an industry that failure can be. It's like in comparison I know very few people in private sector, and I'm not quite sure they even grok it other than to know that govt jobs are much preferable for saftety and retirement.
and I'm not quite sure the people in govt. jobs even grok private jobs other than to know that govt jobs are much preferable for saftety and retirement, or to say that they had some job not as good beforehand. Construction seems like the best non-govt. job - anything to do with physically doing something to real-estate.
The other main industry here, of course, is retail.
Retail, govt., and Real-estate (including cars). Any job outside of those 3, in LA, is practically considered exotic.
LorB, why haven't you thought about moving closer to where your job is and avoiding that horrible commute? I know moving is a big pain but you are renting, right -- wouldn't it be worth the one-time hassle to shorten your journey? I get the impression you would be moving closer to beach communities too. Not a win-win?
Thanks, Bon. Everybody keeps telling me it's far more money to live out there (so I wonder where is closer but still okay??). There's some major dive, slummy-looking apts. along the smog-infested freeway in West LA. So maybe I could see if any of them aren't taken, and aren't crack-house country.
It seems to me that 90% of the homes in LA are so old-looking, I mean straight out of the 1930's and stuff. It boggles my mind that people will live in some places just for the job or weather. The only explanation for some people not throwing-up when they visit here is that they can stay on the freeway, hit Disneyland, then get back on the plane. ;-p After a while, the f'd upness of it can start to feel quaint though, as you learn your way around, on a Sunday afternoon maybe.
I actually live in a relatively upscale town.
July 28th, 2007 7:02pm
The people here are nice, though; particularly once they get out of their car.
July 28th, 2007 7:03pm
A lot of people here haven't been here enough decades to fully realize how fast people move here, how fast it builds up and home prices go up. It's like maybe they get here nowadays and don't know any better, that it was once a lot nicer.
Most people don't seem to care too much, as long as the weather is good, I guess, compared to wherever they froze their ass off/came from.
July 28th, 2007 7:07pm
BTW, it's a gorgeous day today. Easy to see why everyone wants to move (cram in) here.
July 28th, 2007 7:33pm
It's always a gorgeous day in Southern California. :-) That's why people live there.
What are some place names around LA, good and bad? I'm not too familiar with that area.
I know that everywhere around southern Orange county is pretty nice; San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, up through Irvine all nice (and expensive). I've seen that if I drive up I-5 north of Anaheim it goes through some places where I really wouldn't want to live.
I'm down in San Diego county myself. Oceanside and Vista have good districts and bad districts (drive-by shootings happen in the bad districts). But from Carlsbad down to La Jolla it's all good (and expensive). Inland is cheaper (but hotter. Much hotter.)
This is really kinda easy. hehe. Take the 5 north to the 57 fwy. Now take the 57 fwy north. Pretty much everything east of the 57 fwy is desireable, and west of it isn't.
Brea is nice, straddles both sides of the fwy, just north of Anaheim, but that feels like pretty much it. I mean, west of the 57 fwy pretty much is all of Los Angeles.
NW of the city proper can start to seem a little homey to me, like Glendale, but that's because I've had relatives there and I know the area well. I don't really know the valley _at all_, but I can't even understand why the valley is part of LA anyway, it is really completely NW of LA.
July 28th, 2007 10:33pm
I forgot to throw in Pomona, a large, kinda ghettoish town, they even have their own downtown area, E. of the 57 fwy that isn't desirable to live in.
But even the traffic and population of the town I live in has skyrocketed since when I first lived here.
July 28th, 2007 10:39pm
You could say it's kinda nice North of the 210, but either way, kinda drawing a circle around LA. Admittedly San Bernardino has one of the highest crime-rates, historically, but just living outside of LA can be counted as a victory.
July 28th, 2007 10:44pm
What about the west, from Long Beach up to Santa Monica? Or is that really expensive?
The beachfront property is really expensive, and the houses are stacked high, vertically, maybe separated by a sideyard the size of a walkway. Parking is basically a nightmare.
July 29th, 2007 2:13am
Santa Monica strikes me as a sh*thole once you leave the beach. I went bowling last week there. Of course the people who live there are nice and all, but the traffic is so atrocious and cops are everywhere (but respectful). I mean, there are streets with like a thousand cars and no protected left turn, so you can year people yelling asshole out their window (but since that probably always happens there, you would learn to ignore it).
July 29th, 2007 2:18am
To me, everywhere in S.D. seems like paradise, but S.D. is so gosh darn sunny! I feel like if I tried to walk around w/o sunglasses for a day there I'd go blind.
July 29th, 2007 2:20am
"Wow. You were totally LorBing there."
I'd really have to write a book to do it justice.
July 29th, 2007 2:37am