Hi everyone, let me introduce you to my sister-in-law Lianne, who just moved to pretty much the furthest place a Dutch person can go from home: eastern Australia. To be precise, she now lives in Brisbane and will be studying here for the upcoming year. I thought it would be fun to let you guys know about her life in Australia. It will be perfect for people who also have plans to go to Australia and want to see other people make foreign mistakes first haha and of course for everyone who is just genuinely interested in life Down Under.
From now on I’ll let Lianne do the talking. So have fun reading everyone!
My first week Down Under
Hi, I’m Lianne and I just moved to Brisbane, Australia. I will be trying to keep you updated on life here. As a European citizen I come across several Aha-moments. With that, I mean everything that I encounter here in Aus that is quite different from what I was used to in The Netherlands.
For instance the road and pavements, nothing to it you might think. Still I have to think about how to use them ‘properly’. To be clearer: I have to get used to what side I have to be on and where I should look for oncoming traffic. Fortunately, the people here are very relaxed, friendly and not quickly agitated. As I walked through Brisbane a man walked towards me, so in order to let him pass I automatically moved to the far right side of the pavement. The man, polite as he was, went around me on my right side and actually had to walk through the grass to pass me. Oops! That’s still something I have to get used to: walking/driving on the left side of the road.
As you may have encountered yourself or could imagine for a Western country: the water from the tap is drinkable here, but of course there’s a BUT. This water doesn’t taste nice at all. It has quite a bit chlorine added to it. So if you’re travelling or are about to live here, be warned!
I wouldn’t have expected to be able to pay everywhere with my foreign debitcard and credit card, though when I do, I have to pay extra for it since it is in another currency. So I opened a bank account at an Australian bank. In The Netherlands we use e-identifiers to make safe money transfers. An identifier is a small device that allows you to securely log in on your bank account. It only works with you card and personal codes. This makes frauds almost impossible to happen. They don’t use or know e-dentifiers here at all.
You’re able to do all your finances from your phone by using a personal code. The SIM-cards here don’t need to be unlocked by a code either, which got me thinking about the safety of it too, but I’m sure it’ll be alright.
Another thing that had me startled in my first week is the opening hours of supermarkets. They’re quite different than in Europe.
The shops here are all closed on Sundays except for the major supermarkets. In Europe we’re getting used to the fact that all supermarkets are open 7/7 days, with some different openinghours on Sundays, but still they’re open! Little did I know: almost all shops in Brisbane close early on weekdays. As early as 5.30 pm to be precise. In The Netherlands this time could actually mean rush hour in the store, because loads of people will do grocery shopping after they’re done working.
Talking about groceries: I haven’t missed any Dutch food yet. I did pick up a sweet addiction here: the white Tim-Tams haha!
So I’ve got some things to get used to in the upcoming weeks, but I’m sure I’ll manage. I’ll keep you posted how things are going and of course let you know everything about this pretty, but sometimes weird, country I now call home. See you next time!
Good day mate from AustraLianne 😉