Our views have been shaped by the experiences that have brought us to this point in our life. In principal this is not very different to the other immigrants to Australia, what makes it unique in its own way are the nuances of these experiences and that is our view.
I cannot talk about these views without putting them in context and speaking a bit about our last station, Germany. I have lived in four different countries and Germany is by far the one place that comes close to perfection more than any other and it is the place where I have lived the longest. The efficiencies, the frugality, the thoroughness and a global conscience that is the collective German way of life has developed over the past 6 decades is unprecedented. A good friend of mine from Russia described it as a very boring place because everything works and it is near automatic, isn’t it ironic as it sounds a no worries kind of place yet it so far from it on daily basis as Germans are overall very formal, distant and constantly unsatisfied and then Germany has that terrible weather.
Australia is a great place in many ways, life is for some reason just easy-going and the mild weather makes for an excellent outdoor lifestyle. In our view though it is far from perfect and that maybe the curse of just knowing to many homes. Things are made unnecessary complicated in more ways than we could have imagined when we arrived. Simple things like setting up and proving your 100 points of id as they do in Oz so you can get basic services takes time, patience and above all it costs nerves. The surprise is that one would have thought that there would be someone who can or should tell you what you will have to do and how to do it, the onus is on the newcomer. In a country that welcomes so many thousands of immigrants you would have thought there would be more to it. That is not the case and while it is not rocket science per se, it is made more difficult by the incompetence, the lack of systems and of processes for new arrivals in the country. Beyond that even matters that one would believe is common sense are relative complicated, such as trying to get decent broadband, a matter that is trivial anywhere in urban Europe, US or Japan, has cost us at least a couple thousand dollars and countless hours on the phone with providers, as well a broken lease and countless hours on the matter of leasing properties, our rights and obligations. It is amazing that in 2013 this is an issue, I would understand it if I was in Alice Springs or some other place in the outback or the countryside.
I am not going to compare here every little aspect but suffice to say that having moved between four countries over the past twenty years, I have never had as many issues, not even when I moved back to Greece in 1996 from the US and had to deal with the incompetent civil servants. Unexpected because Australia is a modern society and it is one of the most urbanized nations on the planet, the envy of many and the place where many people dream to be able to get a chance at calling it home.
I am not, in any way, saying that this is an awful place, quite the contrary, despite our tribulations and the various costs both monetary and otherwise we are looking forward to the next 12 months with renewed confidence that things will be better, they will improve and we will finally be able to get more out of the Aussie lifestyle. It is not a post of despair nor is it one of disappointment. It is merely our experiences and while there certainly have been difficult times we have had luck with family and friends that have supported us all along.
- The great escape: European migrants fleeing the recession (guardian.co.uk)