As I mentioned in a previous post, expat life is getting easier. I’m used to driving on the other side of the road. I’m used to the lingo and phrases used by all the locals. I’m even starting to become accustomed to paying $15-30 minimum for a decent meal at a restaurant.
But some things still surprise me. Some things still frustrate me. Some things simply drive me mad. Maybe they shouldn’t, but they do. So there!
Today at work a colleague told the story of how he drove around for over an hour at midnight last night looking for a shop to get some stomach medicine for his sick wife. No pharmacies/chemists were open, no grocery stores were open and while some convenience stores were, none stocked any form of stomach medicine. In the end, he returned home empty handed and his poor wife got no relief. So that begs the question- what do sick people do in the middle of the night? You’ve got a mild fever, you’ve got a stomach bug… these things are not worthy of a trip to the hospital but they do sometimes require medicine. Where do you go to find these things at 1am? Are we meant to just keep a pharmacy of every drug imaginable on hand just in case we ever need it? I suppose we can stock up on $20 cold tablets and on one hand pray we never need them and on the other hand hope they don’t expire and go to waste. It just sometimes feels like Australia is so behind the times with this kind of thing. *By the way… I actually do stock up on pretty much every drug known to man so if you ever need allergy, indigestion or migraine tablets at 3am… I’m your gal!
While I’m on the topic of shops, you would think that I would have completely accepted the ridiculously overpriced goods and services by now…and for some things (like meals) I begrudgingly have. But other times when I walk into my dry cleaner and she quotes me $17 to dry clean a winter vest, I’m gobsmacked! When I buy a small packet of chocolate Easter eggs and it costs $15 bucks, I cringe. When I am at a cafe craving a coke zero and see that a 250ml/8oz bottle is $4.50 I want to scream! Reminiscing on my trip back home where I found half kilo tubs of blueberries for 2.99 and 16oz drinks with free refills for $2.00 makes me want to cry.
And can someone please tell me when the heck they are going to introduce fresh brewed iced tea at restaurants and cafes here? For a country who love their tea so much, there is not nearly enough of it going around. I don’t want the sugared up bottles of flavoured Lipton Tea. I want fresh, crisp, unsweetened tea (that I can then pour 3 packets of splenda into). Is that too much to ask?