Is Tea Too Much to Ask For?

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?




12 thoughts on “Is Tea Too Much to Ask For?”

  1. So I have heard bad things about the politics/religious side of Gloria Jeans but I don’t really know enough about it to have an opinion on it. That being said, if you don’t have a problem with them I’ve got your iced tea problem solved…kindof. I just got back from “late night shopping” and enjoyed a super cold unsweetened iced tea from there. Over the summer they introduced some super sugary tropical flavored teas and one day when I asked them to make me a plain black tea on ice they said, oh well the tropical flavored teas are just plain tea base with flavored syrups added to it so we could do that for you and it is heaven! The reason I say I have only kindof solved your problem is a)they cost about $5 for a large!! and b)grrrrr GJ’s doesn’t have Splenda, they are a Sweet & Low type of place so I always have the tea plain or bring my own Splenda.

    I’m always saying that to Steve- does Australia think that people just get sick during the day? Night time is when it seems to get worse or at least feel worse. You and I should open a Rite-Aid type store and we’ll throw in a 24 hour cafe with unsweetened ice tea for good measure…we’d be rich!

    1. Yeah… I never go into a place JUST to get an iced tea but I often would love one when I’m eating lunch. Oh well. I still can make it myself but the jug always takes up half the space in my itty bitty fridge. Good tip though and during summer time I might just stop by to get one when I’m out and about.

  2. Ha ha ha! All a matter of perspective I guess! After 19 years in Utah, AU is a breeze, breath of fresh air. Guess dealing with all the biased, hypocritical, church stuffed down yer throat, “chosen people” syndrome, please don’t pollute our kids innocence with your evil kids, and never mind that some of our relatives are polygamists, etc all that frustrating nonsense there has made it easy to deal with differences here. At least AU is a different country! Lol. Plenty of differences. A lot of things remind me of the 70’s here. But then the patriarchal, biased, Stepford wives nonsense was like living in the 50’s in Utah. So in reality I’m now only 35-40 years behind instead of 55-70 years behind! Whoo hoo! I love it here! The little stuff I don’t sweat, Utah took all the gripe outta me! I get a glass of ice water. Drink some, then pour in some hot tea and add my own packet of Stevia cause Splenda and sweet n low and aspartame are all neuro toxins. Lol.

    1. I’m moving to Stevia as well for health reasons but Splenda to me is still better than sweet n low and equal. I guess AU would seem a bit more forward thinking than Utah so I don’t blame you for feeling like it’s a breeze here. 🙂

  3. Hi Elsja,

    I too am from Cali but now live in Adelaide. Been here a while, but like you, love it but still find some things frustrating.

    Being in Sydney, you’re in the big smoke compared to sleepy old Adelaide. There is one (1!) ‘all night’ chemist in the city here. There must be something like similar in Sydney.

    Loved your post – your subtle sarcasm comes across very well in your writing. 🙂

    PS: I’ve got a great recipe for proper sweet tea if you want to try it with your Splenda or Stevia.

    1. Hi Addie! Thanks for your comment. I have heard from many people that most cities are even slower and more behind the times than Sydney and Melbourne. As much as I sometimes I think I’d live in the warm north, I don’t know if I could make it there if it’s even more backward than Sydney. I’m guessing there may be an all night chemist somewhere- I just have never thought to look for one “just in case.”

      What is your recipe? I generally don’t like it too sweet which is why I can’t handle lipton tea. I usually just brew my own- I have boxes of paradise tea and it’s delish, but the jug takes up practically the entire bottom shelf of our ridiculously small fridge.

  4. Oh, I feel your pain. I’ve been here 11 years now, and I mostly love it. It amazes me after all this time that I’m still finding silly litte nuances of Aussie culture. However, the cost of everything from groceries to shoes drives me mad. As for the iced tea, I never would have believed it when I moved here, but I’ve lost the taste for I now.

  5. That sign of $2.99 blueberries made me double take – like WHERE DID SHE GET THAT??? *sigh* a small punnet was $8 I believe this weekend – totally stinks. US grocery prices do really make me sad.
    There are a few all night chemists around though – not many – but a few. I know there’s one on my way to work – on Victoria Road on the way to Paramatta – don’t ask me exactly where though – ha ha! I agree that I just keep stocked up on everything so I don’t have to worry about that situation!

    1. It made me do a double take in the store when I saw it, hence the photo! I also took pictures of strawberries and my In n Out receipt. I REALLY miss US food prices.

  6. Number three for the double take on the blueberries here…
    Oh and I’m currently visiting my hometown in Canada and I believe I’ve purchased 10 pairs of shoes so far…

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