Sunday, February 12, 2012

things australia does better.

After three years in Australia I have come up with a rather lengthy mental list of things I think Australia "does better." Even though these are clearly just my personal thoughts and opinions I thought I would share a few with you, dear readers. So here goes...

1. Money

First of all, money over here is PLASTIC... need I say more. I mean, what a great idea! Each note is a different colour so when you look in your wallet you have a pretty good idea of how much money you have on you. Green = feeling rich, Purple = not so much.  Also, the smallest note they have is $5, with $2 and $1 coins.  These coins are also easier to identify from the lesser value ones because they are gold instead of sliver.  Again, you can look in your wallet and quickly know what kind of money you have. There are no pennies (amazing) and you could easily find you have $20 in your wallet without even knowing it by just counting your coins. LOVE IT!

2. School Uniforms

Everyone wears school uniforms in Australia. Little kids. Big Kids. Public schools. Private schools. Everyone. I think this is absolutely wonderful! While the uniforms differ from school to school, all of the kids go to school looking the same which helps lessen bullying, decrease the cost of expensive branded school clothes and lets all of the students come to school on an equal playing field.  It doesn't matter if your family can only afford two sets of uniforms or five because you look the same everyday and no one can tell. All of the school uniforms also come with a hat which is very sun-smart and so cute in my opinion.


3. Round-Abouts

I know round-abouts can be a source of panic for some people who aren't sure how to use them. I remember when they put in a few two lane round-about in The Villages (a retirement community in Florida) and people were just out raged. But I am here to tell you that once you understand how they work, round-abouts are AMAZING! I can seriously count on two hands the number of stops signs I have seen in Australia in the last three years. Instead of putting a silly stop signs at the end of every single street, there are either round-abouts or give way signs. No "rolling through a stop sign" tickets over here. Learn how to use round-about properly and you will love them too!

4. Airports

Now I haven't been to every airport in Australia, but from what I have seen I can safely say Australian Airports are much cleaner, nicer, easier to navigate and quicker to get through then any American airport I have ever been to. I understand the need for increased security and would be the first person so support the extra precautions that have been put in place since 9-11, but Australia is clearly coming up with much more efficient ways to still ensure safety while not making the airport a place everyone hates. For example, in the domestic terminal of the Brisbane airport all of the terminals are self serve. You go the to kiosk, scan your id, print your boarding pass and luggage tags, tag your luggage and drop it off on a conveyer belt that scans each piece automatically. So instead of standing in a line with hundreds of other people waiting on five people to check you in, there are dozens of kiosks doing the same thing but making the process much more efficient. Smart.

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