The first post in my new blog series ‘Aussie Living in Austin‘ where I give my perspective on living in the US as an Aussie. You can expect a new post every Wednesday or Thursday!
In my first Aussie Living in Austin Post, I wanted to start off with something simple. So I decided to talk about various things I miss about Australia.
Now that I live inland, I really really do miss the smell of the ocean and sinking my toes into the sand. Having lived 10-15 minutes from the beach for the majority of my life it is truly devastating to not have that close connection to the ocean. I wish I had taken more opportunities to go the beach before I moved here. Pictured above is Nobby’s Beach my hometown’s most well-known beach that was built by convicts.
Back home in Australia, we have two major chocolate cafe chains Max Brenner and San Churro. They both have an amazing selection of chocolate drinks, food, desserts and of course chocolates to offer. They are both ‘true heaven’ for chocolate lovers like myself. I have yet to find any similar cafe here in the US.
Cafe Culture in General
While there are cafe’s here in the US they’re a little different to the cafes in Australia. American Cafe’s are basically more like ‘diners’. To Australians, they’re not true cafes. Cafes in Australia are typically more outdoor oriented with a much grander selection of Coffee and a great selection of food and desserts as well. They are everywhere in Australia.
Yes, not just Tim Tam’s (because you can buy them here) but all the other biscuit varieties I love. Mint Slice, Royals how I miss them so. I haven’t found any biscuits/brands similar to Arnott’s here so far. No doubt it’s hard to capture that iconic, high quality, delicious sweet taste!
Honestly, the US has terrible sweets (candy) and chocolates. The vast majority of it tastes so artificial and disgusting. Thankfully there are a couple of good European chocolate brands (Lindt & Guylian) you can buy here at least so I haven’t completely lost my sanity due to lack of chocolate.
Australian lollies/candy and chocolate tastes so much nicer and is made with much better ingredients. Oh, how I miss them! I even miss Cadbury sometimes and I was never the biggest fan of Cadbury chocolate (Cadbury in Australia is different from the UK Cadbury you can get in the US). Some of the Aussie (and one Kiwi) brands I miss include:
- Allen’s Lollies
- Whitaker’s Chocolate
- Australian M&M’s (yes, they taste different to US M&M’s)
- Darrell Lee (although I just discovered you can get some of their products here in the US)
I never thought I’d have to say this but I’ve been very unimpressed by the Pizza I have eaten here so far.
I mean we joke in Australia that Domino’s and Pizza Hutt is made of cardboard. But it really isn’t (when compared to their US counterparts which are literally are made of cardboard). The quality and taste of the take-out pizza brands (Domino’s, Papa John’s) I’ve tried here are truly awful. They taste so artificial and the quality of the ingredients used is very poor. The only somewhat okay Pizza I’ve had here is Austin’s Pizza.
Australian take-out pizza is a lot nicer. There’s even have a gourmet Pizza chain store called Crust Pizza which is absolutely divine. I miss it so much.
Note: There’s definitely a lot of nice food in the US but at the same time it is quite common to come across low quality food/ingredients. It’s a mixed bag for sure. But I will certainly be mentioning some of my favourite foods here in the US in an upcoming post.
Something more serious. Yes, it kind of scares me, to be honest how inaccessible healthcare is in the US compared to Australia. Basically, if you don’t have a job that gives you health Cover (more often than not there are requirements to get Health Cover and even then the Health Cover is often mediocre and expensive) you have to get it yourself. It’s really weird.
In Australia, everyone has health cover regardless of your employment status or wealth. It’s a basic human right. Health care is very rarely provided by an employer, we have Private Health Cover instead available that’s in addition to Medicare provided by the government. Australians can shop around and find the best deal that covers the conditions and health issues that they need to consider for their age and situation. So it is easy to find the right Private Health Cover to suit your needs with a decent price. Also, those who have Private Health Cover (depending on how much money they earn) don’t have to pay the Medicare levy in their taxes.
Americans really don’t know how to do public holidays the same way we do them in Australia. The only real (to an Australian where most shops are actually closed) public holidays there are here in the US are Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. I was so shocked that Good Friday wasn’t even considered a Public Holiday here. In Australia, it’s basically the equivalent of Christmas Day all the shops are closed. It’s so bizarre. We have loads more days when shops close like New Years Day, Good Friday (as mentioned) and Easter Sunday and half of ANZAC Day. I really do miss the true blue Aussie public holiday.
My next Aussie Living in Austin Post will be on ‘Things I love about America’. You’re more than welcome to suggest a topic for me to discuss in the future!
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Photo/Image Credits (in order of appearance): https://www.visitnewcastle.com.au/nobbys-beach, http://www.sanchurro.com/library/uploads/Locations/QLD/Locations_Qld_SouthBank_Opt2_1.jpg, http://nycfoodguy.com/2008/11/20/nyc-cookies-15-cases-of-tim-tams-at-tuck-shop-right-now/, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/64/NYPizzaPie.jpg.