Best Countries For Expats Part 2

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Best Countries For Expats Part 2

“You are never too old to set another goal, or dream a new dream.” C.S.Lewis

Australia seems like a perfect place to live – beautiful weather, shrimp on the barbie and kangaroos. Australians speak English and they are friendly and helpful. They have good health care and the outdoor lifestyle is similar to California. Australian TV is like American not British TV.  Some of the natural beauty, plants and wildlife are only indigenous to Australia.  Sporting events are easy to find but outside of Sydney and Melbourne, theatre and ballet are scarce. There are 1500 species of spiders, 6000 species of flies, 4000 species of ants and 350 species of termites in Australia. Finding creepy crawly things in your home is common. I can not picture myself eating or offering a vegemite sandwich.  The cost of living like in New Zealand is very high. Flying back to America is expensive and a  long flight. LIving so far away, I will miss my friends and family and a lot of events here. 

Costa Rica feels like California with a rainforest. It has a steady democracy that spends its money on education instead of the military, A million Americans visit every year, and they have put those dollars back into infrastructure — reliable airports, deluxe highways, huge conservation districts — that make the country easy to get around and easy to enjoy. It has volcanoes, mountains and beaches. It is closer to the US than other countries we are considering which makes travel easier. My Spanish would definitely improve. Crime is a problem. If you have nice stuff or appear to have nice stuff, someone will try to steal it. There are no addresses, so if you need something mailed down, you might have to wait for a friend to bring it in a suitcase. Tourist visas are a cinch but residency can be slow going for anyone who’s not working for a big company. Foreigners have already snatched up most of the property bargains.

Warm weather, great food and “La Dolce Vita” are all good reasons to move to Italy. Every Italian city is basically a huge museum with historic buildings on every corner. The midday siesta is still a thing which is great for me because I can nap anywhere at 3:00 PM.  Real estate prices are good for Americans though many of those old beautiful houses are “fixer uppers”. Italy is not the best country for people who like big cars. It is easier to navigate the narrow cobblestone streets with  a small car or motorbike. The cost of living in the cities is expensive but there are many towns that aren’t.   The health care system is good  and if you can get into the public system, good healthcare is free.

Living in Spain sounds like a dream. I imagine a sunny climate, natural beauty,  cobblestone streets with flamenco music playing in the background, while I sip sangria and eat tapas at a local bar. The cost of living is lower than other parts of Europe. Things move slowly in Spain. When going to the post office, bank, restaurants and shops expect to wait.  Spanish bureaucracy is notoriously slow.  The regional politics are complicated and everything shuts down in the afternoon. Don’t plan on getting anything done in August. The whole country is at the beach.

Israel’s economy is very strong and the standard of living is high. There is amazing food and beautiful weather as well. Any Jew can move to Israel freely. Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the Middle East and the cost of real estate is high. English is widely spoken here and health care is great. For a small strip of land, the cultures in different areas are diverse.We have already spent a month living in Tel Aviv so I know I could do it.  Everybody smokes which is a problem for me. Everything is closed from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown so that takes some getting used to. Sunday is Monday.  Living in Israel is living in constant fear of terrorist attacks. Lately living in America is the same with constant fear of random shootings. 

Stay safe,
JAZ

Things I Have Learned In Australia

Things I’ve Learned In Australia

“The bigger the hat, the smaller the property.” Australian Proverb

We drive on the “right side” (left)  but they drive on “the correct side”.   So, in a Mcdonalds drive through in Australia, is the order window on the right or the left? I don’t know because I did not eat at Mcdonalds in Australia.

They also apparently walk on the correct side. I wondered why I was always walking against the foot traffic. I ran into a marathon in the park. That was tricky.

Kangaroos cause more driving problems in Australia than bad drivers and alcohol combined. They jump out and cause many accidents. If you hit one, first check the pouch to see If there are babies and then pull it over to the side of the road. (Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Australians order coffee by length and thickness . You can have a long black, short black or a flat white . None of those work for me. I solved the problem by ordering a long black and then asking for a little milk . Australians like their coffee strong.  They have Starbucks,  but they are quick to tell you that their coffee is much better, and in Australia it is.

A didgeridoo is a musical instrument called a didgeridoo.

One third of Australia is desert.

Australia has the lowest precipitation of the world’s inhabited continents.

Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of Australia. Prince Harry was in Sydney for the Hundredth Anniversary of the Navy.  His family would like him to spend more time in Australia.

Voting is compulsory. If you do not vote you pay a fine.

You always lose a day when flying from America to Australia. You gain it coming back but not really because you are in a stupor just trying to stay up.

There are 69 varieties of kangaroo in Australia. (Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Almost every animal in Australia has a pouch. (Bernadette and wombat, Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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” So if you are in the desert in Yulara, just check your bed for creepy crawly things and call the front desk”. (Uluru)

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Australians always say sorry like the British even if it isn’t their fault.

Catcher In The Rye, Farewell To Arms and  Brave New World  were all banned in Australia in the 1950’s.

Australia has never had a serious civil disobedience.

Waltzing Matilda by  Banjo Paterson, Is  the unofficial song of Australia. He is the only nineteenth century Australian named after a stringed instrument.

In Queensland they say, “beautiful one day, perfect the next.” (Great Barrier Reef)\

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A Billabong is a watering hole.

The bush is anything that is not the city. I spent the afternoon in the bush.The outback is everything else. As in,  I have been to the outback of the United States.

Camels were used to build the railroad from Adelaide to Alice Springs and then set free. This is the only country in the world with wild one hump dromedaries  running free in the central and northern deserts. Dubai imports racing camels from Australia.

It’s pronounced “Cans” and “Melbin” ( Cairns and Melbourne). It’s pronounced Sydney, Hobart, Alice Springs, Yulara and  Port Douglas.

Australians  always have a  near death experience story often involving a crocodile or a snake. Today our driver in Port Douglas  said his son found a fifteen foot python in the toilet.

Eighty per cent of all Australian deaths by crocodile are alcohol related. The crocodiles don’t drink.

Australian cities are safe and clean and you can not only brush your teeth but drink water from the tap.

There is the same rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne that there is between NY and LA. They have the same bad jokes about each other. (Melbourne)

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Melbourne had the Olympics in 1956 Sydney had it in 2000. (Sydney Opera House)

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The first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per person than any other community in the history of mankind.

More land in Australia is occupied by pubs than mines.

In 1954, Bob Hawke made it into the Guinness Book Of World Records for drinking 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob Hawke went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia.

There are 1500 species of spiders, 6000 species of flies, 4000 species of ants and 350 species of termites in Australia.

There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia, and only some 20 million people. (Tasmania)

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Australia has more animals and insect that can kill you than anywhere else.

The ten most poisonous snakes in the world are Australian. (tiger snake – top five Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Most of the plant and animal life found in Australia exist nowhere else in the world. (Tasmanian Devil, Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Australia is the largest landmass in the world. It is the only continent that is one country.

This is the only country that was started as a prison. When we achieved our independence in 1776 England had to find a new place to send their criminals. (Penal Colony, Port Arthur, Tasmania)

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Their minimum wage is much higher than ours. Tipping is not expected ” because they are paid well”.  Everyone knows that tipping is part of our culture, so they do seem to expect Americans to tip. If you like the service, ten per cent is fine.

Australians are the biggest gamblers  on the planet.

Australia has the world’s oldest rainforest, very old fossils and rocks and the and the world’s oldest people -the Aborigines. (Daintree Rainforest)

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Canberra is the capital of Australia. I never remember this.

Crocodiles can live up to 200 years.

Water flows down the drain in the opposite direction in Australia because it is the Southern Hemisphere.

We have hurricanes and they have cyclones.

In 1805 British law gave the Europeans the right  to punish Aborigines in any way they chose to. In 1838 the law was repealed.  The killing  went on for another century.

Central Australia has no surface water.

Ugg boots or as local call them ‘very ugly boots’ are an Australian design bought by an American company,  where a sheepskin has been turned inside out and made into a boot.There is an Australian Company called Emu where the boots are made and owned by Australians.

The sports capital of the world has 70 percent of its total population participating at least once a week in a particular recreational activity or sport. Australia also ranks in the top five for obesity.

The Australian Coat Of Arms has a kangaroo and an emu on it. The reason being, kangaroos and emus can’t go backwards. They can only walk/hop forward. Australians eat the animals on their Coat of Arms – maybe because they can’t run backwards?

Australia’s first police force was a band of 12 of the most well behaved convicts.

The ‘dingo fence’ in Australia is the longest fence in the world (5,530km) – about twice as long as the Great Wall of China. (Dingos are wild dogs)

According to US Customs in Los Angeles, Tim Tams (Australian biscuits) are one of the main things that Americans bring back from Australia. It wasn’t just us. No wonder customs was so quick. They are not looking for cookies.

What I knew about vegemite before I came to Australia, was that it was something that a muscle-bound bread salesman from Brussels, offered in the form of a sandwich because he came from the land down under. (Lets see who gets this reference).  What I know now  is that it is a salty yeast spread that is way too strong for wimpy Americans like myself.

The Coastal Studies Unit at the University of Sydney has counted 10,685 mainland beaches in Australia. (Bondi Beach, Sydney)

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Though Australians sound like the British, their easy-going, fun-loving, honest,  kind personalities, make them among the most likable people I have met in the world.

Fly safe,
JAZ
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