Americans in Australia: Do Australians Like Americans?

by BobinOz on November 22, 2013

in Moving To Australia

Over the last five weeks not only have we looked at the four countries that make up the United Kingdom, but we have also covered Australians in Australia which is only fair, they were here first.

So, it’s the end of the series, surely?

Not so; like a dog with a bone, I never know when to give up. But what else can I possibly have in my “.. in Australia” series? Well, according to Google analytics, this website is read in 196 countries which is pretty cool, because I think that’s all of them. Bottom of that list of countries in terms of readership is the US Virgin Islands, although I do only have one reader from over there.

Who only visited one page.

Once.

But could “US Virgin Islanders in Australia” be a post one day? Would I find a US Virgin Islander comedian on YouTube? I doubt it, but with 196 countries to aim at, this series isn’t over yet. Let’s discover together how far we can get.

My biggest readership, top of the pile, is from Australia; we’ve covered that. Second is the United Kingdom, we’ve covered that too. You can find links to all of those posts in last Friday’s article called Who is Australia’s Funniest Comedian?

This week it’s the turn of the third country in my list…

The United States of America

Uncle Sam 351x480 Americans in Australia: Do Australians Like Americans?What does Wikipedia say about American Australians

At the 2006 Australian Census, 71,718 Australian residents declared that they were American-born. Concentrations of American-born residents were in Sydney (16,339), Melbourne (11,130), Brisbane (6,057), Perth (5,558), Adelaide (2,862), and Canberra (1,970). Also at the census, residents could nominate up to two ancestries; 56,283 respondents declared they had American ancestry with 3,901 who declared Hispanic ancestry, 1,798 declared an African American ancestry, 3,936 declared a native North American Indian ancestry and 224 declared Puerto Rican ancestry.

That puts the American population here on a par with the Irish which quite surprised me; the Irish seem to be just about everywhere but I haven’t met too many Americans. Or maybe I just don’t notice the accents as easily.

Do Australians like Americans?

I am often asked if Australians like Americans, or if an American moving to Australia will be ‘accepted’.

The answer is very straightforward and short; Australia is made up of individual people, the US is made up of individual people, no one answer fits all. I can assure you there is no standard set behaviour that an Australian must observe when first meeting an American; we are not taught to roll our eyes when somebody announces they’re from the USA or anything like that.

The simple truth is that some Americans might not be very much liked when they get here just because of what they say and do. On the other hand, some Americans will be absolutely loved, like…

Arj Barker

I first saw Arj Barker on TV when I was still living in England; I remember laughing when he said he fell down an ‘up’ escalator for three days. Arj seems to like Australia a lot as well; apparently he’s toured here something like 11 times.

He seems to be a permanent fixture at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, and there is certainly no doubt that his humour is more than accepted by Australians here. It’s safe to say the American humour, or at least some of it, does travel down under.

If you search on YouTube for “Arj Barker Australian slang” top of the pile should be a video called ‘Arj Barker – Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala 2010 ‘.

It’s got too many swear words for me to publish here, but if you don’t mind that kind of thing is well worth a look. Arj talks about Australian snakes and how Australians tell him that snakes are just as afraid of him as he is of them.

Really?” He says

Are you telling me the snakes are sitting up at night Googling me? Is Arj Barker deadly? Can he kill you, is he that deadly? How do I know the good Arj Barker from the bad Arj Barker?

But I’m not going to publish that video, I’m going to go with the cleaner spoken Arj Barker being interviewed on the Australian TV programme, the 7 PM Project.

Here, Arj talks about Australian scientist’s development of the bionic eye…

Next week, will it be stand-up comedy from an Indian in Australia? Or a Canadian? Somalian? Uzbekistanian? Or even a Saint Vincent and the Grenadinesian?

I said we would find out together how far I could get with this, and today we do. Today IS the last in the series. More than two thirds of my audience come from either Australia, United Kingdom or the United States, so we can safely say we’ve covered the bulk of it.

Singaporean (sixth in my list of countries) stand-up comedians either based in or visiting Australia are hard to find on YouTube. We would have never made it to the 196th, so let’s quit while we’re ahead.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Ricardo November 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Hi Bob!
I have had an awesome year here in Australia! Everyone has been very kind with us.
I am from Argentina (does it count as American? hahaha)
Cheers,
Ricardo :)

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BobinOz November 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Glad to hear you have had a great time in Australia, even if you are from a bit further south :-)

Cheers, Bob

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Mike Jordana December 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Technically, there are two main Americas, North America and South America. And, yeah. there’s also Central America. In Spanish, the term “United States of America” is translated, “Estados Unidos de Norteamerica,” NOT “Estados Unidos de America,” in recognition of the fact that U.S. Americans are NOT the only Americans.

But since the U.S.A. is THE principal power in that part of the world, and since most Americans don’t have much of a global outlook, but are very isolationist, almost parochial, in their view of themselves vis-à-vis the rest of the world, they can get away with calling themselves Americans, and our country America, as though we were the only Americans. The South Americans don’t have much to say on the subject except to grouse on occasion, when the opportunity arises.

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BobinOz December 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm

That’s very interesting Mike, I’m glad you cleared it up for me. I’ve never thought of it in that way, but I guess you have to live there to get it. On that basis…

@ Ricardo, YES! You are American! (Ha ha)

PS. I suspect you knew that already Ricardo, it’s just me that wasn’t sure :-)

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Ernie In AZ November 24, 2013 at 2:42 am

Hi Bob,

On my first trip to Australia, I happened to lose my passport. After searching my hostel room for hours with no success, I turned to an Aussie in the room and asked, “What do I do now? I can’t go home without a passport. Will I be stuck in Australia forever?”

His response was, “Well, we’d love to have you!”

For some reason, a lot of Americans can be insecure when they travel abroad. But I’ve found that most people will ultimately judge you according to how you are as a person.

Cheers!

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BobinOz November 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Did you find your passport though? Or is that why you are still stuck here :-)

Yes, I’ve noticed that many Americans seem concerned about whether they will be accepted here, my answer is the same as yours.

Cheers, Bob

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Ernie In AZ November 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm

No, I never did find that passport. I’m pretty sure I accidentally threw it out with the rubbish when I was cleaning my locker. I was able to make it back to America, although I had to spend an entire day at the consulate in Melbourne to get an emergency travel document . . . wonderful memories that was.

On the bright side, I met my future wife on that trip, and I’ve been stuck on Oz ever since. We got our visas and are making the move this coming June. Can’t wait!

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BobinOz November 26, 2013 at 12:05 am

Great to hear you have got your visas sorted, see you soon then. Unless, of course, you lose your passport again :-)

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Lawrence Vilar November 28, 2013 at 7:23 am

Hey Bob !

Looking forward to one of these about what Australians think about Brazillians :)

I’m studying the possibility of moving to Perth initially as a student, recognizing the place and everything with strong intentions on moving in for good.

Keep up the good work, I just love your website !

Cheers.

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BobinOz November 28, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Yeah, stay tuned, my post “Brazilians in Australia” is coming soon, honest.

Good luck with your plans, hope you get to Perth soon.

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Phil November 28, 2013 at 8:01 am

As Americans, my whole family felt accepted. I think it takes a while to get used to how other nationalities view one’s home country, but that would be true regardless of from where one hails. Bob’s website helped immensely in understanding Aussie culture. I love these people. Cheers!

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BobinOz November 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Hi Phil

That’s great to hear, I’m glad you and your family have all been accepted here in Australia. Pretty cool to hear that my website helped you as well :-)

Cheers, Bob

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Cheryl November 28, 2013 at 8:28 am

Hi Bob, Just wanted to add that, as an American married to an Aussie, one of my biggest fears in moving here was that I would be hated for being American, hate to admit it but was so ashamed when I first got here. Only found happiness when I realised that I can be proud of my American heritage while still appreciating how lucky I am to be living in beautiful Australia. No one should feel the way I did when I arrived and I realise that now. Hope that helps someone else!

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BobinOz November 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Hi Cheryl

Thanks for your incredibly honest and personal statement, and I’m so glad that you have been made to feel very welcome here in Australia. I hope what you have said helps someone else as well.

I think a lot of Americans are concerned how they are viewed by others and the whole ‘acceptance’ thing, and like most people I am aware of the reasons behind it. But I come from Britain, maybe I should be a bit ashamed as well?

But most Australians (I think) aren’t interested in governments, least of all our own, just people.

Good on ya as we say.

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Jonas November 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Thanks for writing a post about the American’s living in Australia. One of which happens to be me. Now what I’ve found is that there hasn’t been any hostility to me being here, nor have I been treated like a celebrity. Although I still do turn heads when I’m ordering a coffee due to my accent.

I’ve always kept a positive attitude and haven’t been to overly loud or American cocky…. Well maybe a little bit but that’s what we do. Just don’t go around comparing how things are so much greater back home etc and you’ll be fine. It has actually been advantageous in my line of work to have an American accent and perspective here. Our two countries are great allies and American’s love the Aussies and the Aussies love the Americans. We have to, who else in the world can we fall back on.

So in short for any Yanks feeling apprehensive about moving down under, just keep it low key and you’ll be right mate. Although be warned it did take me a good solid 18 months to feel settled and not want to get on the next flight home.

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BobinOz November 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Hi Jonas

Firstly, again it is good to hear that you’ve not experienced any hostility, and sound advice for your fellow countrymen considering a move to Australia. And yes, settling here does take some time no matter where you come from, although for us it was probably 4 to 6 months rather than 18.

Everyone is different though and for most people I think it is worth persevering.

Cheers, Bob

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Mark Thompson November 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Hi Bob

Whilst like you I am a Brit, living in Brisbane for 3 years now, I did live in the US Virgin Islands for 12 months and still have the (long-expired) driving licence to prove it!

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BobinOz November 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Did you visit my website while you were there? If you did, that would double my readership from that country :-)

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Valter Russo November 29, 2013 at 7:28 am

Hi Bob,

can’t wait to see the Portuguese in Australia, despite im very interested in moving down under, im not quite sure how ”write” ourselves in the continent country…

keep up the good work
Valter Russo

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BobinOz November 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Don’t hold your breath, as we say here Valter, I may struggle to find an English speaking Portuguese on YouTube who is currently living in or doing stand-up in Australia.

Unless you know anyone?

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Valter Russo December 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm

yeah, i know the expression :)
no, i don’t know anyone down under , and less a stand up artist.
may be i’ll be the one…NOT.ehehe

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Mike Jordana December 20, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Well, I followed that link you gave us about Arj Barker, and watched the video of his act during the 2010 Melbourne Comedy Festival. Since I enjoyed that, I next found another act of his at the 2011 Melbourne Comedy Festival. I was enjoying it until he did a thing about bucket lists, and actually said at one point, as though having a conversation with a friend, “‘I wanna see the Sistine Chapel before I die!’ ‘Well, then book a trip to Spain, dumbass!’”

Spain??? On what planet is the Sistine Chapel in Spain?? Since we were dealing here with a fellow American, I was mortified. I kept hoping it was part of the joke… but it wasn’t. Mr Barker simply has no clue where the Sistine Chapel is! What an embarrassment for America! Doesn’t he have anyone who proofs his material before his shows??

Now I feel compelled to tell everyone I run into, that the Sistine Chapel is in the Vatican, which is within Italy–just to redeem Mr Barker in the eyes of all Australians. Sorry, Aussies, we’re not all as geographically illiterate as Mr Barker. Well, many are, I suppose, and you can never tell until you talk to one.

But other than that, he WAS pretty funny!

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BobinOz December 20, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Ooh, what a howler! What next, Big Ben in Berlin? I hope not.

I’m sure Arj head-butted a brick wall when he realise his error, surely he must have realised his error? Funnily enough, he’s playing live this weekend here in Brisbane, I’m tempted to go and see him but I can only go on Sunday and for some reason I can’t seem to order tickets online, although they are available for the Friday and Saturday performances.

Anyway, if I do go and he says the Sistine Chapel is in Spain again, I’ll have a heckle all prepared :-)

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Michelle December 31, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Hi Bob,

As an American living in Sweden and looking to move to Australia, I can understand why people are concerned if they will be liked, or disliked based on their nationality. When I boarded the plane to Sweden I thought, no problem. I am a nice, likable person, I can fit in anywhere! Boy was I wrong!!! hahaha who would have thought holding the elevator door for someone was considered rude?!? Needless to say I have since became rather Swedish in my mannerisms, so much so that no one knows where I am from until I open my mouth. However, in Sweden all immigrants go to language courses so most of the people I have meet (outside of the neighbors and my Sambo’s co workers) have been other immigrants. Most of the immigrants are from places that the US government has decided it needed to go to war in, or around, so my popularity in class (being American) is even worse than in High School!

So as I research moving, again, I find myself digging deeper into the cultural differences so I do not make the elevator mistake again. And your website has been very helpful, Thank you Bob!

Best regards,
Michelle

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Mary January 1, 2014 at 8:03 am

Hi Michelle,
I have had similar experiences to you in New Zealand. I am American and thinking of moving back to the STates because of the anti-American feeling I have encountered here.
Mary

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BobinOz January 2, 2014 at 6:04 pm

@ Michelle, holding an elevator door open is a problem? I’m as confused as you are.

@ Mary, things could get worse, I just read today that CNN described Auckland as an Australian city during their new years eve show. Oops!

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Mary January 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm

I once got the bird flipped at me because I slowed down for a school bus (there were kids crossing the road). Rude.
Too bad for Auckland.
I am thinking of Brisbane or Perth today. It changes day by day.

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BobinOz January 5, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Brisbane :-)

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mike marino January 12, 2014 at 2:06 am

The Aussies and Americans are very similiar and have and share the same values . Getting away from the Royal class bench siiters and being pioneers and developing unique and beautiful countries. Both Hard working, and with a can do spirit. Both fought side by side in the pacific while the british were in the european theather in the world War. We all have a great stake to maintain our cultures and values. Canada, the U.S , England ,Iceland , South Africa, Australia share the same , want the same for our children and future generations. Some of the down falls with The U.S is the population . We have a huge population with many cities and it gets quite difficult electing and making descisions with all the representation. It gets crazy. Autralia has I think a total of 23 million . New York City alone has 10, million people. But I know as an American I feel a bond of familiarity amoungst the english speaking countries . We pulled away from the crown and proved ourselves better. I think

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BobinOz January 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Yes, that’s certainly true, we have more in common with each other then we don’t.

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Mike Jordana January 12, 2014 at 1:46 pm

I must say, BobinOz, that as a transplanted American, I haven’t run into any hostility at all here in Australia, namely the Sydney area, and more recently the Central Coast 1 hour north thereof. In fact, I find Aussies for the most part an extraordinarily sweet and helpful people, very kind and lovable. Well, except for the hoons and the bogans and the kids (and adults) who think getting rip-roaring drunk every weekend is a sign of ultimate coolness. But those kinds of folks are everywhere.

If anything, the hostility comes from ME! Not for the Aussies themselves, but for their systems and institutions, which I find oftentimes primitive and laughable. Take the almost total ignorance about what constitutes good customer service. In private enterprise as well as in government, I find customer service practically nonexistent. But thanks to the Asian migrants, and the competition from the Internet, this glaring shortcoming is slowly being addressed, as Aussie businesses scramble to compete.

Or consider the too-narrow highway lanes—you’d think this was a tiny country and we needed to conserve space when building our streets and highways. Maybe that was true of merry old England, but early Aussie city and road planners ought to have had a bit more vision, methinks. If you drive on a freeway in the U.S., you’ll appreciate the difference.

Then there’s these supermarket trolleys where all 4 wheels pivot! I’ve seen little old ladies struggling to maintain control of their only lightly loaded trolleys, especially on any kind of slope, even the most gentle. What’s up with that?? You know, there’s a good reason why only the front wheels of cars are allowed to turn. Physics ain’t any different for trolleys. You go push a trolley (grocery cart there) anywhere in the U.S. and you’ll immediately notice how much more sensible a 2-wheel pivot is.

I’ve taken to calling Australia the “most advanced Third-World country in the world,” which, yes, I know, is quite an arrogant thing to say. It certainly gets a rise out of my true-blue Aussie nephew-in-law.

That said, there are many wonderful things about Australia, which is why I ignore my sister (the mother-in-law of the aforementioned Aussie nephew-in-law) when she asks me why I don’t go back to the States, “if everything’s so great there.” Well, Australia does have its charms, as you know, and it does have a lot of potential.

So I’m staying. Might even put in for citizenship one of these fine days. Cheers! And thanks for letting me vent.

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BobinOz January 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm

That’s a strange list of gripes Mike, none of which I agree with. Customer service up here in Queensland from Australians is pretty good, it’s very rare that I come across bad service and all our shopping trolleys seen in pretty good condition.

No, we don’t do eight lane highways here, but then we do only have 23 million people, not 300 million or so.

Americans claiming everything is better back in the US than it is here usually don’t make too many friends, so it’s great to hear the Aussies have been quite tolerant of your views :-)

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Mike Jordana January 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Oi vei, BobinOz, I think that once again I may not have explained myself adequately. You said, “Customer service up here in Queensland from Australians is pretty good…” Yes, I’m sure it is, but it’s not the customer-FACING customer service I meant. That’s pretty good—as I said, Aussies are a friendly lot. It’s things like the changing of a laboratory’s schedule to no-more-Saturday-hours more than 2 months prior, while failing to follow up with the forms given to the doctors who push traffic to that laboratory, forms that still clearly say Sat 8:00 AM-12:00 PM. Yes, it’s best to call, I know, but that’s exactly my point: you can’t trust, you can’t depend on the people involved to their jobs properly and follow up and make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed. They’d rather save money by not replacing forms before the doctors have run out of the old ones, the customer be damned!

Then you said, “…our shopping trolleys seen in pretty good condition.” It wasn’t the condition of the trolleys I was kvetching about, it was their intrinsic DESIGN. The 4-wheel pivot is a menace to society. It makes a trolley hard to handle. The thing will go sideways on you at a moment’s notice. Of course, if you’ve never piloted a trolley where only the front wheels steer, you won’t understand what I’m talking about.

Lastly, you said, “No, we don’t do eight lane highways here, but then we do only have 23 million people, not 300 million or so.” It wasn’t the width of the highways or streets that my gripe was about, but the width of the individual LANES of those highways and streets. They’re too narrow, just barely wider than the width of the car. I’ve seen this type of road in Europe and the UK, which is understandable since they’re relatively small land masses, and there’s no room to “splurge,” as it were. But Australia is a huge country, and there’s plenty of room to have built roads, be they only one- or two-laned, with WIDER lanes. So the argument about the different populations doesn’t apply here. The fact remains that Aussie urban planners were short-sighted. You see them now sometimes trying to correct their lack of vision belatedly, when they build new roads and highways. I sometimes see wider lanes there, in their newer designs. About time.

Incidentally, Aussies have been quite tolerant of my views because I try not to broadcast them too much. Wouldn’t be sporting, you know. And besides, like everything else, one adapts to “what is,” as they say. When I first came, I had a far longer list of gripes, and I was going to write them down. But I was concurrently applying for a residence visa and I thought it was a bit of an incongruity to have a list of complaints about a place I was applying to live in. I thought the laws of karma might catch up with me, and I’d be denied my visa just because of my rotten attitude. And now that a few years have passed, I’ve gotten used to the weird things so they start to seem normal now, and I don’t notice them anymore. Which is why my list is so much shorter now.

Cheers!

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BobinOz January 15, 2014 at 12:25 am

Well, I still don’t get about the roads Mike, they are plenty wide enough for me. The road I live in, for example, which is a very quiet little old suburbia road, only got one lane each way, you could fit two and a half car widths in each lane. I’ve never ever driven down a road in Australia where thought “gosh, this is a bit tight.”

Try Cornwall, for that.

As for your other concerns, I’m a little speechless. If these really are your biggest worries about living in Australia, this place really is paradise :-)

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Cheryl February 11, 2014 at 11:07 pm

I believe it’s just an open discussion, not an argument or a chance to attack Americans or Aussies. Wow!!!! On to better and less nasty things.

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BobinOz February 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Yes, it is just an open discussion, not sure which bit appears to have upset you.

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Mike Jordana February 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm

I’ll bet it’s the supermarket trolleys with the 4 pivoting wheels, heh heh heh.

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BobinOz February 13, 2014 at 9:33 pm

What supermarket trolleys with the 4 pivoting wheels? Never heard of such a thing :-)

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Mike Jordana February 14, 2014 at 12:41 am

Never heard of such a thing?? Ah, how quickly they forget! BobinOz, please check the beginning of this thread, which starts with my comments of January 12, 2014, 1:46 pm. The topic of supermarket trolleys starts in Paragraph 4. I mention it again in my comments of January 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm, Paragraph 2. Cheers!

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BobinOz February 15, 2014 at 12:52 am

I know Mike, I know. I was joking, that’s why I added the :-) thing. What do you think I am? A goldfish? :-)

That’s another joke :-)

Emily March 31, 2014 at 7:43 pm

I read something about Australia being the best third world country in the comments above. Can someone please explain that?

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Mike Jordana April 1, 2014 at 4:42 am

Look at what I’ve done, BobinOz, I’ve brought controversy to your blog! Emily, there’s nothing to explain that that particular post where you saw that comment, and the 2 or 3 posts following, didn’t already deal with at length. It was just a cheeky and irreverent comment made by an obviously deranged individual (namely, me) who doesn’t realise what a “paradise” (according to BobinOz) he’s living in. Cheers!

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BobinOz April 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I hope that explains it Emily, Mike doesn’t much like our supermarket shopping trolleys so he thinks Australia is a ‘Third World’ country or in other words, a bit behind the modern world.

By his own admission, he is deranged :-)

Thanks Mike for clearing that up.

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ifeetugga May 12, 2014 at 8:45 pm

I try to read the posts of Bob as much as I can. I don’t have to tell you that i find them rather interesting.
My background is Bangladeshi and Canadian, and the strange thing is, considering that Bangladesh has more people and, one would think, more potential immigrants willing to move to Australia, it seems as if(and I read this somewhere, can’t remember though, sorry) there are more Canadians(with a much lower population) in Australia.
So, in the future, can we expect Bob to start threads on Canadians or Bangladeshis in Oz :)?
Oh and did I mention my American background too as I was very lucky to have finished my undergrads there? That’s why I found this thread to be very interesting, like several other posts by Bob.
I hope that you’ll consider my suggestions. Please keep posting. TC

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BobinOz May 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Well you probably saw the information on my page Who Moved to Australia? From What Country? To Which State? I can confirm that according to the 2011 Census, 38,871 Canadians and 27,809 people from Bangladesh were living here in Australia at that time.

But will I be doing a Bangladeshis in Australia post? Or a Canadians in Australia post? If I go down that route, it could be a very long series. People move here from pretty much almost every country in the world. Not sure I will do that, but I might, I certainly think it is worth me delving further down the list than just the top three.

Cheers, Bob

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ifeetugga May 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm

It seems like you’re seriously considering my suggestion, mate. Much obliged. Never thought I’d be taken so seriously, especially considering that I’ve just recently started reading your threads.
Always nice to see people like Bob putting in their mostly unbiased two cents on serious matters.
I for one encourage you to dwell into uncharted waters if time will permit it :-). That way, people will know about the nation’s diversity and perhaps be encouraged to move there, which can only help Australia’s economy and strengthen multiculturalism.
Anyway, these are my opinions. In the end, it’s Bob’s prerogative.

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BobinOz May 14, 2014 at 9:27 pm

I have put it on my list of things to do. My list of things to do do not always get done, but it’s a start :-)

Cheers, Bob

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Mike Jordana May 13, 2014 at 6:15 pm

It’s not surprising to me that people from Bangladesh (“the nation of Bengal”) would want to migrate to Australia. Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, was separated by an untenable 2,400 km from the other half of the country, i.e., West Pakistan (one of the British Empire’s more unbelievable attempts at partitioning). After years of exclusion, discrimination, and neglect by the West Paks, they decided (with India’s support) to break away from West Pakistan in 1971. I had a Bengali roommate in Berkeley, California at the time. I remember he was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs during that period.

Anyway, although Bangladesh has made tremendous strides since independence, it is still plagued by poverty, instability, corruption, overpopulation, and other typical Third World country woes. In terms of purchasing power parity, the average Aussie is almost 20 times richer in his own country than the average Bangladeshi is in his. So economic betterment is certainly a powerful motivator to migrate.

But why anyone from Canada would want to migrate to Australia is a puzzlement to me. Canada is already a land of immigrants as it is. And the average Aussie is almost exactly as rich in Australia as the average Canuck is in Canada. What then is the motivation to migrate Down Under? The cold winters there? That’s all I can think of.

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ifeetugga May 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Seems like Mike Jordana has a completely new and interesting outlook on what constitutes a “Third World’ Nation:-).
Let’s face it, every nation had to struggle in order to become a great nation later on. Think about nations like France or Germany. Or, consider the immigrant nations like the U.S or Canada. During the 19th century, the U.S could also be classified as a third world nation, the same might hold true for Canada with it’s environment and vastness. Even a nation like Australia-and please correct me if I’m wrong- struggled initially at the beginning of the 20th century upon federation. However, thanks to the hard work of the people, natural endowments and the arrival of hard working immigrants, these nations flourished. Considering those factors, like Mike pointed out, Bangladesh has been making tremendous progress, despite being written off as a hopeless case during the 1970′s(before my time) and not having a lot of natural resources(of course, there’s a strong possibility that natural resources like oil may be discovered soon; something for potential investors to think about). So it might not be such a bad idea to start a blog on Bangladeshis in Australia, along with one for Canadians in Australia. But like I said, it all depends on Bob and if he could spare the time to dedicate blogs to the people of these two great nations who ultimately make Australia unique. Perhaps then we’ll get an insight into why Canadians throng the Aussie shores, probably because of the weather, and of course, if you love a place and can make a positive contribution with your skills, you should be welcomed with open arms. Don’t you agree?
Do please consider Bob, it’d be an interesting addition, so long as nothing controversial/racist comments are made or said, which I’m sure won’t be as your bloggers are mostly well behaved.
Would be interesting reads/discussions, though, i’d think.

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BobinOz May 14, 2014 at 9:36 pm

I’ve already answered you above ifeetugga, my fault, I didn’t scroll down and see this second post.

Now, I did do a post on hot versus cold, where was it now, ah yes, here it is: And the Best Country in the World to Live in is…

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Mike Jordana May 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Hi ifeetugga! You said, “Seems like Mike Jordana has a completely new and interesting outlook on what constitutes a “Third World’ Nation:-)” Really? What’s completely new and interesting about my characterisation of what it means to be a Third World country? It’s true that, technically, the Third World is just a Cold War term referring to countries aligned neither with the NATO countries and their allies (First World) nor the “no longer existing” Communist bloc (Second World). No reference to economic status or stage of economic development. But it has also come to mean poorer countries like the Philippines, Cameroon, and even Bangladesh, though even the “emerging” economies like the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) are also still included in that classification. Obviously, this First, Second, Third World way of characterising a country is not very informative anymore, but I still like to use it.

When I’m feeling disgruntled with Australia, for example, I like to refer to it as the “most advanced Third World country in the world.” Doesn’t make me very popular with the Aussies, to be sure. People seem to have a visceral reaction to having their country described as “Third World.”

Second, you characterised Bangladesh as “not having a lot of natural resources…” Well, unless you include your agricultural resources. Credit the fertile plains of the Bengal Delta for that. Being there must be like living in a swamp, I think. Of course, the fact that you are at the tail end of many, many rivers draining from India, Bhutan, China, and Nepal means you are getting not just their water, but also all their pollution.

The discovery of petroleum would be a good thing, but I’m more worried about your vulnerability to climate change. I think you need to cooperate more with others, like the Dutch, who have a lot of experience with and success in making the best of their low-lying coastal terrain.

“…so long as nothing controversial/racist comments are made or said…” Controversial is okay. BobinOz likes controversy–it brings more commenters out of the woodwork, and makes his blog more interesting and popular and talked-about. Racist though, that’s definitely a no-no. Cheers!

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ifeetugga May 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Quite the gentlemen, good ‘ol Bob. I’m sure no one is annoyed because you didn’t scroll down(I wasn’t. After all, we’re all human).
Really like how Bob takes the time to answer back…good on ya mate. That’s the kinda person we need to liven up these conversations and make ‘em enjoyable (in my view).
Now here’s hoping he can put in the time and effort with his “To-do” list. Many of us would look forward to how much he goes about it I should think.
I hope that Mike Jordana noticed the smiley I put after my comment on his ‘new’ outlook on what constitutes a third world nation…I guess it didn’t stand out. My bad.
There are different versions on what constitutes a third world nation, but what Mike said seems like the standard version/definition. Now if I were to adhere to his definition of a ‘most advanced third world nation’ as it pertains to Oz, I fear that I’d have to classify the U.S that way. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always have a soft corner for the U.S, but like any other nation, it also has several problems and as someone with at least some(strong) ties to the nation, I also feel frustrated.
And Kudos to Mike, he sure knows a thing or two about Bangladesh(I’m afraid that I am more North American than Bangladeshi so I probably lack the knowledge that he has regarding the nation, especially since it’s birth) and it seems that despite it’s size and other factors, the nation has been able to draw attention, both for good and (sadly) wrong reasons. Yet, the country seems to have made some friends and believers out of skeptics(Really admirable that Mike is concerned about the vulnerability of the country in terms of climate change). Another reason why Bob might wanna consider a post on Bangladeshis in Oz and how they’re doing over there. Of course, a post on Canadians in Oz would be as equally interesting…to me at least! Sorry to sound like a broken record, but go for it Bob!
I think I’ll now read Bob’s intake on the weather through the link he pointed out.
Speaking of controversy, like Mike said, if it gets us into a discussion from which we can learn a thing or two, then why not? I just hope that it doesn’t result in offending anyone intentionally. Of course, I’m glad you folks, like myself, share a zero tolerance towards any offensive racial comments.
Finally, lemme clarify that when I meant ‘natural resources’ I meant precious minerals like gold, precious stones, oil, etc. But in a way, I feel that many resources are precious, even those that we take for granted; think about a city like La Paz in Bolivia which stands at a high altitude where oxygen is rather scare and you need to breathe using oxygen masks if you’re an outsider! Can we not say that over there, air is a resource, and a valuable one at that?
I suppose it’s a matter of luck whether a nation is bestowed with natural resources or not. it’s often said that North America(mainly the U.S and Canada) has been blessed with almost 40% of the world’s natural resources(gold, oil, natural gas, arable land, etc.) , and I think we all know about Oz being a land of plenty, hence so much interest from people to move there for a better life for themselves and their family members.
Enough blabbering out of me folks. Gotta admit, really enjoying this conversation so far. I hope we all learned something today.
Sorry for the very long post though.

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Mike Jordana May 16, 2014 at 3:26 am

Hi again ifeetugga! I’m getting more curious by the day what your name means. It doesn’t sound like a real name but a pseudomym. But that’s neither here nor there. Back to what you were saying…

“Now if I were to adhere to his definition of a ‘most advanced third world nation’ as it pertains to Oz, I fear that I’d have to classify the U.S that way.” Classify away! The U.S. used to be the most advanced First World country in the world, but since 2007, things have taken a turn for the worse. Too many greedy bankers in bed with too many useless politicians, too many obese people, too few jobs, too much debt, too much discontent. Why do you think I left there—after 38 years—and consider myself fortunate to have serendipitously found my way to Australia, despite its own many shortcomings? I wouldn’t go back to live in the U.S. until I see at least one chairman of Bank of America or Goldman Sachs do some serious jail time and get his/her assets confiscated. Of course, that’ll never happen. Obama and the Congress are all in their pockets.

Come to think of it, I think I know why Canadians move to Australia—they want to get away from their southern neighbour—makes them nervous.

“Really admirable that Mike is concerned about the vulnerability of the country in terms of climate change.” Thank you. It’s just that when you hear, practically every year, about yet another flood, cyclone, tornado, or tidal bore that has killed thousands of people in Bangladesh, you really start to fear and wonder what’ll happen if the oceans really rise like all the climate change people say they will. If Australia is known as the “lucky country,” seems to me Bangladesh is the “unlucky one.” Just today, I read about a ferry capsizing on the Meghna River near the capital, Dhaka, with 200 souls on board. It’s just one thing after another.

“it’s often said that North America(mainly the U.S and Canada) has been blessed with almost 40% of the world’s natural resources(gold, oil, natural gas, arable land, etc.)” Right! And now, with the oil boom in North Dakota because of the Bakken formation, North America continues to be blessed. It may yet become fully energy-independent and thus be able to actually tell dodgy suppliers like Venezuela and Iran where to stick it. Ah, I just wish we could see a major oil strike one of these years in Australia as well.

Well, I think this is going to be my last message on this particular blog of BobinOz’s. It’s been fun, though—like you said. Cheers!

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BobinOz May 16, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Your wish is my command; just Google “Coober Pedy oil”.

Bob

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