The flight home was 20 hours total, but I ran into a girl I met first in Seattle on a flight to Sydney, so I had somebody to watch my bag while I went in search of food.
Things I like about Australia:
- The bills are each different color and size
- While paying for lunch one day I fished out a large bill then said "wait, I have one of the right color in here somewhere" automatically. (Our red $10 barely counts.)
- No tipping
- Everybody gets paid a proper wage, so food-service people seem to enjoy their jobs more, and are more enjoyable to interact with. (I'm not sure how subjective this is.)
- $1 and $2 coins instead of bills
- The $2 coin is about the size of a penny, maybe nickel, but thicker. The $1 is slightly larger than a quarter, and thicker. There was something more pleasant about using coin.
- Constant coin redesign
- While the bills were all the same, the $1 coins had many different designs. Far superior to our recent state quarter campaign.
- Public transportation
- Melbourne has an extensive tram and bus network. While downtown between 6:30 and 7 I saw three cars and several thousand people while sitting at an intersection. Similar appears to be true for Sydney, and they have a superior ferry system with more short runs than Seattle (like a Seattle, Federal Way, Tacoma passenger-only run.)
Things I don't like about the states:
- Americans are fat
- It's very depressing. On the whole, portion sizes are much larger here, and food is cheaper. I wonder how strong a corollary there is between $/Calorie and BMI.
- We drive too much, and our cars are too big
- Most vehicles in Australia were midsize sedans. I saw an occasional Land Rover, but none of our humongous SUVs or trucks.
- Our airport security is stupid
- Australia is at pre-911 security levels, which means anyone can go through security to the gate, and nobody cares about liquids (except international).