Second Time Around travel blog

First one to tell me what's wrong gets 2 tickets to The...

Mo's new camera

Australia is a huge, complex country. Two months was not enough time.

Australians are as friendly as they come. Self-depreciation is a big part of the humor.

There is an equalitarian tradition. That tradition may be eroding. For example, we were told not to tip. Yet we saw plenty of tip jars. Old hands insisted they should be empty tip jars.

Like America, Australia is experiencing a huge inflow of non-white immigrants. A major debate seems to be how Australia will adjust from being modeled on British norms - or if it will or should adjust.

One outcome of immigration and natural population growth is a staggering increase in house prices. The national average is somewhere around A$600,000. Prices in Adelaide are about 25% of Sydney prices. No one wants to live in Adelaide.

There will be a huge national debate when Queen Elizabeth dies. Should Australia remain a commonwealth under the British Crown, or seek to become a true independent republic?

One of Australia's top exports is higher education. Thousands of Asian young people are here for University (uni).

Asia and especially China are the most important trade partners. This could strain relations with certain xenophobic incompetent national leaders in the future.

People do call each other mate. When addressing groups, most use the word "guys."

You may recall how Mo's camera broke two years ago in India. She had it repaired twice, once in India and once in Seattle. It operated ok during our first two months, then started to fail. She wound up taking the advice of our friend Allan and bought a new camera in Alice Springs. She got the Australian tax refunded at the airport customs office.

We love Australia. We're privileged to have friends here. We'll come back.

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