Even more things about Australia

  • There are a lot more people named Tim here than I’m used to. It seems to be a far more common name than it was in Canada or the UK. This site shows that the name “Tim” became popular here in the 40s, 50s and 60s, then dropped off. The full, and more common, form of “Timothy” became popular at the same time and remained so, only starting to slip down the name charts in the last few years.
  • Although I hear that the country is fattening up, there’s still an inordinate amount of sport and exercise going on here. Every time I go out for a run there’s all sorts of organised fitness going on: cross-training classes, running groups, one-on-one fitness trainers, groups playing cricket, other runners, schoolkids playing soccer. It’s really good. In related news I’m considering running the Balmoral Burn in the autumn.
  • As on my other trips here it’s the birds that are the weirdest thing to adjust to. There are a lot of birds, and many of them are completely alien to what I was used to in the other countries where I lived. There are plenty of different animals here in Australia, obviously, but the birds are the ones you see – and especially hear – every day. I’m still a little startled every time I see a white ibis in the middle of Sydney (which is pretty frequently, as they’re in every green space). Even that most globally ubiquitous of urban birds – the pigeon – has an odd-looking species here.
  • There’s quite a lot of British TV here. Time Team was on today, as was Who Do You Think You Are?
  • Superannuation is an awesome idea.
  • Poker machines make me want to leave a pub. So do all those sports betting screens.
  • Maybe I’ll get bored of it eventually, but so far the warm, sunny weather is reeeeally nice. I put together some climate stats on the last 3 cities I’ve lived in; they’re in the table below. There are some unsurprising things: London’s warmer than Ottawa, and Sydney’s warmer than London; there’s a lot of sunshine in Sydney. But there are some surprises, too: the peak temperatures in Ottawa are similar to those in Sydney (maybe summer won’t be so bad here); you don’t get the amount of rain in London as you do in the other cities.

4 Responses to “Even more things about Australia”

  1. 1 Dino
    November 19, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Here’s something else to think about weather-wise:

    Heat, fire, and fear in Australia


  2. November 19, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Well, yes, it’s true. There are some extreme sides to it.

  3. 3 Miss B
    November 19, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Isn’t Superannuation the same as Pensions in the UK?

  4. November 20, 2009 at 7:05 am

    The purpose is the same, yes; the awesome thing about superannuation is that it’s *the law*. It’s *compulsory* for companies to put that 9% into an investment plan so long as they’re paying you more than $450 per month. It’s certainly not compulsory in the UK, I think only large employers tend to do it, and the amount is usually lower (I believe the Nortel amount was 4% or 6%). As a result Australia has more money, per person, in managed funds than any other developed nation.

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