Getting Oriented

Have been here two days now and taking in my new surroundings and absorbing everything around me. On the surface it seems so familiar and similar to home. But even after just two days I quickly began to notice how really different the country of Australia (and Australians) are compared to the U.S. Since Australia started as a British colony and is still a Commonwealth of Great Britain, there are indeed many unusual and foreign (to us) undertones immersed in the culture.

Phrases and words take on very different meanings, for example, the trunk of a car is a boot, your bank checking account is actually your savings account.
When someone here asks you, how are you going? – translated in American talk means “how are you doing?” Giving something a try = give it a go. There will be many more to come I’m sure!

Poor Jim of course came ahead of me, about four weeks before I arrived to begin work at a well-known global company (of which I prefer not to mention the name.) I was lucky to have him help me get oriented and settled in but not so great for him when he first arrived. Beginning a new position in a foreign country, you have certain expectations that maybe there would be a colleague that would be there to welcome you and help you during the transition. Not one person in this huge conglomerate offered to help him in any way, not even human resources. In fact no one even spoke to him or introduced themselves and when he had to (and still has to) consult with co-workers on technical matters, they only speak with him begrudgingly. It was shockingly disappointing to say the least. As Americans, we had this idea that Australians are so friendly and out-going. Frankly, we found Australian folks in Melbourne, last year to be much friendlier. Imagine coming to a new country and shlepping around your luggage from apartment to apartment, trying to learn a new city and a new job and no one to offer any advice or help? I give Jim alot of credit for hanging in there and making it that much easier for me when I arrived.

Last night, my first night here, we had dinner at the Hog’s Breath cafe, almost felt like we were in Key West! Good first night out…

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