Given the amount of activity that takes place on this blog I guess it may surprise you to learn that I was actually away. Indeed, this has been my longest break from blogging in almost four years with a full 10 days without a single post (aside from the usual twitter musings that is). I have a good excuse: I moved countries (I’ll be residing here in Boston until the beginning of 2011). Family and all. And it turns out that there is so much to do that some things — like blogging — just don’t reach the top of the pile.
So let me celebrate my return to blogging with some pithy observations about some differences between living in Australian and the US. First and foremost, there is the joy of the uncapped Internet. Yes, I know, that with the new 100 or 200GB limits it hardly matters but boy does your behaviour change when you don’t have to worry at all. You just don’t worry about the kids watching YouTube or downloading from iTunes. And on your iPhone (we are now blessed with AT&T service and contracts) it is liberating. What is more, it really makes a difference being the US. Web pages load snappier and uploads are easy. This is despite a core speed rating on Comcast less than I was getting on Telstra. [Slight digression for Google searchers. If you are setting up an Apple Time Capsule on the Comcast modem, reset the Time Capsule and establish a completely new network after plugging in to that modem. That will save you a whole lot of grief].
Second, and continuing on the technology front: cable television continues to be miles ahead of Foxtel. HD recording really works here unlike Foxtel where the skips are so frequent that you have to watch HD live or not at all. It also seems better but that might just be a warm glow.
Third, financial stuff is a hassle. For all our complaints about the banks at least they get along with each other. It is so easy to do bank-to-bank transfers in Australia. Here, it is all still passed around the check as the payment instrument of choice. That said, there is a love of credit cards. I have been here a week and have already received four (yes 4) personalised credit card solicitations in the mail.
Fourth, when shipping costs go to zero, you buy a ton of stuff online. That is what happens with Amazon and the packages keep arriving. That said, it does take some time to shop online — it isn’t that much of a time saver.
Finally, everyone here has been exceptionally nice. So much so that I think I am going to have to lift my game on reciprocal niceness, especially for visitors to Australia.
There’ll be more over the course of the next year. For now I have more credit card applications to fill out to support that online shopping habit.