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Dolores Said:Which city should I choose in Australia?
We Answered:In terms of weather, go with Sydney, Newcastle, or Brisbane. Brisbane will be warm or hot all year, but can be wet. Sydney and Newcastle and Wollongong have hot, cold and warm periods with average amount of rain. Cyclones only rarely go as far south as Brisbane/Sydney - not enough to worry about. Melbourne and Adelaide are hot at times too but have a much longer cold period which you will find different to SA.
In terms of racism, Sydney will be the most accepting. Trying to live like an Australian, accepting their values and assimilating into the culture and society is better than trying to inflict your own ideas onto an unwilling society. The accent will not matter - people will expect you to speak differently, and north american accent is typical for people with English as second language.
Get a car and live further out near the beaches rather than innercity in order to enjoy the city more. You can drive to the nearest train if necessary - they don't cover all areas but the buses do. Most households have at least 1 car. If you are at university and want to party, you may prefer to live in the innercity in which case you can do without a car. People laugh if you call petrol gas - they seem to think this funny. Petrol is about $1.30/litre and the price varies depending on the day of week and the place you buy it. Bring your own. LOL
There are no serious mistakes you can make when greeting and meeting people. If you can't remember their names, its ok to call men "mate" so long as they are not customers of yours. Don't call women "shielas". Treat women with respect and as equals. Not all women will want to have sex with you, even if they appear to be wearing very little clothing. When going out for drinks or a meal, the host does not have to pay for the food/drinks. This is optional and you need to ask or guess what is expected. Offering to pay your own way is polite, but may be turned down. Never eat with your fingers or from a communal cup - always use a knife and fork or spoon, unless it is finger food, ie: a pie, sandwich or pizza etc.
Buying houses & cars incurs extra tax called stamp duty. Taxes and bureaucratic fees and rules abound everywhere. You need to get used to it as the Australian people don't seem to mind. Road rules need to be followed exactly and speeding in the city in particular near schools is not acceptable. Many road signs have exceptions added to the bottom, and you need superhuman eye sight to see them before you drive past. Each State has different road rules, and laws in general. Each State has its own set of fees for everything in addition to Central Government fees/laws.
Good luck. Assimilate and you will be ok. Act like a middle-eastern misogynist terrorist and you will arouse suspicion and mistrust everywhere.
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