A reader commented on the Expat Report Culture Shock in Brisbane, Australia
I am an Australian, having been born and lived in Melbourne for over 50 years. This is a big country - the size of the continental US. Our 6 states ( NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia) and 2 Territories ( the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory) are all quite different from each other and their capital cities ( Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth, Darwin and Canberra) are hundreds, even thousands of miles apart. Once a city gets too big ( over a million?), I think that they all lose something and the people become more materialistic and status conscious. This is a generalization of course. On the other hand, you don't want to live anywhere too parochial or narrow minded. Having retired a 5 years ago to the southern island state of Tasmania, I find the people here to be very friendly and unpretentious. Many retired age mainlanders are also moving here now to escape the summer heat of the northern states and to enjoy the seasons. We have a lovely temperate climate here on the north coast of Tasmania, not dissimilar to central and southern France. I have travelled extensively abroad and throughout Australia and have found two of the friendliest places of all to be New Zealand, Tasmania and South Australia. Like Queensland, they are all beautiful scenically too, but the residents are nicer and not so self preoccupied. But wherever you are in the world, people's experiences are different. If one is to eventually feel a real bond with a new place, it is always important to make an effort to join clubs, organisations etc in order to make friendships and so gain a sense of belonging....
A reader replied recently with:
You did not make clear that you are still living in Australia, or whether you went back to Spain. I think Spain is a lovely place, but I guess it is undergoing some terrible economic times. Is that not true?