Tuesday, 27 February 2007

A Bunch of Bankers

The Australians have many different stereotypes about us Brits, but the most annoying is that of 'The Whingeing Pom'. Having spent the height of the English summer sleeping next to a Queenslander who moaned "it's too bloody hot" I feel this label is a little rich.

However, that said I have had a week which is cause for complaint.

First I received my first pay packet (Hurray!), only to discover that a lot of what I had earned had gone astray, taken by the federal government. If I was at home I could console myself with thoughts of the NHS, but this is a country where you have to pay to see a doctor. A bloody DOCTOR! They reimburse you some money, but not all. And what kind of system is that anyway? Reimbursement? What is this, a business expense tax write off? No it's my bloody health!! I heard Aussies moan about the NHS's inefficiency, but any organisation on such a scale is bound to be pretty inefficient. At least you don't have to pay to see a fucking DOCTOR! (just underlining the point). So the rich pay a little tax, the poor pay a lot of tax, and the services provided by the state are minimal. Where then, does this revenue go? No-one seems to know. It's like the policies of Hayeckian and Keynesian economics rule simultaneously, but with only the negative points of both.

If this annoyance weren't enough I then got my bank statement to find a $1.50 bank charge for... wait for it... checking my balance! I knew you were charged for withdrawals from other banks, but paying money to check how much money you have?? Suspect every time one of these charges is processed a switch goes off & a bulldog licks the rectum of an obese, pink-faced, cigar-chomping banker who yells "Balance statement? Well, you've got $1.50 less now mate!" This on top of the $4 a month "accounting charge". And these aussies just sit back and take it. They are commendably relaxed people but they need a bit more bloody-mindedness. I'm all in favour of being laid back, but if you lie back too far you might get fucked.

I also found out that Haribo sweets do not exist here. The only gummies they have feature words like "natural" and "pure" on the packets. These aren't gummies, they're like some disgusting organic crap that an Islington mother would shove down the throat of Tristan, her ungrateful, long-haired, bourgeois sprog. I wouldn't even eat these if they were in the shape of the Venus Di Milo. Proper gummies are crammed full of sugar and pig remains, there's nothing "natural" about them. Boy they do things weird out here.

On the other hand I had a haircut yesterday and was handed a complimentary beer. For all their faults they are, occasionally, way ahead of us.


David said...

been reading your posts. don't you feel somehow that yr living in an inverted britannia, a kind of bad sci-fi parallel universe version of the uk? where everything's not quite the same or not?

me n dan went to the bafta film quiz the other week (like the cornerhouse to the power of 10) and saw.... david schneider. good spot. actually i wouldn't have noticed but he announced the winner of the raffle... (the prize was a signed john thompson poster btw...!?)

SPL said...

It is indeed like that. And the government is like the sort of thing you find futuristic dystopian films.

Schneider eh? Good dpot indeed. I too have spotted the Schneider in London, at Jewish book week. This was trumped though by a man at Waterstones who saw Chris Morris in a Kilburn cafe.