Monday, 25 May 2009

Friendly Doesn't Mean Friends

If there is one thing in Australia that I'll never accept, it is that of people dropping by unexpectedly, or even calling to say they are in the area and wanting to drop in. My plan is to erect a fence at the front of the property as well, with an electric door for the driveway, which will be shut most of the time. I'm not an unfriendly person, but unless I invite you over, in advance, I probably don't want you here. At times, it feels as though I am living in Bizarro World. For example, when the ex rings up Saturday late afternoon and wants to stop by because she is in the area, I want to say: "Huh, what...well, of course not, it's Saturday night and I am spending it with my husband, alone, which I was looking forward to...duh." Instead I must be nice and say "Sorry but it's not a good time. We're very busy and have plans early tomorrow." I want to be friendly, but I don't want to be friends...but I want to be nice and manage boundaries without upsetting anyone. But at least there is pavlova. Yes, I know, this is a strange segway, but I have to acknowledge sometimes that I am living an utterly and completely different life. As the quote on the bottom of the page says, "Life in a foreign country is a dance of submission and resistance. find yourself giving in easily, with a struggle, or not at all." Pavlova, particularly topped with bananas so as to taste similar yet even better than banana cream pie, I can give into easily. People stopping by unexpectedly I would have to give into with a struggle, but would prefer to give in...not at all.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


Main Entry: ap·o·plec·tic
Pronunciation: \ˌa-pə-ˈplek-tik\
Function: adjective
Etymology: French or Late Latin; French apoplectique, from Late Latin apoplecticus, from Greek apoplēktikos, from apoplēssein
Date: 1611
1: of, relating to, or causing stroke2: affected with, inclined to, or showing symptoms of stroke3: of a kind to cause or apparently cause stroke ; also : greatly excited or angered

This is how I feel today, in regards to Australian customer service. More to come depending on the outcome of my encounter with Barbeques Galore tomorrow.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Kitty Kins

There is a local (feral, I think, although here they call them tom cats and reserve the term feral for people) cat who used to use my lawn for his litter box. Now that I have bought a brand new door mat, he has taken to whizzing on my front door, which is wood. I rang the local council and RSPCA today and if it keeps up, will be inquiring with the neighbours to see if he belongs to anyone, then renting a cage to trap him and dropping him off to the RSPCA, who will give him some time, see if he is microchipped, and if not, unltimately euthanise him. I have bought some herbal sprinkles, removed the doormat and washed the screen and front door in hopes this will send him elsewhere, so I don't have to go the cage route:( He's very cute but....

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I do actually get to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, although a far cry from the proper meal as I will be having fish and chips at the pub, with workmates. Hey, at least I will be at the pub, and perhaps I shall get the Aussie bartender to make me something with tequila in it!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Universal Healthcare -or- Reduced Quality For All

So at the moment I'm $900 out of pocket for medical/dental expenses, with much more to come on the dental side, and hopefully nothing for medical. About $100 of that is getting reimbursed to me from Medicare. Had the doctors and xray techs I'd gone to bulk billed, they would be getting reimbursed, not me, which would be preferable. I've save upwards of $300 on my dental bills with my private hospital & extras cover, which I pay $60 a month for, but that only covers a maximum of $500 total on major dental, and even that is a 12 month wait period, so if I end up needing root canals etc that's all on me. Had this occured in the US, I would have paid $20 total, which was the co-payment for seeing my doctor. My health insurance cost me about $60 per month through work, and my dental $4 per month, again through work. Had I racked up $10,000 in services from the dentist, do you know how much I would have paid? $0, nada! That type of dental insurance doesn't exist in Australia. I had some chest pain and was coughing up blood the other day, so the doctor told me I could wait and see, or go for a chest xray. I chose the latter of course, which turned out fine, and it seems all is well with the chest, both on the xray and physical symptoms, although there is still a need to take it very easy for a week or so, with no strong physical exertion. A doctor in the US would have sent me for some extra tests I'm sure, and maybe even given me some antibiotics to prevent any chest infections. Anyway, this whole rant brings me to the conclusion that if you haven't experience universal healthcare/socialised medicine, don't say you want it just because it gives you a nice, warm and fuzzy feeling to think to everyone being entitled to healthcare. What it means is that yes, everyone gets some coverage, but it will be reduced coverage and less quality care. I agree that children should have coverage regardless, and insurance companies shouldn't be able to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and that coverage should be reasonably priced for all, but it shouldn't be universal, unless you want mediocre care for all to replace good care for many.