To be honest I don’t hate Darwin, not in the slightest and as you will have seen from my 10 Things I Love About You Darwin, I quite like the place but there are things I hate about my being in Darwin/Australia so I thought I would be balanced and share those.
1) Being away from family, friends and my dog Henry – this is a constant issue for me as my family and friends are very very important parts of my life. Reading the statutory declarations that my friends have written for my visa application and this is the constant theme I have noticed that everyone knows how important they are to me. I cannot wait for my parents and brother to arrive and hope some of my friends can make it here too.
2) Time Zones – currently we are 8.5 hours ahead, when the clocks change in the UK it will be 9.5 hours. Sometimes I really want to speak to my Mum or friends and it feels like I have to wait for hours and hours because understandably their asleep! Also depending on the time of day I want to speak to someone the time zone can be a pain. I usually speak to one of my friends on Monday afternoon just as I’m leaving work and she’s on her way but as the clocks have changed I’m now in work when she’s on her way and I’ve finished work just as she arrives it’s very annoying!
3) Mosquito’s and little creatures that bite me – Especially active after the rain grrrr. I am like a mosquito magnet, every day I get bitten and some of them carry pretty gross diseases. Also the spray that they sell here is either deet free and doesn’t work or so full of deet its like your skins being poisoned a bit, definitely not pleasant.
4) The humdity – during the wet season, as the name says we get heat and rain which helps create a little humid bubble in the Top End. This makes for a very hot and sticky time when your out of the air condition. I also have very curly hair which helps make it grow quite considerably and because its so humid there’s no point straightening it (my poor straighteners think they are being punished for some unknown deed I think!).
5) The cost of things – things are very expensive in Darwin (example a humble quiche costs $13 which is about £6-£7 depending on the exchange rate, for a quiche!!!) and whilst the salaries etc are proportional in terms of living expenses it makes life quite pricey. Darwin is growing as a city so lots of people are here working on the new buildings and this helps push prices up quite a lot. We’d like to rent somewhere in the City to live but it is so expensive we need to save up.
6) The cost of flights – I know that you are essentially flying half way around the world to get to Darwin but I wish it didn’t cost so much so people can come and see me more but also so that it wasn’t so expensive to get home as well. I’ve been looking at flight times and costs for going home in September (luckily I have a ticket booked one way for that trip already) and then for Christmas and it’s not cheap, but it is worth it and is doable so I can’t wait to see everyone when I am home.
7) Cost of Accommodation – As my family will be here in June, which is the tourist season due to the lovely weather, I looked to rent a house or book a hotel when they are here. It’s just ridiculous how much these things can cost for 2 weeks, I honestly don’t know how people can afford flights, accommodation, car hire, food when their here and all the spending money. I was being quoted $6,000 to $7,000 for 2 weeks rental and/or hotel accommodation which is about £3,000 to £4,000 to start with. I’ve found a much more reasonable place in a good location now so fingers crossed it will be lovely when we get there.
8) That everything melts – literally about 30 seconds after you take your chocolate, ice cream, ice pole (my current wet season addiction), butter, cheese etc it starts melting in the heat (probably as we don’t have air conditioning at home to be fair). Obviously in contrast this is good when you forget to get the ingredients for dinner out of the freezer and need them to defrost quickly!
9) Spiders – I hate these creatures, I can’t help it they just freak me out. My fear of them has reduced so I don’t freak out if they are nearby but I try and encourage them to stay away as well. The daddy long legs type spiders are ok and stay away pretty much but there are the St Andrews spiders who hang out in the toilet and shower (I swear the one in the shower was after me as it used to run around following me trying to get where my hand was), the Wolf Spiders or tarantulas (I’m not sure what these are as the Aussie refers to them as tarantulas and his brother calls them Wolf Spiders) and ones who look like the evil spiders in computer games etc that flash up when your character has died.
10) Intrusive visa applications – in order for me to stay in Australia with the Aussie we have to apply for a visa, the process is very complicated but not helped by the fact we need to provide so much evidence including intrusive things like our text messages and emails to each other as well as photographs of us together which is not helped by the fact neither of us likes having our photo taken. I hate that we have to do it but as I have said to the Aussie it has to be done and then once the visa is granted we can forget it had to be done!