Today is 26 of January, Australia Day. That day in 1788 First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove. And one year later my home town Nikolaev was founded 🙂 There is a short video at the end of the post, highly recommend to watch!
You know, I loved Ukraine as well. I’d never exclaimed: “what’s the heck of a country, impossible to live”. It was absolutely possible to live. I was born there and with every year of maturing acquired all needed protective reflexes and instincts. I knew how to make an agreement with plumber, how to palm off money to a doctor in hospital, how to get into the passports office without 4 hours of staying in queue. But in fact, we hadn’t learned anything good: giving bribes, making special arrangements with authorities, driving a coach and four through the laws and avoiding taxes in any possible way.
We’d got used to rudeness and boorishness, we can be hardly surprised with cruelty. Alcoholism and drugs addiction are also ordinary things. I remember from my childhood, my Mom, sending me to school in the morning, told: “speed up when you’ll be passing by the house #5, junkies live there, and don’t speak to anyone”. From my early childhood I knew who are junkies, how do they look like and where do they live. Once, I’ve seen 3 children on the yard. It was warm day in spring and they were peacefully playing one very interesting game, I should say. One of the girls told: “Let’s play that today is the 8th of March (international women’s day) and Vadik is drunk in a bar, and we are going to take him back home.” All three of them knew the rules of the game pretty well.
I knew that it was very desirable to move fast during the dark time of the day and have a paralytic aerosol in my purse. That in time of “financial crisis” it was better to leave all jewelry at home, and never talk to gipsies. You couldn’t trust the police and it was not safe to open doors to strangers.
All that seemed so simple, understandable and natural as breathing, you don’t think about that, you just adapt to this environment.
But even if you learned how to live in Ukraine and how to earn money, there will be a moment when you’d understand – there is no future. You’re trying to “visit the country” as rare as possible, you’re going out of the comfortable apartment just to buy some food, and you’re immediately coming back. You don’t want to walk in the park, where people play with their children amidst of plastic bags, bottles and other waste. Where drunk youngsters play guitar and sing songs at 3am, sitting on children’s playground. Where seniors look miserable and unhappy. Where prices on food and communal services get higher and higher.
You should carefully read labels in supermarket, it’s hard to find products not containing GMO, preservatives, thickeners and colorants. It’s dangerous to drink tap water, and it’s better to breath less frequently, knowing about air pollution.
We have many orphan children and people just don’t care, because everyone stands for his own. On the other hand everyone has got university degrees, but it’s very hard to find a real professional among doctors or lawyers. We buy driving licenses as potatoes on the market, and there’s nothing extraordinary about that, a usual process.
I won’t say a word about our president and government. You already know everything.
And at some point there comes a moment of afflatus and you understand – it’s time to leave.You don’t want to leave at first, because you know everything around, you’ve got used to the dodgy environment and you don’t want to start all over again from zero and one suitcase. You don’t want to leave your friends and parents, You don’t want to speak foreign language. You don’t want to go to obscurity. You don’t want, but you have to.
And I should tell, that all your getting-visa torments will be rewarded. Once the dust settles, when you leave behind all these immigration jim-jams and adaptation fuss, you’d understand how lucky you are.
It’s almost impossible to face corruption in Australia, there is no such term as nepotism. There is some level of bureaucracy, but it’s nothing in comparison to Ukraine. In hospitals people do not put dollars into surgeon’s pockets, you don’t have to book a place in kindergarten before the birth of a child.
You pay for your education in Australia, but it’s one of the best in the world. After graduation people become real specialists in their field. And even if you don’t like sitting nights memorizing textbooks – you always have a chance to become a builder, a cook, a miner or a road worker. You’d get a decent wage and pension.
Parks are amazing and well-maintained, there are a lot of nature reserves and historical museums. People are smiling and always ready to help. There is a culture in society, even if it is so multinational.
There are no stray cats and dogs in Australia. At all. Also there are no orphans. If the child was abandoned, he’d be immediately adopted by another family. There is a queue of people who would love to raise a small person. Everyone respects children here, no one ever would beat kids or call names. Children are allowed to choose their own clothing and shoes since the age of 2, they are kissed and told how loved they are. They are taught to be polite, to tell thank you and welcome.
You can drink tap water and it’s tasty! I stopped reading labels at grocery stores. Ingredients of yoghurt we buy contain: milk, sugar, milk solids, yoghurt cultures. Ingredients of sausages: 80% meat, iodized salt, milk proteins, spices, sugar and acidity regulator 331. Nothing else. Australian government doesn’t appreciate GMO, that’s why there are only two GMO cultures growing on Australian soil – cotton and canola. Everything that contains GMO should be labeled. But I haven’t seen such labels yet. Producers understand – it’s possible to lower the production costs by using GMO, but soon their production will go bankrupt – no one will ever buy anything marked with GMO label.
A special word about local pensioners. They are blooming and cheerful people. They play golf, wear fashionable clothing, ride expensive cars, learn languages and travel a lot. I adored to serve senior clients at the store. They tried to tell a couple of russian words, knew many facts from history of USSR, smiled and joked.
Australia is nothing like a fairy tail, there are certain problems. Everything is going very slowly, level of service is low, the choice of products is far from desired, the quality of building is not so good, internet is like from stone era, prices are excessively high sometimes.
But there are great perspectives in this country, and everything around helps to build the future.
Sometimes I feel nostalgia and miss my parents, sister and friends. I make tea in such moments, watch ukrainian news and realise that we should be grateful for the chance to live in Australia. And our loved and dear people will definitely move over here, and we will do everything to help them.