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Life Style
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 Australians are very friendly and helpful people, with a great sense of humour and a natural ability to tell jokes and play with words. Some times we may appear cold because of our "private nature" which has been imported over the past 2 decades, but it is just takes time to "break the ice", and everything goes well. It means you can talk about any subject, but for more personal matters, things will take a little bit longer to come out in the open. 

The majority of Australians live in coastal areas because the interior of the country called "the Outback", can be a very arid area with many deserts and lack of water. Australians tend to follow each other a bit, like sheep on a hill. This happens because of the stability of Australian Institutions and the strong economy. For example, since the beginning of 2003 there has been a boom in the housing market, which has made thousands of Australians buy and sell homes for investment. The result has been that so many people did it created a steep rise in house prices. For a couple of months every single place I went, the talk was about houses. Because of this stability, Australians tend to plan for the long term, which can make life a little bit boring sometimes.

Australians were born to compete! In reality, Australia is considered one of the most competitive nations on Earth. This covers all areas of life including the work place. For example, Australians surfers broke a long-term hold on the Surf Scene by the Americans and Hawaiians, and today there is not a single international contest without at least many Aussies running in top position. Companies that sponsor sports events such as Billabong, Rip Curl and many others broke the Australian borders to become a symbol of Aussie culture all over the globe, displacing many bigger foreign companies on the market. These great Australians Companies, today almost dictate what young people and teenagers are wearing worldwide.

Australians are compulsive buyers having some of the biggest credit card debts in the world. On rainy days (no beach to go) it is very hard to get a parking place in a Shopping Centre, and over the Christmas period and Boxing day (the day after Christmas) it is almost impossible, with lines of car parking on the streets outside the shopping area. Shopping is very good here with lots of variety and good offers. In all Australian Shopping Centres smoking is prohibited. There are also suburban small shopping centres to look after the locals. They are pretty close together and almost always have a bakery, a Pharmacy, Medical centre, a small supermarket, dentist, Fish and Chips shop, Pizza Shop and small eatery. It is difficult to see something unusual or unique in these shops. 

Going to the beach on weekends in Australia is a very popular exercise, just as much as going to the Shopping Centre or doing any sport. The so called Australian Beach Culture, is similar to California, Rio de Janeiro, and the Mediterranean. Australians live by the sea, and the beach complements the house creating an extended backyard in which to play. With the exception of some places that can get some winter weather, most of Australia is sunny throughout the year. This provides an excellent alternative of relaxation all year round, but you also must know that because of the thinning of the Ozone layer above some areas, there is a greater danger of harmful rays from the sun. The sun here is very strong and burns the skin really fast. Australia is has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world; so if you go to the beach, take hats and sun block. DON'T EXPOSURE YOURSELF FOR TOO LONG UNDER THE SUN. Other important matters concern the rips and currents most Australian beaches have. Sometimes the sea can present itself as calm as you like, but rips underneath can be strong and unexpected. So, if you are not very knowledgeable about the sea, you'd better swim only in patrolled wa ters between the flags placed by lifesavers on the sand. By the way, it is prohibited to sell anything on the beach without a council permit, and wherever dogs are allowed, they must be on a leash. 

If you are not going to a special event, the fashion in Australia is pretty casual and laidback. Australians are very informal when it comes to clothes, despite the fact that some work places require a good standard of dressing. "Casual Smart" is required for companies where presentation and image are important. It consists of a long sleeve one-colour shirt, with sleeves folded to just below the elbow, long pants of a good fabric, and leather shoes. No tie is necessary. Jacket and tie are usually only worn during business meetings, by businessmen or Real Estate Agents. Australians vary in their style of clothing, some loving colourful clothes and stamps, some hating it.  At the beach it is more common to wear shorts than Speedos or bikinis, for both, males and females. Australians don't like to show off their bodies pretty much, still a consequence from the 1900's, when it was prohibited to have a swim in the ocean, and wear nothing that could permit a tan on your skin. Melbourne is the top fashion place in Australia.

Preservation of the environment is ten out of ten for Australia. It is amazing; how much care conscientious Australians dedicate to preserving the environment. It doesn't only cover nature conservation such as mountains, rivers, forests and oceans, it spans into the cities as well. Australians love Australia and are very proud of having a clean and beautiful land. The majority of the population are very concerned about ecological and preservation matters, involving themselves as much as possible to keep it that way. Not only will normal people report damage to the environment, but the authorities will also give you heavy fines for dumping anything you are not allowed to. Streets and locations are very clean. I have been to beaches where you have to walk on a wooden path so as not to disturb the sand and native grass that is underneath. There are selective rubbish collections for most homes with recycling bins separated from bins containing other materials. Also, Councils from all over Australia, do an Environment impact study before authorizing any new construction and development. As I said before, it is 10 out of 10.

-Wake me up only Monday, please!
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