There's much to love about life in Old Blighty.
But for Australians living in England, there are some things that will remaining puzzling about life on this much smaller island.
Having spent a little more than a year living in England, here're my top three things that will never feel or be normal to someone whose native country is Down Under.
1. Weekday General Elections
Elections in Australia are always held on a Saturday. ALWAYS. It doesn't matter if it's a federal election and we're deciding on the leader of the country or a state election to choose who will run our state, it happens on a Saturday. With the regular working week considered to be Monday to Friday, just like here in England, voting on a Saturday when you've got time to do it just makes sense.
Holding an election on a weekday is weird. It messes with Aussies' body clocks. The day before feels like Friday, but it's not. On the up side, there's more time to actually cast your vote with polling booths here in the UK open between 7am and 10pm. In Oz, it's 8am to 6pm. But they're on a Saturday so there's plenty of time anyway.
2. Medication prescriptions
In England, it's one crazy system. You go to the doctor and get a prescription with repeats. You fill the script at the chemist – no worries. But when you need it next time, you have to take the repeat script back to the chemist who sends it back to the doctor who ticks it off, sends it back to the chemist who can then give the medication. What the? Exactly. It's time-consuming and you have to make sure you give a week's notice before you need your drugs.
In Oz, the system is as follows: Go to the doctor and get a repeat prescription. You can go back to the chemist on the day you run out, hand in your repeat, get your drugs and move on with your life. End of.
3. Bank Holidays
Not knocking them, just don't understand them. Some are easy to get your head around like the day off from work for Christmas and Good Friday. But there are at least three public holidays in England which are seemingly for no good reason other than to have the day off work. Such as the 'Spring Bank Holiday' and the 'May Bank Holiday'. Any Aussie will wonder what the day is actually supposed to commemorate or celebrate. The answer
Over in Oz, even when we're having a day off for no good reason, such as the Queen's Birthday public holiday in June when Her Majesty's big day is actually in April, we at least give it a name. In my state, South Australia, we have a day off in October but we've named it and it's called 'Labour Day'. No, we don't know what's for but at least it has an actual name. Bank holiday? Indeed. #Government