December 8, 2011, by Gael
Tis the Season to be Summer
While temperatures in England seem to have finally plummeted to the expected Winter climate, summer has well and truly arrived in Australia and with the Summer Holidays in full swing, what better time than to celebrate…Christmas!! It is an incredibly surreal feeling, walking around in 32 degree heat, soaking up the UV rays and bumping into Santa and his elves, or trying to cool off from the humidity in a store playing “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”. I think this is my first real experience of culture shock since entering Australia – Mulled Wine, Mince Pies and Mistletoe just don’t fit into this summer equation.
As I’ve been trying to get to grips with the Yuletide Spirit whilst enjoying the sand and surf, preparations for returning home in time for a wintery Christmas Day have begun. Shopping in Australia is a very pleasant experience…even Christmas Shopping! While the prices are generally higher, the service, range and quality of products is too; unlike the UK not every shopping area is dominated by the same chain stores, while there are the high street department stores, steeped in Christmassy Wonder, every new town uncovers boutique stores which harbour local delights making the perfect Christmas gifts from down under, and the products are accompanied with a cheerful and interested staff. Perhaps because minimum wage here is so higher, or perhaps because the weather is generally much brighter, but retail staff also make the shopping experience in Australia enjoyable. The smile and greet you, rather than badger you around a store you may just be browsing they offer helpful advice, or take what appears to be a real interest in your day or situation.
Reading through this blog-post however, I feel I may have been wooed by Christmassy Cheer and excess Sunshine. Not everything is as rosy and carefree as life may currently seem; I am spending almost every waking moment (not sunbathing or shopping) working on my Dissertation. The final research project of 12,000 words and my own research due in April 2012, my interviews are done, but with over 5 hours of interview time to transcribe it is a long, tiresome task. On top of that I’m trying to progress in graduate recruitment schemes and secure a job for July 2012…at the moment it doesn’t look positive. So I’m going back to my Summer Christmas in some hope for some yuletide joy.
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