So this post will upon the cultural and social issues in Australia. But mostly it’s about food. To understand the nature of this title I must first outline a few things I’ve noticed since coming to melbourne.
1. On a scale of healthy to unhealthy the Aussies seem nicely on the side of health conscious. Most restaurants provide gluten, dairy and wheat free alternatives and loads of vegetarian options. Even the takeaway pizza place I’m working at does gluten free pizza bases and salads. There are tonnes of healthy juice and smoothie bars. Plus they all seem to run, bike and gym more than is necessary.
2. Minimum wage is fantastic and most places pay above that level. So the minimum wage over here is around $15 per hour which, according to google, is about £8.07. So assuming many of the population are working in full time, grown up jobs they will be on considerably more. Google also came up with the average full time adult earnings in a week was $1,516.90 (May 2013-May 2014) and the average yearly earnings for 2012 in Victoria at $68,219. I would give you the actual source but since I’ve finished my degree there’s absolutely no need for me to do that any time soon, HA!
3.There is a serious culture of going out for food here. This has really struck a chord with me, I’m not quite sure why but it surprises me every time I see a full restaurant in the middle of the week. There is a distinct lack of chains (except McDonald’s, curse you America) and every night of the week restaurants and bars are busy. Friday and Saturday night you can barely move for people on any of the high streets. Because I don’t have any experience with with anywhere outside of Victoria I shouldn’t tar the rest of Australia with the same brush, but I hope the rest of the country is a foodie as Melbourne and it’s surrounding suburbs. The price of meals is also very reasonable. At first (when I was still thinking in pounds, I’m not quite thinking in dollars yet, but I’m better at the conversion) I thought everything was super expensive. I don’t think you can actually buy anything for under a dollar. But the most I’ve spent on a meal out is $30. Drinks are a killer though. Most pints will cost you $8 and I’ve seen beers costing $16, shocking!
Conclusion: The Aussies are super healthy and for most people in full time work going out for a great meal is actually quite affordable. Even for me, going out for a $30 meal is only one and a half hours of cleaning work during the week. Hence why the restaurants are packed, and I must assume (because there is a distinct lack of unhealthy looking people) that they must be scoffing the healthy alternative food as the population would be twice the size on the usual restaurant grub!
Unfortunately the opportunity to become a lean mean health machine requires a level of self control I don’t have. Going out for food has become extremely stressful and difficult. Although most of the time I just cave for the lovely deep fried option a little part of me wants the big healthy salad that will obviously magically transform me into an Australian Babe.
So now I have shared some (rather boring) information about Melbourne and my ongoing eating-related dilemmas you can now drool over some of the gorgeous things I’ve chowed down on over over the past few weeks. Enjoy.