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I'm on my way to Australia for a work-related thing. Is it expensive to change money from US to AUS$ at airports in Australia? Are there lots of money changers outside of the airport?
What's a good thing to eat for dinner there? The local speciality? Should I eat at a place that grills meat or get a burger with beats on it or what?
It is about the same rate as anywhere else to change money in the airport. The money changers outside the airport are the banks. It is possible that not all branches of banks will do this for you now, so basically the answer to you question, as far as I know, is no. The idea of money changers on the streets has been regulated out of existence, of course. Couldn't you just use international money machines like everyone else?
You may actually need to have a valid credit card just to check into a hotel, even if you have the cash. People just assume that everything is electronic these days. I encounted this nonsense a few months ago in the Bay Area.
I changed a hundred before I left and then I found a money changer. Stuff shuts down except restaurants and a few shops after five. I visited a reasonably big city, but it's kind of empty at night. That's kind of weird.
Australia looks a lot like the US except the traffic being on the opposite side of the road and the shops having different brand names. Some of the vegetation is a bit different, and the sidewalks are clean. Also, the US tends to use cement for sidewalks, and I saw some kind of brick looking things made out of cement with little stones in it (forget the name) made into squares in certain places for sidewalks and brickwork elsewhere. You see brick sidewalks in Asia more than in the US, so there are a few little differences like that. Prices are expensive, like maybe 50% to 75% more for restaurants than the US, and I hear the outlying areas aren't much cheaper than in town for restaurants.
in field, it sounds like salaries may be about 80% of US salaries, too.
Australia's a rougher place to be than it used to be, as I understand. Getting harder & harder to make ends meet, less & less point to living there, more islamics than there used to be. Pity, because a lot of people want to go to Australia as a tourist thing.
I was in a city. Food at restaurants seems to be about 50% to 100% more for the same thing.
I did like the food. It seems like the eat food very similar to American food, but with more middle eastern and Indian opinions. I wonder if they eat a lot of Thai food.
I tried a really big Angus burger with a beet slice on it. (You have to say 'beet root' instead of beets, or they won't understand what you say.) I guess they use that instead of a dill pickle. It goes with a burger really well, and it fits the burger better. The burger I got had bacon, onion rings, Colby cheese, and some kind of balsamic onion sauce. It was really good.
Do they even have a beet burger at Outback Steakhouse. They should at least have an authentic Australian burger.
My employer put me up in a really nice hotel. The hotel restaurant we had lunch at was good. The salad bar had olives and different kinds of cheese, good if you've been out of the western world for a while. I got to try some grilled ribs, roasted lamb, various Indian curries, and lots of other stuff. The fast food kebab in town was really good, too.
I can also put on an Aussie accent, and the people me I sound Australian, sometimes. One kid said I sounded like a New Yorker. "I said, a New Yorker or a New Oker." Oker is Aussie English for something like an Aussie country bumpkin or redneck. Paul Hogan had a TV show where he played an 'Oker' character before Crocodile Dundee.
TV in Australia is a mix of local programming, American and British shows. There are also a lot of Aussie versions of American branded reality shows.