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My Struggle

First off, a few things off my chest. Im married to an Aussie, we have 4 kids. Can I say I hate Australia?? No, dont hate it, I get heavily frusterared at times with it because I feel like Im here for the right reasons but yet Im still not happy. My wife feels the same, even being from here. One of our children has a disability in which I would rather pay next to nothing for than to return to the US and pay out of pocket even with Obama running the show. Apart from that, things can and have been very difficult for me. Im an American, born and raised, I love America like no other. Sometimes I wanna go back so bad it hurts, and sometimes I give it a second thought when I see on TV that 20 children have been gunned down. Have 4 of my own, it really hits home and my priorities kind of slap back into focus as to why I live in OZ.

Socially Ive never felt like more of an outcast. Everywhere else Ive ever been (being a navy veteran and travelling) Ive never had trouble making friends and even when I meet people who dont seem so open or friendly, I work my way into connecting on some level and on rare occasion made friends out of potential enemies. Until I came to Australia, I never had the problem of being lonely (without friends). Sorry I dont take AFL or Crickett seriously. I simply dont get the whole reasoning behind this "clique culture" that Ive been experiencing since day dot. Yes, I find most of the men I meet to be comedically trashy and forward with little reserve and Ive come to accept it as the way of this country. They can still be friendly but sometimes I do get annoyed because I feel like no matter who I make nice with, theres no position in the inner circle for the token yank.

Ive failed repeatedly to connect with people based on the fact that I share little to nothing in common with most other men I meet. Its extremely difficult being an "Ethnic American" with a love of ones culture in a place that sadly (though they dont believe it) has a very limited amount of diversity. If youre not Chinese, your Indian, if not Indian, your Greek, not Greek, Italian, not Italian your Lebanese. Im sure theres a couple others but seriously, compare this whole country to the diversity of somewhere like London or NY? Then even so, these groups still recieve their share of racism. At the end of the day, NOT HAPPY.
Where the **** do I fit in?? Anyone else have a similar predicament?? What do you do??
deleted deleted 26-30 4 Responses Jan 10, 2013

Your Response


I'm an American in Oz too...have been for over 6 years and yes people do treat you as a novelty here. I sometimes wish I didn't have an accent when I open my mouth...sometimes i just want to blend in. I get tired of lying and saying I like it here.

I'm craving friendship so badly my heart aches.

I'm from Montana myself and I can tell you that Australia is much much worse than rural America. At least in my experience. I'm of mixed creole and about every other race there is and when I was a kid growing up the only peoples who suffered any real inequality which I am not diminishing were the native Americans, which honestly have it heaps better than the Aboriginals here. I really hadn't considered not being accepted in Australia because where I'm from and I find this of most places in North America people were generally good to you if you were good to them, hard work and a nice personality and demeanor would get you a job, and advancement, not to mention friends. I miss having friends, because in Australia for the most part people only want to be your friend out of some sense of novelty which doesn't really last. I am sure there are good ones but I've become a bit guarded. Especially having other male friends because for the most part they have little or no respect for women. It's like the 1950's with mullets! I'm not certain that I will ever fit in either man.

WOW! YES! You are not just imagining it. I feel like I now know what it's like to be a minority. The quiet discrimination. The elephant in the room. Yes, us yanks need to know our place, don't we. It's sad and I never expected it. What really annoys me too is the excellent way that Americans treat Aussies...and then they have this subtle ( and at times overt ) xenophobia towards us...While at the same time copying so much that is American and somehow claiming it as their own. I feel like the Chevy Chase character in funny farm sometimes. living in an idyllic place with nasty locals. We too came here for the better life quality for our family...especially the gun stuff. It is so hard. I miss so much there and am sick of being totally kind and nice and being treated as a second class citizen. We too have always had friends and healthy status...been in the mix if you will. But kids have been bullied and doors shut when the opportunities are being allocated. We have made some friends...with open minded people. But, most people take comfort in the exclusion and if not directly guilty turn a blind eye to the minority discrimination. After 13 years, we are still outsiders.

Thanks for sharing that. I agree with you that it is a slow process of realising that there is some sort of strange syndrome. Think about it though... the diminishing of your culture, the grumbling and annoyance at us ( so very real) one word to describe it.... discrimination...another word...xenophobia...insecure.. insular. Anyhow it's their way or the highway....with the exception of a few areas in Sydney and Melbourne and maybe;s like a country town EVERYWHERE. Just different degrees of small-mindedness. We have lived Gold and Sunshine Coasts. My kid was so bullied. She is talented and pretty and a few local chicks didn't like that. We thought it would get better. After 3 years we moved to a slightly larger area. Being American there was like being a gay kid in a small midwest town!

And after 30+ years, I'm still an outsider. Don't hold your breath expecting anything to change - if you don't fall within a very narrow definition of what they consider to be "one of us", you'll always be experiencing "the quiet discrimination" - and that's the perfect term for it.

I know too much how you feel...

I come from Europe, studied Japanese for a few years and just like a dream, went there in a uni and then went working in a hotel restaurant in a ski resort... A few months later, I met a wonderful Aussi guy (yes, it's possible). Long story short, i'm now living with him in NSW.

At the begining, it was very difficult as i knew nothing about this country, but I had hope that with time, i'd get used to everything and everybody and that i'd have a happy life in here as many of my friends were telling me how great this place is to them. But this is not what is happening at all. After several months, I still have no friend, cant connect with any other girl as we have nothing in common and nothing to discuss about. Job hunting is hell, i feel like s***, as if i was worth nothing in Oz, not having any of the qualifications they are looking for. Hate the climate, the heat is making me feel really bad, i'm scared of all those venimous/big/numerous insects everywhere, kill 1, 10s come back... I feel like people are just going to work to be able to get drunk on the week-end. Everything is so expensive, i found myself crying in a store once when i realized i couldnt buy anything with my own money, as the only work i could find is a waitressing/kitchenhand job paid 10$ an hour for 20h a week when i'm lucky.

Now approaching my 30th birthday, i'm thinking of the futur: will i ever be happy in Oz? Is all our money gonna be taken by taxes and other life cost expenses to let us with nothing but credits? if we're blessed with children one day, will they have a proper education at school? will they become like those young people i see in the street, drunk as hell, not able to have a decent conversation?

My partner himself told me he doesnt like Aussie people or the climate here, but i dont think he'd be ready to move abroad for good. Even if he were, i feel like i couldnt impose him such thing when i see how unhappy it's making me.
His family live far away from NSW, mine is at the other side of the planet, i have no friend, how could that be the right condition to start a family together... and yet, i love him so much... (sorry for this very girly last bit).

In short, just like you aussican13, i feel like an outcast. I was feeling so special back in Japan, also good in my own country, but in Oz....

thank you for your answer! it feels good to be able to share those thoughts with someone who understand them :)

Well, i first left home because my dream was to live in Japan. But the immigration is so strict, and falling in love with an Aussi guy didnt really help (i dont regret meeting him at all though, the past 2 years together have been so wonderful). We decided to try start a real life together in Oz after staying 6 months in Japan, had to leave with the end of our visa.
My bf had a good job in Oz, I speak English and he doesnt speak my mother tongue, so we thought Australia was the best choice at a time. He has been working much to provide everything for the both of us, we are renting an appartment that we furnished (the only place i love in here). So asking him to leave would make me feel bad after all his efforts. On the other hand, like you said, we should act now, before having children.. the truth is i cant really imagine having them so far away from my family, but can i really impose him my selfishness? moving would be even more difficult for him as it was for me since he doesnt know the language.
Like you said, leaving does seem like planning an escape, it is quite scary, because how can i know if it wont get worse after that? (aka him getting depressed or something like that). I do realize we have to talk more about it, but it's difficult for all the reasons i wrote there, and also i always stupidly start crying when i want to tell him about the situation.
My visa expire in April, and we are thinking about the partner visa, but somehow i cant really get it started as im not sure if it's the right decision or not... basically, its all about "in which country should we live", and it's not easy to find an answer that we're 100% sure about...

we do love each other a lot, that's why it's complicated haha ^^"
i'm trying my best in Oz because i love him, but i know he'd move to wherever i'd ask him. But in the end, i just want the both of us to be happy about the situation, so much thinking.
And i was talking about France lol, he did like it, but said he might not like to live there because of the people (which i totally understand, and probably because of the language which is quite difficult), so Spain is safe ;)

i guess we, French people, are arrogant for sure, but that is our historical legacy i could say, it's something you can probably get to understand when you know much about our past i think. Rude? hmm... i guess there are rude people of course, especially in Paris, but i dont think you can generalise like that for everybody living in this country. I'm pretty sure what my bf didnt like was the fact he couldnt understand most of what we were saying, it must have been so frustrating for him. Also, we French people, bad mouth a lot about ourselves, so it probably didnt help... lol
he did love the food though!
And for the record, i've heard French saying they didnt like Americans because Americans didnt like us either... it's probably all about culture differences, one should live in a country for a while before saying such things in my opinion :)

No need to apologize here, i wasnt offended at all, sorry if my last sentence made you think i was :)
I was just voicing my opinion about those saying "i dont like people from X country", that's all, it applies as well to French people saying they dont like Americans. What i wanted to say was before someone says something like that, they should have experience living in the country they are talking about, just like you and me, foreigners living in Australia, are writing about how we dont like the country according to our experience in here :)

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