2012-01-11   Australia and Hong Kong

Hello again from Australia where I'm half-way through my holiday.
With the Australian dollar way way up, I'm finding everything here is very expensive.

A simple ice-cream at McDonald's in HK costs HK$2.50.
Australia it costs AUD$0.50 (= HK$4.30)!
In HK I can buy four large
USA oranges for HK$11.00.
Australia four such oranges cost AUD$5.70 (HK$49)!

Having lived in HK for 27 years, I have trouble in Australia walking across a road!
In HK, people wait for cars, but in
Australia, cars wait for people.
Many times recently I have stopped and waited for a car to pass,
only to find the driver will stop and indicate for me to cross first!

One thing new here: some supermarkets now have "self-service" machines.
No need for someone behind the counter to take each item and "swipe" it to enter the cost into a machine. You can do it yourself, while the machine communicates with you in sound and with words on a screen!
If you pay with cash, the friendly machine will give you the correct change.

How to get a cheap return air ticket to Australia: travel December 25-27 and on the first few days of Lunar New Year.  "Foreigners" rarely travel Dec 25-27, and Chinese people rarely travel the first few days of LNY - so - plenty of empty seats on planes!