Bitesize Episode 50 - Charlie Chatter: "I'm fleeing Australia"

Charlie Baxter

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What's this episode about?

In this bitesize episode Charlie updates us on his personal life, as he prepares to move from Down Under (Australia) back to Britain. He’s leaving the beautiful Australian beaches, hot weather and great cafés. But why? Does he feel like he's missing out on paying through the nose for his heating or does he genuinely think he could try his luck in campaigning to be the next PM? Find out why he's really wanting to turn his life upside down by listening to this episode.
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Transcript of Bitesize Ep 050 - Transcript

Hello. Hello. Hello. This episode is a Charlie Chatter episode updating you about my life and the current happenings as I record this podcast. I try to squeeze cultural topics into each episode, but these Charlie Chatter ones are less driven by culture and more by, well, my life. But still, of course, I will be exposing you to plenty of phrases that British English speakers use to help you continue on your language learning journey. So I'm recording this episode whilst my life is being turned upside down, quite literally as I'm going to be transitioning from living down under in Sydney, Australia, you know, dangling upside down, getting on a plane and arriving topside up in London, England to begin the next chapter of my life. Now if you didn't know, I've been in Sydney since around July 2019, and whilst the world has and is going through some testing times, I've got to say that Sydney has left a lasting impression on me. One that is hard to shake. With magnificent coastal landscapes, beautiful beaches, a delectable cafe culture and clear blue skies for, well, usually three times the amount London receives in a year. It's hard for me to be totally enthusiastic about moving away from this paradisiacal place. Paradisiacal. A rather fancy adjective of the noun paradise. To be honest, it's fairly uncommon, so don't try slipping that derivative into conversation any time soon. Unless you want to look like Mr. Fancy Pants. Like. Like I just did. But you've got to admit, it's fun to say paradisiacal.

Go on, say it with me, Paradisiacal. Anyway, as I knew that there was a time limit when we arrived here in Australia, I'd say I was that little bit more appreciative of the positive aspects of the place than I would have been usually because of the scarcity involved. So despite the fact that we've experienced fires, floods and lockdowns all since being here, I'm, I'm happy with what we've managed to squeeze into the time frame that we've had here. And the icing on the cake was to have my partner's parents fly over for the last month of being here. And not only did we show them a ruddy good time in Sydney, having sussed out all the worthy cafes, restaurants, beaches and walks for their attention. But we also managed to go up the coast and experience a three day sail on the Whitsundays, which are a famous cluster of islands in Queensland that host beaches made of squeaky clean white sand. I'd be interested to know if you know what I mean by saying squeaky with sand, as when we were there, I started squeaking my feet on the sand and my future father in law looked at me as if I was practising witchcraft. He then admitted that with his 60 odd years on this planet, he had never done anything of the sort. So if you are like Stacey's old man, then the next time you find yourself on a beach with impressive sand, then dig the balls of your feet into it and you'll understand what I'm banging on about.

But yes, we managed to get a nice bit of closure on Australia with the fact that we were able to show Stacey's parents what we had been enjoying for the last 3 to 4 years and why we had chosen to be so far away from the majority of our family. And we even got Stacey's mum tipsy enough for her to give us her blessing on coming back here now and again because she was so taken aback by how lovely Sydney was. Now I know what you might be thinking. You might be thinking you shouldn't need someone's blessing to live in a place that you like. And you're right. But quite honestly, my partner and I, who are both British, have been weighing things up throughout the years of living here, just like a lot of people do living across this country, because a huge portion are expats, particularly British expats. I believe it is the most popular destination for Brits to move abroad to, and it's for good reason, not just because of the above, but also the economy is booming, the opportunities are greater and the quality of life depending on subjectivity, of course, is is largely better than the UK. But the big old But. The big reason. People don't always stay down under, meaning Australia. And it's a big one. They miss family and if they're from a place like Europe, they often miss the history, the richness in culture.

In fact, I heard a very mean joke about Australians. Do you want to hear it? I mean, you can't say yes or no, so you're going to hear it and here it is. What's the difference between an Australian and a pot of yoghurt? I'll let you think for a second and then you'll be like, I don't know, Charlie, what's the difference between an Australian and a pot of yoghurt? Well, leave a pot of yoghurt in the sun for 200 years. And it develops a culture. Hmm. Hmm. Whoo! Good one, isn't it? You got it? No. If you want me to dissect that one, it's implying that Australians haven't developed much of a culture. And to be clear, right now, we are referring to European settlers here, or what was called the the First Fleet, which contained British settlers in 1788. That was the first fleet of ships that came over to colonise the country. The joke is definitely not considering the fact that Aboriginal people were here thousands, no, no, tens of thousands of years before. But no, it's talking about the European settlers. It's joking that Australians don't have much of a culture. Whether that's true or not, that's up to the individual. But aside from that there is a little bit of a longing in many expats' hearts down here for family, for a Sunday roast round the parents' for a Christmas where you're not sweating sun cream off and well, nowadays for a Ryanair flight for £9.99 to another country that speaks a totally different language.

So, yes, we agreed that if we were to stay here for evermore, we'd feel a little lonely. Even though we've met some lovely lifelong friends who would most likely start to be known as our family down here. There's there's that nagging feeling in the back of our mind when we spend a day roasting our skin cells all day under the sun that we're just... Yeah, we're missing our folk. So we have decided to pull the plug. I'm sure we will be back.

But today is the day where we're boxing up our belongings. We've signed a contract with hopefully trustworthy people to see it all again in the Northern hemisphere. Still in one piece, I do hope. And now it's annoyingly time to get the elbow grease out so that our landlord has nothing to complain about and give us our deposit back. Or, as they say, our bond back. The last week has been pretty full on. Not terrible, but just intense. We did a garage sale all Sunday and sold about 60% of our stuff, I'd say, out the back of our rental. The big ticket items we managed to sell for a pretty decent price on Facebook Marketplace and I sold my car to a family friend for an extortionate price. No, I'm joking. I gave him a fair price being family. But with this current climate, the price for a second hand car has gone up a lot. I'm sure you didn't need me to tell you that, but yeah, that was. That was in my favour. I'm sure when I buy one again in England, I will see the negative side of that. And now I'm sat without a desk to my name and just an empty apartment for one more night until we get on a plane and start our adventure. And oh, what an adventure we have instilled for us. We are not just flying to London. No, no, no. Sydney to London is very expensive in December. So we shopped around and found that Bali to London was much, much cheaper. And so considering we've never been and always wanted to, we thought it would be rude not to stay for a couple of weeks. So although it is the rainy season, we are incredibly excited to see what Bali has in store for us and I will be the first to let you know how it was. Until then, I will leave this one there for now. I hope you didn't mind a little bit of Charlie chatter this week to break up the history heavy episodes around the great English country houses. Sending you much love to wherever you are. Whilst listening to this, I hope you have a nice week. My name is Charlie Baxter and see you next time on the British English podcast.

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Podcast host: Charlie:
This will be quite a bit harder for you to understand, as there are a number of accents in the conversation, some poorly delivered at times, as you will notice.

Podcast host: Charlie:
But the aim is to give you a variety of dialects in one conversation and some dialogue to give you native expressions in context. So enter, if you will, to Charlie's pub and his imaginary world.

Character: Mike:
Alright geezer, how's it going?

Character: Chris:
Yes, I'm well thanks. How about you? Have you had a good day?

Character: Mike:
Can't say good mate. No my old man he's been giving me a right old earful for what happened on site last week.

Character: Chris:
Oh that's a pity. Are you back on your dad's building project again?

Character: Mike:
Sad to say mate, but yeah, I am. Couldn't resist this one though. Cash in hand, you know.

Character: Chris:
Oh fair play, hard to resist those I imagine. Oh, here she is.

Character: Emily:
Oh, hi.

Character: Chris:
I was wondering if you're ever going to join us tonight.

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