Saturday, April 23, 2011

Perth, first impressions

You are probably wondering by now ‘where are the freaking pictures Rod promised?’ and here there are... not... all.

I can tell you, there are many things that you will notice of Perth straight away:


In Perth EVERYTHING is brand new.

There are new buildings, streets, suburbs, houses and parks. Pretty much everything is new just like if the city was built in the last 10 years. I have to be honest with you, most of the pictures I have seen from Perth they show a very nice, clean and new city... and that’s all true. Everywhere I watched there was a new building about to be completed, a house being painted or a road being expanded or improved. The city contains a bit of history, but it has been overtaken by huge business buildings, parks or new constructions; in a way is sad because the city could expose some of its history but instead they decided to obliterate anything kind of old to replace it immediately with something fashion and new.

Perth Skyline
When you drive through a suburb, you find yourself immerse in a well planed suburb, with new houses (or 15 years old tops), plenty of parks (this point I am going to expand it later on), public transport in some areas and small malls nearby... This covers your day to day needs.


There are lots of parks everywhere.

At first I didn’t want to admit it... I have seen lots of parks anywhere in Sydney, but the size of them and how close they are between each other is something totally different in Perth.

They have built parks in almost every block which gives you the crazy impression that Perth wasn’t built on top of a dessert; although that impression is quickly gone when you start driving between suburbs and take a look or two of the sand dunes with small bushes everywhere.

Children walking around

These parks are great to take lunch, exercise yourself, rest, enjoy the city, etc. And thanks to that the people in Perth has come to a permanent state of relaxation. In my personal opinion, that’s the main reason why so many people told us ‘Perth is a family place!’

Those little rascals
I remember when playing or running around a tree was pretty fun...
It is filled up with green open areas with plenty of sun light (almost 12 hours) a day in summer time; the chances to take out your kids, play and do free stuff are extraordinary; super attractive for parents trying to get their kids burning 100% of their energies, riding bicycle, skating, taking lunch or just running around in one of the thousands gardens and open spaces.


Everyone is in total relaxation.

Perthians in general are very, very relaxed. Don’t mind about difficult choices and try to keep it simple.

If you want to go and have a great meal, just drive 10K and get your lunch from your favourite place. You don’t want to eat it right there? Drive couple kilometres more and have your meal at the riverside of the Swan... watch the dolphins jumping out of the water while you are at it and then drive back to work.

The old folks full of stress having a meal in front of the ocean.
I would like to be as stressed as them!
Of course, you won’t do that every day, but every now and then will be an incredible experience.


It has great beaches.

When I stood for the very first time in front of an Aussie beach my thoughts were ‘I can’t believe Venezuelans brag about beautiful beaches... Australian ones are outstanding!’ well... Perth isn't the exception to that comment (if you don't have recollection of my comment related to Sydney's beaches, read here there are more, just follow the beach tag).

One panoramic view of city beach
I am not going to say Perthian beaches are better than those you could find in Sydney, but something I am certain is that Perthian beaches are great. Their soft sands, wide shores and crystalline waters were some of the many things I remember from that experience.

Walking in the dock
I know that I could make the comparison and determine one and for all which beaches I liked the most... but in reality I can’t; both types are great, fun and enjoyable.


The city landscape is pretty flat.

That means, very low population density, giving you the notion (the right one) that the city doesn’t have any building (or skyscraper) till you get to the CBD. Where almost all of them are concentrated in 4 by 12 blocks (joking) and the rest are one to two storey buildings such as: warehouses, houses, town houses, etc.

Another panoramic (click on any picture to get a bigger version)
Something I don't quite like about publishing the picture is
after resizing it looks a bit blurry,
but I have too, otherwise I will be publishing 80 meg pictures in jpeg =S
In a way is nice to drive in a very low populated area, but the city right now is starting to suffer some diseases such as traffic and long commuting time. A common tale in the area is how people commute 30 minutes every day from and to work, because of the long distances, highly related to a growing population in a low density area. That means, if you want to get around, you probably need a car.

But don’t get me wrong... Let buildings means wider, greener areas where you get the chance to breathe pure air; a luxury these days in any modern city of the world.


Perth has lots of expensive houses, known as McMansions.

Is unbelievable the number of mansions you can find in Perth.

Actually, it contains some of the more expensive properties in the whole Australia. This does not imply the land is expensive, is just that the owners had so much money; they could not find anything else useful to do with their money other than investing it in their homes; adding pretty much everything they wanted.

I could not find a single picture of any McMansion that I have taken.
Instead I present to you a photo of some great churros.
You will be able to find residential areas filled up with these types of constructions with houses just getting bigger and bigger... some with two tennis courts in the front yard, separated by fountains with cupids spitting water (other just pissing the water), bushes or just a swimming pool. At that moment you start wondering, when the money is really too much? But at the same time I wonder, if I had that kind of money, what will I do with it?

By the way, the term McMansion is a pejorative term used by some Aussies to id this kind of houses. Don’t use it to describe your mate’s place... Not that I can tell...


Common folk houses in Perth are AWESOME.

And you probably wonder: WTF is a common house?

Well... for me a common house is the type of properties most of the folks can afford to get. Housing in Perth is accessible in comparison to the price of any property in Sydney... Which means, lots of our friends had done the arrangements to buy their own places, and most of them would be places were any Latin American would dream to have (I am talking to those whom are not stealing money, doing odd businesses or do not own their own companies).

Houses in Mandurah. 'Close' to Perth.
Beautiful view, isn't?
Just to give you some maths:

A house with 450 square metres of construction: three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms, two parking spots, entertainment area, home theatre, living room, kitchen and patio, with front and backyard and some services around the corner will cost you a$450,000.

Do you think the price is sky high? What about if I tell you the same house in Sydney will cost a$1.5 millions, if you find it at a good price?

In other words, Perth is more budget friendly if you want to own your place quickly... and probably if you want to invest in the Australian economy as well... But prices keep going up and with bigger demand for space in Perth, the number are starting to get difficult for them.


Perth is BLOODY HOT or at least, hotter than Sydney.

I know that I was there for a week... and probably it was the worst week of the entire summer... but every single day (with the exception of the last one) we were above 34C, including nights.

Even the poor roo was hot that day.
Some of our friends told us that a good air conditioning system is required if you want to live there, otherwise you will be living in a 24/7 sauna but we didn’t believe it till we were there. So hot that even the water from the ocean (which in Australia seems to be taken straight away from the freezer) gets horribly warm.

These were many of the things that stood out for me; obviously there were many other that stood for us... but I think the one, the more important of all... were the presence of our dear friends, this element, and this element alone made the entire experience a hundred times better that we could ever get by ourselves.

Thanks to all of them.


G y J said...

Great post. Between you and Frank, are making us consider Perth as an option for when we move to Oz.

Rod said...

Well... I am still writing some posts related to Perth...

In general I find it interesting... but... both of you are architects, you guys, should monitor the market and decide based on with place offers you the best chances :S

I don't know... that's my opinion :P

Anonymous said...

Melbourne or Perth... That's my dilema.

Great post Rod... I'm waiting the next one!!!

Rod said...

And only you could answer something like that.

Good fortune you are able to choose were to go and in case of not liking it, move to a different place. That's a big luxury some dream to have.

El Lado B Del Planeta (Monólogos Bipolares) said...

Great post! I would love to live there except for the hot weather =S... But the rest sounds great!

Anyway we're going to Adelaide so it looks like a perfect place for us =) I will write a post about it once I get there and know the city

Rod said...

Well Adri... I have heard about Adelaide and apparently it is colder than Perth. But not that colder to be refreshing most of the time.

In any case, I have some friends there and they love it.

G y J said...

Thanks Rod, for your comment.
We have been doing that for a while, and the cities that offer us more employment opportunities are Melbourne (which we love), Perth (which we are starting to think of) and Sydney.
So, we have lot to balance and think of.


Maman Mud said...

Hola Rod, hace tiempo que estaba esperando un post tuyo, yo soy Britanica/Venezolana y vivo en Reino Unido pero estamos viendo (con mi parejo Britanico) mudarnos a Perth, espero que pronto, estamos en la busqueda de un empleo para el con Sponsorship. Tu post nos ha dado una vista "first hand" de como es Perth y su entorno...muchas gracias y estare pendiente de mas posts porfa!!!

Rod said...

Hola Maman Mud (funny nick).

Si tu pareja es britanica, entonces podrian aplicar para un permiso ETA y venirse a vivir por un año a Perth mientras encuentran una posicion de trabajo deseosa de sacarles la visa con sponsor (o incluso la residencia).

No han pensado eso?

Maman Mud said...

Gracias Rod....lo que pasa es que ya no somos pollitos y nuestra edad va en contra de cualquier otro tipo de visa que no sea la 457 work sponsorship...que aparentemente no tiene restriccion de edad. De todos modos estamos viendo la posibilidad de que el vaya de "vacaciones" con entrevistas organizadas de antemano...dedos cruzados. De alguna manera llegaremos. Sigue con tu blog Rod que nos sirves de inspiracion a muchos. Un gran abrazo

Maman Mud said...

Ah.....y lo de Maman Mud:

Mangos, Mambo and Mud......mi vida anterior....y la de ahora!

Rod said...

Maman mud,

No me habia dado cuenta que las ETA working holidays aplica para un rango de edad.

En cualquiera de los casos, conozco varios casos de europeos que han venido sobre esa edad limite trabajando para alguien en particular.

Con respecto al blog, creo que lo voy a continuar escribiendo mientras lo siga escribiendo para mi mismo :P trato de hacerlo de una forma que me ria cuando lo escriba o de forma reflexiva... (posiblemente por eso no tengo tanto seguidores como algunos blogs bobos que encuentro por ahi :P). Me alegra le guste a mas personas.