Right…as a former city girl I think it’s time to give advice to the wannabe country girlfriends about the real side of country life. Not just the side of country life that you see on reality tv.
Advice 1…you can live in the country and still be a princess…to an extent.
Meaning that if you get your car bogged on the dirt driveway you can call the neighbours to get you out when you’re home alone…and you can cry about it and scream about it, but it is best to do that on your own and put on a slightly happy face when you are rescued.
Oh and when you get a flat tyre on a road well out of town you are probably going to have to change it yourself…which is why you should have something in the back of the car to kneel on. Of course if there is someone else around, then of course remain princess like and allow them to change it for you.
Advice 2…shopping is definitely limited in most versions of Country Town.
Case being the newsagency may sell fishing tackle as well as ammunition…and the nearest Coles or Woolies may be 4, 5 or more hours away and that goes with the nearest fast food place or shopping centre or cinema. As for local supermarkets…well they can be good and they can be not so good…Country Town had a great local supermarket with a butcher on site and the vegies and meat were usually better than the Coles that was 100km away. Country Town 2.0 has 2 supermarkets, vegies and fruit come in once a week and are hit and miss and there is a butcher…but I shouldn’t scare you too much, but it also sells coffee, fruit, vegies, takeaway food and other things…could be worse I know of a version of Country Town where the butcher also sells soft serve ice-cream…I kid you not. As for clothes shopping, thank god for the internet…but the length of time for delivery varies depending on which state your version of Country Town is in.
Advice 3…The country is a menagerie
I’ve been in Country Town 2.0 for 4½ months and the list so far is…kangaroos, emus, lizards, pigs, wild cats, hares, mosquitoes, flies, sheep, goats, dingoes, horses, cows, bulls…oh and they’re not just on the side of the road or in the paddocks…often they are right near your house…or in your house…and yes it is fine to scream when a bull strolls past your front door, or there is a small lizard hanging on your screen door when you open it.
Plus driving home at night can mean you’re travelling at 40-50km/h instead of the usual 100km/h because of the hundreds of roos at the side of the road…better to drive very slowly and be able to hit the brakes as often as required than smash the car up by hitting a roo.
Advice 4…you may have crappy internet and crappy mobile service…or actually you may not even have service.
Now I have lived in some versions of Country Town that haven’t had mobile service…when that happens you deal with it. As for broadband with almost unlimited downloads…yes well in Country Town that took 10 months to get sorted out because of hassles with Telstra…and yes mostly there are no other choices for mobiles, land lines or internet…Telstra has the monopoly…and yes we have to deal with it as well. In Country Town 2.0…or more correctly out of Country Town 2.0 I get a whole 15GB a month for internet and it only works indoors with an external antenna attached to the little device…as for the mobile, same deal, it only works indoors when attached to an antenna…which is great for when I’m trying to sleep as the cord goes about 1.5m inside the lounge window. The other option is that you can sit outside with the flies and that’s more frustrating and you actually get better reception with the antenna…I did it before getting the antenna.
Oh and once you’re far enough out of town there is no mobile reception…you get used to it…heaven forbid your phone plays up and they tell you to pop in to your local Telstra shop…mine is a mere 400km away, yeah I’ll just pop in there…no damn chance of that happening.
Advice 5…you become slightly obsessed with the weather…and not in a good way.
The weather becomes especially important if you live at the end of a long dirt driveway…such as where I currently live…I’m 35km out of Country Town 2.0 and 4.5km of that is a dirt driveway and as you saw before I’ve been bogged and that was after a whole 16mm of rain. I’ve also had to stay in town with colleagues when I haven’t been able to get home and that’s not too bad during the week, but when it is on a Friday night it feels like the worst thing on Earth as you just want to be home to collapse on the couch.
Advice 6…there is a long distance between towns
As I said before once you get a certain distance from most versions of Country Town there is no mobile reception, often there is no town for 100km or more. Safety says tell someone you’re going and when you’re leaving…especially when driving alone as people don’t often stop, and that’s for safety reasons. More importantly make sure that you have the ipod hooked up as ABC radio can get rather boring very quickly and that’s if you can pick up any radio…and often that’s the only radio you can pick up.
Advice 7…A couple of hundred kilometres is nothing in this day and age.
Nothing frustrates me more than when I watch these shows and there’s a girl who says that living 3 hours away from a guy is too far…well when you’ve only lived in the city I can get how you can think that…but reality is a couple of hundred kilometres may only be 2 towns away and it really isn’t that far away with phones and text messaging and the internet.
Yes when a relationship is quite new it may seem like a long way…especially when you’re away on a holiday that was booked before you started talking to a new person…more so when you get to that fork in the road where he lives one way and you live another.
But it also allows you to joke via text message while away and send photos that nobody else gets, even if it is a photo of a shelf of Lego from Myer…or a photo of a meal from Hungry Jacks that he asks you to eat to satisfy his cravings for junk food that he can’t get in his version of Country Town.