Things I definitely DON’T miss about living in America, and if I never saw them again, it’d be too soon.

1. The Menards guy. Although I do see his great-nephew every week playing Greg on CSI.

2. Old Navy commercials.

3. Politics. Sure, they have politics in Australia too, but nobody pays attention. At least not to the extent of demanding the resignation of a congressman who said something which, in the right frame of mind, was totally benign, but too many people took it out of context or got offended by it or whatever. In Australian Parliament, politicians call each other some pretty vulgar names, and nobody bats an eye.

4. Walking around at Christmas time and seeing “Merry Christmas” everywhere and not “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings.” Because apparently there aren’t enough extremists here to get upset by it yet.

5. The tax system. My last US tax return was something like nine pages, including the 2-page 1040A, an application form for Darrin’s Taxpayer ID number, and at least one separate form for reporting foreign income, plus my W-2. My last Australian tax return – which I filled out on THE SAME FORM that every other individual taxpayer in Australia uses – was just the one form, but I was ABLE TO DO IT ONLINE for no additional charge. And I didn’t have to file a state tax return either, because Australia doesn’t do that.

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