Australia's Gold Coast is a bizarre place, a strange hybrid of Florida style landscapes, buildings and gated communities with genuine aussie charm and less fat people. Holidaying with my wife, two sisters, parents and assorted friends meant a fair amount of time was spent shopping and it was interesting to compare the U.S. service focussed style with the more genuine Aussie version. Shopping in Florida, the "Have a nice day" routine sounded frequently forced, spoken by rote from a learned script. Australians by comparison sounded far more genuine, less emphatic (like they were hoping you'd have a good day rather than ordering you to have one) and generally far more human. This seemed to be an extension of the national spirit and was visible in the the people you'd pass in the street, interact with in restaurants and taverns, talk to in parks and theme parks.
Although it was far too hot for my liking I'll take Australia over the USA any day.