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28 Things Only Americans Living in Australia Would Understand

28 Things Only Americans Living in Australia Would Understand

We may think Australian and American cultures are similar, but really, they aren’t. The more you hang out in ‘Straya the more you understand the subtle nuances and differences between how they live, love and eat. I’ve been living in Melbourne, Australia for three years and these are what I believe only Americans living in Australia would understand, mate.

1. You’ve eaten kangaroo and thought it tasted okay

Most Americans cringe at the idea of eating a furry fellow like kangaroo. But, living here long enough you’ll have tried it and thought it was okay, maybe even tasty. And if you’re really adventurous you would have tried wallaby and wombat, too.

kangaroo

    2. You struggle with saying tomato

    The moment you say tomato with an American accent an Australian will generally call you out. I worked in hospitality when I first arrived and customers would howl when I said tomato like an American. I quickly learned to say tomato like an Aussie, just to avoid a ten-minute conversation about where I was from.

    tomato

      3. You realise the letter ‘R’ is nonexistent

      Car sounds like ca, bar sounds like ba, water sounds like wata. If you want to sound more like an Australian just remove the ‘r’ from every word.

      4. You don’t spell realise with a ‘z’

      The letter ‘z’ is replaced with ‘s’ in words like realise.

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      5. You know you aren’t expected to overwork

      With a country motto of ‘No worries,’ you realise that Australians are a lot more laid back when it comes to work than Americans. They get four weeks vacation, instead of two, and that is awesome.

      6. You understand ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ is a real thing

      There isn’t such a massive divide between the rich and poor in Australia as there is in the US. Australians happily live their lives comfortably, without climbing any ladders or stepping on someone to get ahead. Australians don’t care to be better than the person next to them. I found it interesting when I went to see the Lion King in the theatre and very few people stood up for a standing ovation when the cast came out. For me, that was an example of ‘Tall Poppy’.

      7. You like Vegemite, when applied to toast properly

      You often find Americans eating vegemite by the spoonful in silly YouTube videos. When a thin layer of Vegemite is applied to a buttery piece of toast, it’s actually delicious and loaded with Vitamin B.

      vegemite

        8. You say ‘howyagoin?’

        I find myself asking ‘howyagoin’ when chatting with friends. Americans say ‘How are you?’ and articulate their words, while Australians are happy to let it all out in one breath. The first time I asked my mom over the phone, ‘howyagoin?’, she had no idea what I said.

        9. You don’t own a dryer

        Australians don’t often own dryers, and I have to say I’ve learned to be okay with it. My electric bill is much lower.

        10. You always have cash when you eat out, because you know restaurants do not split bills or are cash-only.

        Almost everywhere you go in the US takes card but Australia has quite a few places that only take cash. Also, when you go out to eat with friends they are not into splitting bills, so you better bring cash or you owe your friend, or they owe you.

        11. You make sure you like what you’ve ordered, substitutions are frowned upon

        There is so much choice in the US, from salad dressings, vegetables or potato, coleslaw or salad. Australian menus are straight forward and often chefs are not into the idea of you changing anything on their menu. Take it as it is, or leave.

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        12. You know McDonald’s isn’t that cheap and it’s called Macca’s

        $1 cheeseburgers are not a thing in Australia. A meal costs about $10 depending on where you are.

        macca's

          13. Not tipping feels a bit wrong, until you find out hospitality workers are making around $17 an hour

          It took me a while to adjust to the fact that Australians don’t tip, but in the service industry, employees are making a pretty good hourly rate.

          14. You rarely find WiFi in a cafe in Australia

          You go to a cafe to eat or chat. It’s not often you find a cafe that has WiFi, while in the US you can’t find one that doesn’t.

          15. You know Starbucks is not a thing and you drink flat whites

          Fresh coffee made by a barista is what Australia is all about. Forget about two pumps of caramel sauce or a coffee the size of a gallon jug. Australians, especially Melbournians, take a lot of pride in their coffee expertise.

          16. You use your air-con sparingly, and call it air-con

          Most places in the US have the air-conditioning on full blast. In Australia, they seem to be more conscious of it. Also, most older houses don’t even have air-con.

          17. You know it’s life or death when looking left crossing the road

          You will only make the mistake once or twice after almost getting hit by a car because you looked the wrong way. You know your best bet is to look both ways, multiple times, just to be sure before crossing.

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          18. You now call your fanny pack a bumbag

          Fanny does not mean butt in Australia, it means something else. You quickly learn to call it a bumbag after you get a few awkward stares.

          19. You know that c*nt is strangely a term of endearment

          The ‘C’ word is one of the most foul words you can use in America. However, in Australia it’s a term of endearment. If someone calls you a funny c*nt or a silly c*nt, they actually think you’re great.

          20. You know you are weird if you eat out or go to a bar alone

          Heading out to a bar alone to meet new people isn’t weird in the US, but for some reason you won’t ever see an Australian sitting at the bar alone. Why that is, I’m not entirely sure.

          21. You figured out that dating multiple people at once isn’t cool

          Americans date multiple people at once and are fine with it. Australians, not so much. You date one person at a time and don’t even think about hooking up with someone else, until that other fling is over.

          22. You know thongs are worn on your feet

          Cisco wasn’t singing about sandals in the ‘Thong Song’, but in Australia, thongs are actually worn on your feet and a G-string is the underwear that goes up your butt crack.

          23. You realise you can abbreviate most words

          University is Uni (aka college), ambo is ambulance, vego is vegetarian. The list goes on. Australians just ‘can’t be bothered’ with saying full words. Who has time for that anyways?

          24. Some words you say are not what you think you’ve said

          Coriander is cilantro, aubergine is eggplant. Americans say aluminum, while Australians pronounce the whole thing: aluminium. There is a whole lot of words that are completely different and mean the same thing.

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          25. You now use a ‘u’ when spelling certain words and have to correct your American spell check

          Flavour, savour, favour, behaviour. It’s all got a ‘u’. When I’m writing something in Microsoft Word it always underlines the words as misspelled. I need to change my computer to speak Australian, mate.

          26. Your friends are now your mates

          Which once meant they were your significant other, but your significant other is now your partner, which usually means a significant other in a homosexual relationship. No wonder dating is so challenging.

          27. You know you can sit at a table with just a coffee, and you don’t feel bad about it

          Since servers make good hourly wages, there is no rush to turn over the table. It’s a great feeling to know you can have a leisurely coffee catch up with a friend without worrying about the server eyeballing you to order food or leave.

          28. You respect Australian football because they don’t wear pads, and you know to call it footy

          Australian footy players are rough as guts. They don’t wear pads like NFL players do. Footy is huge in Australia, same way the NFL is big in the US.

          Here are 15 American habits you need to lose when you move to Australia, as well as 14 must-have phrases we should all be using.

          Featured photo credit: Vincent Brown via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on March 24, 2021

          8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

          8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

          We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

          On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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          Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

          1. Smart Door Locks

          A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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          2. Smart Kitchen Tools

          Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

          3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

          If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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          4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

          These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

          5. Nest Thermostat

          This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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          6. Smart Lighting

          Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

          7. Google Chromecast Ultra

          Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

          8. Canary

          This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

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