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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 January 21, 2020

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

            Why You Need a Vision

            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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            How to Create Your Life Vision

            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

            What Do You Want?

            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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            Some tips to guide you:

            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
            • Give yourself permission to dream.
            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

            Some questions to start your exploration:

            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
            • What qualities would you like to develop?
            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
            • What would you most like to accomplish?
            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

            A few prompts to get you started:

            • What will you have accomplished already?
            • How will you feel about yourself?
            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
            • What does your ideal day look like?
            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
            • What would you be doing?
            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
            • How are you dressed?
            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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            Plan Backwards

            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
            • What important actions would you have had to take?
            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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