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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 December 2, 2019

          10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

          10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

          Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

          In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

          These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

          1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

          Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

          But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

          Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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          2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

          You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

          The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

          3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

          If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

          Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

          If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

          4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

          Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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          To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

          In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

          5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

          We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

          If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

          Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

          “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

          6. Give for the Joy of Giving

          When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

          One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

          So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

          7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

          Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

          Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

          8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

          When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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          So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

          9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

          Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

          It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

          It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

          10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

          There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

          But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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          Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

          More About Living a Fulfilling Life

          Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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