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10 “Different” Things About Australia

When I first arrived in Australia, there were many things that I found that were unlike living in the States.

One of the friends I made in the first few days of orientation in Sydney said that she had been talking to her adviser about Australia and she said, “Well, that’s weird.” Her adviser very sternly responded, “It’s not weird, it’s different.”

Thus, leading to my group of friends joking about how something wasn’t “weird,” but “different.” So, here is my top 10 list of wei- er…different…things about Australia:

Guys wear UGG boots.

Not joking. Jason Segal would have fit right in with his “I Love You Man” outfit.

2. Prostitution is legal.

Interestingly enough, it’s essentially because there were street corner prostitutes in a rich neighborhood (in Sydney) and the people living in that area didn’t want other people to think that was how they all were. So, it became legalized and is now carefully regulated. Women in this line of work are checked regularly for STDs and can even go to school to learn to become a prostitute.

3. Don’t call it a “bathroom” or a “restroom,” because they won’t know what you’re talking about.

Ask where the “toilet” is. A bathroom is where you take a shower and a restroom is a room where you rest.

4. Lingo in Australia

Yes, they really say, “G’day, mate!” No, they don’t say, “Put another shrimp on the barbie!” (They actually think this is a dumb concept – an Australian told me, “You don’t put shrimp on a barbie!”) Yes, they do call a barbeque a “barbie.” “Cheers” means “thank you.” “No worries” is a common saying. Where someone in the States would say, “We don’t want there to be any problems,” Australians would say, “We don’t want there to be any dramas.”

5. Not everyone dresses with a akubra (the Australian stockman hat), tan shorts, vest, and thick boots.

In fact, nobody really does. I’d say people dress up more here than people in the states. It’s not uncommon for a girl in class to be wearing a tight mini skirt and heels.

6. I have yet to see someone wrestle a “beaut” croc like Steve Irwin…Still looking, though.

7. Several public bathrooms have a place for a person to throw away a syringe.

One might assume that it’s used for drugs. But, they’re in place for diabetics to have a private place for their medicine. A study was done and found that most of the syringes were insulin. A good portion were simple steroids. And almost none were drugs.

8. When I explain to people that I live smack dab in the heart of the country (Illinois, and go to school right beside it in Iowa), they’re shocked.

Main cities in Australia are on the coast. The middle of Australia is desert area and it would be a pretty rough life living there.

9. Australians love their coffee and/or tea time.

I’ve become a huge tea drinker while living here! And coffee…

10. Essentially every event is a social event, in which is a time to drink with your mates.

After intramural soccer on Monday nights, several of the Australian teams go out for a drink afterward. Footy games = meet at the pub beforehand, have a drink during the game, see you at the pub after the game. Go Freo Dockers!


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