Definitely Not in Kansas

So I felt pretty confident that the adapting would go somewhat smoothly because the Australian culture is so similar to the American culture. Here a few of the differences I’ve noted:

  • The summer/winter flop of course
  • They drive on the other side of the road. I figured out that one very quickly as I got into the driver’s seat of Carrick’s car, basically thanking him for being such a gentleman for opening the door for me… Talk about awkward.
  • They also walk on the other side of the road – something I’d never thought about
  • Everyone travels.
  • They have a real sense of pride that is borderline ego. My English teacher said it’s called “tall poppy syndrome” which means that as a result of never really seceding form the UK, Australians feel like they need to really build themselves up. A new friend of ours explained that Australians never like to seem too over eager for anything for fear of looking sort of desperate or more enthusiastic than their counter part.
  • Drive through liquor stores.
  • They have national holidays that come the day after national holidays. Every single holiday is accompanied by a 3 day weekend which kind of just means that Australians have built in national take-a-day-off-for-your-hangover-day.
  • According to my English teacher, men are not that involved in family life. I’m not sure if that’s just her family though..
  • People don’t really smile at or acknowledge anyone else in the streets the way we do in the states. This should not be mistaken as unfriendliness though because Australians, once approached, are the friendliest people I’ve ever met.
  • Everyone here really looks at each other as equals. I would imagine that’s a testimony to the convict/settler history.
  • Tampons don’t have applicators… go figure.
  • Everything is SO EXPENSIVE. A case of beer is like $60. Minimum wage here is also much higher – about $17.00 an hour.
  • Drinking and borderline alcoholism is always socially acceptable. Everything can be accomplished over a beer.
  • Because Australians have a “border line alcoholic” reputation, drinking rules are pretty strict. There aren’t open container laws but there are totally alcohol free zones, many bars close at midnight (which means Aussies go out earlier) and many bars stop serving shots after 10 or 11.
  • There’s a much better work/play balance. No one expects you to take your work home with you. People judge you if you kill yourself working too hard. You’re supposed to enjoy life down here and I really really respect that.

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