22 ways you know you’re in australia.

i am a list maker. always have been. probably one of post-it notes’ favorite customers. it turns out that most people like reading lists as well. easy to digest. hence why we all (me included) spend obscene amounts of time on buzzfeed.com. do you really care about 31 grilled cheeses that are better than a boyfriend? for the one minute of your life that it takes you to scroll through 31 images of delicious cheesy concoctions, you totally care.

and for the next one to seven minutes of your life (depending on how fast you read and how much i actually end up writing) i am going to make you care about a few of the things i have learned over my past three months in australia. (unfortunately, i will not have hilarious gif animations to accompany my list. i am deeply sorry for this fact and will make up for it by directing you to this similar list.)

22 ways you know you’re in australia (in no apparent order)

i am going to try to avoid the obvious ways like vocabulary differences because that could easily create a list with over 100 ways in a matter of seconds. let’s be real, it’s not english folks. and yes, i know that a lot of these are true for other countries as well, but currently i’m in australia…

  1. you go to swipe your credit card and the cashier looks at you funny. to make the matter worse, she then has to go find a pen when you select the option to sign instead of entering a pin number. we get it, america needs to say goodbye stripe, hello chip.
  2. acronyms don’t ever get pronounced letter by letter and you have no clue what the hell EFTPOS means. sorry aussies, it’s said U-P-S, not ups.
  3. everyone wants to watch you try vegemite and then teach you how to properly eat it.
  4. you make money just by pulling it out of the atm. (right now anyways.) and then immediately lose it when you pay $15 for a cheeseburger and fries at mcdonald’s.
  5. leftover cold spaghetti is commonly known as breakfast. don’t try saving that pasta for lunch over here. there’s no chance it will still be in the fridge.
  6. chicken parmesan (parmi) is not a fancy dish you get at olive garden. it is a staple food group. don’t ever order a beef parmi. someone will eat it, but they won’t like you for it.
  7. entering or leaving a room means an impromptu techno dance party as you try to figure out which way the light switch goes. on – off – on – off.
  8. hanging laundry outside on the line to dry is not something you do just to be green. you just do it, and you totally feel like you’re a 50’s housewife in the process. don’t worry, the clothes still get hot enough to dump them on top of yourself on your bed and bask in their warmth (for about two seconds until you start sweating).
  9. instead of a washer and dryer, you have two washing machines. one for work clothes and one for regular clothes. (perhaps specific to port hedland.)
  10. cold water is a magical thing that you only dream about. although you never have to worry about the shock effect of stepping into the shower before the water warms up, you do have to worry about burning your skin off instantly, whether you turn on the hot or cold water handle.
  11. you’re excited to see your favorite tv show come up on the tv guide, only to discover it’s season one. get with the times australia. new girl is now in season three. so you open you’re netflix account only to find…
  12. …netflix, hulu plus, and every other subscription you have is “sorry, currently our video library can only be watched from within the united states.”
  13. kfc is “good.” probably regarded as the king of fast food chains. come on aussies, really?!
  14. fried chicken is an ingredient in sushi. last time i checked sushi was meant to be raw fish, but i guess over here, chicken is the chicken of the sea.
  15. someone asks you to tea and is offended when you eat beforehand. just call it dinner, and we won’t get confused.
  16. triple j is the only radio station that matters. you should also know the phrase “like a version.”
  17. crickets are not the only creature chirping in your house. unlike when i was younger, here you can have a pet gecko without having to ask. the one that lives in my office is named echo jr. (named after the one i had in high school), and his chirping gives me something to respond to when i am working at home alone from 6am to 6pm. don’t laugh, you know you talk to yourself too…
  18. every time you go to explain what you think is “an american thing,” you are informed that they have a television.
  19. magically you feel skinnier because your weight is only a third in kilograms. oh, you also feel like you’ve run farther. thanks metric system.
  20. you have to enjoy super bowl sunday at 7am…on monday.
  21. there is always a cricket game on at least four channels, and you get excited for a second when you think it’s baseball. then you realize you have absolutely no clue what is going on and why the score is in the hundreds.
  22. beer and water are interchangeable at any time of the day. and they have the biggest ad for beer ever. you’ve probably already seen the commercial, but if you haven’t:

3 thoughts on “22 ways you know you’re in australia.

  1. MANY (most?) of these are true elsewhere in the world… maybe you should have a list entitled “only in the usa” – that would be more like it!!! maybe when you get more well-travelled (to paris?), you will not be sooooo american!! also for #22, just get a code from someone in the usa…maybe your own?? we use viv’s…. you did not mention the statistics on poisonous creatures down under. aaaargh.

  2. I love it – we Americans are so spoiled – there is such a big world out there – me – I am glad I have you in my life Sara to educate and inform me!!!
    Love Always – Rick

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