G’day mates! I’ve been in Australia a while now, so I thought that I’d share a few differences that I’d noticed between home and Australia:
G’day! How ya goin’? Straya!:
Whilst those in the UK would have you believe that Australians speak English, their idea of English includes a lot of weird phrases. A lot of the stereotypical Aussie sayings are actually used, and people will genuinely introduce themselves with a ‘G’day!’ sometimes. The accent takes a bit of getting used to, but after a week you’ll be as bogan as anyone. There are also some words which are different in Australia, chief amongst which is that ‘flip-flops’ are ‘thongs’. God knows how that one came about…
This threw me off when I first got here, so hopefully you’ll be a bit more prepared than I was. The lights go from a green man to a red one really quick, so don’t be afraid to cross the road when the red man is flashing. The sound they make when there’s a green man is also really odd, the best way I can describe it is like someone lifted the sound effects from some space age video game and put them onto a pedestrian crossing.
Everyone is friendly and casual:
Whereas in the tube in London, the social protocol is to stare straight ahead and make as little eye contact with anyone, in Australia anyone will strike up a conversation with you and the general feeling is more casual. When people are going to work in the city it’s rare to see someone dressed in a full suit, and when you’re writing to anyone formally, its more common to introduce yourself with a ‘Hi’ than a ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.
People don’t understand how we survive the cold:
I cannot stress how nice the weather is over here. I’m going home over Christmas, so I’ll avoid the worst of the weather but in the middle of summer people have told me that its reached 50 degrees before. Right now however, its nestling around 25 degrees on a daily basis and most days are what we’d normally consider the peak of British summertime. Honestly, if you’re considering spending a year abroad in Australia, as cliché and overused as the argument is, the weather is absolutely fantastic.
Sport is EVERYWHERE:
In Britain, sports are promoted as a way of keeping healthy and having fun. In Australia, sport is a way of life. Even those who you wouldn’t normally have down as being interested in sport are probably part of one team or another. It’s not surprising how well Australia do in sports internationally, pretty much every person has tried their hand in some sport or another. However, if you want to get involved in sports everyone is extremely accommodating. I’ve even tried a bit of Aussie Football whilst I’ve been out here, although I’m convinced that you have to have been born here to fully understand the rules. Whilst playing sport is undoubtedly huge, watching it is massive as well. For the Aussie Football final a 100,000 seater stadium was sold out weeks before. Aussies are generally a very relaxed and casual people, until it comes to sport and then they’re something else!
This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you’re curious about Australia or have any specific questions, please leave a comment!