So, these are just a few things that have stuck out to me here.
- When I tell people I’m from Seattle, Washington, I get one of several responses:
- Australian: Ah, Seattle SuperSonics! (always male)
Me: Um, what? No, they’re long gone. Oklahoma I think. And they weren’t very good…
Why so many Australians know about old American basketball, I have no idea.
- Australian: Oh, like Twilight?!!
Me: No. Please. Just… no.
Yes Seattle, that is our international reputation. Sparkly lovesick teenage vampires.
- Australian: Washington? The capitol? With the President?
Me: So, actually… there are 2 Washingtons. It’s complicated.
This one is our bad. Why do we have 2 states (yes, I know DC isn’t technically a state) with the same name, and on opposite sides of the country? Aussies forgiven.
- They park on the grass here. It’s totally normal. Not tacky/weird/trashy or anything. It just seems that the median is a good place to leave your car. It looks somewhat jarring in more traditional places, like a posh stone boys prep school.
- Pronunciation here is based on peculiarly placed silent letters. For example: Cockburn Central is pronounced CO-burn. People were giving me funny looks for a while…
- Do the toilets spin the opposite way?
Actually, toilets here don’t spin at all. They just go… down. Sorry. I was disappointed too.
- So, you know the “bro nod”? When you are driving a vehicle, and you pass another person with the same vehicle, and you do the head nod, or hand raise. It’s that bond. Jeeps do it, trucks do it, bus drivers do it, motorcycles do it…
Mopeds don’t do it.
- They use the metric system here. I was prepared for this. Celsius, meters, kilometers per hour, kilograms, etc. However, food energy is measured in kilojoules, not Calories. What? I know chemistry was never my strong point, but I am absolutely positive that a calories is metric. 1 calorie is the amount of energy required to raise 1 cubic centimeter of water 1 degree Celsius. It’s literally the only metric measurement in America. But, for some reason, Australians don’t use Calories. It’s really confusing.
- Wanna hear an Australian joke? Pedestrians.
Here, right of way goes to whoever is biggest. Seriously, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but jay walking is a fine art. Remember Frogger, the old school video game? That’s pretty much daily life. Once I tried to yield for a woman in a parking lot (who was in a crosswalk) and she just laughed at me.
- On a more serious note, the biggest stereotype of Americans is that we don’t travel much. I would agree with this. Of course there are exceptions, but in general, Americans travel much less than comparable nations.
- TimTams = Oh my god. Amazing. I cannot count how many boxes I’ve eaten. It’s a problem.
Finally, “Shit Perth People Say.” This video is pretty accurate. I’ve heard almost all of these here.
(for those who don’t follow youtube trends, this is a spoof of a very popular and funny video “Shit Girls Say”)