Well it’s been 2.5 weeks since I’ve been here and there’s a few things I’ve learned: Australians drive crazy, I stick out like a sore thumb with my accent, and Canadians are way too nice!
Moving to Australia I had my stereotypical ideas; hot climate, lots of Aborigines, hot guys everywhere and kangaroos jumping across highways like we have deer. Nope! I was wrong! Although, to be fair, the hot guy ratio is much higher here AND my sore thumb accent helps as a conversation starter! So…thumbs up!
Where to start? Language! There are days at work where I have no clue what people are saying! The accents are dependent from what areas people are from, so some are mild and some are really thick. Aside from the accent, the slang is more than I thought it would be. It’s not just words, but even phrases that make me shake my head. ‘Sticking the boot” translated means giving someone a hard time. Pinched=steal, chewy=gum, heaps=lots….I could go on, but you get the point. Try having a conversation where you’re constantly trying to figure out what it means – it’s hard!
Food and Fashion. So I ordered sushi the other day and I was in for a surprise. They were already made up in rolls and I thought they would cut them for me, again, I was wrong. They come in rolls and people just bite into them. Odd, for me, not for them. It’s winter here (12 C) so everyone is wearing tights, skirts and scarfs. I think this is wear my small town girl kicks in, because in the winter, we are covered from head to toe, but here, you can get away with wearing tights as pants, that’s right ladies, tights as pants is common.
In regards to the day to day, I am thankful I am still alive. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been hit by a car. When I’m crossing the street, I don’t look the other way! I’m also having a hard time wrapping my head around cell phones as we are definitely spoiled in Canada. They pay per phone call, not by minutes. As I’m writing this, an ad just came on the TV from the police stating, “Make no mistake, if you’re out to cause trouble, we’ll find you!” That’s what I mean by Canadians are too nice – the RCMP would never have an ad like that on TV… although it wouldn’t hurt. I have also yet to see any Aboriginal people. Again, one of my views of Australia is their high Aboriginal population – but nothing. Not even at work. As a social worker, I’ve also observed they are actually behind on their cultural competency in regards to Aboriginals in social work.
Aside from having a bit of a culture shock here, it’s really great. The people are overwhelming nice. Everyone at my work is easy to get along with and any new people I meet are very friendly. I haven’t been out much except for a night out and also watching a footy (football game), due to househunting on the weekends. Once I’m more settled, I can’t wait to explore Melbourne more, as well as the rest of Australia. I’m really hoping my friends that said they would visit, really do:)
Oh forgot to mention the cost of living! It’s pricey, for example, a lulu lemon hoodie is 140 where as back home it’s 100 and also, people don’t tip here! they have a high minimum wage so no one tips-weird hey.
Cheers for now!
Submitted by: Lisa C.
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