Australian Life and Culture

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During my time here, I’ve noticed lots of differentiation between how we live in the UK and how the local Aussie’s live, so this is my attempt to create a list of all these various differences!

Slang

Arvo = Afternoon
Avo = Avacado
Bubbler = Water Fountain
Snag = Sausage
Sanga = Sandwich
Snag Sandwich = Sausage Sandwich
Sausage Sizzle = Also a Sausage Sandwich, but cooked on a BBQ (more of a city term)
Schnitties = Chicken Schnitzel
Maccas = McDonalds
Cozzie = Swimming Costume
Budgie Smugglers = Speedos
Coowee = Traditional Aboriginal Call, used if your lost in the Blue Mountains
White Out = Tipex
Milk Light = Semi-Skimmed Milk
Sydneysider = Someone who lives in Sydney
Fair Dinkum = True (a country term)

Everyday Life

  • In comparison to London, everyone stands on the left and walks on the right.
  • Clubbing starts really early due to the lockout laws in Sydney. The O-week closing party, for example, started at 5:00 PM.
  • Ferries are a fairly common form of transport in Sydney, but when you live there, you start to get annoyed by all the tourists leaning over you to get a good picture of Harbour Bridge.
  • Open air pools seem to be commonplace. I guess it makes sense considering the heat of the Australian Summer.
  • There are lots of Thai massage shops here. Some look perfectly legitimate. Others, however, exude an air of seediness.

Nature

  • Cockroaches are normal. I found hiding in my room which I named Colin.
  • Fruit Bats can be seen everywhere at dusk. They are the size of birds. I feel like I’m in a horror film.
  • Although there are things that can kill you, you probably won’t see any. If you do get bitten, you can normally get to a hospital fairly quickly and they have the antidote. If you’re bitten by a spider, you’re supposed to catch it so they know which antidote to give you!
  • This is an Ibis. It looks very exotic, but don’t make the mistake I did and take lots of pictures (otherwise you look like such a tourist). It’s actually a really common bird and in a social standing of birds, it is lower than pigeons. We call it the ‘Bin Chicken’.

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Food

Tim Tams = Like a Penguin, but more chocolate and with more of a vanilla flavour.
Tim Tam Slam = Drinking Milk through a Tim Tam
Hungry Jacks = Burger King. Someone in Australia owns the rights to the name!
Teevees = A malty stick thing.
ANZAC biscuits = A bit like a Hobknob, but chewy (traditionally eaten on Anzac day)
Pide = Stuffed Turkish bread.
Milk Arrowroot = A cheap Rich Tea biscuit.
Snack Pack = Chips, Cheese, Kebab meat, Garlic Mayo, BBQ Sauce, A Drizzle of Chilli Sauce (in that order)
Schnitz = A delicious Schnitzel fast food restaurant.
BreadTop = A bit like Gregg’s, but specialising in bread.

  • McDonald’s have an all day breakfast! And Orange juice comes in a plastic cup, rather than a bottle.
  • Macca’s also has waffle cones for ice creams for only $2! This is really good as its cheaper than if you got it eslewhere, and its also cheaper than a McFlurry ($4 – what a rip off)!
  • McD’s do chips with gravy! They also have chips and sweet chilli.
  • Pot Noodles are $5 – what?!?!?

Weather

The weather here is definitely warmer than in the UK. In Autumn, it is still over 20 degrees, and their heatwave in the summer went up to 40! This highest it got for me was 3o degrees.

But it does rain at times. Normally, it’s quite light and warm, so you can still wear shorts, but at other times, it can rain hard. In March, it usually rains a lot and then dries up for winter, but this year there was an unusually high amount of rain. Everyone kept apoligising to me for it!

Architecture

A lot of the buildings are in a colonial style and have never really changed. Most shopping streets have covers over the walkway to create shade for people doing their shopping.

The centre of Sydney is really modern though, but even here there are old looking buildings.

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