Twenty Things You Need to Know About Australia

Dear American Friends,

Many of you in the past have expressed to me your interest in coming to visit Australia on a vacation or missions trip and I think that’s great.  However there are some important things about Melbourne that need to be understood before arriving that will make your stay enjoyable.  Please understand these aren’t hard and fast rules (always exceptions) but can definitely help avoid embarrassing situations.  Also note there is a heavy amount of  sarcasm in this article 🙂

1.  While in Australia you will be referred to as a “yank” or “ignorant yank”:  Don’t even try to explain that Yankees in America live in the north, they will just smile and say  “okay yank”

2.  You MUST have a sense of humor:  Australians make fun of people to see if they can be trusted and love giving Americans a hard time in particular…trust me I know

3.  Australians like to ask controversial questions:  So be prepared to be asked “who will you vote for in the US Presidential Election?”  by total strangers at a coffee shop.

4.  Sports is huge in Australia:  The first or second question you will be asked by people is “who do you barrack (pronounced barrot) for?”  They are asking what you favorite Australian team is..the proper response is “anybody but Collingwood.”

Editors note:  you don’t have to understand what that means just say it and smile while the Australian laughs hysterically…if however they barrack for Collingwood run very very fast.  

5.  Under no circumstances should the words “well in America we” come out of your mouth

6.  Always Drink the Coffee:  Everyone drinks coffee in Australia its our national pastime (while watching sports of course).  If someone offers you coffee drink it and smile even if it’s the worst thing you have ever tasted; you don’t want to know what happens to people who don’t drink the coffee.

7.  The A’s in Australia are pronounced differently:  They are all long as in the word apple, also the letters “er” are pronounced as the short a as in almond.  So the word jumper is pronounced “jumpa” in Australia

8.  People WILL make fun of your accent:  Get used to it..and if they ask you to say a word again it’s usually best not to

9.  Australians love to play practical jokes on Americans:  If they ask you to go out back to meet the kangaroo they have tied to a tree the proper response is to laugh..not get your camera, put on an Australian hat, then tweet or send a status update about seeing your first Australian kangaroo

10.  Vegemite is disgusting:  Do not, I repeat DO NOT eat it under any circumstances or believe them when they say its Australian peanut butter

11.  Know Australian greetings:  The normal Australian greeting you get from cashiers at the store is “how ya going?”  to which you must respond “yea good.”  Using words other than this may make their head explode

12.  Australian’s pay around $7.00 a gallon ($1.58 a litre) for fuel:  So don’t complain about paying $5 a gallon

13.  Learn the Metric System:  Don’t use miles instead of kilometers unless you want to get Facebook messages and tweets asking why you haven’t embraced the metric system

14.  The Steering Wheel is on the right hand side of the car:  If you do walk to the right hand side by habit the following conversation must take place, (Australian) “you driving mate?” (You) “nope just kicking the tires.”

15.  Instant Coffee in Australia is good:  So if someone starts preparing you a cup of instant coffee don’t slap the cup out of their hand and challenge them to a duel.  However if the coffee container has the words “international roast” on the front then feel free to question their sanity.

Editors Note:  International Roast is really, really, really, really bad

16.  All the shops close at 5:00:  Except on Thursdays and Fridays…grocery stores are open everything else will be closed…plan your shopping accordingly

17.  90 to 95% of the people in Australia are actually from other Countries:  So don’t expect everyone to look like Crocodile Dundee

18.  All NFL players are weaklings:  Furthermore you should spend your time pointing out that Australian sports such as the AFL are far superior to any American sport

19.  We are sixteen hours ahead of America:  So you can watch Monday Night Football at 10:00 am on Tuesday, don’t worry you will get used to it

20.  The last words of the Australian national anthem are “advance Australia fair”:  Sing it like you mean it

Published by

John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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