Friday, August 19, 2011

Aubree's Observations About Australia Part III

Our bikes at the Brighton beach houses.

Once all of these random musings start piling up in my head, I know it's time for another one of these entries...

1.  My name is considered very strange here. I know it's not a common one in the United States, but here, people say they've never even heard of it. They don't know how to say it, spell it, etc. I have to repeat myself an average of three times when meeting an Australian. They think I'm saying "Albury," which is a city in New South Wales.

2.  Australians know more about America than most Americans. When the electrician tried talking to me about American politics, I felt like an idiot. Australians know about our celebrities, musicians, politicians, history, etc. Hands down, most of them would beat most of us in a trivia game with questions about the United States.

3.  It's a normal occurrence to hear about the Australian dollar and what it's worth compared to other currencies on the news on a regular basis. One Australian I was talking to was shocked that US news doesn't report on what the American dollar is worth and that we just don't care!

4.  A bachelorette party is called a "hen's night." Mom is "mum" here. Babies are "bubs" (and they wear a "nappy," not a diaper). And Father's Day is in September, not June.

5.  Before moving here, I would have pronounced our city as Mel-born. Now, I say Mel-burn. Australians say Mel-bin, which I think is the same as Mel-burn but with their accent. Since I don't have their accent, I would feel like a poser if I said Mel-bin. So I don't. Lots of Americans I've met say Mel-bin, but I feel like a tool when I try it.

6.  Debut is pronounced "day-boo," and schedule is pronounced "shed-yule".

7.  Dates are written with the date first, then the month, and then the year. So today would be 19/08/11. Confusing. It makes buying flights and such kind of complicated; you always have to double-check to make sure you have the right dates, especially if it's something like 3/5/11 (that's May 3rd, not March 5th!).

8.  It's a weird feeling to be out in public and have nobody know you're a foreigner until you open your mouth. Sometimes I feel like I have a big secret, because everyone around me (when I'm silent) probably thinks I'm Australian. At other times, I forget I'm in another country and am surprised when I get curious looks the moment I talk.

9.  Morning and afternoon tea are part of the Australian culture. Basically this just means snacktime. At the preschool where I volunteer, the kids get a break for "morning tea." They eat some fruit and biscuits (crackers) and drink some water. At work, Zack sometimes has morning tea meetings where they have pastries and such. I think this is a very cute and British-sounding tradition.

10.  Markets are a big part of living in an Australian city. I've already written about the huge Queen Victoria Market, but there is also the famous South Melbourne Market which is open a few days a week. And each suburb seems to have its own market on some sort of regular basis. St. Kilda has one on the first Saturday of the month (right behind our apartment building!). It's an awesome way to get some fresh produce and support local merchants.

11.  Australians say "ta" as a shorthand form of "thank you." Instead of "you're welcome," they say "no worries."

12.  Sizing is different here. A size 6 in the United States is a size 10 here for clothes.

13.  You can ski in Australia! There are a few "mountains" within a few hours of Melbourne. It's of course super-expensive and we didn't bring our snowboards (and have been told it wouldn't be worth it compared to Colorado), but it's kind of neat that we could go if we really got the itch. Supposedly New Zealand has some awesome mountains.

14.  Spring is actually maybe on its way. We're supposed to be in the mid-60s for the next week or so (sometimes with rain of course, but whatever). This is progress, people!

Okay, that's all I've got for now. Have a great weekend everyone!

At the Cadel Evans parade.


  1. Very interesting, Aubree.
    We're learning much about Australia and not what you can find in books.
    I like the idea of morning and afternoon tea.
    I looked for your Lipton Chai Latte instant packets that you mentioned in a previous blog but no luck so far.

  2. These are my favorite posts. Very interesting indeed.

  3. Very interesting entry Aubree. Things that I will tuck in my head..or hem. I have a friend from Australia and she always says, "No worries." Now I know why. Enjoy your weekend. Keep the info coming..we all love it

  4. I always say "No worries"...guess I have a psychic connection to Australians!

  5. Hi Aubree, just found your blog by accident after doing a google search on the Chocolate Rush. We had a stand at the Rush and I was searching for any feedback about our Organic Chocolates and Cookies. Anyway, just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading about your observations about Australia. Very interesting and entertaining. Great read! I hope you enjoy your time in Australia and wish you many amazing adventures. Deb

  6. Thanks Deb-I don't remember seeing your booth, but if you had free samples, I'm sure I ate a lot of them!

  7. I am an Australian and I myself find these entries quite interesting. Keep them coming.

  8. Funny, I have another one in draft form right will be posted soon!