26 January 2014

Tidbits I’ve learned in my first 5 days in Australia that are different than America

I know this isn’t uncommon in the world but here they drive on the left side of the road. It is incredibly bizarre to be looking out at the street and to think you see nobody driving a car! Because of this you have to look right first, then left, then right again before crossing to make sure that you don’t get hit rather than the other way around. Also, pedestrians never have the right of way. It’s really hard to break the habit of just walking across and assuming everyone will slow down for you. They are really aggressive, like I think more than the "Masshole" mentality I'm used to, and that's saying something! Here they will just keep going! Already there have been a few near misses. Not only do they drive on the left side but everything else is left too. Walking on the sidewalk and stairs you are expected to walk on the left side. As soon as I feel like I get the hang of it I find myself in a situation where everyone seems to be keeping to the right! Not sure if that’s just random or I’m just missing something.

Quieter/less direct:
I can totally see where the Loud/Ignorant American stereotype comes from now. When walking down the street or sitting on the bus or train, almost everyone else is silent or whispering to talk. As soon as any of us are around that peaceful silence is completely broken. When a pause in the conversation occurs and its quiet again its incredible how much quieter it is and how loud we notice we are. I think part of that though, is that people normally commute alone whereas we have been going every where in groups since we got here. Hopefully soon I’ll learn to use my Aussie voice out in public. They are also way less direct in their interactions, they won’t usually call you out for being an idiot they will try to be nicer about it. Or if you are late or something and they say they noticed it but don’t seem mad, they are, they just aren’t blowing their top off as happens back home.

I’m not a huge coffee drinker so this hasn’t affected me too much yet but coffee is STRONG here. I think all coffees have espresso in it rather than that being something extra as it is in America. Also iced coffee almost always has actual ice cream in it. 

No tipping at restaurants or cab rides or anything like that! Their minimum wage is something crazy like $17.00/hr so I guess that they can afford that here.I’m sure that there are more that I’ve learned but just are forgetting right now and I will add them as I realize it.

Happy Belated Aussie Day Mates, Cheers!!

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