Australia has been my home for the past five months now – both physically and mentally. After all, I’ve made some lifelong friendships and gone on adventures I would have never imagined.
So, I felt that after experiencing these last five months, it would be the perfect time to detail some of my Australian observations.
In no particular order you’ll find out what really stands out to me about being in the Land Down Under.
1. The birds are incredibly noisy.
My favourite bird to listen to is the Magpie because it sounds less like a bird and more like a MIDI sound file glitching out. On some mornings when I hear the Magpie’s screech, I think I’m experiencing an auditory hallucination rather than hearing a bird ‘sing’. And that’s just one noisy bird!
2. Sunscreen is a big deal here.
I know it’s because there’s a big hole in the ozone layer right above Australia, but it’s still crazy to me how important sun protection is here compared to the States. In the States you only hear from third-party sources that you should be wearing sunscreen each time you leave your home. Here, everyone’s walking around with the stuff in their pockets and purses, ready to slip, slap, slop at a moment’s notice.
3. Everyone knows what’s happening in American politics.
I thought once I moved to Australia I’d be far enough away to avoid hearing much of anything about the Cheeto in Chief. But Aussies are just as obsessed with the current White House as they are at home. They know every time Trump fires one of his cabinet members, or when he pushes across some dumb law no one likes. But when I ask about Aussie politics, I’m greeted with a heavy yawn.
4. The train station I take to and from work is in a mall.
This must exist in other places in the world since capitalism is so dominant, but I had never been to a train station in a mall before. It was such a foreign concept to me when first making my way to the Curated Content office. It’s definitely the most I’ve been to a mall since high school where my friends and I practically lived at one. And, honestly, it’s not as annoying as I expected it to be. Maybe it’s because the mall is also home to the historic shot tower, which is a remarkable sight. I also find myself numb to sale ads, so, thankfully, I haven’t gone broke from shopping.
5. Melbourne fashion is on the Los Angeles tier.
For real, this is one of the most fashionable cities in the world. I’m always impressed by the silhouettes I see walking the sidewalks of the CBD.
6. Driving on the left side of the road isn’t as scary as I thought it would be.
Granted, I haven’t had to do any actual driving yet, but even sitting in the passenger seat on the left-hand side made me nervous at first. But after 20 minutes, most of my anxieties disappeared – and now I can’t wait to try it myself.
7. The beaches are out-of-this-world gorgeous.
Seriously. Sometimes it feels like I’m stepping onto another planet when my feet dig into the alabaster sands. What’s even more striking is how preserved in time they look, unmarred by the pervasive hand of capitalism. Being from Miami, I witnessed the construction of high rises (like the Trump International) disrupt the coastlines. Those brutal monoliths hide the beauty of the white ocean foam licking the edges of the coast from all but the wealthy elites – people who spend three-fourths of their time away from their $2000-a-week condos. In Australia, you can see the beaches from afar. They’re for everybody.
8. Concerts are expensive.
It costs a lot to get bands to make the jump across the Pacific ocean, which is why ticket prices are so inflated. But the value proposition in my head never lets me feel comfortable paying $50+ to see a band here that I could see for $20 or less in the States. Consequently, when I want to see live music, I check out local bands at lesser known venues. Much cheaper and it allows me to be more snobbish with my friends about bands they’ve never heard of.
9. Australians have a shorthand name for everything.
‘Soz’. ‘Brekkie’. ‘Arvo’. Those are just a few of the shorthand words Australians say that Americans would have no clue what they meant without hearing them in context. This shorthand way of saying things also extends to names. If your name is more than one syllable, get ready to have it cut in half, at least!
10. Australia isn’t that different than America.
Sure, most of the country is an uninhabitable desert, and most of the animals here can kill you faster than you can say ‘how you going?’ but the day-to-day living in this country is quite the same as the States. Supermarkets work the same (though you can buy clothes at them), Ubers are all over (though no Uber Pool yet) and the country roads are just as bucolic. That must be why so many Americans have been immigrating over here… it’s like a less-dysfunctional America!
Want more Aussie Observations? Check out our video below!
Written by Jesse
Graphics by Julie