The Harbinger Online

Blog: Lessons from Australia

Over winter break, my family and I were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to Australia for two weeks. To say the experience was absolutely incredible would be a complete understatement.

However, throughout the entire experience, I couldn’t help but notice how tourist-y I was. I’m not entirely positive as to what I thought Australia would be like, but it was nothing like what I expected. As a result, I was an obvious out of towner desperately trying to go with the flow. So here, in this blog, I am extending my hand to you, so that if you ever visit the land down unda, you will be more informed than I was and not stick out like a sore American thumb.

FACTS AND TIPS I’VE LEARNED (BASED ON MY TRAVELS)

1. Every stereo type you have about Australians is about 98% true. They’re beautiful people who worship the beach in a way that makes most religions envious.

2. Cricket players are treated like national heroes (Cricket players are to Aussies as Football players are to Americans).

3. Cricket is a boring sport that takes way too long to finish and you will be completely obsessed with it by the time you leave the country (Mad love for my man Michael Clarke; 329 not outs bringing the Aussies up to a 4/659 lead over India!!).

4. Surfing is not a sport. It is a lifestyle that boarders on an art form.

5. An unfortunate percent of the young guys (sorry, ladies) think rat tails and butt cracks are attractive. It’s startling. You’ll see the front of a guy on the beach, think he’s a super hot Aussie surfer, and then he turns around. Ugh.

6. Australia is sort of stuck in the 80s. I don’t know how to describe that, exactly, but go there and you’ll understand where I’m coming from. As my new Aussie friend, Rosie, commented, “We’re so far behind everyone else!”

7. If you’re an American, you will fall into the stereotype. One Aussie asked me if we deep-fried our garlic bread over here.

8. If you’re going to lay out on the beach, apply more sunscreen than you think you’ll need. Trust me, I know from experience that it will come in handy. Laying out on the beach in Australia is the same as laying out on the top of a mountain in Colorado on a sunny day. Basically, if you don’t over apply your sunscreen, you will be burnt and peel-y for the next three days.

9. Waiters and waitresses don’t get tipped; hence, they have not motivation to deliver your food promptly. If you go out to eat, expect to be at the restaurant for two hours or so.

10. If you’re going to spend money, expect to spend far more than you ever would in the U.S. Everything is more expensive in Australia (I’m not entirely sure why).

11. Don’t ask people for a napkin, unless you actually really do want them to bring you a diaper.

12. If you strongly desire the consumption of brown goo, avoid Vegemite and choose Nutella.

13. Aussie kids go up to grade 13 (a.k.a. year 13), as opposed to senior year in high school.

14. All of the American TV shows are about half a season behind.

15. Cockatoos are the most obnoxious birds you’ll ever come across. At first, you’ll think they’re beautiful and want to feed  them so they’ll come closer to you, then they open their beaks and start squaking.

16. Don’t tell them a dingo ate your baby.

17. Passion fruit looks sincerely disgusting, but please eat it. It’s one of the most delicious fruits I’ve ever tasted. And hands down the best smelling.

18. A bush walk is not a casual stroll through the woods- it’s an ass-kicking up the side of a cliff.

19. The sizing of clothing in Australia is half the size it is in America. So if you’re a size six, don’t try to squeeze yourself into a size six top, because you’re really trying on a size three.

20. The Australians sincerely believe a kangaroo scrotum can sell a product.You will find it on many souvenirs.

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