Street Fight, Aussie Style

I don’t enjoy seeing anyone – or anything – fight and while I didn’t particularly enjoy this video, I found it fascinating. I’ve never seen such a thing other than in Looney Tunes cartoons. Behold, street fighting, Aussie style. And then there’s these two arguing over who ate the last eucalyptus cookie and sounding like my dog’s squeaky rubber ball when it’s near the end of its life. I’ve heard koalas can be vicious and, judging…

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Australian-American Roundup

Foster’s, Australian for beer. Throw a shrimp on the barbie. Lies, all lies. As it turns out, Foster’s is an Australian brand of lager, but it was created by two Irish-American brothers who arrived in Melbourne from New York in 1886, and now it’s owned by a British brewing group. More importantly, Australians don’t actually drink it. Outback Steakhouse? Yeah, that’s not Aussie either, but it didn’t stop some poor customer from complaining. Outback Steakhouse is an Australian-themed…

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My Australian English

There are certain words that will probably never come out of my mouth. For starters, I can’t shorten much in the way Aussies do. I still say sunglasses, breakfast, and chicken rather than sunnies, brekkie, and chook. Speaking in abbreviations is forced and unnatural for me. Like text speak. I can’t do that either. I text in complete, grammatically-correct, properly-punctuated sentences. It’s not because I’m a snob (I am a little bit of a snob). It’s because…

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Buzzfeed Lists of All Things Australian

I thought I would follow Wednesday’s heavy post on politics with some fun content from Buzzfeed. Humour 35 Australian People Problems includes issues such as Christmas Day sunburns, spiders, and getting swooped by Magpies. 30 Agonising Australian Problems describes some of those terrible things we suffer from living down under such as it being too hot or too cold, spiders, and getting swooped by Magpies. 29 Problems Only Australians Can Understand reminds that there is always…

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Vote for Batman

I received an amusing letter last week. First of all, it came from the Division of Batman. Apparently, I live in the Division of Batman. Seriously. I live in Melbourne and in Darebin and in the Division of Batman. Melbourne is a metropolitan area, which means it is a region with a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, which share industry, infrastructure, and housing. So, I live in the greater metropolitan area of Melbourne.…

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How to Speak Australian

Americans speak English. Australians speak English. Therefore, you’d think we could understand each other perfectly. Such is not the case. In 1892, German linguist Karl Lentzner wrote: The English language has of late years incorporated a vast store of words and phrases generally known as ‘Slang,’ which, with marvellous rapidity, have taken root in all sections of the community. America especially has proved a fertile soil for colloquialisms of this kind; and so has Australia.…

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The Passenger Beside You

Last week, Mamamia published a piece called The 7 people you NEVER want to sit next to on a plane. Two of them resonated with me. The first is Chatty McChatterson. You know the one. You start off with a cordial exchange: “So where are you getting off?” “Oh, the same place as me, that would make sense given that this is, you know, a plane and not a bus.” Until, before you know it,…

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Shopping Trolleys: Granny Chic

Last month, Diane over at Oui in France wrote a piece about shopping carts, or trolleys, as they’re called in Australia. It occurred to me that this has become part of normal living here in Melbourne, but it’s something I never did until I came here. We’re not talking about the kind of shopping cart provided by supermarkets and large stores such as Target and Kmart that you use to hold your items until you check…

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Are You a Melbournian?

Last year, I came across a humorous “listcicle” of qualities that make up a real Miamian. It led me to ask what makes a real Australian and the answers were pretty funny. A couple of weeks ago, my fellow expat blogger Housewife Down Under came across two articles in the Herald Sun with a list of experiences that identify a true Melbournian. Housewife said few applied to her and I wanted to see how many applied…

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Solo: This Woman’s Drink

Now that summer has hit Australia, there’s nothing I enjoy more on a hot day than an icy lemonade. If you go to an Australian restaurant and order a lemonade or if an Aussie offers you a lemonade, chances are you’ll get a Sprite. Aussies call Coca-Cola Coke, Pepsi Pepsi, Fanta Fanta, and so forth, but they call Sprite lemonade, and if you refer to lemonade as a home-made drink made of lemon juice, water, and…

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Culture Shock

Recently on an American expat group that I belong to, someone asked about the things that caused us culture shock when we arrived. The answers were humorous and some ring true for me so I thought I’d share. They’ve been edited for grammar and clarity and names have been removed to protect privacy. On Trading Hours & Shopping When I first came, the shops closed at 5pm on weekdays, 12pm on Saturdays, and weren’t even…

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The Great Melbourne Earthquake of 2012

Australia has earthquakes? Someone should have told me about this. Victoria has been shaken by its biggest earthquake in 30 years. It scared the bejesus out of Laurie at The Texstralians. Tonight we had an earthquake! It was a mere 5.2 grade but it still scared the living daylights out of me! We live on the 13th floor of a high rise apartment building and it was just a little too strange to feel the…

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