As Aussie As
Visitors to our fair shores be warned. Don't pack your thongs without reading this.
With global politics on a rather sticky wicket, there has been growing sentiment towards a mass exodus out of the US. Our fellow Commonwealth cousins, the Canadians, are apparently up to pussy's bow and being slammed by immigration applications.
With the overflow expected to hit Australia and Middle Earth, I thought it may be helpful for any US citizens planning on entering the witness protection program down under, to become familiar with some important Australian cultural characteristics. This may also be prove helpful for the annual southern migration of English backpackers heading down to pick fruit for the next 12 months.
1: We speak English.
2: Aussie is prounounced – Ozzie as in Osborne. See I told you we speak English.
3: Vegemite: we love it, you need to eat it, get over it.
4: Fanny: this is not your bum. This refers to a woman’s vagina. If you say you are going to strap on a fanny pack, expect someone to inquire with deep concern, ‘why do you need two of them?’.
5: Thongs: these go on your feet like flip flops. If you are asked to bring your thongs somewhere, you are being invited over for a swim or to the beach, not an inspection of your naughty knickers.
6: You never want to be referred to in the following ways: 'you’re a few snags short of a picnic', 'you have a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock', 'you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed' or 'the brightest candle on the cake'. It means you’re stupid and we don’t want to hurt your feelings.
7: As Aussie As: when someone does something using Australian ingenuity, like inventing the wine cask, it is typically known as being Aussie As.
8: Our election campaigns only last 6 weeks. We’ve all got better things to do. Literally nothing changes in Australia when our government does.
9: Everyone gets a nickname whether you want one or not. This is usuallly dictated by your last name. Smith – Smitty, Johnson – Jonno, Thompson – Tommo, Barnes – Barnesy, I think you get the idea.
10: A wanker is a person displaying general dickheady type behaviour. Don’t be this person.
11: We get four weeks annual leave when we start full-time work. That’s because to travel outside of Australia we chew up at least a week flying through 3 time zones and refueling the aircraft. On the flipside no one can be bothered coming all the way down to invade us.
12: Sausage sizzles: whether it’s a kid’s sporting event, fresh food market, election polling station or a trip to the hardware store you will always be able to smell the pungent aroma of barbecued sausages. You eat these tucked into a slice of fresh white bread. Onions and tomato sauce (ketchup) are optional. It’s like a bloody hot dog, you will be fine.
13: Christmas: this will literally do your head in. Christmas day is usually hot and humid, but this does not stop us from getting dressed up in our best clothes, and sitting down to roast meats and vegetables from an oven that has been cranked up since 6 am, and therefore adding to the heat and humidity. When we sing I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, we are, we have no idea what that is like.
14: If you have been surprised by something in any way, feel free to interchange any of these key phrases:
- Well I’ll be blowed
- Knock me over with a feather
- Stuff me drunk
- Well I’ll be buggered
15: Sometimes you may have to settle for something that's not what you wanted, but it’s better than being 'poked up the arse with the rough end of a pineapple'.
While I could write reams more about our cultural fancies, best you discover some of these yourself. You can be guaranteed though, at some point you will have the piss taken out of you.
I will leave that one for when you get here.