We are goin’ down under…..

A photo of a koala at the Koala Sanctuary in Pennett Hills, Sydney, Australia

Genie and Michael Platsis, friends of ours who happen to live down under, have offered us their version of what is different about Australia and the United States. Genie and Michael are planning to volunteer for the 2000 Paralympic Games. 

As Genie told us many people in the United States told her not to worry when she moved from the U.S. to Australia…Aussies speak the same language...”Well, yes, er…sort-of”, she says.

As you laugh through Genie and Michael's list, you will easily understand what they mean.

Cookies and crackers are called “biscuits”

The phrase, “no worries” means “it’s ok, no problem”

Australians do not pronounce “r’s” at the end of a word

“car” is “caaaa” and “harbor” is “habaaa”…but no worries you get used to it

A “docket” is a receipt

A “chemist” is a drug store pharmacy

Signs with “clearway” means no parking

A “plunger” is a 1 cup coffee maker

Mailboxes are called “letterboxes”

Post office is called “Australia Post”

“Let’s have a look” means “let’s go look at that”

A torch is a flashlight

A “child capsule” is a baby car seat

“Chips” are French fries

“Baby diapers” are called nappies

A “cuppa” is a cup of tea

Capsicums are also red or green peppers

A baby stroller is called a pram

“queue here” mans “line starts here”

prawns are shrimp

rice bubbles are rice krispies (cute, eh?)

Cocky’s Joy is a can of maple syrup and found with ice cream syrups

“Ouwa” – hour

In asking for sugar, clerks wont recognize what you want…remember it is “suugaaaa” Down under style!

A bench is a kitchen counter top

A rubbish bin is a trash can

A green slip is required car insurance

You ring them instead of telephoning them

A fag is a cigarette

The loo is the bathroom

Common Aussie jargon – “shower in a can” is deodrant and “flyspray” is perfume

A hooter is a horn…and not a man’s sports bar

Other things we should know….

Lots of coconut and palm trees

Drive on the left

No public school buses, children use public transport

lots of trains, buses and cabs (public transportation is very good)

taxi cabs have lights on top like an American police car

Train, ferry and bus strikes were common while Genie was there

Apartments without heating or refrigerators

Most heaters are a coil filled with oil on wheels

5 free cable channels

foil boxes have ridges, no metal cutter

cheese and milk taste different

eggs are not in the cold section

cheddar cheese is white

delicious things include the discover of meat pies, sausage rolls, violet crumble, crumpets, vegemite and tim tams

very little season changes leads to year ‘round gardening

door locks turn the opposite way

electric outlets have an on/off switch

light switches flip down for on and up for off

clothes lines in every yard and porch

vegemite is salty but if you spread it thinly on a cracker with butter, it is very good

not much variety in yogurt, but many types of strawberry

no postage stamp machines

letters are mailed outside only

no mail is delivered on Saturday or Sunday

mailmen deliver mail on motorbikes

internet café’s everywhere

sugar and salt have bigger crystals

either of the two buttons on the toilet tank flush the toilet, only with different amounts of water

no drive-thru banking

no deposit envelopes at the ATM’s

Spring sprang on September 1 of every year

If looking for a ladies shoes you will have a hard time finding anything larger than a size 9, or it is special ordered

Petite sizes are abundant because of the Asian market

Discovering Violet crumble, crumpets and morning/afternoon tea-time!

The proper Aussie lady will dorn an open umbrella that matches her outfit to protect her lilly white skin from the sun…and it must match her shoes

Australian sunsceen is an umbrella or a hat

You can’t see the big dipper

The sound of a magpie

The smell of blue gum and eucalyptus

Prices of things…

$3 – 4 dozen eggs (brown eggs)

$1 and $2 coins – no quarters

Money coins are: .05, .10, .20, .50, $1, and $2

.50 cent piece is an octagon

no pennies

money is different colors and lengths

money is plastic and ok to wash

hotels have a “bed tax” separate from price of room

During Genie’s stay in Australia (June 1999) gas was .82 per liter or $3.20 gallon

A can of coke is $1.40

One row of oreos is $3.00

You can teach at a University with Honours Bachelor degree for $92 an hour

As of October 1999, letter postage from Australia to America is $1.50 AUD (jumped from $1.05 w/o warning *poof)


Team King
Telephone: 719.339.1557

updated 09/07/2000
Copyright © 2000 Team King All Rights Reserved

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