15 Things I've Learned About Australia (So Far....)

Of course when you move to a new country, you're likely to encounter some differences when it comes to general everyday life. After roughly three and a half months of living in Melbourne, here's what I've learned about Australia so far...

1.  'Alright?' doesn't mean 'How are you?' over here. In fact, if you say 'Alright?' to an Aussie, they seem to think that you're starting on them or something, and can sometimes get pretty worked up. 'Yeah, I'm alright. Why? Are you not alright...?' Try to stick to 'How you going?' if you want to ask someone how they are...

2.  It takes FOREVER to cross the road. You press the button and that little green man takes his sweet ass precious time to start flashing. (And the red man is of course back in milliseconds.) And God forbid, you attempt to cross when the green man isn't showing - if looks could kill, you'd have a better chance of surviving getting hit by a car! Plus, the entire time you're waiting, there's this weird ticking noise which gets faster when it's time to cross the road. The whole experience can be quite tense to be honest.

3.  There are puppies in the pet shops here. Real, LIVE puppies.

4.  Aussies don't like to waste time saying entire words. (Maybe something to do with the amount of time wasted crossing the roads...) For example, the word 'afternoon' is shortened to 'arvo,' Instead of saying 'The Salvation Army,' the Aussies simply say 'Salvos,' and 'McDonald's' is 'Macca's.' Even 'Australia' gets shortened down to 'Straya.'

The Macca's on Swanston Street.

The Macca's on Swanston Street.

5.  'Macca's' in Australia is ridiculously good in comparison to the UK. You can create your own burgers, buy a large frozen Coke for $1, (which is about 50p) and the cake selection probably has more variety than Greggs.

6.  'Crisps' are called 'chips' and when anybody wants to order actual chips, they order 'hot chips' which means that all the extra letters saved from shortening words are wasted, because they're adding in a whole extra word, just to order chips.

7.  'Free Wi-fi' just isn't a thing here. With the exception of Macca's, there's pretty much zero free public internet. On the very rare occasion that you do find some, you'll have ordered, eaten and paid for your meal before Google has even loaded, it's that slow.

8.  It does actually rain here. A lot.



9.  When it is sunny though, the sunsets are absolutely stunning.

Elwood Beach sunset.

Elwood Beach sunset.

10.  Contrary to popular belief, there aren't kangaroos bouncing about all over the place. Apart from my short encounter at Melbourne Zoo, I'm actually yet to see one...

11.  Every single toilet has two flushes. EVERY single one. Every single public toilet has sharps bins to dispose of used needles. (Even at places like the zoo...) There are public toilet capsule things with electronic locks, which play music to you while you wee, and won't let you out until you've pulled the flush and washed your hands. 

12.  You can't buy alcohol in the supermarkets. But there are drive-through 'bottle shops' to make up for it.

13.  It's not unusual to be sent home from work if the weather is too hot. Fantastic news for your tan. Tragic news for your ever dwindling bank balance.

14.  Australia isn't as expensive as everybody makes out. Sure, it's not as cheap as Thailand or Magaluf, but with the exception of alcohol and cigarettes, everything else seems to be cheaper than the UK to me....

15.  The food here is unbelievable. Apart from the Nandos. The Nandos is terrible.

Considering I'm yet to visit anywhere else in Australia, this list may well be exclusive to Melbourne...