Friday, March 7, 2014

Five on Friday #3: 5 Things I miss about Australia

I'm linking up with Darci,  AprilChristinaNatasha and the gang again for my third Five on Friday!

I gonna go for something a little different today and list 5 things I miss about the land I call home. I could list a million and one things, but I'll spare you and just do 5 today. Also, this does not include the most obvious that is my family and friends. I would give anything to mush the two worlds together for that reason alone. I would even never have vegemite again (please don't make me promise that). Also, this is absolutely not a whinge or that America isn't totally awesome for letting me live here, and I love my people here, but it is next to impossible to live away from the place you have always called home without missing some things - that's especially true when it's a different country.

1. The Food.

Food could fill up each number on this list, but I'll stick it all in one so you all don't think I'm too weird. Vegemite, twisties, meat pies, kebabs, milo, prawns, tim tams, lamingtons, weet bix, pavlova, lamb, fish & chips, dim sims & potato cakes (please note only Victorians call them potato cakes, I am originally from Vic, people from NSW etc call them 'scallops' which makes no bloody sense whatsoever), sausages (US ones = vomit), sausage sandwiches (in particular bunnings sausage sizzle), sausage rolls, all the candy - crunchies, milk bottles, strawberries and cream, bananas, cherry ripes, curly wurlys, flakes, fantales (fantales have trivia on the wrappers. this was before the internet, so it was like imdb with a chocolate), fairy bread, cheese and bacon roll, beetroot on a burger, the list that goes on. The funny thing is, when I was home, I didn't love all of these things but it's the fact that I can't get them that makes me want them. For example, I don't even really like meat anymore, but I'll be certain the first thing I eat off that plane will be a meat pie / lamb chop / kebab feast.

top to bottom, left to right: fantales, meat pie,  sausage sizzle, vegemite, cheese and bacon roll, pavlova, dim sims, weetbix, kebabs, curly wurly & flake, fairy bread, potato cakes, fish & chips, burger with beetroot and egg with hot chips, allens lollis - those red things are strawberries and creams. lastly, twisties. cheese (red) and chicken (green)

Also, it's not just food that you might think of as 'Australian'. I miss Thai, Chinese, Indian, Italian being easily accessible. KY doesn't have - in my experience - enough ethnic restaurants, and the ones I have been to haven't been amazing. I still go, but I can't wait to go home and eat all the non Australian food I can shove in my gob.

Also, I have never met anyone who puts prawns on the barbie. Yep, I said prawns. Not shrimp. Ahem. Just had to get that off my chest.

2. Beaches! The weather.

Can I really do a 5 things about Australia without mentioning beaches? I probably could. I grew up in Sydney, about 1/2 an hour away from the beach and we went pretty regularly. As a teenager / young adult, I went often but mostly had other things to do like shop or work. Plus, the older I got, the less I wanted to look like a lobster and also increase my chance of skin cancer by a zillion percent. However I miss the ability to just be like, eff it, lets go to the beach today. for an hour. and then go home and nap for four hours. I miss the beautiful water, the never ending blue skies, the waves.. I do not miss the seaweed or jelly fish or blue bottles. I miss all the kids running around and squealing when the water touches them. I miss the boogie boards and playing for hours as a kid. Its so upsetting to me that I basically grew up around the beach, learned how to swim because otherwise you'd drown after that wave clobbered you and my kids won't likely have that experience. So, I miss the beaches, but more than that I miss what they represent to me.

bondi (NSW) dromana (VIC) and manly (NSW).

Oh, the weather. With the winter America has had, how can I not miss Aussie weather? I know it's not as bad in KY as it is elsewhere, but its also never this bad at home. I think in 2011 we had 'the worst winter in 20 something years' and the coldest it got was 8 degrees. CELSIUS. That's just under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. what I wouldn't give for 50 degrees right now! for more info, read this. Also, I remember that dust storm. cray cray. I don't even know what Sydney would do if it snowed. Be worse than Atlanta. We didn't have snow days - I think school closed once when I was a kid for extreme heat. When I was a kid, we didn't have AC in the schools, we had fans, like we did in our houses. I don't know if that's still the same, but bloody hell I hate AC. I hate going to the shops or dinner in the middle of July and having to take a cardigan and then another for my legs because wherever we are going is going to be freezing. 

ps. there are parts of Australia that snow, I am just not from them. Just like there are places in America that don't snow. I don't live there. why don't I live there?

3. Words.

Thongs (flip flops). 
Ute (truck - but smaller, I think we have like 10 F150s in all of Oz). 
Sanger (sandwich). 
Boot (trunk). 
Orright (alright). 
Mate (friend, but also sometimes can mean 'idiot' in a condescending way, like someone pushes in front of you and you say 'you're fine, mate' which really means 'you bloody asshole'.). 
Drongo / Dipstick (idiot). 
Bogan (like a redneck). 
Arvo (afternoon). 
Postie (mailman). 
Choccy (chocolate)
Piece of Piss (easy as pie). 
Bikky (biscuit. what you guys call cookies). 
Chock-a-block (full). 
Breaky (breakast!). 
Servo (service station). 
Bottlo (liquor store). 
Cozzie (bikini). 
Feral (not good, e.g. 'that's feral').  
Mozzie (mosquito). 
True blue (patriotic, loyal / good australian). 
Tucker (food). 
Snag (sausage). 
Sook (have a cry or be a cry baby. 'dont be a sook' or 'have a sook why don't ya'). 
Bludger (lazy. Also see dole bludger, which basically means someone taking advantage of welfare). 
Woop woop (middle of nowhere). 
Ropeable (very angry). 
Pressie (gift; pronounced prezzie like Aussie is pronounced Auzzie), 
Lollies (candy). 
Esky (cooler). 
Daks (trousers. Also see tracky daks = tracksuit pants which are sweat pants). 
Chrissie (Christmas). 
Park (car parking spot. Also means park, like.. a park). 
Eat in or Takeaway (dine in or take out) 
dinky di / fair dinkum (truth)

My absolute favourite aussie word that I miss saying and miss people understanding is 'Ta'. When I say it here people think I am grunting or about to say a full word but changing my mind and cutting myself off. No. It means thank you or give it to me. You're probably confused. Let me paint a picture - I buy a coke. I say ta. Second situation. I have a dog, or a child that has something they shouldn't / I want back. 'Taaaa' with your hand out means give it to me. So yeah. Ta for reading y'all.

Note: Not G'Day. Never G'day. K?

4. The culture and people. Including no tipping.

I miss the type of people from home. Don't get me wrong, I have met some amazing and friendly people in America, and I love the 'southern hospitality' of most people in KY. I met a bunch of random people in a small town in Louisiana on a group trip I took and they had us all dancing and joining in on their conversations like we belonged there. Not saying that doesn't happen at home, things are just different. I don't want to say anything bad about Americans or the ones I have met, however, I feel that Aussies are in general more open minded and easy going. I used to walk around barefoot at home, I'd probably catch a few weird stares and a disease or two if I did it here.I will say in terms of being friendly or nice, it's pretty equal. 

I don't like tipping. It confuses me and I think its stupid. Now, I don't think people should get paid $3 an hour and not be tipped, that's not what I mean. They should get paid a normal wage like any other job, so customers don't have to tip. I got paid very well as a bartender back home and made like $10 a night in tips, and that was usually from people leaving change, or tourists. And don't even get me started on tax - GST (goods & service tax) is already included on the price at home, so when you pick something up that says $19.99 you pay $19.99 ($20 if you pay with cash, we don't have 1 cent coins anymore). It took me a really long time to remember it would cost more when I got to the cash register.

I also miss our money, so here's a picture of that.

5. Public Transport.

Now I know some parts of America have awesome public transport. Let me go ahead and surprise you - KY is not one of those places. I didn't drive until I was over 20 because I caught the bus everywhere. I said hello to the bus drivers, as did everyone, and the bus drivers wave to each other - this delighted me as a child and still makes me a little happy and teary as an adult. is that weird? anyway. Trains in to the city because who in their right mind would drive, ferries to the zoo or the beach.. I miss the simplicity, the availability and the normalcy of it all. When I moved to KY I mentioned maybe catching the bus somewhere and everyone looked at me like I'd grown an extra head. 

This does not really include taxis. I miss that taxis were everywhere when I needed one (hello time to go home on a Saturday night) but bloody hell those things are expensive.

merrylands represent, yo.

a ferry ride is never that tranquil.

OK guys. That's it from me. I really did not intend this to be a whinge, or that long - but I guess I like talking about home! My favourite parts are the words and the food. It makes my heart happy.

PS. Apparently, I don't know how to write a short list. I apologise! Next week ;-)


  1. Stopping by from the link up! Part of my family is from Melbourne and Perth and you nailed that food list. So many delicious things that Australians do best...Pavlova, Meat Pies and Potato Cakes top my list. Have a great weekend!

    Steph @

    1. thanks Steph - mmm it all sounds good. Can't wait to eat it again in June :-) Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. I've never been but this makes it that much more appealing!! Have a fabulous weekend!!


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