Australia is a beautiful country that is worth visiting at least once in your life. It’s known for its beautiful nature, dangerous animals, and usually hot weather. But is that it? Or there are other things to enjoy while being in Australia.
Yes, if you are planning to visit this fascinating country, then you better learn more about places to visit and what to expect from the country overall. So, here are 15 ways to experience culture shock in Australia.
This thought may not come to your head immediately after thinking about Australia. Aussies love talking about sport, playing friendly games, etc. One of the most popular kinds of sport in Australia is, of course, cricket. If you are visiting Australia from September to April, you might as well enjoy some cricket matches.
Aussies love all kinds of sports, not just cricket. Depending on what state you are visiting, you may enjoy different sports. Another great thing about Australia is the fact that they love playing sports too. So you could enjoy some friendly games while visiting the country.
Everyone knows it, even people who have never been to Australia. It seems like every living (or nonliving) creature in Australia is set to kill you. You may start breathing again, Australia is not as dangerous as you think. Of course, you should be careful when visiting forests or places inhabited by animals, so it’s best to use guide services. But overall, the nature in this beautiful country is set to amaze you, not to kill you (if you’re careful).
In Australia, you may experience things you have never experienced in your country. It has amazing natural sites to enjoy. You may also have a chance to see flora and fauna traditional in Australian lands. There is nothing to worry about, and you definitely won’t encounter gigantic spiders or prehistoric snakes – those are just rumors.
Enjoy Christmas while sunbathing on a beach
If your traditional way of celebrating Christmas is to make a snowman with your friends and family members, then you will gain a cultural shock while celebrating in Australia. Instead of trying not to catch a cold during Christmas, you will be enjoying the warm sun and breeze in Australia. It’s worth celebrating Christmas in Australia at least once in your life.
If you live in a big city and you are used to people not noticing anyone while walking down the street, then you are destined to get a cultural shock in Australia. “G’day” – that’s what you may hear from time to time while simply walking your way to the shop. It’s a natural thing in Australia, and the phrase is always friendly and positive.
Specific names for usual concepts
In Australia, most words have their slang nicknames. Usually, people visiting Australia experience a culture shock after hearing some confusing words. For example, if you are seeking thongs in a shop in Australia and ask the salesperson, you will be directed to a section full of flip flops. Yes, thongs in Australia mean flip flops, note that.
And there are lots of similar examples. Australia has a unique way of calling traditional things. It may confuse you at first, but it won’t be an issue since Aussies are kind and nice people, willing to explain why they call some things differently.
Slang and shortening
Even if you are a native speaker, Australian slang will confuse you. And the word “confuse” might be too subtle a word – you might not understand a word when hearing some sentences. Aussies have a unique way of naming things when the rest of the English speakers have no clue what they are saying.
You will hear them using “y” or “o” at the end of a specific place or name just because it’s fun, or you may notice over the pronunciation of certain letters (like “r”), and that won’t be the most confusing part. It’s hard to explain, it’s better to hear it on your own. If you don’t want to be confused while on your trip to Australia, find some videos on YouTube or on social media to hear how Aussies use slang.
Not wearing shoes in public
Not all the time, but you might notice that a lot while visiting Australia. This tradition is common in Australia although foreigners might think it’s weird. The thing is that Aussies just don’t see any reasons to wear shoes while simply visiting a shop down the road.
It’s not something bad or weird, it’s just the way it is. Some people may consider it not hygienic (and they have a point), but it’s certainly not a reason to avoid Australia. Australia is hot, and the cold tiles in the shop are just too comfortable.
If you expect friendly kangaroos knocking on your doors, you will face disappointment. But, you will still experience a culture shock since kangaroos are not the only animals you may face in Australia. Aussies face kangaroos as often as people in the States face deers. They may be passing the road or hopping near it, just like deers in the US.
But kangaroos or spiders, or even snakes are not the only representatives of wildlife you may face. Have you ever heard of magpies? They might not be native in the US or some other countries, but they are native to Australia and European countries. These birds look like crows but with black and white feathers. And they may be a little aggressive in Australia. If you are close to their territory and it’s breeding season, you might get swooped.
Drinking in Australia
You may need to get used to the thought that people in Australia may be drinking for the sake of drinking. It has nothing to do with alcoholism, it’s just a peculiar drinking culture. Friends may get together in a pub with one purpose – to drink. And that’s normal in Australia.
If you are visiting Australia and you’re originally from the US, prepare for a culture shock – Aussies who didn’t yet turn 21 drink alcohol. Illegal you say? No, 100% legal since the drinking age in Australia is 18. It’s common not only for Australia but some European countries allow that too.
Food in Australia
Eating deer meat is not uncommon, correct? You probably already know where this goes – since it’s typical to see deer in the US (and eat deer meat), it’s also typical for Australians to eat kangaroo meat. Shocking? Maybe.
There are so many kangaroos in Australia that they are already considered to be pests. So it’s not uncommon to eat kangaroo meat. If you want to try something very traditional, try a kangaroo steak. If you are not into such food, there are plenty of pies for every taste. Meat pies, veggie pies that will be loved even by those who only consider meat to be food, etc. Not a fan of pies? Australia has a wide range of good restaurants of all cuisines to offer.
Work is just a means to earn a living
It may not be such a culture shock, but Australians take it easy. In some countries, it is common for people to work 2-3 shifts in a row 15 hours each, in Australia you have a balance between work and personal life. Don’t get it wrong, Aussies are hard-workers, they are intelligent and love earning money, but when it’s time to go home, they go home. For foreigners it is common to stay extra hours, but not for Australians.
Some people consider swearing to be rude or insulting, Australians use swear words just because they can. Swearing is common for Aussies, they use swear words towards their friends and family members as a weird sign of affection. It may cause a cultural shock, but there is nothing to worry about. If Aussies are calling you words, it may as well mean they like you.
Shops close early
If you were enjoying some interesting sites in Australia and now you want to go buy some groceries, be again prepared for a culture shock. The shops are closed pretty early. Just so you can understand – a shop is still open at 8 pm – it’s already late and happens rarely. Usually, shops are closed at around 5 to 7 pm, so bear that in mind if you love shopping late.
Due to Aussies’ words, no place serves better coffee than Australia. Some people say that Aussies may be a bit too snobby when it comes to coffee, but they have every right to be. Their coffee tastes great, and there are lots of options to enjoy. Traditional latte is not the only thing you may enjoy, so you will most likely have to learn some new coffee terms.
Tap water culture
It’s recommended to bring your own bottled water since Aussies enjoy tap water. Your stomach might act weird from tasting tap water in Australia since other bacteria are used in the water treatment system. So be ready for that while on a trip to Australia.