I love Australia, I really do. Weather. People. Convenience. Lifestyle. (hello- we WALK to the beach?) If I could just get my nearest and dearest friends and family over here, I’d be complete. Gah! Come visit me. If not me, don’t you love these dogs? Trevor at least?
Australians dig Americans (nice change of pace….!) They always want to know where we are from, so we say Sydney- “We live in Sydney”….) They give us confused face so then we take pity on them and give them the deets…. (Georgia? Atlanta? Hey, we had the Olympics?) Interestingly enough, they don’t hear the difference between Americans and Canadians. But to be honest, I am JUST now starting to hear the difference between Australians and the English. The English are much easier to mimic…. The Australians, they have this way of saying their O’s…its like nothing else in the world. Believe me, I’ve practiced inside of my head…….if I could just master the way they say “No”, I’d consider that a win and check it off my list.
When they ask us where we are from, we have learned to say, “America” versus “the States,” or “the US” or whatever. That’s just what is said here. “America.” And then, inevitably, they say- “I’ve been to New York! / Las Vegas! / San Francisco! / Los Angeles!”
Georgia? Not so much. But hey! We are trying to be good stewards of our region. We recommend Asheville, Savannah, The Golden Isles-my favorite place IN.THA.WORLD-, Hilton Head…..there is NO better place to experience viscerally than the South. Food? Check. Sultry summers? Check. History and Family and Tradition and Belong-edness (is that a word? Yep, if you’re from the South) But…. I digress…….
Australia is an interesting place. It’s a VERY informal society folkway-ed society here. I broke my toe three weeks ago. My doctor goes by Judy. Yep, Judy. Not Dr. Smith, but Judy. It’s weird to me. When you go somewhere and you expect to be called Mr or Mrs Blah, you can just forget that. Not that I ever expect to be called Mrs. Carruth (cause I always feel like I’m to young for that…..my age froze at 29?) You’ll be called by your first name, and you call them by their first name. Guaranteed. Police officer? Call him Bill (not that I know first hand…believe me.) Mailman? Hello, Chad, thanks for the post! Calling to make a plane reservation? Always first name……Are last names even really necessary here?
Another thing that’s been fun is the diminutive-ization (who cares, I already made up one word in this post, let’s go for two) of just about everything here speech-wise. Want to say Thanks to someone? Just say Ta. Want to meet mid day for cider? That would be considered the Arvo. Breakfast = Brekkie. Bathing Suit = Cossie. There are a ton of these little TLA’s =(Three Letter Acronyms…) seriously.
Australia is like no other place in the world. Isolated, unusual wildlife and so vastly widespread. I feel really really lucky to be here. But there are days I miss my hometown peeps like kra-zee.