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KichigaiKitsune

One thing about Australia...

I was originally going to do a big journal debunking the myth that we are all tough, bush-dwelling croc-wrestlers in a land of nature's deadliest murderbeasts, but I hope that's not news to anyone reading these journals...

Actually, the toughest thing to convey to people about this country - and this was mentioned by a British expatriate/tourist (not sure which) on BBC's website recently - is how soul-crushingly boring we are.

It's really something you need to live here to experience. It has its advantages; Australians are actually extremely professional. We get shit done, mate. But you wouldn't believe that, would you? It's almost as if fun is illegal here, sometimes - if you're not into V8 utes and football/rugby, your hobby is probably illegal.

Don't come here if you like fireworks, BB/airsoft guns, or riding bicycles without a helmet if you don't like paying exorbitant fines.

There's a tyrannical, zealously officious streak in this country, and I find it amusing how wrong foreigners get us. It might be that whole "convict" thing (hint: America was a convict colony too), but people seem to think we're all inebriate fun-lovers who want to chuck a sicky, kick back with a Fosters (ugh) and laugh at our hilariously inappropriate comedians all day.

The reason why I mention this is that I see all kinds of amusing, cool things online that people from other nations do in semi-professional contexts that simply wouldn't happen here. For one thing, you don't even get to place special requests on pizza delivery orders - which are extremely expensive here. So asking for "a cool drawing" on the box will get you absolutely nowhere. They won't do it, even if they were to deign to let you make a special request. So forget the cool Zoidberg art or "murdering that motherfucker with bacon." Geez, as if company policy would let them write "motherfucker" on a customer's pizza box.

Oh, and forget "if the pizza is 15 minutes late, you get it free!" No, none of that. You pay ze price on ze bill. Period. File a complaint with customer service if it's late.

Seriously. The guy you talk with and order your food from might be great conversation, honest and so on - I absolutely love most of my community, and it's great just to chat with the husband and wife I get my lunch from - but they won't do anything interesting or out of the ordinary. It just goes against some unspoken, strict, specific code of appropriateness that apparently we were all sworn to at birth.

Steve Hughes, one of the aforementioned irreverent comedians (and a fearsomely intelligent man), covers this topic quite well. It's one of his main gripes - because there is that dichotomy. There is this culture of mateship, toughness and rough-hewn humor; it's just countered by an almost psychotic level of bureaucracy; a stuffy, frumpy "correctness" that rivals a Mormon grammar convention.

In India, you can hang out of a train, doing 100 an hour. In Australia, you get a move-on notice if you're hanging out at the train station. Waiting for a train.

So, when you do encounter humour here, it does tend to be quite irreverent and yet subtle, under-spoken. Self-deprecating. An expertly crafted wordplay or witticism, lashing out at this stifling culture of propriety and authority. Or, sometimes, you encounter disturbingly elegant and detailed drawings of a horse with a massive erect penis on the side of some bloke's earthmover goin' down the freeway.

You know what? Just don't come here. We're all fucking mental.
Viewed: 59 times
Added: 5 years, 9 months ago
 
mikaroni
5 years, 9 months ago
I hate to say it but the whole world is mental in their own rights, I like the whole extreme professionalism aspect that you guys have in Australia though mainly because they make sure everyone has high standards and are trying to convey a good living and ween out picky eaters with your guys' food service. If I'm reading this right it seems like you guys are strait to the point unless you're being humorous then you guys are using sarcasm and intelligent word play that a good mature audience can appreciate and not have to degrade yourselves while doing it.

Nice to see though that someone is shedding light on a culture that has a lot of people thinking here in the USA that you guys all talk with a twang in your voice and are afraid of city life, or that all of your comedians are coke addicts
KichigaiKitsune
5 years, 9 months ago
"or that all of your comedians are coke addicts"

Before I address this comment properly, I have to ask if this sentence was referring to Jim Jeffries. XD
mikaroni
5 years, 9 months ago
Sadly yes. To tell the truth he comes off way too strongly and puts out a bad name for Australia.
squirrelfox
5 years, 9 months ago
No, America wasn't a convict colony.  Georgia was a convict colony, but most of the rest was displaced nobles or religious minorities from England.  And then we just went and sorta settled a bunch of other shit and were all "FUCK THE NATIVES!!!"  Which is actually something I bet you Aussies are quite familiar with.  Something about the British and brutally repressing the natives who had the nerve to be on the land they saw and decided to conquer.

Though I do agree: you Aussies are fuckin' mental.  50% of you are pretty cool, and 50% are total dicks.  There's no in-between.

Not to say some parts of America aren't the same way (or just 100% total dicks), but yeh.  Every country's got its flaws.  On the whole, though, I think Australia's... not quite as bad as the US.  Yet.
vulPN
5 years, 9 months ago
Try to have fun in the US if you're between the ages of 18 and 21. You're old enough to go out and do things, but because you're not 21 there's nowhere for you to go.
Aerotan
5 years, 9 months ago
Sorry for the late reply. Most clubs/bars nowadays have a method or protocol in place to allow 18+ patrons in without letting them get booze. Usually it's a bracelet or wrist stamp that the doormen give you. Also parks, zoos, movie theatres, the other theatres...pretty much the only places I know of with a hard and fast 21 limit are casinos, and that's not even universal.

And, hell, I had a blast staying at home.
vulPN
5 years, 9 months ago
And you're the only one there who can't drink, and everyone knows you're 3-4 years younger than they are, at the least. Parks and zoos close at dark, and movie theaters are more often buried in the suburbs than in the trendy downtown, leaving you with middle schoolers instead of your fellow adults.
KichigaiKitsune
5 years, 9 months ago
I do have to confess - a "wrist-band" or whatever certainly sounds better than barring youths' entry to begin with. That's a huge improvement.

The "21" rule is so valued by casinos because it gives them an excuse to keep young people out of their building. They'll never waver in their adherence as long as they reasonably can. They do not want young people in there. They feel it will damage their image and atmosphere. Speaking as a person from a country where the age to enter a casino is 18 - it doesn't.
Both 23 and 19 year old gamblers have a habit of being obnoxious, drunken, classless pricks.

The lack of places for youth to go at night (as in, anyone from 15-21) is an issue almost anywhere, but it definitely seemed worse in the States. With the absurdly high drinking age, you'd think more people would try to create entertainment for late-teens.

Even when you're in your late teens, you should never count out the places you would've gone to as a kid. You can maybe still totally hang out in parks together, go to ice cream parlors, hit up an arcade (or a theater!) and then go crash at someone's house when you're twenty years old. Illicitly acquired alcohol optional.

Not saying this is a substitute for the restaurants and bars and fun I've had since I was 18, that was denied to American youths between that age and 21, but I don't think they're entirely starved for places to go. Not yet, anyway. Your government appears to working on that. Sonic, anti-teenager, weaponry and curfews, you know.

Besides, hey, the middle-schoolers aren't always total drags!
DestructiveImpulse
5 years, 9 months ago
So in Australia pizza is expensive. Also everyone's serious? :S

Is new Zealand better
aldreyachan
5 years, 9 months ago
Also the weather sucks. Can't forget that.

(In all fairness that doubles as an advantage in the west - we don't have to worry about tornadoes, earthquakes or flooding. As I was growing up it surprised the hell out of me to learn that those things casually destroying your house is considered normal in the US...)

As for NZ... neither Kichigai nor myself have actually been there, so we can't really say.
KichigaiKitsune
5 years, 9 months ago
Food and alcohol in general is very expensive here. However, not prohibitively so. You pay a lot of money for dining out, for instance, but you make that money by working in secure jobs with the best occupational health and safety framework, the best vacation and employee benefits, and very high minimum wage. So, I'd sooner know I pay 30% more for a meal...

Honestly, the seriousness isn't as bad as you might think. We're serious; not insane. And there is that undertone of irreverence and humor. In fact, we can be downright cheeky here - but that's the point. It's not "cheeky" if we simply have no standards. The Toyota advert where everyone keeps saying "bugger!" was successful because it tweaked the stuck-up side of our country's noses.
The upside is that we're generally very professional here, and yet still very open and friendly.

The weather doesn't suck. Aldreyachan is focusing purely on right now, the summer. Summer is quite hot here, although you're from Texas so it's probably nothing new to you. The rest of the year is awesome. Summer is just hot and mildly annoying, and if you treat summer the way you're meant to treat summer you'll be okay - mostly. If you visit here, you'll see there's a reason why we all wear "wifebeaters", shorts and flip-flops in summer.

I've not been to NZ, but my experience with the people and the information I've picked up tells me that the place is freaking awesome.
DestructiveImpulse
5 years, 9 months ago
Haha our summer is year round. At the moment its 64 degrees Fahrenheit and its winter.

also doesn't a higher minimum wage increase the cost of living.

" If you visit here, you'll see there's a reason why we all wear "wifebeaters", shorts and flip-flops in summer.

and speedos
aldreyachan
5 years, 9 months ago
Haha our summer is year round. At the moment its 64 degrees Fahrenheit and its winter.

That's about our summer average if I recall. We certainly don't get cold winters.
KichigaiKitsune
5 years, 9 months ago
I just added some clarification here (check the comment below). You just said that our average summer temperature was about 18 degrees. XD
Not even at midnight!
KichigaiKitsune
5 years, 9 months ago
Pretty sure Aldreya made a typo there. Our average summer temperature is closer to 86F (30.5C). Our winter temperatures are about 66F (19C).

We can get some very wet and relatively cold days in winter, but, well, I've been overseas. We don't have winter like Baltimore or London does here. Which is pretty good. If I could, I'd make it a little cooler here, but not to THAT degree.

Nothing fun about torrential, blinding rain for most of the year, or biting, frosty mornings. Except maybe for snowboarding...
aldreyachan
5 years, 9 months ago
Ahem.

That's about our winter average if I recall.
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