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Wish I May Wish I Might is a blog created by writer, creative director, and citizen of the world, Julie Gordon, to help make the world a safer place to be human.




Observations on Australia

Julie Gordon

People are friendly, overall.

They cannot dress themselves, however. At least not in any style to which I am accustomed. 

They walk. Everywhere.

They exercise and build their cities around the concept of movement.

Everything is extremely expensive.

They focus on the coasts too. East dominates West here.

They don’t drive particularly well.

70% of people think LA is AWESOME. 30% think it’s crap. 50% are correct.

Telling someone that X reminds me of LA, SF, or NYC is a huge compliment.

Everyone dresses up for work. In weird, formal clothing.

The workday ends at 5pm for most people.

They like their drink.

They tell me they think Americans are obnoxious, except for me.

They’re not predominantly fat or thin, they’re normal.

Their bread is bad. Too white and fluffy.

Don't order a bagel if you're a Jew. Internal monologue: THIS IS ROUND (BAD) BREAD. 

Coffee is important. (Thank god.)

Their bacon is not bacon like we know bacon.

Their eggs have orange yolks and are the most delicious eggs ever.

They put beets on burgers. Like that's normal or something. 

Red peppers are called capsicums. 

Catsup is called tomato sauce. It's not the same. 

They really like sweets. I have eaten more chocolate here in one month than I normally do in a year. 

They have states too. With funny names like Queensland and New South Wales.

When it rains, it pours.

They’ve probably traveled somewhere far away, but not within their own country.

I was hoping the streets would be lined with Aussie hunks. Alas, they aren’t. Where is my Hugh Jackman? Chris Hemsworth??

Men don’t really approach women.

Their children have Aussie accents and I can’t get enough of it.

Their teeth are bad. I blame the English.

The word “no” has about 16 syllables and uses all the vowels.

Their radios stations suck. But they play awesome music in their cafes and bars.

Melbourne is the most cosmopolitan city. Everyone seems to agree on that.

And boy howdy is the food good in Melbourne.

I’d move to Melbourne if the opportunity arose.

Australia and New Zealand are like siblings who fight but really love each other.

Everyone here has tattoos.

There is no one “look” for an Australian person, but I can usually tell a local.

Sydney has the most tourists. Then Cairns.

There are loads of Asian people here. Mostly for school. This also means that the Asian food is super legit and delicious. 

Except for the sushi. It's almost all cooked fish, with weird stuff inside. Like tuna fish salad rolls. 

It is completely normal to hear at least five languages while walking down the street. 

I’m not sure what they think is cool or beautiful or interesting. After a month being here. In Cairns, I pointed out a ridiculously, magically, gorgeous rainbow to someone passing by, and he might as well have patted me on the head like I was a child and said, "Good job!"

Public spaces are used, and used well.

I rarely hear people say “G’day.”

They do say, “How are you going?” Which is probably just as weird as “How are you doing?” to most foreigners.

There are no homeless people.

Things close early.

Sydney is the Los Angeles of Oz. Brisbane is Seattle. Melbourne is San Francisco. By culture, not weather. Our East Coast doesn’t have any parallels here as far as I can tell.

They recycle.

“Ta” means thank you. So does “Cheers.” So does "Thank you."

It’s safe. Like, really safe.

People lock up really nice bikes with really chintzy locks and bike theft seems rare.

Secret alleys with unmarked shops are trending. Annoying to find, but way cool when you do.

They advertise free wifi like we did in San Francisco in the ‘00s.

They walk on the left. Just like they drive. No matter how many times I tell my brain to do this, I am pre-programmed to walk on the right. I have received many an annoyed look while doing this. Sorry, mates. 

Orion is upside down here.

The Southern Cross constellation is on the Australian and New Zealand flags because it's the only constellation that cannot be seen in England. (As told to me by a Kiwi.) 

To be continued...