What is a ‚typical Australian‘?

Have you planned your Australian trip down to the last detail? Have you highlighted the best tips in your travel guide? So you’re set and ready to go? But do you know what sort of people the Australians are? What to expect? Or have you always wondered what a ‚typical Australian‘ is like?

Surfer

I’ve lived in Australia for ten years now and am married to an Australian. Over those years we’ve often chuckled about the little and the big differences in culture and day-to-day-dealings. Today I would like to introduce you to the ‚typical Australian‘. If you have any more ideas, please leave a comment.

The Australians

  1. are a very relaxed nation.
  2. live by „Don’t worry, mate, you’ll be right!“
  3. ask „how are you?“, but don’t really want to know about it.
  4. wink at you and don’t think anything of it. It’s more like a „Hello“. They are happy to greet strangers, too.
  5. say „Please“, „Thank you“ and „Sorry“ so many times, that I’m often unsure if they actually know what for. Often they find the Germans rude, as we don’t use those words so many times. So please practise your „You’re welcome!“, „Thank you!“, „Please“ and „Sorry“ before you start your holiday and use it at least twice in one sentence and you should be right.
  6. don’t like to adhere to rules and get very creative in getting around them.
  7. are not very punctual. An unwritten rule is to get going at the time you were meant to be somewhere. Not necessarily different at work (depends where you work though).
  8. are a rather prude folk.
  9. don’t have ‚breasts‘ or other naked body parts on their tv magazine. And neither have they got groaning call center girl ads on tv. How lucky!
  10. know that you’re a tourist, if you a) lay on the beach in ‚winter‘ at 20 degrees or b) lay topless on the beach (big NO NO)
  11. sit in the sauna in their togs and get all embarrassed when you tell them that you sit naked in the sauna in Germany.
  12. have single shower cabins at the gym and are afraid that you might „look something away“ (probably a very Denglish translation)
  13. love scuffing either in a) thongs in summer or b) Ugg Boots in winter. Ten years ago I thought, no way, they can’t go shopping in their slippers! Now I’ve heard that Ugg Boots made their way to Germany. What!? You’re all leaving the house in Australian slippers! (note: they wouldn’t go in „German slippers!“)
  14. drive on the left side and however they like (see point 6). The kids learn driving from their parents. Hallelujah!
  15. drive everywhere by car, even as close to the soccer ground as possible (no joke)!
  16. think the Freeway is called ‚free way‘, because you can drive however you like. (Someone actually said that to me once).
  17. are only allowed to drive up to 110 km/h.
  18. don’t know how to merge. You have to be really careful! It always ends up in a traffic jam – a phenomenon! It must be related to point 14. If the parents can’t do it, the kids have no chance. Or is it related to point six, just trying to upset the crowd? Who knows!?
  19. love fast cars. I still haven’t figured out why. You sit in a Porsche and you can’t really enjoy it. How frustrating when you know how much fun it could be!
  20. love their 4×4, even if they live in the city.
  21. don’t like push bikes on the road.
  22. hail the bus and say ‚Thanks mate‘ when they get off. I think that’s a really nice gesture! I’ll try it out on our next Germany trip and I’m already looking forward to the bus drivers‘ confused face.
  23. often have up to four kids.
  24. take their kids to swimming classes from only six months old. From about two they learn freestyle. (note: this is unheard of in Germany)
  25. can name their kids however they want. There are lots of different spellings for every name. We had a couple in our antenatal class that made up a name of the letters of their names. It was some tongue twister! What a lucky child! 😉
  26. are proud of their country and love celebrations (in particular Australia Day).
  27. are unsure when the Queen’s Birthday is. There is a public holiday called „Queen’s birthday“ and it’s on a different day/or different months in the different States.
  28. get the Monday off, if a public holiday falls on a weekend. What a great concept! (note: The Germans will be very jealous right now)
  29. don’t have an ‚identity card‘.
  30. don’t know ‚Gemuetlichkeit‘, there’s not even a word for it – ‚cosiness‘ would be the closest, but doesn’t quite do it.
  31. stack as much food as possible on their plate instead of taking seconds.
  32. eat breakfast in the morning, then at ten they have moring tea (a sweet snack), sandwiches for lunch and about 3pm some afternoon tea (somewhat like morning tea) and dinner is the main meal. (In Germany lunch is the big warm meal).
  33. love their Vegemite. A love that I just don’t get! A salty, yeasty spread with a horrid smell! If anyone opens the jar in our house, the lid goes back on straight away. I’ll stick with Nutella!
  34. made barbequeing a national sport. The bigger the bbq, the better!
  35. are sandwich kings! No one makes sandwiches as good as the Aussies! ;o)
  36. scrunch up the ham at the deli so badly that it is almost unrecognisable – not very appetising (but eatable)
  37. are big fans of the Asian cuisine. Yummy!
  38. are in two minds about having a hot or cold Xmas dinner. Lots do a bbq and/or have seafood and others like their warm turkey out of the oven. The traditional Xmas ham finds its‘ way into everyone’s heart (or better tummy) though.
  39. eat their Xmas meal with paper crowns on their head and tell each other jokes out of the traditional Xmas cracker.
  40. make birthday cakes so colourful that you wonder as a German if it’s even edible.
  41. are able to make a very yummy cheese cake even without quark (note: that’s the main ingredient in German cheese cake)
  42. like chips with the weirdest flavours, salt and vinegar, chicken and are big fans of dips and crackers. Tzaziki is a dip here. Every time I offer it at a bbq to go with the meat the Australians are a little taken aback. (note: you haven’t tried your meat with tzatziki yet? Well, it’s about time!)
  43. don’t have to pack their groceries when they go shopping. So relaxing! (note: in Germany you have to bring your own boxes/bags and pack everything yourself)
  44. will say „It’s been raining for weeks now!“ after a couple of days of rain.
  45. don’t have a gap in their bed. (note: The Germans usually have a mattress each, so a gap in between)
  46. piss themselves laughing when they see someone in ’normal swimmers‘ (note: Tony Abbott wouldn’t have a problem in Germany!)
  47. think you’re not allowed to be cold if you’re German in Australia.
  48. usually don’t have a heater nor double glazing – so it can get quite cold in winter.
  49. don’t move house with their kitchen, their curtains, blinds and lights. (note: yes, yes, yes, the Germans take it all and they also have to paint the walls either before moving in or when moving out)
  50. often have roaches which doesn’t mean they are dirty!
  51. are not really into politics. Elections are mandatory, otherwise you would probably not get them off the beach.
  52. don’t dress up for the casino and the races. You can easily get in in shorts and sandals. I was so disappointed the first time around.
  53. they make one exception and get really dressed up for ‚Melbourne Cup Day‘.
  54. are really into gaming. Horse races, dog races, car races . . . where there is a bet, there is an Australian.
  55. celebrate their birthday on the weekend closest to the actual date or when it suits them best. In Germany it’s meant to be bad luck to celebrate beforehand.
  56. are happy when you remember their birthday. It doesn’t matter if it is two days before or three weeks after. They are just happy that you thought of them. (note: in Germany you could be in real trouble in either case)
  57. pay for the birthday person, if they chose to go to a restaurant. (note: in Germany the birthday person would usually pay for everyone)
  58. love dress-ups. Not just kids, adults as well!
  59. have a rather ‚quirky‘ dress sense compared to the Germans when they go out.
  60. often have really pink bridesmaid dresses. As you often have six of them next to each other, sun glasses are a necessity. 😉
  61. only need to get married once. (note: in Germany you have to get married at least at the town hall and that’s always first and then you can get married in a church)
  62. are rather short compared to Germans.
  63. love everything you can do outside, particularly sports.
  64. love lycra cycle gear. There are only few that ride their bikes for fun. Mostly they look like they are participating at the Tour de France.
  65. are crazy for rugby and cricket. Soccer is not quite up there.
  66. don’t have to become a member to play golf or tennis and it’s rather cheap. It’s great! And the golf places can have such beautiful views!Golfplatz
  67. can laugh about themselves.
  68. show their teeth when someone is taking a picture. They don’t look as serious as we Germans. (It took some courage and years of practise!)
  69. are world champions in abbreviations. (darling = darl; afternoon = arvo etc and every name gets shortened or you just get a new one)
  70. enjoy travelling in their four weeks holiday and even far away.  In contrast to us Germans they are used to travelling far and the costs involved and the long journey.
  71. don’t take themselves too seriously. Lots of them have studied, but you won’t find it on their business card. It only seems to matter for doctors.
  72. are very helpful.
  73. do loads of voluntary work (without pay). Hats off to them! They are all so keen to volunteer at sports events, that there are often more volunteers than jobs. That didn’t happen in Germany for the soccer world cup, if I heard that right!?
  74. organise a good old sausage sizzle for any good reason.
  75. are very big hearted people.

Wow that’s a long list describing the ‚typical Australian‘, that went quick. On the whole the Australians are kind hearted, fun-loving people who are up for anything, in particular if it happens outdoors. When you prepare your „Please“ and Thank you“ for the trip to Australia, almost nothing can go wrong anymore.

Just be mindful ‚Keep your eyes on the traffic‘ and „Don’t worry mate!“

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5 Gedanken zu „What is a ‚typical Australian‘?

  1. In dieser umfangreichen und interessanten Beschreibung des typischen Australiers erkennt man auch andere Nationen wieder; z.B. die „Pünktlichkeit“ der Italiener. Deutsche sind in den letzten Jahren auch Grillfreaks geworden. Das mausert sich immer mehr zum Sport.

    Ich habe an vielen Stellen sehr geschmunzelt. 🙂

  2. Hey,
    wir sind zwei workband travler die auch schon in halb Australien waren. Wo hat es dich denn genau hinverschlagen? Deine Liste kann man zum Großteil schon nach einigen Monaten in down under bestätigen. Schau doch gerne mal auf unserer Seite vorbei.

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