Sunday, January 25, 2015

Misconceptions about people from Australia [Guest Post]

Did you know, that starting tomorrow, those of us in the northeastern part of the United States are going to be plagued with a snowstorm of epic, potentially historic proportions? Yeah, I'm not super looking forward to that. And in fact, I say we just pretend like it's not even actually happening. To help distract us from our impending doom, let's shift our focus instead to a part of the world that presently has a far friendlier forecast: Australia.

Cue Karrine from Momentary Reality. She's an Australian blogger, and she's here today to tell us all about her native land. Specifically, she wants to correct some of the misguided assumptions people sometimes have about life down under. Here's Karrine:

Hey everyone! My name’s Karrine and I've dropped by today from my blog Momentary Reality to address a few of the misconceptions people have about Australians (and thanks so much to Christy for allowing me to do so!) . I should mention first up that, yes, I am indeed an Aussie and that I have traveled the world enough to have been asked about or had commented on all of the misconceptions listed below. Even just this past Christmas my sister had her American boyfriend come and stay with my family and it was especially interesting to hear his perspective, expectations and notions of what his first Aussie summer would entail.

Ok, onto the misconceptions (as interpreted by me, of course)…

#1 - We all love vegemite.

[Editor's note: If you're unfamiliar, vegemite is a popular yeast-based, vegetable spread]

Ick! I cannot stand vegemite. I do not eat it on my toast every morning. I do not pack it in my luggage to take on overseas trips. I do not crave its (very, very, ridiculously) salty flavour. In fact, I do not think about vegemite at all, because I do not eat it… EVER!

#2 - We ride kangaroos to school.

I don’t even know where to start with this one. Have you seen a picture of an average kangaroo? And how exactly do you propose that thing shall carry my weight!?

Look, here’s the deal. If you come to Australia expecting to see Kangaroos absolutely everywhere, think again. You’ll be hard pressed to find a kangaroo anywhere near Sydney (besides the zoo). However, in the small coastal town I live in (about a 6 hour drive south of Sydney) we do have plenty of Roos out roaming the streets and eating the grass in the backyard. Have I ever touched a kangaroo? No. They are not pets, they are wild animals. They remind me a lot of the deer I saw whilst in America, as we spend most our time just trying to avoid hitting them with our cars. Also, some of us eat Kangaroos. Yes, they are part of our national emblem, but the meat tastes good and is one of the healthiest meats to consume. I don’t eat it often but I do eat it.

#3 - We all live at the beach (and it’s always hot and sunny there).

I am one lucky Aussie who did grow up at the beach and my parents currently live in a great house with a perfect view of the ocean.But, for most of the year, I live in our nation’s capital Canberra (tell me you knew it wasn’t Sydney, please!?!). We live in all different areas here in Oz, coastal, rural, desert and even snow in winter. Australia is so often portrayed as sunshine and bikini weather but we DO get winter. If you’re expecting year round Summer be sure to head to the north of Queensland for year round heat.

#4 - We are all tanned, blonde, Miranda Kerr-esque goddesses.

Now I think about it this misconception is probably more England-based than American. You see, we have these two long running soap operas that Australia is particularly well known for in England. ‘Neighbours’ and particularly ‘Home and Away’ portray Australia as having endless sunshine and there being no need to own a jumper (aka a sweatshirt), as well as suggesting that every female ever born in this country was genetically blessed with an olive complexion, blonde hair and a fit bod. Just like the rest of the world, Australians are all different. Luckily, differences are what make life exciting.

#5 - We say the phrase “Throw a shrimp on the barbie”

Prawns. We call them Prawns. I have never used the word Shrimp in my life, so please don’t ever let me hear you use this phrase in a terrible Aussie accent ever again!

Thanks, Karrine, for spreading the word about these hilariously common misconceptions about people from Australia! To follow Karrine, you can do so HERE

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