I’ve got roughly 3 weeks of Australian life under my belt and I felt it would be good to share my experience thus far.
I’m pretty sure I live in a zoo. Every morning I wake up to the sounds of chatty birds. In the middle of the night I hear what can only be described as the sounds of a nightmare in a broken straw. Giant bats trying to take my life. Daddy Long Legs who think they’re my roommates. And a whole lot of flies that do not understand the concept of personal space. Below are a few of my new friends, enemies, and frenemies. Click the name of the animal to hear and see what I’m talking about. (In parentheses is my own name for them)
- Australian Magpie (Morning Wakeup Call)
- Australian Raven (The Broken Kazoo)
- Brushtail Possum (The Midnight Sounds of Horror)
- Flying Foxes (No. Just no. NOOOOOOOOOOO.)
Just call me Anijah Thornberry.
If you don’t get that reference you’re too young for me.
People and Jargon
I love Australians. Sincerely. They’re chill, friendly, and ultra helpful. Sarcastic humour is their strength and they love my American accent 💁🏾. But somehow, even though we both speak English I’ve gotten lost in translation. I thought us Americans were the ones who truncated the English language the most, but Australians have this down to a science. Here’s some Australian lingo and pronunciations I’ve had to adopt so I won’t get made fun of:
- Rego (reh-joe) = Registration
- Banana (buh-nah-nah) NOT (buh-nan-uh)
- Iced Coffee = Coffee with vanilla or chocolate ice cream
- Arvo (ahr-vo) = Afternoon
- Cream = Heavy whipping cream (Do not ask for coffee with cream, you will get weird looks and a crazy tasting drink. Learn from my mistake. Half and Half is not a thing here.)
- Bacon = It ain’t bacon. It’s Canadian Bacon. AKA chewy lies.
- Heaps = Nothing new with this word. It’s just used A LOT here. Or should I say, heaps.
- Esky (es-key) = A drink cooler. I cannot tell you how long I suffered in silence and thirst trying to figure out where this mysterious esky was when I went to a Thanksgiving party in Brisbane.
- Togs (tohgs) = Swimsuit. How Sway?
- Ute (you-t) = A pickup truck. Once again, how Sway??
- Aggro (ag-grow) = Someone/something that’s aggressive
- Capsicum (cap-sic-come) = Peppers. Red, green, yellow, ya know? Also… How.
- H (Haitch) = This has probably been the hardest thing to remember. I keep thinking people are in pain or saying someone’s name. But they’re just saying the letter “H”.
I promise I tried to study Aussie slang before I arrived here, but you can’t fully prepare for everything.
Food and Drinks
Delicious. Decadent. Dazzling. The food in Melbourne is incredible, it’s an unearthly experience nearly every time I eat. Whether it’s a sandwich, a salad, a potato, a bagel, some dumplings, A CUP OF COFFEE. They put their WHOLE foot in it and I am grateful. Also, so many avocados, or should I say avos. Avos to your heart’s content. They put it on everything and it’s the greatest AND they’re mad cheap to buy. BLESS. Bless the culinary angels who have graced the city of Melbourne, Australia. Excuse me while I morph into Violet Beauregarde.
Melbourne is a multifaceted city. I’ve spent my first few weeks just taking the train, walking around, and lounging in random cafes. As annoyingly poetic as it sounds, I feel like I’m breathing in a dream every single day. There’s art everywhere you look. The graffiti ranges from absolutely gorgeous to strange to brash, but either way it’s definitely dynamic. I’m having a hard time producing the words to describe how this place makes me feel. Simply put, I love it. Crazy animals, random slang and all. My heart is hurting that I’ll only be here a year, but who knows, maybe Moore Awaits…
Feel free to roll your eyes at that attempt to slide in my blog title ❤️