Bizarre Australian Behaviour

27 Jun

The Age has an article up called “We’re a weird mob: Australians’ bizarre behaviour” that I obviously had to click on, just to see if all the things I think are weird were listed there. Some were, some weren’t, and the list contained a few things I have yet to notice.

I’ve definitely made fun of the Aussie habit of shortening all their words and the “bring your own food to a barbecue” habit annoyed me to the point of writing a whole post dedicated to the subject. (I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who finds this both weird and rude.) I’m also a bit confused by the fascination with meat pies drowning in ketchup. They don’t taste good and they’re not healthy. And having people always asking me, “How ya goin’?” has struck me as odd from the very first day I arrived here.

But so far, I haven’t noticed that people worship swimmers, get dressed up for races, or that Ned Kelly is considered a national icon.

I don’t find it weird that the Queen’s fake birthday is a public holiday, especially considering that there are no public holidays again until November, for Melbourne Cup Day. I do think it is weird that Melbourne Cup Day is a public holiday. That’s more weird than taking the day off for the Queen’s birthday, in my opinion.

I also don’t think it’s weird to complain about the rain in London, as London does have really foul weather that deserves to be complained about, even in summer, but I guess I find it more relevant at the moment to complain about the rain in Melbourne. I’ve barely seen the sun in the last month! (Today is an exception.)

Nor do I find it weird that people bundle up for winter. I’m a native North Dakotan and even I get cold here and bundle up. I don’t wear a heavy parka like some people do, but it certainly does get chilly enough to need a coat and gloves.

And the thong thing… when I was a kid, my mom had a pair of thongs. That is, flip flops. Only she called them thongs and that is what flip flops used to be called in America, too, until G-string panties adopted the term and flip flops became the more socially acceptable thing to say. I imagine Australians would find it weird that Americans use the term for underwear.

The sports and beer thing… well, that’s really not unique to Australia, so it probably doesn’t belong on the list.

In other news, there seems to be a major outbreak of chlamydia among koalas. I guess I won’t be trying to catch one after all.

5 Responses to “Bizarre Australian Behaviour”

  1. Cosette June 28, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I’m totally with you on most of these. It seems perfectly normal to celebrate the Queen’s fake birthday, complain about London’s lousy weather, and bundle up when it’s cold. I have noticed the obsession with swimmers, but I think it’s only because the Olympics are approaching and people are talking about it. I’ve heard that people get dressed up for the races, but I’ve yet to witness this because I’m not currently in Oz and I haven’t been to the races, but apparently it’s all the rage when the racing festivals begin. As for Ned Kelly, yes, I’ve noticed the love/hate relationship and iconic status. It’s really obvious at the Old Melbourne Gaol because he served his prison sentence and was executed there. I find it really weird they sell a plush toy of him. “This is exactly what I want for my kid, a plushie of a notorious killer.” I wonder who thought that was a good idea.

  2. Resa McConaghy July 1, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    The thong thing is an interesting observation.

  3. maggiemyklebust July 2, 2012 at 7:12 am #


  4. josephinedayco September 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    I haven’t met many people who worship swimmers, but I did notice how much they loved to cover the swimming events during the Olympics and talked it up as though it was the main thing. Guess you gotta celebrate something other than netball!!! Ugh, netball. Don’t get me started on that one.

    • housewifedownunder September 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      Or Australian rules football. Even the old lady next door is obsessed with that! I’m just like “Sports, ugh!”

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