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What things do people from Australia miss most when they go abroad?
I lived in Orange County, CA, 1999–2002. Tell you what I missed. Yes, this will overlap with Vadim Berman.
- Food. Vadim begged not to get started, I will. Yes, it’s my fault for not cooking; I did myself permanent damage through three years of US takeout. In particular:
- Subtle pasta sauces
- Human-sized portions
- Coke that tastes like acid instead of cough syrup
- Obscure food
- Tim Tams
- To counter these: Australian ice cream was crap 15 years ago, and you can’t get decent Mexican in Australia. Taco Bill’s does not count.
- Come to think of it, getting decent Mexican was too much of a challenge in Orange County too.
- Rudeness. Yes, people in Australia are relatively relaxed and carefree. They are also far more British than they realise, reserved, and do not talk to randoms. (Foreigners coming here diagnose this as cliqueishness.) So no, we do not like it when people assume we do.
- I was heartily sick of being told “Hey How Ya Doin'” by randoms any time I ventured out the door. I dreaded going into the SuperShuttle and being chatted to by Americans. Do I know you? No? Then leave me alone already.
- Which is why, two years in, visiting New York was an epiphany. Finally, a place where I can be shoved by passers-by in the street!
- Absence of religion in the public sphere.
- Absence of flags in the public sphere. (Tony Abbott was in my future at that point.)
- Non-toxic politics and unnoticeable culture wars. (Tony Abbott was in my future at that point.)
- Having Australian accents on the TV not sound weird.
- Seeing people walk around to go to places.
- Human sized shopping malls.
- Weather. At all. (I was in SoCal.)
- Public transport. At all. (I was in SoCal. SoCal buses do not count.)
- Australian humour.
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