Being a foreigner who came from a conservative Asian culture, moving to Australia was a big culture shock for me. From the accent to the culture, Australia is different in every single way possible. Here’s my first impressions of Australia when I first settled down here.
“Why do Australians have to shorten everything?” Was my first thought when I was speaking to an Australian. I was genuinely confused when someone asked me if I wanted to go to Woolies, which is apparently short for Woolworths. Or when someone asked me to meet them in the arvo (afternoon), or to go to a Bottle-O (Bottle shop) and basically any word they can shorten (with an O vowel at the end). It took me awhile to adjust to the lingos and even to understand the accent.
Australians Do Love Small Talks
When I was interacting with an Uber driver or a waitress here in Melbourne, I noticed that everyone here loves making small talks. I was at a café once and was paying for my food. I was pleasantly surprised when the cashier asked me “what did you get up to today?” as if she was my friend and totally not a stranger. After a few other restaurant experiences and uber rides, I came to a conclusion that Australians are generally friendly and love to get to know everyone.
The Drinking Culture
Australians do love their cheeky bevs, as how they would say it. My very first impression as I settled down in a residential college in Melbourne was that everyone was drinking to everything, anywhere and anytime. I was also baffled when I saw a box of goon, a 4L boxed wine with a tap, that was always available at parties. It is somehow heartwarming to see how this is how Australians bond and it is part of the culture.
Overall, Australia is a great place to settle down in. The people are nice, the culture is laid-back and work-life balance is existent. As a foreigner, I feel very welcomed and at home here in Australia although it took me awhile to adjust to the culture that I have come to love and embrace.