Going from cosily watching Netflix in a brand new apartment on the French Riviera to working in a farm and living in a tent in the Australian bush was quite a thing. As you do, I developed few weird habits that my friends back in France find… original. Here’s a little list of all the things you find totally normal when you live in the Australian bush !
Driving for hours
In France, going somewhere 2 hours away from home already means « going on a week end ». Here, you can easily drive few hours to go to a national park or to visit some friends for a day. Sometimes, you even find yourself saying « it’s ONLY 1000km from here ? ».
Checking your shoes before putting them on
Your little pair of sneakers, innocently left outside your tent for the night ? A 5-stars Airbnb for spiders and other bugs passing by. And yes – it works for rooms with aircon too !
Whacking yourself when something’s tickling you
When in doubt, you’d rather have the stuff touching you (whether it’s a leaf, a hair or a bug) dead or at least knocked out.
Paradoxically with the two previous points, living barefoot isn’t a rare thing. Actually, Aussies quickly make you comfortable with the idea of walking, driving or shopping groceries without wearing shoes.
Being warm in the North during winter
You should know by now that Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, therefore its seasons are opposite as the Europe ones : summer lasts from December to February and winter from June to August. In Victoria and Queensland, winter is still pretty cold (down to -1°C in the morning where I was), but in the Northern Territory, it doesn’t even exist. There’s only a dry and a humid season, when temperatures don’t go below 25°C during the wintery days. So being warm during winter in the North is totally normal here (and we don’t complain).
Taking shower with spiders
Staying at hostels or camping doesn’t only mean sharing your shower with strangers. Spiders live their life on the walls or ceilings, everywhere without you even caring about it. In fact, you practically live at their place.
Flushing before going to the toilet
You wouldn’t want to feel a frog on your bum while you’re doing your business, would you ?
Putting toilet paper on the toilet bowl
Usually, you’re not the one cleaning the toilets. Therefore, you don’t know who went before you, what they did and how they did it. I’m shivering right now.
Being extremely friendly with strangers
Greeting a friend’s friend, a cashier or your boss with a “s’goin’ on mate ?” isn’t rare in Oz. It’s rather common, actually.
Waking up to your drunk friends back home
They still have no replica clue that you’re 10 hours ahead them (“what’s the time there ?”), but you know you will listen to their drunken love speeches while having your Sunday brekkie. Same as they’ll have yours on Saturday arvo… :)
Using terms that other English-speakers don’t understand
Apart from the horrendous “C-word” that all moms hate, the Aussie dictionary is full of terms and expressions that would have an American or British fellow lost.
Earning $1000 per week
In a farm or in construction, if you work well you can quickly earn a good salary. At first, you feel like a prince-ss and after few months, you don’t even consider working for less than $700/week.
Everything is expensive
Well in fact, you never really get used to that.