You are here

Chicken Salt

February 27, 2013

Culture shock in Australia, yes it exists! One can actually experience such a feeling in Sydney. I have lots of friends who chose to study abroad in Spain, Italy, France and many more places. I knew they would experience an obvious shock once they got to these places. Mainly, they wouldn’t be speaking English as a primary language. That’s a huge shock within itself. I thought since I’d be speaking English that I wouldn’t be shocked as much. Like with a lot of things, I was wrong.

There are a crazy amount of different things here, starting with Australian slang. Apparently getting McDonald’s after a night out is a cool thing, which is kind of the same in America too I guess, but here they call is Macah’s (written exactly as it sounds). Fries are chips, ketchup is tomato sauce, and mustard is considered very American. Something called chicken salt is shaken on top of fries instead of regular salt,  which definitely makes them taste way better than any fries I’ve ever had. What was one of the most surprising things for me was the Australian style of barbecuing. No hamburgers, or hot dogs, or even a steak on the barbie, which I thought was so Australian (thanks Outback). Barbecuing typically consists of just sausage and some type of sliced bread. That’s right, no hot dog buns here! That is also considered, very American.

Other than the cuisine, there are heaps (Aussie slang for a lot) of different things in Australia. For instance, you drive in the right side of the car and left side of the road. The complete opposite of America. Your friends go for a quick brekkie, breakfast or for a nice lunch in the arvo, afternoon. All of these things are pretty simple to get used to. In fact, I think all of these culturally shocking things are awesome, minus one, the crazy amount of bugs crawling and flying around.

Back at home seeing a flying cockroach really isn’t a common thing, scratch that, seeing a regular cockroach isn’t a common thing. Here, they have become a part of the population. I thought all of the tales I heard of the giant spiders and bugs were myths, but I was wrong. I had my culturally shocking encounter with two cockroaches, not one, but two! I was ready to call it a night. My lights were off, I was laying in bed about to fall asleep when I saw a dark thing crawling on my wall. Yes, it was a giant cockroach. I couldn’t kill the thing, it was too quick. After about 25 minutes I lured it out of my room and what do I see, another one. I felt like they were challenging me! All I wanted to do that night was to go back home, but here’s the thing about culture shock, you adapt. In other words, you put your big boy/girl pants on and get over it. I didn’t … maybe after the 3rd or 4th cockroach I will.

G’day mates, wish me luck!

From Our Blogs

Jun 14 3:33pm

99 Problems and Money Guilt is One

by Christina

They say that money buys you happiness, but does it also tell you it can buy you guilt as well? Keep on reading to hear about my struggle of being stuck in the middle of learning to enjoy new experiences but also being constrained by the values from my Asian American upbringing.

Learn more
Jun 13 6:43am

A Week in Review

by Erin

Week one down- time to reflect. What am I learning? What was it like to anxiously spend my first week in Australia? Fair warning: this is a bit of a stream of consciousness.

Learn more
Jun 11 10:52am

Beauty & Barbed Wire

by Gwen

I officially have only a few days left in South Africa, and it’s a strange feeling. Mostly, I’m trying to figure out how to walk away from this experience.

Learn more
Jun 11 9:46am

Being a Sojourner in Granada

by Andie

Solo soy una extranjera en esta gran ciudad / Una cara nueva / Un acento raro / Y un montón de cuentos que no han empezado

Learn more
Jun 11 1:02am

Sweet Home Barcelona

by Caroline

Saying goodbye to Barcelona, reminiscing on my favorite trips, and some last pieces of advice for anyone studying abroad.

Learn more
Jun 10 7:43pm

"How Are You?" & Other American Habits

by Hannah

Reverse culture shock hits once again.

Learn more