Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Australia day 8 - back to Sydney

Day 8
Travel day back to Sydney! Here are some differences between Australia and the US:

Airports. We can go through security with a bottle of water or diet coke if we want. No big deal. They have metal detectors. We don’t have to take our shoes off. But they do ask that we put computers in a separate tray. And people are randomly selected to be wanded for traces of explosives. They have this wand with a cotton looking piece on the tip and touch you all over with it. Then they stick it in a machine that reads the results. Sure wish the US would do that. Much less humiliating and stressful.

Luggage cart at the hotel is called a trolley. So are shopping carts.

A baby stroller is called a pram.

Restrooms, both public and in a home are called Toilets or Loo. Most public signs read Toilet.

Parrots fly wild here. There is a spot along the Swan River where a bunch of parrots fly to for the night just before sunset. They make a ton of squawking too.

Driving on the left side of the road is freaky! I almost got hit by a car because while out walking I forgot and looked the wrong way before crossing the street.

Traffic signals have noise indicators for those who are sight challenge.

Drive on the left, walk on the left, up escalators on the left. Just like here was drive on the right, walk on the right, etc.

Qantas is an acronym. The flight staff is super friendly and just as professional.

Starbucks didn’t catch on here in Australia. There are a few, but not many and certainly not on every street corner or in every shop.

So far we have watched the following movies on the plane: Horrible Bosses, Larry Crown, A Day in Life, Page One, Beginners, and others.

Cream = our regular milk

When using your debit card say credit. Then you will be asked if you want pin or sign.

Always carry an eco-shopping bag with you. Some places will charge you for a plastic bag and if you don’t want to pay, and don’t have an eco-bag, then you carry out your merchandise in your hands.

Shopping malls are called shopping centers.

They might say reservations essential instead of required.

Transportation is called transport.

Laundry room is called the laundry.

Casual does not mean wear jeans.

Trying hard to get used to Celsius, the metric system, cheers instead of hello, and love as an endearment like sweetie or honey.

They have a $1 coin, a $2 coin, and the other coins are much larger and heavier than our US currency.

Australians speak much slower and less enthusiastically than Americans.

Americans are called Yanks.

We could not find any place, restaurant, coffee shop, etc. that offers free wifi like what we have in the States.

Pay phones are still found in the streets. In fact, while it’s normal for us to have more than one PC in a home, all members of the household to have a cell phone, a kindle, ipod, etc. but an anomaly in Australia.

ATMs are located on the streets like the old days, not in a protected area accessible only by your debit or bank card like it is in the States.

Australia has been a country only since the early 1800s and does not have the history the US has. It may have been inhabited for centuries but the country did not evolve the same way the US did. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any sites to see or historical monuments. Like most things, you have to make your own trip.

Elevators are called lifts.

Perth is the windiest city in the world. Windier than Chicago.

Take away = take out (as in food)

Yummy = delicious

No wash zone = no wake zone (boating)

Chemist = pharmacist

Speed hump = speed bump

Clear away = tow zone

Give way = yield
Mind your step = watch your step

Fortnight = I have no idea but the dictionary definition is 14 nights.

There is no such thing as refills on your drinks in a restaurant. You pay for another soft drink if you want another.

Rubbish or little = garbage

Note = dollar bills, paper money

Entrée = appetizer

Main = your main course and what we call the entrée. In fact, everything is a la carte. So your salad, veggies, and fries do not come with your main; you must order that separately. Also, your salad will come with your main, not before. Australians eat salad as part of the main, not to break ones appetite like we do in the States. Even more interesting, you do not have to tip the wait staff. They get paid plenty. You may tip if you want to but it’s not necessary. Also, you might have to wave your wait staff to the table; they do not necessarily check on you throughout your meal like they do here.

Boiled egg = poached

EVERYTHING is expensive in Australia. But they get paid enough to afford it. The conversion rate is almost dollar for dollar; actually $1.10 USD for every $1 Australian; so we lose money shopping there.

Voucher = coupon

Duty free is not always cheaper. A bottle of perfume I like cost $175 in the duty free shop; I can get it for $125 at Dillards at home. Go figure.

Our tipping and tax structure is very confusing to Australians visiting the States because $5 means $5 to them. The receipt will show you how much of that $5 is tax but you are paying the price on the tag and nothing more.

They play American music everywhere! Usually 70s-90s. Didn’t recognize anything from the 2000s and up. Even the bands cover American music.

Just to name

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