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Archive for the ‘First Impressions’ Category

LOL

“Say what?!”

I have returned to the United States to live now, for good (but who knows where else life might take me). I left Australia with an opportunistic purpose: to be closer to family, to build my future, and simply to just be. The opportunity came to me when a trip coming home for a visit also offered work, help from family and friends, and simply put — why not? I loved living in Australia, and I have nothing really bad to say about it there. I just wanted to be back in my hometown and give it a try, and it’s working! I’m happy about my decision and highly motivated to make the best for myself.

But there is that re-entry shock that I’ve been going through…

LOL

“Not Kim Kardashian! Again!”

What is re-entry shock, you ask? Click here. Wow, I hadn’t lived in America for 11 years! So much has changed, yet so much remains the same. What are those things which haven’t changed? Well, actually Americans would be heavily offended, if I told it all here (which I will eventually, but in tiny doses). Having lived abroad for so long, 7 years in the Netherlands and 4 years in Australia, my eyes literally were opened far more to how the world really is, and what America is to the world, and most Americans who have never lived abroad (you American travelers will never understand it either) won’t and can’t understand what I’m talking about, even if I simplify it. Experience alone is the only way that you will understand. Our American views on war even, we Americans are sheltered from what is really going on with fluffy, sugar-coated yet fear-induced news coverage and whatever political reasoning that we are offered. We’re always told various things which justify it, like how it’s a “humanitarian effort.” Ha. 

I prepared myself for this re-entry here back in the U.S.A., though… 

LOL

“Oh no, you didn’t.”

Oh yes, I did. I knew what to expect. As an American, who grew up in this culture and already understood it, and I knew full well abroad what my own view of what being an American was and often had to be some sort of ambassador for us (oh joy, the anti-American comments that I so frequently heard), but let me assure you that only a few things about me has changed. I’m just more aware now, but I still appreciate what we have as American citizens. So, to help me cope with the re-entry adjustments, I combine what all I’ve learned living abroad, as well as the good cultural habits that I’ve formed and learned from both the Dutch culture and Australian culture. It’s called cultural syncretism.

Syncretism is combined separate concepts into one new, different and unique idea. Cultural syncretism is when two or more cultures are blended together and create a newer custom, practice, or philosophy. Cultural syncretism occurs for many reasons, such as immigration or relationships within groups, and it results in one finding ways to blend these new customs into their own customs.

The things that I’ve taken with me from those other cultures:

• I allow people to share their views with me, without debating with them. I want to hear your views and welcome it. How it differs with the average American: put an American Democrat and an American Republican into a room alone together and give them only the opportunity to discuss politics, and watch them boil at the mere thought of what the other is saying. Hilarious, really. They can’t just sit there and hear each other out without finding a reason to get upset, and they begin preaching at the other for thinking the way that they do. They’ll try to change the other person’s opinion in that one discussion, instead of just listening and learning from each other.

• I’m more open to other ways of doing things. If it works for one group, then that’s great. It makes no difference to me if you’re Mormon, Catholic, or Muslim, or even simply what your ethnic background is. I won’t judge you. I never did that anyway, but now I stand more firm in my beliefs.

• I’m more aware of just how racist we still are in America (sad how it remains here, really), but I’m also more educated about our own American history and how racism here actually began. I learned more factual information about our American history while living abroad. From foreigners! Lots of people abroad know more about us than you’d think, and 98% of the people that I interacted with daily, especially at language school in the Netherlands (Iraqis, Iranians, Somalians, Serbians, former-Soviets, etc) and they rarely, if ever, had a bad word to say about Americans. Most just disagreed with our foreign policies. 

Dear Americans, our school history books do not share with us sufficiently our own history. As a matter of fact, we are taught a very bland yet pumped-up and smoothed-over version of what really happened in America since day one. If you’re curious as to what I mean, read the book Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen. Really, do read it. If you think you know everything about our country, you should give that book a whirl. Actually, everyone around the world should read it because then you’d understand us better.  

LOL

“What the… Americans aren’t all spoiled rotten, ignorant people?!”

Anyway… Since I’ve been back in America, here is a short list of things that have made me laugh at my own culture…

1. Medication commercials. Full of, “Ask your doctor about _______. If you take _________, you could experience side effects such as chronic diarrhea, bloody stool, migraine headaches, thoughts of suicide, diphtheria, typhoid, small pox, memory loss, extra arms growing out of your back, death and/or dismemberment” — I’m just joking about a few of those, but you catch my drift. Actress Blythe Danner even shows up in one ad promoting Prolia. Not that that is a bad thing, Blythe plugging a prescription medication. It’s just there are so many medication ads, and it’s almost silly after never seeing any on TV abroad for over a decade. And then there are commercials about your possible participation in law suits against some former medications/surgically inserted medical devices which have caused physical complications.

2. White teeth. WHITE teeth. Scary-not-normal-human white. It’s almost an obsession. All sorts of products are available… Check out your American TV commercials and watch their teeth there and on the news because actors and American newsanchors have some of the whitest of the whitest teeth. Creepy, really.

3. Weight loss commercials. All types. Drink shakes/smoothies, pills, Weight Watchers/Nutrisystem/Jenny Craig (with celebrity endorsements)… Just eat better and get a little bit more active. Funny note: as I write this, a Nutrisystem commercial came on my TV, followed by a Little Caesars pizza commercial plugging their deep-dish pizza with its crust all wrapped up in bacon. Seriously.

4. Dominos, breakfast cereal, et al commercials on TV after 11pm. It doesn’t baffle me anymore why some people are obese here, apart from the other unfortunate factors like thyroid problems or low-income forced diets and lifestyles. 

5. Nearly everyone is obsessed with terrorism over here. That’s terrorism in itself. Like they’re waiting for it to happen and just obsessing over it. Even loads of American crime TV shows often base the episode on the topic. Score: Terrorists 1, Americans 0. I won’t go into the media’s constant coverage of things that make Americans panic. Of course, the media never follows up the news story with information about “why” it is or could be happening. No, that would educate people too well and cancel out the panic-domino effect, making the news story therefore unnecessary. 

LOL

“My oh my oh my…”

7. Free pop refills in fast food restaurants… Cut. It. Out.

8. A small fraction of the country actually gets it that our “freedom of speech” is not necessarily so, on TV and the radio; everything is edited by the FCC, so our “freedom of speech” is not really entirely “free speech.” Rated-R movies are played regularly on normal TV in the Netherlands and Australia without editing them, but they play them after 9pm, when your child should be in bed. Similarly, radio stations play the artist’s original song, and not a radio-safe version. 

9. Most Americans can only tell you that they have a “Constitutional Right” to bear arms, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and to plead “the fifth.” Anything else from the Constitution? Nope. Not even the Preamble.

10. Sex in America is very taboo, which is why I feel it’s so heavily flaunted all over the place in America! I feel that the Netherlands handles anything related to sex better than both the U.S. and Australia.

LOL

“Crikey!”

And what about Australia? What do I miss, what do I not miss, and what do I take from that culture? Well, I’ll cover that soon…

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G'day Mate!

“Welcome to Australia!”

In Australia, as well as a few other countries around the world, this Tall Poppy Syndrome is in full effect. I experience it so often, whether it is happening to me or to others.

What is “Tall Poppy Syndrome?” According to Wikipedia, and numerous other sources online,

The tall poppy syndrome (TPS) is a pejorative term primarily used in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and other Anglosphere nations to describe a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.

Australia and New Zealand’s usage of the term has evolved and is not uniformly negative. In Australia, a long history of “underdog” culture and profound respect for humility in contrast to that of Australia’s English feudal heritage results in a different understanding of “Tall poppy syndrome”.

It is good and bad, but it’s ridiculous, and it exists. Nothing we can do about it. But, in my opinion, on many occasions people around me here in Oz, it seems to my observant eye, have used this syndrome as an excuse to treat someone who is or has succeeded at something great to make them feel like dirt. I’ve seen it on most occasions as a cynical and sarcastic way to make someone feel less. It seems ignorant. Jealous. Wrong. Holds people back. Maybe not Aussies, but I don’t know… It’s the only thing that I feel “wrong” here, but I know that I judge it on a whole based on where I come from, where such behavior is seen as demeaning or antisocial. I accept it living here, of course, as I am aware that this is their country and culture, and it is not mine, but it still boggles me after already four years of living amongst it. I don’t get offended when an Aussie knocks me down (I instead chuckle inside at them).

I just think that Aussies should be proud of who they are, whether their success is something personal, family-orientated, or something that the whole world could become aware of. You’re proud of your Olympians, pro-surfers, and the Socceroos, aren’t you? You don’t have to go all “American” about it, but my goodness. Just smile and know you could be inspiring something great in someone else. Or don’t. Whatever.

The old adage “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” comes to mind. Just like how I did in the Netherlands, where “Dutch directness” is king or queen. So, like how I had adapted to the Dutch with their directness (I lived there for 7 years, so I had to!), I can’t knock them. Not necessarily, although it seems like I am. Why not? A fair go, as they say here! Like I said, I’m not of this culture and can’t change it. I just observe it. But I witness things and it seems odd, this behavior given by an Aussie to a fellow Aussie. For example, recently a friend was so pleased, sharing about their promotion at work, as they’d worked hard to get from the bottom to somewhere that they were happy within the company. Everybody wants that. But… So those around who played the Tall Poppy-card on my friend should’ve heard from my friend retorting something to knock them down as well. Something like one of these examples would’ve been brilliant:

• Promotions go to those who are skilled and deserving in all areas at work — Hey! You got a promotion recently, but I just saw you yesterday not putting your dirty dish into the dishwasher in the lunchroom. Isn’t there a sign there above the dishwasher, in English, asking that all employees are responsible to care for their dirty dishes? Does lunchtime not apply here for your highly skilled employment? (Could add: And I know so-and-so could your job better than you, and they take care of their own dirty dishes in the lunchroom.)

• How long have you been working here and without a promotion? (LOL)

• How about when you receive accolades here, we all not just speak to you for a week? Sounds cool?

Many internationally-known Aussies have even had to face it. Sadly. Golfer Greg Norman and Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Ian Thorpe are a few off the top of my head. Rock bands like INXS have even had to endure it, playing down their international fame to fellow Aussies. In the book The Final Days of Michael Hutchence by Mike Gee, Mike interviewed INXS band member Kirk Pengilly in 1997:

MG: Talking about The Divinyls, they did better in the US than most people are aware of.

KP: And that was always the way with us. I think we always did way better overseas than the average Australian was aware of. Probably because we were always trying to play it down a bit for fear of the tall poppy.

MG: It’s ridiculous, this syndrome.

KP: It’s the English heritage, the English are very much like that too. They’re very much into that tearing success down. It’s weird, you know. America’s the complete opposite.

So Aussies, do you feel it is necessary to carry on your old tradition of Tall Poppy? If so, why? Or if not, why? If yes, can you name a good example for why Tall Poppy Syndrome is necessary? Or are you just cool with it? If no, would you please remind the next knocker you witness that they could be just as good as the Tall Poppy? Help stop the silliness…

After four years (actually, I noticed after only being here during my first day!), I know Australia is very Americanized. Sadly. Good for people like me, but not so thrilling for Aussies, I can imagine. Is this another possible answer for why Australians wish to cling to this Tall Poppy Syndrome?

In the meantime, well, I’m just going to sit back and watch Aussies tear each other down. Good on you, mates!

And are Aussies proud of their Aussieness to at least some degree? They are. Again, good on you, mates! If they should claim that they’re not (many have complained to me that Americans “have too much pride in being American”), just take a look at this example of the back window of this car that is parked next to me while I write this! These Aussies seem proud of who they are:

Southern Cross & Australian flag

Southern Cross & Australian flag

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Dance Party

Bucks & Hens

No, not a bunch of Bambi-like bucks and funky little lady chickens boogying away at a party, but men and women celebrating their upcoming nuptials. These bucks and hens parties Down Under are very similar to bachelor and bachelorette parties in America. Bucks and hens parties in Australia usually last for a whole weekend. The Best Man and the Maid/Matron of Honor Honour usually help with planning a bucks or hens party for the groom and the bride, but the bride or groom can feel free to plan their own.

A typical bucks party for the groom

The guys get together and, depending on styles and tastes, the festivities may last all weekend. There is something for everyone to do together: Fishing, surfing or even skydiving. They might travel to get to the location{s} where the festivities will be held. Here are some of the ideas:

· Road trip — A weekend away in the mountains for snowboarding/skiing or at the beach for surfing and partying. What they’ll be up to depends on the group of guys, really…

· Casino — Vegas-style. Can go all night. Or all weekend.

· Golf — 18 holes thrown in somewhere during the weekend. Dads and grandpas might join in on this part.

· Steak — Meat. A man and his steak dinner… From the barbie or at a steakhouse.

· On a boat — This could involve staying on a houseboat for the weekend for fishing and water sports, or taking an evening cruise on a party boat in Sydney Harbour.

· Limo — Have someone else drive them around. In style. So nobody is drinking and driving either.

· Alcohol — And loads of it, if that’s what they prefer. Sometimes drugs are involved as well, depending on the group of guys.

· Clubbing — Either going out clubbing or renting out the VIP room of one of the hottest clubs in town, if this is their style.

· House party — They might hire a house for the weekend, somewhere away from the bride and her group. This is where most of the festivities will take place, while the evenings are often spent in the city at clubs.

· Stripper{s}/Topless Waitress{es} — Oh, but of course… Much to the chagrin of the ladies normally, this seems to be an element of nearly all bucks parties. And hopefully this is as far as it will go.

A typical hens party for the bride

Similar to what the bucks are up to, the ladies get together and the festivities may last all weekend. There’s something to do together: Pampering, shopping and/or… even skydiving. They also may travel to get to where the festivities will be held. Here are some of the ideas:

· Pampering — The ladies will take a whole day to indulge in getting manicures, pedicures, facials, hair styling, massages and more. If they can afford it, they might do so at a day spa.

· High Tea — High tea is like steak for the ladies. Moms Mums and grandmas are usually along for this part of the celebration.

· Road trip — A weekend away of relaxing on a beach, being pampered during the day and partying all night.

· Clubbing — As with the bucks party, the ladies will go out but often in some form of a dress-up/costume theme. Most of the hens I’ve seen are just wearing a tiara and sash, but I’ve also seen some pretty extreme ones where they’re dressed-up {down} into sexy costumes, boogying away on the dance floor.

· House party — Same as with the guys, the girls might indulge in a lot of their partying at the hired home and then set out at night for the clubs.

· Limo — Have someone else drive them around. In style. So nobody is drinking and driving either.

· Alcohol — Lots of bubbly going around, but it all depends on the group of women. Drugs might also be involved, depending what type of group we’re talking about.

· Harbour Cruise — There are many types of party boats out there on the Sydney Harbour, just as an example.

· Wineries — I’ve seen a hens party tour bus stopping off at every winery in the Hunter Valley

· Stripper{s}/Topless Waiter{s} — I might be partial to this because I’m a woman, but I think that most of the women who throw a hens party will involve a male stripper only because their significant other is having the same activity going on at his party and she is aware of it while planning her own.

Typical places where the bucks and hens parties are held in Australia:

· Surfers Paradise/Gold Coast
· Night life: In Sydney this might be in Kings Cross or Darlinghurst
· Beach/Bush — Camping, skiing/snowboarding, fishing, or surfing getaways
· Byron Bay
· Wineries
· Cruises

Have you held a bucks or hens party of your own? Been involved in any parties lately? If yes to either of the above, what was the most outrageous/fun/hilarious thing that happened?

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© thingsaussieslike.wordpress.comI‘ve had to take a break from posting lately because I’ve been busier than ever. Australian immigration required that I leave the country again in order for my partner visa to be issued to me… It’s hard to explain it all in one breath — Here is what all I’ve gone through since the first day I arrived Down Under: I was here first on a 12-month tourist visa. When that expired, I had to go offshore and apply for my partner visa and another tourist visa. While the partner visa processed, I could return to Australia on my new tourist visa {only 6 months were granted to me} and await the partner visa. When my partner visa was ready, it could only be granted if I again left Oz… Are you still with me? Any questions?

Since there are no countries immediately bordering Australia that we could just drive to, my husband and I had become almost hopelessly broke from airfares/traveling fees & all of the visa fees. Thankfully Australian immigration also has finally allowed me to start searching for work now {I was not allowed to work on a tourist visa — Without an already existing & valid work sponsor down here, you can’t get a work visa if you’re over the age of 30}. But, with my sanity and humor humour still intact, I have also came across a slew of new & hilarious Aussie-isms — Some might make your head spin!

One evening recently, we had friends from “Vico” {aka Victoria} up for a visit. We decided to keep dinner simple: throw it all on the “barbie” {aka barbecue}. However, I kept calling the barbecue “the grill”. They started to take the piss out of me for this, to which I facetiously would say grill instead whenever possible. Where I’m from, they call it a barbecue, grill or even a Weber {Weber’s U.S. website even calls them “grills”}. Whatever, right? Down here you call it the barbie or the barbecue. A “grill” is what some homes down here have, if they have a stove “cooktop” and oven unit combination, or a “cooker”. You can also have a cooker {eg, a slow cooker} on your kitchen “benchtop”, or what I’ve always known to be a counter or countertop… Anyway, the grill is a separate cooking compartment above the oven. And the stove is not a “stove”, folks. It’s known as a “cooktop” by the Aussies. Thankfully a spoon is also called a spoon in the merry old land of Oz.

And now I’ve got my own car — I’m learning new words for parts of this car left and right! The hood over the engine of the car is the “bonnet”, the trunk is the “boot”, the windshield is the “windscreen”… And don’t forget that lights and bulbs are “lamps” or “globes”. Oh, and the flashlight in the emergency kit is a “torch”. Driving while sitting on the other side of the car {right-side drive in Australia} is one thing, but driving a manual transmission, shifting gears with your left hand for the first time, is another! Mostly all of the laws of the road are the same, but you’ll find much more roundabouts than in America. And pedestrians walk on a “footpath”, not on a sidewalk. They also cross at a “zebra crossing”, not at a crosswalk. You’ll also notice some streets are called “parade” {abbreviated pde} or “crescent” {abbreviated cres} — These are new to me. As for the fuel, if it’s not diesel, you can say you’re going to the gas station service station or the “servo” to get fuel or unleaded, but always make sure you specifically call it “petrol” and not gas or gasoline. “Gas” is LPG down here…

We’re also smack in the middle of renovations a “reno” in the home, so we’ve had to employ some tradesmen, or “tradies”, like a “sparky” {aka electrician}, a “chippy” {aka carpenter}, and a “bricky” {aka bricklayer}. Last, but not least, there’s the “poo man”… Can you guess which one that is?

A plumber. Seriously.
I would have reckoned a “plumby” or “plumbo”, but no…

Unless the plumber was also just taking the piss out of me, that’s what I’m told some plumbers are calling themselves here Down Under.  {I’ve double-checked with my husband and, yes, this is what some plumbers call themselves — As a matter of fact, he has a good mate who is a plumber, who also refers to himself as a “poo man”…}

If you have red hair {I don’t}, you could be called:

Ranga {short for orangutan} — Said rang-uh
Bluey {also what blue bottle jellyfish are called by the Aussies}

Don’t be offended — It’s normal here.

If you’re tired, you can say you’re “knackered”, “buggered”, or that you’re simply “stuffed”.

For those who are thirsty —

Wanna have some coffee?

“Flat white” = Similar to a latte or café au lait; a cappuccino also comes close, but the foam is dry instead.
“Short black” = This is an espresso, usually served in a little cup.
“Long black” = This is an Americano. It’s a coffee which is half-water with a shot or two of espresso.

Keen for a beer?

“Schooner” = Usual size of a beer served in a pub, it’s just slightly smaller than a pint.
“Pot” = Almost a half-pint of beer.
“Middy” = Same as a “pot”.
“Draught” = Draft. I’m always chatting away about this one…

Or do you fancy some fruity-type of drink?

“Cordial” = {note: some Aussies pronounce this “cordigal”} This is a concentrated non-alcoholic syrup. Most choices are fruit flavors flavours or are made from fruit juice. Before you drink it, it’s to be mixed with water, but it can optionally be mixed with club soda or alcohol. Kind of like Kool-Aid
“Squash”
= Similar to cordial.
“Lemonade” = It’s not American lemonade, which is made from lemons, water and sugar. According to Wikipedia:

In Australia and New Zealand, lemonade can also refer to any clear, carbonated soft drink with a primarily lemon flavor; e.g. a lemon-lime soft drink, such as Sprite. Culturally however, with a drink such as Sprite, the flavor is not recognised as “lemon-lime”, but just plain “lemonade”, although it is still the same flavor as its international counterpart. Other colored (and flavored) soft drinks are sometimes referred to by their color such as “red lemonade” or “green lemonade”, implying that “lemonade” is the clear version of its “flavored” counterparts.

I have put together a list of Aussie slang and Aussie-isms {I constantly add more to it too} on this page, if you want to see more.

Now if you thought that this was bad, you should make your next stop to the very lovely New Zealand, like we did. We went to New Zealand while my partner visa was to be issued and visited the south island. Upon arrival, we were told to get some crayfish in Kaikoura at “Nun’s Bun” — That would be “Nin’s Bin”, actually. Someone spelled a word out for me and said something like “hitch” for the letter H {for H, Aussies say haytch, instead of aytch}. That was awfully confusing for me, but I loved hearing the Kiwis {it’s OK to call someone from New Zealand a “Kiwi”} say “fish and chips” — It sounded like fwush-en-chups.

Here’s a sample of the dialect in New Zealand:

Another sort of Aussie-ism, Aussies like to take the piss out of the way that the Kiwis speak, so this video was quite popular with a lot of people Down Under.

Update 24 May 2012:

I’ve just begun reading this book called Boned by Anonymous — It’s an Australian book, based in Sydney. I have only just begun reading the prologue of the book and within 2 pages find that there are several words which you’d need an Aussie English to American English dictionary to help guide you. The words that you might need to look up there: short black, trackie daks, message bank, bugger, verandah, CBD, sculled…

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I made this for a friend:
Australians — Click on the image to see it full-size.

I recently accompanied a friend late one afternoon arvo to an open house, where she and several other interested buyers where viewing an apartment a flat in a suburb near the center centre of Sydney. With the real estate agent there to answer any questions, we walked through each room, passing other potential buyers who shared their thoughts and ideas about the flat amongst themselves. Some we passed in the rooms or in the hall, while some came for a viewing after we’d arrived. Some were dressed casually, while some were dressed in their work attire; business, tradesman/woman {Aussie: tradie}, and otherwise… And then there was a potential buyer who showed up barefoot!  He was wearing boardshorts {Aussie: boardies}, a short-sleeve shirt, and he had his sunglasses {Aussie: sunnies} on the top of his head. And a nice Aussie smile 🙂

Oh, yes. I’d heard of the barefoot Aussie! It was something that I had actually looked forward to seeing — This sighting at the open house actually had me in stitches, for it was the last place I thought I’d see it happen! At the supermarket? Yes, of course! That would be normal. Each neighborhood neighbourhood Woolworths {Aussie: Woolie’s} probably serves approximately 2 customers each day who come in sans footwear to buy milk, tomato sauce, and whatever other Aussie essentials needed on any given typical sunny, laid-back Australia day.

Since then, I have seen at least a dozen people walking around barefoot. I once saw a whole family walking through the parking lot to their car at Big W {not for shoes, apparently} in a nice, rural-area of Sydney like… Caringbah. Maybe they just came from the beach? I’m not sure… Typically, Aussies are more likely to be seen wearing thongs.

© thingsaussieslike.wordpress.com

I was used to seeing signs like this in America... I've not seen a sign like this yet anywhere in Australia.

Honestly — Not all Aussies walk around barefoot, but it is also not so strange to see at least one Aussie on a quick outing, eating a burger at Hungry Jack’s, or standing in line to pay for their gas petrol at a service station {Aussie: servo}, without their shoes on their feet.

More online about Australians barefooting it:
· Lost a shoe? Barefoot walking in Australia – via Mum’s gone 2 Aus.
· Why don’t Australians wear shoes? – via Yahoo Answers {awesome responses!}
· What it means to be Australian {#40} – via Only Melbourne.

What is your favorite favourite barefoot Aussie sighting? Have you tried walking around barefoot yourself? And, if you’re Aussie, do you do this too?

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Beetroot

Never in my life had I ever seen anyone eat beetroot so often — Not until I came to Australia. Also known as the table beet, red beet, garden beet or just plain beet, this delicious and nutritious veggie has been a staple in Australian kitchens for nearly 50 years.

There are many benefits one can get from eating beetroots. It’s not only a natural detoxifier and blood purifier, but it is also an excellent source of iron. Beetroots are also an antioxidant and are rich in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and B vitamins such as vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6 {source}.

Beetroot is often pickled and packaged in tin cans, sold more typically in this fashion in Australia, but the variety of ways that it is served in Australia is quite noticeable:

Dip: Beetroot dip is often found among the other dips at the supermarket. You’ll be safe to bring it with you if asked to bring any dips to a party because nearly everyone here loves it.
◌ Salad topping: Often I’ve seen it included in the ingredients of a variety of homemade garden salads here in Oz. Click here to see a few ways it’s used in recipes.
Roasted: Aussies seem to love roasted vegetables, especially potatoes. A few times I’ve had roasted beetroots served to me with horseradish and sour cream {similar recipe here}.
Risotto: Served with a chicory salad to balance sweetness, this is a very healthy and delicious comfort food.
Sandwiches: Good on a sandwich and great on an Aussie hamburger, which the Aussies call “the lot” — All about that here.


Do Aussies really love beetroots?
Yes. Check out this link, this linkthis link and this link to see the proof!

Does McDonald’s in Australia serve a burger with beetroot?
Every so often “Maccas” sells the “McOz” — As I write this, they are selling them again… I’ve never tried one because I’m not a fan of fast food places like McDonald’s, but here is a commercial with the burger:

I am in Australia and really would just like to try pickled beetroots. Where should I look?
The supermarket. One popular brand of pickled beetroots Down Under is Golden Circle, and with a selection of whole, diced, sliced and wedged beetroots you’ll be able to easily open a can and plop some into a dish.

Do you like beetroots?
I do, yes — Especially beetroot dip. But I’ve always like beets, so it took no adjusting for me… What about you? What do you think of beetroots?

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Beetroot dip!

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Bacon & Egg Roll

Within my first week in Australia, I was introduced to the bacon and egg roll for breakfast brekkie. Had I ever tried a bacon and egg roll in my life before coming Australia? Yes, possibly, but most likely not the way that it’s done Down Under.

More than just a cure for a hangover, the bacon and egg roll seems to me to be one of Australia’s favorite favourite choices in the a.m.

Aussies like to eat their bacon & egg roll topped with:
· Tomato sauce
· Barbecue sauce
· Cheese
· Fresh tomato slices or roasted tomato
· Or whatever you wish!

It’s simply just a few rashers of bacon and an egg cooked over easy, served in a bread roll. The best bacon and egg roll I’ve eaten here {so far} came from the Salty Rooster in Manly. The bread was just the right size and lightly toasted, and the bacon was perfect-o.

What seems to make a good bacon & egg roll?
It depends on taste.  I judge each by the bread/roll — I’ve had overly toasted bread, rolls that were too hard and/or too big, and I want for the egg to be at least slightly runny. I also judge each by the quality of the bacon — Is the bacon mostly fat, too greasy or comes out of the roll in one bite? I consider this to be not worth the effort of my shrugging off my diet for one morning…

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A bacon & egg roll at the Scarborough Hotel

Curious to try one too?
There are many cafés and takeaway places in Oz where you will find the bacon and egg roll on the menu.  In the vicinity of Sydney alone, I’ve probably eaten already more than a dozen at random places.

Here are some of the places {with my 5-star rating of each} where I’ve tried the bacon & egg roll:

· Ocean View Sandwich Bar, Dee Why ★★★
· Salty Rooster, Manly ★★★★
· Scarborough Hotel, Scarborough ★★★
· Zimzala, Cronulla ★★★★
· And, of course, McDonald’sMaccas” ★★

Each ★ is for quality of the bacon, the roll, the service and the overall taste.

Note: Some takeaway locations will charge you around 50¢ for each tomato sauce packet. Also several locations of McDonald’s has put barbecue sauce on my bacon and egg roll without asking me first. Not a nice surprise at 6 a.m. for the untrained bacon and egg roll eater…

Feel free to share here all about your thoughts on the perfect bacon and egg roll, as well as your favorite favourite bacon and egg roll experience Down Under!

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