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Posts Tagged ‘barefoot’

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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.

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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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Thongs

No, not thong underwear. We’re talking about flip-flops or jandals.

Aussies love to wear thongs and have for over 50 years. According to Wikipedia:

“Thongs became popular in Australia after being worn by the Australian Olympic swimming team at the Melbourne Olympic Games in 1956.”

Even during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games closing ceremony, Kylie Minogue rode to the stage on a giant thong

When they aren’t going barefoot, I’ve seen Aussies wearing thongs everywhere Down Under, and this is possibly because roughly 80% of the population lives within 50 km {approximately 30 miles} of the beach. And keep in mind that you can get away with wearing thongs almost anywhere down here.

Single or double pluggers?
According to Urban Dictionary:

“The highest standard of thongs, these have two plugs though the sole on each side.  If the pair has only one plug through the sole, then they’re only good for showers.  With two plugs you can wear them out to dinner, to the pub, a wedding, a funeral…”

Seasonal attire?
Some Aussies would probably wear them all year, if they could. Even on one cold winter day in Sydney, which was about 10°C {that’s 50°F}, I saw a woman on the train who was wearing a pair of thongs. However you’ll more likely to see thongs worn in the Sydney-area from September through April at the beach and around town.

The brands:
· Havaianas
· TEVA
· Cobian
· Quiksilver/Roxy
· Crocs

There are more, but the most popular brand of thongs seem to be Havaianas.

Aussie Flag Thong

Aussie Thong Inflatable Pool Floaty-thingy

What do I think?
At first, it was tough for me to say “thongs.” I kept thinking of the “Thong Song” by Sisqo… I’m over that now.

I now own 3 pairs of thongs, which is also the total amount of pairs I’d owned in my entire life before coming to Australia, plus I have 2 pairs of terry cloth terry towelling thongs for around the house. I don’t like to wear thongs everyday because it’s bad for the feet, but I certainly have adopted them into my wardrobe. The pairs I own range from laid-back, just plain black or brown, to dressy, bedazzled with embellishments.

I believe I’m starting to fit in Down Under…

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Throw another prawn on the barbie...

Barbie, barby, bbq, barbecue, grill or whatever you want to call it, just like Steve Irwin and Vegemite, the barbie is an Australian cultural icon. Everyone I have met in Australia so far owns a grill {or two}, with it being at least a portable grill to take camping or to the beach.

A few things Aussies normally cook on their gas or charcoal barbie:

· Prawns
· Snags or bangers {sausages}
· Chicken {skewers, etc.}
· Steak
· Kangaroo {seriously}

Different types of fish and seafood can be added to that list, and it seem there are always onions and other veggies cooking on the grill as well.  I’ve even seen Australia-shaped hamburger patties {as seen below}…

Bring your own plate: 

At some barbecues, they’ll ask that you bring your own plate. This means you should bring a prepared dish of food to share with the host and guests.  Bring your own meat, unless asked not to.  Also ask what you should bring otherwise as well, like if you should bring a picnic blanket or camping chairs for yourself and your family.

Drinks:

BYO means bring your own drink.  It’s OK to just bring your own drinks anyway, so load up your Esky {Aussie for “ice cooler”} with your favorite favourite drinks.

· If it’s beer you’re bringing, bring at least a 6-pack.
· If you bring your own beer, it’s OK to go home with your leftover beers.

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Australia-shaped hamburger patties...

What to wear:

The chances of a family spending Christmas in their cozzies {Aussie for “swimming suits”} by the grill at the pool or at the beach is highly likely in Australia, so barbecues are not always meant to be formal.   Unless it’s supposed to be a formal event, wear whatever the weather seems to permit. Of course, you can add a little bit of some Aussie humor humour by wearing a terry towelling {Aussies say this instead of “terry cloth”} hat and some zinc on your nose à la Super Dag

Here is what you should plan otherwise:

· Bring your cozzie {swimming suit} and a beach towel along, just in case there is a pool or if you’ll be at the beach.
· Be “SunSmart.” If you’re planning on being in the sun, be sure to wear a sun hat and bring enough sunscreen for you and your family to use.
· Wear your sunnies {Aussie for “sunglasses”}.
· Feel free to rock up {Aussie for “show up”} to the party in your thongs {Aussie for “flip-flops“} too.
· Or you could just show up barefoot

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