Thursday, May 7, 2009


Next month we will celebrate our two-year anniversary in Australia, and that's made me think about how I'm starting to lose some of my American ways.  Examples:
  • I no longer know what time it is back in the States (in any time zone). I used to think about it constantly, but now depend on my computer to figure it out.
  • I no longer need to convert the temperature to Fahrenheit.  In fact, I know that a max of 25 C is 'perfect,' and that anything below 12 C will require a jacket. I don't even know what those temps are in F, but I could compute them if you want me to.
  • Occasionally we come across some celebrity gossip from the States, and I am surprised about how many of the new 'celebs' are people I have never heard of.  I am not sure what "The Hills" is all about, for example.
  • I phoned a friend today back in the States and accidentally slipped into the conversation "nappies," "cot," and a few other Aussie words for which I momentarily forgot the American equivalent.
  • I now pronounce 'tomatoes' the Aussie way when I order a sandwich at Subway.
  • I regularly use my $1 and $2 coins these days.  This took a long time to master.
  • When the seasons occur (e.g., referring to winter in June) is starting to make sense.
  • I was listening to our voice messages from our American number, and was startled when I heard someone with a Georgia accent. That's one I now rarely hear, if ever, here.
  • I am starting to greet co-workers and friends by name when I see them--this is one of those amazing aspects of Australian hospitality that has taken me way too long to reciprocate.
I still diligently follow the news from America (probably better than I follow Australian news). I don't know if that will ever change. And we still subscribe (via iTunes) to three or four American TV shows, including "The Daily Show," so I haven't completely forgotten my cultural roots. But, who knows. Maybe a year from now I will actually care about who wins the Logies.


Aussie passerby said...

Very interesting... forgive my ignorance, but what is the American equivalent (or, from what you say, absence of the equivalent) of greeting co-workers and friends by name? Surely Americans do this too?

Danielle said...

Happy Aussie Anniversary! We're going back to the States in June, and I am seriously worried about not remembering the American terms for some things after I couldn't think of what I would have said for "Woop Woop".

K 'n B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K 'n B said...

Really like your blog! Fun to read about your assimilation experiences - we're just coming up on a year, so not quite as assimilated. Happy anniversary!

The Prof said...

Passerby: No, with the possible exception of the South, I have not lived in places in America where people say, "Hi, Eric" nearly EVERY time they greet you. It's usually "Hello," "Good morning," and "Howdy" (in Texas) without mentioning your name.

Danielle: Thanks for the congrats. We are also going back to the U.S. in June. I hope your trip goes well.

K 'n B: I don't understand why you don't live in Queensland, given your partner's interests in QLD flies! I would be happy to give some to you for free!! Anyway, happy first anniversary to you, and thanks for stopping by...