20 days in Sydney, 20 things I’ve learned

It’s hard to believe, but today is my 20th day down under. Here are 20 things I’ve learned so far:

People say mate as much as you think they do.

Aussies are extremely laid back, probably because of the weather and the proximity to the beach.

Toilets do not flush backwards.

Ibis birds are common on campus.

The Great Barrier Reef is the only living organism that can be seen from space.

The Australian grading system is very different. The average grade is about a 68.

Bars are very strict. Some take your fingerprints before you’re allowed to enter.

There are no Australian pennies. Everything is rounded to the nearest 5 cents.

Boxed wine is known as goon.

Aussies don’t say You’re Welcome. They say no worries or that’s alright.

Not only do people drive on the other side of the road, but people also walk and run on the other side. The escalators are reversed too.

Everything is e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. With a capital E. Groceries are reasonable, but clothes, restaurants, and other shops charge very high prices. This isn’t so much because of the Australian dollar (which is closer to the American dollar than the Euro is), but it has more to do with our location. This is a very touristy area.

Australians don’t use the letter z (i.e. – authorise, categorise, localise).

There are no cell phones, only mobile phones.

Class discussions are known as tutorials.

80% of Australia’s species cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Australians tend to end sentences with an upward inflection, while Americans end sentences going down (unless they are asking a question).

Australia has twenty times more sheep than people. No surprise: Australia is the #1 wool producer in the world.

Energy is measured in kilojoules, not calories. There are 4.18 kilojoules in a calorie.

‘Coogee’ is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘smelly place,’ a reference to the dying seaweed on the beach.


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