Facing Australian Way of Living || My Culture Shock Experience

February 03, 2018

Hi all,

Before, let me makes a Disclaimer first:

All of the stories that came from this post is came from my point of view, as someone who lived at a small suburb at Melbourne, Victoria. The probability of different stories in other side of Australia is big, so I hope you understand and not generalize my stories to be one image of Australia.

I made this blog since 2009, but starting to be active updating it since I have my Australian boyfriend, and move here. So, please be considerate that almost all the stories in this blog about my Australian life. Because, that was the reason for me updating this blog anyway.

Before, I have lots of story about my travelling around Australia, and what did I do. First time eating Australian food, my struggle to be able stay here permanently (and still), and those kind of stories.

More less half year already stay in Australia, and I learned lots of new things in here. Because I came from Indonesia, which is have totally different culture from people here. Some I can accept it 100% some still makes me have to put lots of patient in it.

Let's break it down!!!

Strayan Language

Well, since I am able to speak English since in my fourth grade primary school, for me English language is not that difficult to understand.  At least if I speak with English speaking people, I could understand them. 

  • Accent
But, since we, Indonesian people used to hear American accent, just because our school and movie are based on American culture, so I, my self used to hear American way and slang too. Maybe some of us (including me) able and understand how to speak with more British accent. But, a British accent that we have more to Received Pronunciation accent, which is more common in London, or Harry Potter movie, or anchor at BBC. Even it is sound so difficult to understand to some people in Indonesia, but it was the common accent in Brit.

Talking about it, even I am able to speak with Received Pronunciation accent, but it also not helping me when I faced the 100% Australian talked with their Australian accent. In fact, my boyfriend sometimes mocking my Received Pronunciation accent.

Maybe some of people in my country (Indonesia) or you people outside Australia think that Australian accent more into British (what I mean British accent is Received Pronunciation accent). Oh well, that is A BIG MISTAKE.

In fact, even in Australia, they are have their own nick for someone who speak with British accent, they called it POMY accent. If you think they will nick my accent that too, nope, they wouldn't do that because my face is so Asian.

Even so, I think their accent IS really like British accent. For example, water, they speak it wotah.  My boyfriend too, even his accent is more understandable and looks like American way, but it's not quite American and not quite British too.

I think, getting to know their accent is an important thing, since my ear used to hear American and British accent, so it is a little difficult for me when the Aussie talked with their Aussie's mate with their Aussie accent.

I maybe able to understand my boyfriend's and his family accent, but I still find it is difficult to understand his children's accent. It takes me a couple second to understand they sentence. Really :(
  • Aussie Lingo
Aussie lingo is just only find at Aussie, I can tell you. None American or even British use this. that is why I am so confuse when they started to use their Aussie word.

For example, this picture, it sum up the Aussie lingo:
And, in conversation, they more like to put one or two Aussie words in it. Want to know Aussie's lingo? Just watch this youtube video from the real Aussie bloke:

But don't put it wrong, not all Aussie lingo is always put Aussie words. Like these blokes said, if you put all Aussie's words in one sentences, you will look like a bogan.

What They Do at Home

Once again, probably not all Aussie's doing it, but I have to adapt it hardly. Since I grew up in Indonesia, and our custom behavior is totally different. Some are difficult to adapt, some are easy.
  • Footwear inside the house

Like many Asian, I grew with the culture of "not wearing footwear inside the house". But it is different in Australia, and maybe some countries outside Asia too. But I couldn't stop being angry if my boyfriend came inside the house with his shoes on, while I just finished mopping the floor.

Even thought I keep saying take the shoes off while entering the house, but I couldn't just let this kind of culture off from my boyfriend everyday life. It is so difficult and took lots of patient too.

Actually, one thing that makes me less angry is in Australia, it is not everyday you clean the house. Unlike in Indonesia, we have to scheduled time for cleaning the house, everyday. In Aussie, the house will not easily get dirty in one day (note: this is not apply for they who have kids at their home). So it is not too tiring to clean the house. Sometimes i need three days or a week before I starts to clean the house.

And, cleaning the house is much easier, since they have vacuum cleaner. All Asian must know all of the Asian broom that their mother have, but this things isn't always at every house in Australia, unless you are come from Asian family. The positive of having the vacuum cleaner is you only use one vacuum cleaner for carpet and floor. The negative side is not all the corners at home can easily cleaned, and also the machine is quite heavy.

  • Kitchen with Complete Utensils

One of my favorite corner, kitchen. While in Indonesia, all kitchens in household placed at the back of the house, while in here is in the middle of the house. And while in Indonesia having a stove with separate gas tube (usually 5 kilos or 30 kilos) is something common, but in Australia you could find stove, oven, range hood and dishwasher machine attached at your kitchen.

And I don't have to worry about empty gas tube. Because in Australia, gas is like electricity and water. You pay to the company every month and you will have gas every month. Beside cooking, the gas can be used for shower and bath, tap water, and also home heater.

That is why kitchen is one of my favorite corner (beside bedroom), because I could cook or bake anything. Since it is so complete.
  • It Is NOT ASIAN Bathroom

Definitely not Asian bathroom style. No squat toilet, no bucket for fill the water, no spray water near your sitting toilet. And the toilet paper is only for your bum, not for placing at the dining table. Yes it is common bathroom in every westerner household, sitting toilet, shower and bath tub.

Of course I really enjoyed the bath tub, because it is so easy to find the bubble soap, and yes, bath bomb too. Which I couldn't do that back in Indonesia. Unless I stay at the top high social level class, or at least four stars hotels.
  • Supermarket
Ned Bet Commercial
Their self checkout technology, that I couldn't find anywhere at Indonesia is the fun thing for me. Even until now. LOL. And their supermarket is clean, their public toilet also clean, and it is complete.

Frozen food isle is my heaven. Since we are on budget, this isle is a great deal for us. I could find pizza, dim sim, fried chicken, until organic food in here. And, this isle also our savior when we are late to go for our grocery shopping.

Talking about late shopping. Coles and Woolworth are best for whom always have a little too late time for grocery shopping. They open until midnight.

Aussie Food

In general I have no problem with food at Australia. In fact, you could find lots of multinational foods here. Talking about Asian food, of course you could find Chinese and India restaurant around Melbourne. They could help me (as an Asian) to get rid the missing feeling for eating rice. But, do you know what the most food that every (real) Australian have at their pantries?

  • vegemite

Not a jam not a chocolate hazelnut too, but this thing always there at every Aussie's pantries. Not sweet, not sour, but it is delicious. How you eat it, just put a right amount of butter and a normal amount of vegemite at your toast. 

But don't you know, I like eat my vegemite on toast with peanut butter too. My boyfriend said that is weird, but I say it is delicious. 
  • weet-bix

Whole grain cereal with brick or smallest. You could eat it just like that, or mix it with milk. Usually this one is every kids favorite. I like it, especially when it have berry flavour and berry fruit in it. When I am on weight lost program, I ate this for my lunch, just one brick of weet-bix, or three if it come in the small shape. 
  • Kopi

Melbourne really famous for its coffee. It is so delicious. That is why I just only able to find starbucks at the city, not in a big suburb. Because their local coffee is so delicious. And cafe is everywhere.

One thing that I couldn't find in Indonesia. Australian make their home coffee mixed with milk. Just one tablespoon or two of milk in their cuppa... Just like Brit with their tea.

  • Very Care (or Spoiled) Government

As someone who came from a country that have not really good care from government to its people, knowing how care Australian government to its people makes me jealous plus a little bit irritated. In Australia, if you are Australian citizen, 18 years old, and not having a job yet, the government will give you money. Even it is not much, but for someone like me it is a little bit irritated. 

Plus point, you could able to start your life by that money, and starting planning for what you can do with that money. Minus point, for some it makes me them a little bit lazy, and their competition soul is not that strong. People like me, come to Australia, have to beat our arse hard to get the right visa, to work. And, back in our country, either we are 18 or 80, no government funding to help us. So we have to fight harder. 

The Australian government also care about a single mother. For example you have a baby, and you taking care of the baby by your self, and you are still not working, government will help you. In one case that happened around me, this young woman (she's not 20 years old yet), having the baby. And beside she get the money from government, she also get a money from the baby's father, and of course, because she living with her boyfriend, she have facility and also money too from her boyfriend. Again, it's a little irritate me. You don't need to beat your arse hard just to buy your baby milk. Compare to someone with the same condition in my country.. 

And the government also help the senior citizen. In this matter, I could understand. They also have village for the senior citizen called the retirement village. Which the senior citizen able to buy a house, with a helping fund from the government.

As an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you have right to get health insurance from the government, and the government also able to help your study, by paying something percent at your tuition.  

So, those are some new things I found in Australia. Some I could accept it 100% some I should learn harder to accept it, LOL. 

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