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Alright so total disclosure: I’ve been back from Australia for five years (lol, I know). But I found this list in my old drafts and it brought back great memories – and also I hear it was Australia Day recently – so I felt I should finally publish the draft!
10 Australian Things I Missed When I Moved Back to the States:
10. The nature
I felt so lucky to live in Sydney, where the sea and the beach and the incredible coastal cliffs were just a train ride away. And who could forget the Great Barrier Reef, the waterfalls and jungles up north, and some really breathtaking beaches (most of which I never saw)?
Koalas, anyone? Emus? Kangaroos? Alll the Aussie nature!
Man oh man do I wish we could ‘reckon’ in America. It’s so fun to have guesses about stuff all the time. Unfortunately it seems reckoning in the States makes you sound country, not cool.
8. Easy Way bubble tea
And Asian food in general. (Not a day goes by when I don’t wish we had steamed dumplings like they do in Sydney’s Chinatown. I dream about those dumplings!) I love how bubble tea was a casual thing, like you could just grab some before class at Easy Way, no big deal, and get your sugar/caffeine rush on. Here in the States, at least in the cities I’ve lived in, you have to seek out the authentic Vietnamese restaurants if you want bubble tea. Mmm I miss taro flavor and coconut flavor. And obviously the bubbles!
7. Tasty Cheese
As a friend once said in reaction to learning that “Extra Tasty Cheese” existed: ‘How much tastier can tasty cheese possibly be??’ For those unfamiliar with this product, Tasty Cheese is a type of Australian cheddar cheese sold in grocery stores around the country. Here’s the special thing about Tasty Cheese in comparison to American cheddar cheese: it’s not orange! It’s the rightful color of cheese: white-ish. And also, it’s pretty tasty 😉
You don’t realize how sillypants four-way stops are until you visit the land of roundabouts. It’s crazy – no one is confused about whose turn it is to go and traffic actually keeps moving!
5. A4 paper
So Australians (and the rest of the world) use paper that is actually a different size from the paper we use here in the States. A4 paper is slightly bigger than US letter size (8.5 x 11 in) and you can definitely feel it. How exciting it is to have more room to write things!
4. Sushi rolls uncut as a snack
WHY ISN’T THIS A THING HERE?! I remember you could just drop by somewhere and pick up an uncut sushi roll and tiny little dropper of soy sauce and just bite into the thing while on the train or bus or something, like a bag of potato chips. So cool.
Read more: Studying on exchange in Sydney FAQs and tips
3. Hey? at the end of any sentence
Australians get people to agree with them by adding “hey?” to the end of their sentences…For example, “This açaí bowl is saah delicious, hey?” It feels like we all agree on stuff all the time and that’s a nice feeling.
2. Tim Tams
If you were like me and brought home 9 boxes of Tim Tams from Australia, then you know. Those are some seriously delicious chocolate covered biscuits. I personally preferred the caramel ones because they reminded me of Twix bars that were socially appropriate to dip into milk, but the original and double chocolate ones were always good too. You can actually get these in certain places in America but, like my adored chocolate covered Digestives from England, they are a bit too expensive to be worth it. I don’t care how childish or silly it seems to want to do a “Tim Tam slam” – that stuff was good.
1. Free healthcare
Do I even need to explain?
I was sick in Sydney while studying on exchange, I went to the university’s clinic and swiped my student card, and I saw a doctor – no monies were exchanged!* It was the same situation when I was living in England and wow, is universal health coverage world-changing.
Well how’d I do? What did you miss after returning from Australia?
*Okay so looking back, it seems pretty unlikely that I was benefitting from Australia’s universal healthcare coverage. It must have been some sort of special clinic or maybe I paid something to Sydney Uni initially to be covered by student exchange health insurance? Hard to say, I truly don’t remember. Regardless, I miss free healthcare even if I’ve never actually experienced it!