AN Aussie’s first few weeks in London are typically spent wandering around in a bit of a daze.
Jet-lagged and probably hung over, you foolishly conclude “things aren’t too bad here, pretty much the same as home, I could do this”.
For the most part, there’s no language barrier, money’s practically the same and once you’ve landed a job it’s plain sailing, right?
It’s at this point, when you start to settle in, that you start to notice all the ‘little things’ that you overlooked before because you were dazed or hung over.
Failure to appropriately process and deal with these ‘little things’ can have devastating effects.
Effects such as accidentally buying Marmite instead of Vegemite at the supermarket or mistakenly greeting a colleague “you alright?” instead of “g’day, how are ya?”. In the most extreme circumstances, there’s a complete and total erosion of your ‘Australian-ness’.
What are the ‘little things’ that are blinding us from seeing things through the rose-coloured Aussie lenses that were comfortably affixed prior to landing at Heathrow?
I’ve included a small assortment of observations below, but I am sure you and your Aussie mates can add to it.
Don’t bother showing it to your Pommy friends – they won’t get it because these things have been a part of the fabric of British society for … well, probably before they founded our great land.
If you’re already aware of the ‘things’ listed then this article isn’t really aimed at you – sounds like you’re already taking measures to resist their impact on your ‘Australian-ness’.
But if you’re reading them and are thinking “ah … that happened to me” then you’re probably still vulnerable. Take action immediately. Go down to your nearest Walkie, skull a Foster’s and take a long hard look in the mirror. You may just be losing your Aussie-ness.
You may becoming a little less Aussie and a little more British if:
- YOU can instinctively type the @ on a British QWERTY keyboard instead of fumbling around with ‘shift 2’ which you now know frustratingly produces quotation marks.
- THE phrases ‘Mind the Gap’ and ‘alight here’ no longer seem a tad odd.
- THE Aussie twang starts to grate on you.
- YOU call soccer football and football AFL without cursing under your breath.
- YOU have joined the masses and sunbaked topless in the park when the temperature gets above 18C.
- YOU no longer grumble on a crowded tube.
- YOU expect miserable weather.
- YOU start to wonder where all the English people have gone in London.
- £1650 per month for a two-bedroom shoebox apartment in inner-west London is no longer exorbitant, but about right.
- YOU have stood in the aisles at a football (sorry, soccer) match and yelled random words to a familiar tune just so you wouldn’t miss out on what everyone else was doing.
- YOU have skipped away to Europe for a bank holiday weekend and not considered it a worthy enough event to tell Mum when she called to check how you’re going.
- YOU accentuate the ‘ie’ in unbelievable.