Australification – getting a hang of the Australian culture

G’day mates, how’s it goin’?

I am used to lots of things I knew I would get used to quickly and lots of things I didn’t think I would get used to at all. As well as things I never knew I would ever have to get used to to start with. Am I still making sense?

After living in Sydney for 3 months it has once again become abundantly clear how easy it is to get accustomed to stuff that initially made your eyeballs pop out of your head, comic book style.

First of all: I am at a point where I am pretty sure I have driven more in my months here than in all the previous years put together. I can proudly say that I no longer need a GPS system for most of my trips around Sydney and that the Harbour bridge and the cross city tunnels ain’t no thang. I am not even fazed anymore by the rediculous amount of beeping that goes on in this city. And not impressed by the pure rage that other drivers probably feel when I refuse to go 80 km/h over tiny winding mountain roads (I am still Dutch. We don’t do mountains so don’t get your panties in a twist).

I also don’t laugh as much about the weird sounds that birds here make. Nor am I shocked about the fact that there are pelicans and ibis and whatnot just flying around. I don’t freak out about the reptiles or the giant

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Blue Mountains Splendour

cockroaches (though the spiders still get me riled up). Furthermore, unfortunately nothing I will ever see in the Netherlands will be able to impress me anymore because nature here is so incredibly, undeniably beautiful that it makes me want to become a weird hermit that lives in some cave in the Blue Mountains (a cave with stellar wifi though, obv). And still… Even that nature can’t get me as hyped as it did the initial months. I can now say the word “thongs” when I mean flip-flops without feeling like a creep. I have stopped using body lotion since I know I will have to put onsunscreen at least once a day anyway, and I have become a hat person when the weather pushes me to. I don’t think it is strange anymore that so many kids here go to Catholic schools and am perfectly able to go along with the things the boys learn and believe in. In fact, I have gone so far as to hear myself angrily say “don’t use the Lord’s name in vain!” when Ol started saying the word “Jesus” when he got annoyed. (For the record: I was hysterically laughing on the inside when those words left my mouth.) I will take a snotty tissue from the boys without a moment of hesitation and don’t find it strange when one of them walks in wearing nothing but a Iron Man mask while he is wielding a lightsaber. I still love being able to just push button number one in the car radio and listen to Matt and Alex in the morning on Triple J, but it isn’t special anymore. I hear and say the words “no worries” more than I ever could have imagined and get why a guy in Melbourne told me that – pardon my French –  “Australia is the only country where mates are cunts and cunts are mates” it made perfect sense. Especially after the surf camp where both of those words were swooshing around all over the place.

Of course, some things are tough to get used to. For instance the fact that I no longer have my own appartment or house but share everything with the host family I work with. I mean, it has been 7 years since I have had to do that – I am no miracle worker ok? That one will take a bit longer, if it is possible at all. It is tough to be away from the people I love back home, but at the same time even that is something you can get used to. At least when you know you will see them again in not too long. And now that I have found some seriously awesome people to spend my free time with (partying, taking trips, surfing, exploring the city, melting on the beaches) that time feels like it is flying past even quicker. Not totally used to being up close and personal with kangaroos either, but that has to be a good thing – right?!

Oh, but I still hate Vegemite sandwiches. I am, after all, still human.


    • mm
      Steffie says:

      Thanks a million Loes! Teeheee, thongs…. Those strange Aussies and their slang 😉

  1. Roos says:

    So proud of you for the driving part! And you totally make taking care of those two sound hilarious and totally worth it. 🙂

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