Posted by: dsduffy | June 3, 2009

More differences, still trying to get used to it all.

Today was a rainy cloudy day in Melbourne, and I am thinking that if this is Winter, bring it on. I was driving around with my windows down in the car, I think people must think I am looney, they are all bundled up, and it is only 13c (55.4f). I feel like a bad mom not making my kids wear winter coats and hats, but come on! It is not cold enough!

Some more observations today, about the differences that you would never think of having to deal with: at the deli counter, I still have no idea what to ask for when ordering (200grams?) I don’t know, but today I resorted to just asking for 8 slices of Swiss cheese and felt safe with that. I bought a magazine (think Better Homes & Gardens, AU version) and ripped out some recipes – this is hard too, they call for grams and milliliters of things, opposed to cups, ounces, etc. Clothing sizes (8 is the smallest for women, go figure that one out) shoe sizes (39 = 8, I think?) And the DVD’s? They only work in DVD players bought here, so all our movies from the US don’t work in the DVD player we bought here, although we also got a Blu-Ray player, and they do work in that for some reason. No big deal I guess, but when we go back, and we have all these DVD’s from here, they probably won’t work. Then there is the iTunes gift card I got for Christmas. I can’t redeem it because I still have an American iTunes account, and I cannot change my account to Australian until I get an Australian credit card. Oh the red tape, it can drive you insane.

What else? All the terminology, I had to ask what a “skip” was – it is a garbage dumpster – huh? This one is gross – I can’t figure out why people are still using handkerchiefs as tissues – EW. I saw a guy blowing his nose and then rolling this raggedy cloth up and stuffing it in his pocket, I wouldn’t want to shake his hand. I’m all about being green, but come on. ONE LAST THING: (I was reminded of this from another blog) I miss being served water at restaurants with ice. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, and in this case – a few cubes of ice floating in my water, as simple as it sounds is something I miss.

Figure this one out:  Father’s Day in America: June 21

                                  Father’s Day in Australia: September 6



  1. I’m with you- so much to get used to! They do sell DVD players here that play US DVDs. You just have to look for one that is multi-region. Where are you from in the US? Because compared to Southern California, Aussie winter is harsh! 😉 I’ve had enough rain for the year now, thank you very much. Seriously, it’s good to know others are going through the same things. I miss drinks with ice.

  2. Love this post! Would love to hear what other differences to expect when I arrive next month!

  3. I second the advice on getting a multi-region DVD player. I bought one for about $60 when on sale. It was an unknown Chinese brand with few bells and whistles, but it’s been very reliable. I’ve had it for about 4 years now.

    As for the weather, it’s a big country, so it will vary a lot this time of year. Queensland generally has beautiful winters. The worst thing about Melbourne winter is the constant overcast days with drizzle. At least if it’s going to be miserable, it’d be nice if there was some decent rain as well! Melbourne used to have a reputation as a rainy city, but the drought has put an end to that.

  4. Almost all DVD players are multi-region. Just, some are not m.r. by default. You need to look on the Internet and find your model and how to remove region codes.

    Mine was very cryptic but simple to do (involved pressing weird number combinations on the remote control)

    Very interesting blog, keep it up.

    By the way, South Africa and Australia seem to be quite similar in most respects so maybe its the US that is strange 😉

  5. I am loving your blog. So funny! I have had the exact same thoughts about skips and hankerchiefs.

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