Cultural Gulfs

Ok. So I admit that I was one of those people, despite warning, assumed their would only be really minor differences between Australian and English culture. In a lot of respects, I was probably right however there are a large number of subtle differences. For one, my accent is amusing to these people. That kinda sucks, but I guess it doesn’t surprise me.

The value of currency over here is still difficult to grasp. When you do some simple conversions in your head, you find some consumer goods like tooth brushes are way too expensive for what you’d expect to pay in Australia, whilst non-important things, such as alcohol (debatable) are actually slightly cheaper than what you’d expect to pay in Australia. Did I mention they also sell alcohol at supermarkets? Speaking of which, walking into a British supermarket is also disorienting. They seem to sell everything, their aisle formats are so different, and its basically a mission to find any brands that you’ll recognise (with the exception of major brands like Coke). That being said, I feel uncomfortable about not knowing where the UK sources its milk. I shall have to look into that.

I’ve also noticed people in the UK have this tendency to run a lot. What shocks me, is that pedestrians here aren’t very safe, I’ve noticed very few looking both ways crossing the road, they just run, in front of cars. Furthermore, their is a massive lack of safety mechanisms, such as zebra crossings, and those button things that we’d have in Brisbane, and even when you do see them, the Brit’s still leg it across the road.

Despite being here only 2 days, I’ve had plenty of awkward moments, but I guess it’s all part of the fun. One that comes to mind is offering to place one of those dividers between your goods and another persons on a supermarket conveyourbelt. In Australia, some people won’t even bother due to the small amount of goods they have, or they simply don’t feel the need. Here, it’s an absolute social expectation, so when I offered to do this for a gent behind me, he seemed rather shocked and irritated that I had to make an offer. Oh well.

Finally, I’d like to say the fish and chips here are amazing. And one of the people who served me looked like Noel Gallagher.

Stay classy Australia,

Tom