Life Struggles of an Australian in America

This post was originally published on From Perth to New York City on October 31, 2013

By Phoebe Cameron

Making the move from Perth, Western Australia to New York, New York – I expected there to be a few differences, but some were more shocking than others.

1. TOMATO SAUCE VS. KETCHUP
No, tomato sauce isn’t marinara sauce, and no I don’t want to explain the difference between tomato sauce and ketchup to you.

2. DAY/MONTH/YEAR VS. MONTH/DAY/YEAR
An expected, petty struggle, but a struggle nonetheless.

3. REMOVING THE LETTER ‘U’ FROM WORDS
Words like colour/color, favourite/favorite etc. On my personal laptop no U illicit’s an angry red squiggle of incorrect spelling while at work the presence of a U brings that angry red line out. You just can’t win.

4. EXCHANGING MY S’ FOR Z’S
Memorize/memorise, customise/customize – another example of how to anger that little red line.

5. “BUT WHAT IS VEGEMITE?”
It’s nothing like Nutella or peanut paste – and no I can’t give a better explanation than that.

6. LACK OF A METRIC SYSTEM
Don’t even get me started…

7. PUBLIC TRANSPORT IS NOW A LEGITIMATE FORM OF TRANSPORT FOR EVERYDAY USE
So buses and trains aren’t only a way to get to a music festival and still drink? Huh…

8. TAXES
Okay. If I HAVE to pay it and have no choice (taxes) then just include it in the price – it’s a standard percentage anyway!

9. TIPPING
I just can’t get used to it…

10. “I’D LOVE TO GO TO AUSTRALIA, I HEAR IT’S BEAUTIFUL. BUT IT’S SO FAR AWAY!”
Yes I’m aware it’s a long way – I did the trip recently.

11. CILANTRO/CORIANDER, PEPPERS/CAPSICUM
Although peppers vs. capsicum is reasonably easy to remember, I still have to stop and think about Cilantro.

Got some others? Leave them in the comment section below! I’ll be updating the list as I encounter new troubles so check back periodically!

About Phoebe Cameron: Phoebe is a young marketer who started her NY life as an intern at a digital marketing start-up. She is now in the process of applying for an E3 visa to stay with the company as a full time employee.