Posted by: HipsterSpinster | July 23, 2009

In Other Cross-Cultural Goofs

I’ve been gone for a while, busy on research and just enjoying the city. But some fun experiences prompted me to get back to the travel blog.

What gets you the most about traveling international and the little things, the small differences in pronunciation, spellings, terms, and products.

Exhibit A:

Today I was asked to head to the store and get a binder and tabs. In America, the standard is a three-ring binder, so you pay attention to barely anything else. Well, here there are a variety of two, three, and four-ring binders, all in varying sizes. I grabbed a four-ringer, epic fail, I need to two.

Exibit B:

Pizza is a stable to the general American cuisine. We have grown confident in our idea of variety. There’s the basic options: pepperoni, sausage, cheese. Then there’s the upgrade: supreme, meatlover’s, veggie. Then there the “specialty”: Vegan options, extra toppings, Hawaiian Pizza, BBQ chicken pizza, dessert pizza. And let’s not forget the ever debatable crust options. And gourmet is a whole other, expensive option altother. It’s a pretty simple, no fail system.

Well here, pizzas are much fancier. The “standard” options here are:

The Aussie (bacon, egg, ham) – yes they like their breakfast taste apparently

Capricciosa (ham, mushroom, olives, (optional anchovies)

Hawaiian (ham and pineapple)

Margherita (mozzerella and oregano)

At most places BBQ chicken pizza is also a regular, and there are tons of sauce options other than tomato.

Most pizza shops are listed as “gourmet pizza bars” and even the simplest pizza is like a work of art. There are also wood fire pizzas, but it’s not quite made the same as back in the States. I checked out a place near me called Crust. It was one of the few places where I saw a “pepperoni” on the list that wasn’t thick slices of pepperoni salami. It tasted great, but man, it was still pretty intense for a pepperoni pizza including: Pepperoni, Spanish Onions, Fresh Capsicum, Ground Beef, Olive Tapenade & Garlic. Packs a lot per slice.

Exhibit C:

A friend mentioned they were heading to a “Bucks Party”. When I told him I had no clue what that meant, he said it was the groom’s version of a “hen’s party”. For clueless Americans like myself, he meant a Bachelor and Bachelorette party.

Exhibit D:

Words are just different.

Capsicum = Pepper
Who cares about shrimp, here the bigger and sweeter Prawns are king.
Chilli often refers to a sauce rather than our American dish
Organization = Organisation
Flavor = Flavour
Center = Centre
Fortnight = Two weeks
Jumper = Jacket
Tucker = Food
University and College are NOT the same thing
Words are shortened: Breakie (breakfast), headies (headphones), Uni (University)
Rubbish = Trash

Exhibit E:

Someone asked me how long I was here, and I said “just for the summer”. They thought I was staying until January-February.

Posted by: HipsterSpinster | July 12, 2009

Into the Bush

Our program arranged a “bush” excursion for us this weekend to spend time with a speaker on Aboriginal culture, and experience some non-tourist nature. It was quite the experience. Read More…

Posted by: HipsterSpinster | July 6, 2009

Things are going pretty good.

Since I already wrote about this on my other blog, I’ll just send you there for the good news.

Posted by: HipsterSpinster | July 5, 2009

Born On The Fourth of July

Okay, so no, I wasn’t born on the Fourth of July, but yesterday I had the opportunity of celebrating the 4th here in Australia, and I must say it was the best one ever. There’s nothing like celebrating a holiday in a place where it doesn’t exist with new friends. Read More…

Posted by: HipsterSpinster | June 28, 2009

Zoo Day!!

So today was a Sunday well spent. My roommate called out from the kitchen, “By the way, I’m leaving for the zoo in 20 minutes”, and that was reason enough for me to get up and get the day started. We headed to Central Station, bought our tickets and rode the train to Circular Quay Read More…

Posted by: HipsterSpinster | June 25, 2009

Tips for Overseas Travelers #1

As noted in the previous post, there are a lot of things to get used to when finding oneself abroad. General ‘culture shock’ is enough of a mental hangover, but once that settles there are other things that one must be weary of, such as medical needs. Read More…

Posted by: HipsterSpinster | June 23, 2009

Cultural Differences

I have been in Australia for about a week now, and It’s interesting how a place that seems so familiar can be so different. I mean when you imagine Australia, you think of the outback, but when you imagine the people, you see a culture that speaks the same language as in the states and comes from a British-colonial history like the States. But it is definitely a different place in a lot of ways. Read More…

Posted by: HipsterSpinster | June 20, 2009

The Nightlife

So today was my first official “night on the town” and all I can say is that it was an interesting peek into the Sydney nightlife. Read More…

Posted by: HipsterSpinster | June 13, 2009

Notes from Flight 2

After a delayed flight, nearly losing my jacket, and a Skype conversation with the parentals, I am now headed to LA. What’s funny is with the time different, we left Dallas/Fort Worth around 7:20 PM to arrive in LA nearly three hours later, at 8:15. We are literally moving through time. It was sunset as the plane took off, and a mere 20 minutes into the flight, we are traveling through mid-day sunlight as we head west.

There is a group of students onboard from People to People Ambassadors. I noticed them at the terminal gate all decked out in burgundy polos, P2P lanyards, khakis, and tennis shoes. I am sitting with two of them now in (once again) the last seat of the plane, directly in front of the bathroom. That’s right, I get to dodge the bathroom crowd every few minutes all over again. the kids in my row are from Illinois and Indiana (go figure). Anyway they seem pretty cool and are headed to Australia as well. They’ll be touring the city from north to south, starting in Cairns.

Anyway, that’s all for now. The big flight is left!

    Curious “Sky Mall” Products for Sale:
    *Stairwells/ramps for pets
    *Rechargeable Pool Vac (that just sounds dangerous)
    *Garage Parking Stops (they literally want you to pull into a parking garage, pick the spot you want to park in, get out of your car and place that mats down where you want to park your car, and then get back in your car and drive over the mats for the perfect park)…
    *Flip Fins (Tagline: “Walk Normally Wearing Your Snorkel or Scuba Fins)…

Posted by: HipsterSpinster | June 12, 2009

And We’re Off

Well, I’ve started my journey and I’m currently onboard my first flight of the trip. I can’t complain so far. Looking out the window and seeing little puffs of clouds reminds me of what I enjoy about being on a plane.

After giving the parentals hugs, back up hugs, letting them watch me go through security, and giving them that final glance/wave, I headed to the gate. It was only a 10/15 minute wait, and I’d seated myself right between a group of middle-aged friends. Two of them were heading to Texas for business, while the other two friends they ran into were on their way to destinations with their families. It was pleasant hearing them joke and catch up.

I turns out I ended up on the last row of the plane, which meant the engine was (loudly) right out my window. There was a couple with a baby diagonal from me and a mother-daugther pair seated beside me. Oh, and yes, I was right in front of the bathroom. I am really glad I decided to bring an mp3 player on this trip.

Anyway, we just reached 36,000 ft and apparently it is 93 degrees in Dallas, but since there are thunderstorms around their as well, we have to re-route the plane a little. I still will have plenty of time to grab some grub.

First Flight Songs:
“Tuesday” e.p. hall
“the most trustworthy tin cans” Maps & Atlases
“Head to Toe” Kings of Leon
“Where Nobody Knows” Kings of Leon
“Nothing Worth Keeping” Chemic
“Wigger Street” Away With Vega
“Velvet Snow” Kings Of Leon
“big bopper anthems” Maps & Atlases
“Everyplace Is A House” Maps & Atlases
“Oh My Mama” Alela Diane
“Witch” Maps & Atlases
“Candle Spirit Leave” Grampall Jookabox
“Boom Boom” The Animals
“Higher and Higher” Jackie Wilson
“Rainbow Connection” Dave Davison & Laura Stevenson
“We Used To Vacation” Cold War Kids
“Take Me From Diamond Head” Grampall Jookabox
“Pigeon” Maps & Atlases
“england lives” husband&wife
“Please Come Back” Catfish Haven

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