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.


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