If there’s one thing that characterises the way Australians speak, more than anything, I’d say it would have to be their use of abbreviations. Australians, or should I say Aussies, love shortening as many words as possible and it seems anything goes.
I first became aware of this while working with Aussies at a dairy farm. ‘Arvo’ would be used instead of ‘afternoon’, ‘preg’ testing instead of ‘pregnancy’ testing, and a calf born ‘premature’ would be called the ‘preemie’.
Once you become aware of it you start to hear these abbreviations everywhere, especially if you watch TV or listen to the radio. ‘Musicians’ are referred to as ‘musos’, ‘jelly’ is the word used for ‘jealous’, and I’ve even heard journalists call ‘politicians’ ‘pollys’!
Before I went travelling I had a plan, and that plan started with New Zealand. There was just something about the country that attracted me to it, the natural beauty of the place, the mountains, the unique landscape, the people, I couldn’t wait to get over there and see it for myself. I also thought New Zealand would be a good starting point for someone like myself who had never travelled before. The culture wouldn’t be much different and there wouldn’t be a language problem.
From here the plan was to step it up a bit and go to Asia, do some ‘real’ travelling as I thought of it. I thought that after 2 years travelling around New Zealand I would be craving something a bit more adventurous, I would want that extreme culture shock, to be put out of my comfort zone and experience crazy things. And this is exactly how I feel! But I didn’t follow the original plan and instead, I went to Australia. Continue reading →
If someone says the word ‘culture shock’ what do you think of? You would probably imagine landing in a country where you don’t understand a single word of the language, where there’s weird religions, different fashion, and strange food, where everything is totally foreign to you. At least that’s what I thought.
But you don’t have to go to a country with extreme cultural differences to experience culture shock. It can happen when you go anywhere, and in a way, can be even more confusing when you experience it because you never expected to.
When I first arrived in Australia I was excited and everything was amazing. The weather was hot, the bars were cool, the people were so friendly, and I liked the wildlife. But then as time went on, slowly without me realising it, everything changed. I stopped looking at things through rose tinted glasses and couldn’t help but become negative. Continue reading →
If you travel all the way from the UK to New Zealand it seems silly not to take the chance to go to a South Pacific Island at the same time. After doing a bit of research I decided that Samoa seemed like a good option. The country’s two main islands appeared easy enough to travel around and the flights, although not cheap, are cheaper than Fiji.
Chris and I arrived into Apia, Samoa’s capital, at 9.30pm on a Tuesday night. As we stepped off the plane and were hit by hot humid air we smiled at each other. Finally some hot weather! We collected our bags and went out to the arrivals area expecting to be met by a Kiwi man, Dennis, who would drive us to his accommodation. However, Dennis was nowhere to be found and instead, there was a row of Samoan taxi drivers all fighting for our attention. Continue reading →