Australia is the land of dreams for most migrant workers.
The country ranked 10th in the list of the happiest countries in the world, and why not? It is really a fantastic place to live in.
Of course, there will be a lot of things you’ll find that is different here and in the Philippines:
This is the first thing you will really notice. Australians are English speakers but they have their own kind of lingo.
Like, you might hear “arvo” meaning afternoon or good afternnon.
Or while buying food you might hear people looking for a banger (sausage), barby (Barbiecue grill), bikkie (cookie) or a cuppa (hot beverages).
Some fast food stores are called differently as well. Burger King is known locally as Hungry Jacks while “Mcdo” is nicknamed “Maccas” here.
So stop staring your new Aussie friend if he invites you for “a cuppa in the arvo near Hungry Jacks.”
By the way, they call their electrical outlet a power point.
The working conditions here are one of the best in the world. They have a more laid back culture and everyone seems to hate being stressed or to stress other people.
There would still be some work related stress but less than you may be used to, of course this is subjective to the kind of work you had back in the Philippines. Still, you’d often hear Aussies tell you to “no worries” or “no dramas.”
Shorter work hours are also possible without compromising productivity.
In the Philippines, we pay most of the bills, including rent once every month and we usually receive our salary at around the 15th and 30th of the month.
When you get to Australia, house rent is paid every fortnight or every two weeks while your pay reaches the bank every end of the month.
BUT income is way better here than back home so, you can’t really complain.
Price of things
Even before reaching Australian soil, I often hear this caution. Yes, it can be a bit pricey especially if you are touring and you try to convert your currency to Australian dollars.
However, if you think about the prices of basic commodities, your income and purchasing power not to mention your current living standards then you may not think of it the same way.
Shops close early
This was shocking news to me. Stores in Australia close at around 6 to 7 in the evening. If you need to buy something from a specific store, you might want to squeeze it in your schedule before the store closes.
They do stay open a bit later on Thursdays ( I think it varies depending on the state).
Good thing cafes, restaurants and theatres are open ‘til late in the evening.
Tea Time and Cafes
Tea is a big part of Australia’s everyday routine. I believe they drink it in the morning, in the afternoon and again after dinner. They take it together with to die for yummy pastries.
Cafes are an important part of their everyday not just for coffee but also as meeting places. They are in every corner and they love their own kind of coffee, Starbucks didn’t stand a chance to dominate the Australian market.
Aussies are big on patronizing their mum and pop shops too. Some do have amazing coffee and delicious sandwiches.
Meat pies, sausage rolls and Vegemite
Filipinos love to eat everything with rice – as if we do not get full eating anything else.
For Aussies, they got to have meat pies. Meat pies are like empanadas we have back home, only really huge and they take it with tomato sauce on top.
Another food Australians love is their vegemite and they put it on almost everything. I personally think it’s an acquired taste.
Australian drive on the left side of the road unlike in the Philippines so it may be a little confusing the first time you drive an Australian car.
Giving tips in restaurants are not common here so you don’t have to worry if your sukli will cover the tip.
Australians are more of an active, outdoorsy group. Aside from a whole continent open for you to explore they allow 4 to 6 weeks of paid vacation.
Of course being in Australia, most programs available will be Australian programs with Australian celebrities. There would still be programs from the US and if you are looking for Filipino programs you can still catch them with TFC.
Having a chance to live abroad I always felt how different I was and at the same time how similar I am with everybody else.
Listing these things is fun. It does not only highlight the difference between the two cultures but it also reminds me how incredibly blessed we are to be Filipinos in the lucky country.
Special thanks to Sonia M Photography for the main image.