More Things People Find Strange About Australia

Aussies are a rare breed. A young, evolving country, set apart from the rest of the world by a vast ocean. I mean they’re right down there near Antarctica for Pete’s sakes. But they’re not that unlike Americans, Canadians, the Brits, or Kiwis, are they? Let’s find out.

They can’t afford to buy a house

There’s an old internet meme about Aussie millennials not being able to afford a house because they keep buying avocado on toast. Well, at $22AUD a pop, how much avocado toast goes into a house?

Well, because the Baby Boomers could buy property, all thanks to this nifty thing called unrestricted negative gearing which offsets losses from other income sources, it’s caused huge property market inflation over the decades.

In fact, all 5 major property markets in Australia are rated as severely unaffordable, second only in the world to Hong Kong and New Zealand’s Auckland. Income to housing price ratio is the most skewed in the world.

So, Australian millennials are figuring “Forget it, I’ll never afford property, anyway. I’ll enjoy this avocado while I can. Hopefully I inherit a house…”

They get heaps of holidays

Want to know why you’re always bumping into Aussies all over the globe? Because (on the whole) they have pretty damn good working conditions, which includes plenty of holidays.

Not only are there 11-13 public holidays per state, but full time and part time employees have 4 weeks of paid annual leave per year, plus 10 days sick leave, plus long service leave – a few months of paid leave after being with a company long-term. And these are all mandated by law!

Because Aussies get plenty of holidays (and don’t have to waste holiday time if they’re sick) that’s why you’ll find them on a 2 week jaunt in Europe, or even just a long weekend in Bali.

They’re beach babies

Australia is a bloody big island, surrounded by water. Not only that, it’s bloody hot, with a lot of sunshine. With plenty of Aussie beaches on the hit lists on some of the best beaches in the world, and the great majority of capital cities situated close enough to the shore, this means Australians and the ocean go hand in hand.

Almost all Aussies are all taught swimming lessons in primary school, with petitions to make it compulsory as part of the school curriculum. Newborns do swimming lessons at the local pool. In high school, the cool kids surf. After graduation, it’s all about whose parents have boats. And once you’re old enough, it’s who can buy a boat!

You can easily spot the tourists on an Australian beach – they’re the ones who are bright red after staying out in the sun too long. Australians have been taught the importance of sunscreen growing up – which is no surprise, as 2 out of 3 Australians will have skin cancer by the time they’re 70. Crikey.

They love Aussie sports and a punt!

Did you know that in the state of Victoria, Australia, they have not one but two public holidays specifically dedicated to sports? Not only that, one of the holidays isn’t even on the day of the event! What the…

Event number one is the nation’s biggest gambling event: The Melbourne Cup. The Melbourne Cup is also known as “The Race that Stops a Nation,” a horse racing event held in Melbourne. In fact, horse racing makes up around 50% of the multi-billion dollar sports-betting industry.

Holiday number 2 in VIC goes to “Friday before the grand final” – that is the day before the Australian Football League’s final game for the year. While AFL is almost unheard of anywhere else in the world, it’s a game that’s enough to cause punch-ups for viewers over much of the country.

While it used to be “TAB” stores around the country where punters would congregate and put a bet on, now Aussies can use online sportsbooks right from the bar at the pub with one eye on the game (and have a play on the online pokies in the ad breaks!).

But it does not stop there. Punting on sports is just the beginning when it comes to gambling for Australians. You don’t need to walk much further than the next street corner to find an establishment packed with one of the countries’ favourite past times: the pokies of course!  These days you don’t even have to get off your couch to find the pokies, you can just play them at the many online casinos offering real money play, and it’s easy to find great deals at sites like Casinoshortlist who will tell you where the good ones can be found.

They know the truth about kangaroos

While there may be plenty of chatter about “every animal in Australia can kill you” there are plenty more things that Aussies are worried about other than being bitten by a shark – unless you’re a surfer who goes to known shark spots, then you might be a little more cautious. For instance kangaroos.

Other English speaking country-people who haven’t visited Australia may have many misconceptions about kangaroos that any Aussie can quickly set them straight on.

  • No, Australians don’t ride kangaroos to school/work, but people who live rural or even outer city suburbs might have them pop by the backyard. Some farm folk have them as pets.
  • You shouldn’t go up and pat random kangaroos because they can raise up on their strong tail, getting over 6 feet tall and kick you in the guts with those bounding legs.
  • The dogs like to eat kangaroo meat for dinner, you can buy it at the local Coles or Woolies (chain supermarket conglomerates)
  • Kangaroos are pests: every Australian knows a farm friend who has been out “roo shooting.”
  • Driving out of the city between dawn and dusk is dangerous because that’s when roos like to cross the road. Smacking into one at 100km an hour can total your car, kill the roo, and cause you to end up in hospital (or worse…). Also, the majority of car insurance policies don’t cover you for kangaroo damage (or emus, or wombats) so you’ll have a hefty bill to cover to.
  • On that last point, dawn and dusk is also shark time, you oughtta stay out of the water.

As you can see, there’s some points about Aussies that set them a world apart. We all have those little quirks about our homeland that make us truly unique. So next time you’re in Aussie company, as them what things make them truly an Australian. You’ll quickly see them making a quizzical face over “Fosters beer.”

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