Before I moved overseas, I didn’t quite realize how much the rest of the world viewed Americans as idiots, or even worse, idiots with money and power. The more saddening part is that I’m starting to agree with many of the world’s points.
Although many of the stereotypes are true, it still pains me when 300 million Americans are put into boxes of ideas and values based on the three Americans someone met on a wine trip in Italy. (Technically speaking, these individuals could only represent the 46% of Americans who have passports).
So you can imagine the pain I endure now that I live as an American expat in Australia. I sometimes feel that my colleagues and friends are just waiting for me to exhibit some American stereotype so that they can pounce on it with jokes. I’ve had to resort to eating hamburgers and hotdogs in solitude and limit the use of my clothes dryer to only when necessary. They look amazed when I tell them I’m not religious and don’t own a gun. Sometimes I have to help them put their eyeballs back in or close their jaw.
But it wasn’t until I was tagged by multiple friends on Facebook when someone reposted this one, that I thought it was time for my rebuttal! So Australia, you love to observe and comment on the American in its natural habitat, here are my top ten (of many) observations about your culture:
- In the words of my father, “Australia is the only country where the cars speed up when pedestrians are around”. I’ve never been in a first world country where, without question or doubt, pedestrians absolutely do not have the right of way. The more affluent the neighbourhood, the worse it gets. Although not the most expensive luxury car I’ve encountered, I’ve come to the conclusion that BMW owners are the worst. I’m surprised they don’t have bits of human in their tire (tyre) treads.
- What is it with abbreviating things? Sunnies, Brissie, brekkie – are words really that hard to say? “Hey mate, let’s take a sickie, we can grab our sunnies and share some coldies or a cuppa around the barbie. Right mate?” If you don’t know what the #@*$ I just said, check this video out.
- I love that you have a flag that is red, white and blue but your national colours for things like the Olympics are green and gold. By the way, your “gold” looks like yellow. Also, Americans may love to have flags all over the place, but at least we don’t wear them as capes during sporting events.
- I love how you don’t have enough actors/t.v. personalities, so you see the same people acting and hosting show after show. I know you have a small population but there must be more actors/actresses to choose from. I just feel like I’m more likely to enjoy a made for t.v. drama if the main character is not simultaneously the host of a game show, on a reality t.v. show and a b-grade commercial for dog food.
- We might say “oh really” when expressing interest but you guys coined the phrase “yeeeeaaa, noooo” to indicate no. It just tricks the person that you are agreeing with them and then lets them down in the end. (And don’t get me started about the number of syllables in the word “no”. There is supposed to be only one.)
- I love how all your toilets have low water as a water saving measure. However, if you have to flush them two or three times, is it really saving any water?
- On the topic of household electrics, what’s going on with your electrical plugs? Can you make them any bigger? Everything has to sit a foot away from the wall so you can plug it in. And what is with your light switches, can they be any smaller? The plate is large enough to allow for a bigger switch, let’s action this idea.
- What is it with your trading hours? It’s as if you are against making money.
- I love a country where you could win an election based on whether you are for or against daylight savings. It’s adorable, really.
- It still surprises me that you don’t have bathrooms in your restaurants. You could be at a five star restaurant and have to go out in the rain, up some stairs, down a very dark hallway and around a mop to go to the toilet. Bon Appetit.