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6 Things I Learned Moving From Kentucky to Australia

Student Work
by Lawrence Hamilton Jul 15, 2014
1. Kentuckians are nicer than Australians.

In Kentucky, everybody is always friendly no matter what. It’s almost as if people trip over themselves to say hello, or call you “partner,” or hold the door for you. In Australia, it seem like the reverse is true. You’ll get a lot more icy stares and avoiding eyes. The meaner friends are to you, the more they like you (“taking the piss”).

Kentuckians live by the old adage, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” Aussies are happy to shit all over your weaknesses.

2. A Kentuckian takes 30 words to say something an Aussie can say in one.

Kentuckians spend hours and hours talking. Whether it’s in line at the post office or at the grocery store, it’s a contest for who can tell the longest story. A completely uneventful trip to grandma’s can be retold for three hours.

Aussies are famed for being laconic. Every single word gets shortened. Even though it has the same number of syllables, breakfast has to be “brekkie.”

3. Kentuckians eat like shit.

In Kentucky, people believe that authenticity can be bought and bought for cheap. Want authentic Italian? Head down to the drive-thru, where a “real” Italian meal is $5. And it comes with a five-megalitre plastic cup of Coke. Are you a parent with a picky eater? No problem! You can choose from an array of frozen mini corn dogs and pizza chips. Or what the hell, just feed your precious little darling some popcorn and chocolate cake for dinner.

Plenty of Aussies eat junk food, and McDonald’s (Macca’s) is quite popular, but the average Australian has a better grasp of the five basic food groups. An Aussie understands that a salad tastes better when it doesn’t come in a plastic container. And apples don’t need to be pre-sliced for convenience.

4. Kentuckians like the idea of being outdoors, but not actually being outdoors.

Kentuckians like to believe they are master outdoorsmen. All the fish in the mighty river are there to be caught. Well, at least that’s what TV commercials and Saturday afternoon strolls around Bass Pro Shop tell them. In the big KY, “avid” hikers take early morning strolls around the shopping mall. Going “off-road” and “roughing it” means taking a NATO-tank-sized truck to the local McDonald’s drive-thru, and sitting in the parking lot while the kids watch Scooby-Doo in the backseat.

In Australia, basic campfire knowledge is a necessity. When you find a snake in your house, you know how to take care of it. In Kentucky, you call someone to come take care of it.

5. Kentuckians believe in freedom; Australians believe in paying for freedom.

The cost of living is exceedingly cheap in Kentucky. Houses start at $40,000 and include public access to tennis courts, basketball courts, and Frisbee golf. While watching the bug-zapper may constitute the nightlife, there are plenty of free and healthy things to occupy your time during the day. Don’t even get me started on the beer. Such a wide array of beautiful craft brews all at your fingertips. And cheap!

Australians love to heap shit on our capitalist ways in the north. But down under you have to pay to breathe. Literally. Every single thing costs money and a lot of it. Considering a modest house in Melbourne? Consider at least $600,000. Tennis? Fifteen bucks an hour. Basketball? You can play for free but there won’t be a net. And you might contract hepatitis from the rim. At least you can go out and reward yourself with a blueberry-infused oatmeal Black IPA. Ironically named Obama Beer. Price tag: $18 a bottle.

6. Sports — that’s something we can agree on.

Kentucky’s religion is college basketball (Kentucky or Louisville). Australia’s religion is footy (AFL or rugby). Both state and country follow their religion with the utmost devotion.

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