1. Possum is a term of endearment, not just a nighttime rodent.

Sure, the standard “darling” and “babe” still apply, but there seems to be a slight misunderstanding when it comes to what non-Australian women want to hear when kissed good night. Did you just call me possum? As in the stringy, nocturnal rodent that hangs from trees with its gross, bare tail and plays dead? Apparently there are cute possums in Australia, but I haven’t seen one yet…

2. You can easily impress his friends and family by pre-translating.

Every time you mention college, just insert “uni” instead. When talking about the winter weather in Chicago, quickly convert Fahrenheit to Celsius to ensure they fully understand how unbearably cold it is. The word “Christmas” gets shortened and converted to baby speak (like most words) as you utter your plans for “Chrissy.” Yet no matter how much you properly translate your conversation to Australian, your accent still sounds like a drunken British pirate according to his mates.

3. There is only one acceptable radio station: Triple J.

If your radio is tuned to anything other than Triple J, especially on Australia Day, you will be publicly disgraced. Learning to love “Like a Version” covers is the first step to truly integrating yourself into the Aussie music scene.

4. You can gain the “Freshman 15” long after your days as a Freshman.

Think you escaped packing on the pounds in college? A quick trip Down Under will change that in no time. If your body is not used to two (or more) beers with every meal, in every social setting, then don’t be alarmed when you suddenly need to purchase new pants.

5. The only thing celebrated on Boxing Day is surviving Christmas.

Have you ever seen “Boxing Day” printed in your planner on December 26th and wondered what the heck it is? Although I’m sure it has a very meaningful historical explanation (which most Australians cannot explain), after dating an Aussie, I am convinced it only serves one purpose: recovering from your Christmas hangover.

6. You will never learn to love Vegemite like he does.

Or meat pies for that matter. No matter how much you convince yourself that Vegemite tastes good lightly coated on a buttered cracker, it will never be your snack of choice. And a pastry stuffed with meaty goodness is just not the same as a good old fashioned PB&J or chicken burrito.

7. All snakes, spiders, sharks, and crocodiles can kill you, but it’s no big deal.

Yes, that snake curled up six inches from your feet is deadly, and, yes, that is a shark swimming where you just surfed three hours ago, but don’t worry about it. None of the locals seem to care, so why should you? I can’t tell if it’s brawn or stupidity, but adopting the “no worries” Australian frame of mind seems to be the only way to enjoy all the Outback has to offer.

8. In most group settings, your name becomes “the American” (or whatever non-Australian nationality you are).

When you date an Aussie, long-forgotten are the days of being addressed by your name in conversation with their friends, and even family. You are the token foreigner for the unforeseeable future. Get used to it and embrace it. There are worse nicknames you could acquire…

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