Random Thoughts from Australia

During my month-long stay in Australia, it’s been fun discovering little differences in culture, food, and language while chatting with our Aussie and Kiwi (New Zealander) staff at the restaurant. We made them try natto and umeboshi, and in turn, they introduced me to Vegemite and how to properly eat a Tim Tam (chocolate covered biscuits, Australia’s export to the world) by sucking hot milk tea through the middle.

Here’s my rather random collection of discoveries:

Words
Aussies call certain things a little differently than Americans:

sultanas = raisins
capsicum = bell pepper
cheers = thanks
chips = French fries
crisps = potato chips
utes = pickup trucks

The “Shrimps on the Barbie” Effect
Aussies like to shorten words by adding “y” or “ie” at the end. Examples below:

barbie = barbecue
nappies = diapers
bicky = biscuit
mozzy = mosquito
brekky = breakfast
Brissy = Brisbane
prezzies = presents

Vegemite
After force feeding natto to one of our Aussie staff, I guess I had no choice but to sample some of their Vegemite. This chocolate-brown colored paste is made of yeast extract, and is a popular condiment on toast here. Children grow up with it here and love it so much that some carry their own bottles when traveling away from home. It’s very salty and tastes a little like miso, and it’s definitely an acquired taste.

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6 Responses to “Random Thoughts from Australia”


  1. 1 Er January 29, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Gosh…It feels like I haven’t talked to you in such a long time, but yet a month of you being in Australia just flew by! Hope you had a great time!

    I LOVE Tim Tams! They’re so yummy! Never heard about the whole sucking hot milk method tho…Interesting. Did you try it?

    Vegemite sure doesn’t sound very appealing…doesn’t look so appealing either. :-p

    Boy, all those aussie slangs/terms…I hope you don’t come back home with an Australian accent…! Ha!

    Looking forward to catching up with you when you return! 🙂

  2. 2 Laura January 29, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Hi there! Hope you are having a great time in Australia! I haven’t been to Brisbane before, but when we were in Melbourne I remember thinking it was different to hear the word “take away” instead of take out! 🙂 Your brother’s restaurant looks good!

  3. 3 honolulueats January 29, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Erin! I know, a month has gone by so fast. Can’t wait to catch up with everyone too. I have some Bachelor episodes to get to work on as soon as I get home.

    Laura: Thanks for your comment. I know, I’m so used to saying ‘take out’ or ‘to go’… I’ve never been to Melbourne, but I hear it’s beautiful.

    • 4 Er February 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      Umm…yes, you have a LOT of Bachelor to catch up on! So much drama already! You will love it… 😉 I’ve been blogging every week, so I will be looking forward to all of your comments about the episodes…

  4. 5 Astrid January 31, 2010 at 11:29 am

    It seems like ages since I last spoke to you, but I am enjoying reading your posts about your adventures (navigating in a foreign country, helping to open a restaurant and sampling local fare could certainly be called an adventure)Australia! My mom spent sometime studying in Australia and of all the things she remembers eating (Tim Tams, Vegemite on toast and Nestle Milo)she most misses Cadbury chocolates. They are sold in the United States as well, but she swears that they don’t taste anything alike. Can’t wait to hear more upon your return!

    • 6 honolulueats February 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm

      Astrid: I didn’t know your mom studied in Australia! I was wondering why there’s so much Cadbury chocolates here. I didn’t know they’re from here, because they’re sold in the US too. As I type I’m headed out the door to go to the airport. It’ll be a loong flight home…


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