Listening to Australians

Trip Start Dec 18, 2011
Trip End Sep 15, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Friday, June 22, 2012

"Too easy, mate. Have a great day."
"No dramas, mate."
We love talking to Australians. At the end of the conversation, they want you to know it hasn't been a bother for them--so we've heard the expressions above. For the guy who said it was too easy, I took that as a challenge. Next time I'm going to phone him with a stumper. "How ya goin'?" begins every conversation.

I was worried I'd need Rosetta Stone Australian to learn their language, but I've only been stumped a few times: a doona (anybody want to take a guess?), trainers, strine, and fair dinkum. We feel like we're at a bit of an advantage--our summer in England and Ireland helped us with the "traditional" language differences between American English and the other versions. So, when we get a trolley at the grocery store, when I tell Liam to stop whingeing, when the boys ask for biscuits, or when someone tells me something will fit in the boot of my car, it's a no-brainer. The names for cheese are really funny--in the supermarket you can buy light and tangy, tasty, light and tasty, tangy--they are all cheddars, but I have no idea what the terms mean.

Today while driving between Singleton and Rutherford we saw a sign beside the road: "Dingos. $250." Liam wanted to stop and buy a wild dog. We convinced him the dog might eat him. Remember "The dingoes ate my baby!" ? I'm not sure what dingo you can buy for $250 in the Hunter Valley.

And for Lynda's question. It seems that there are several uses for the word jumper in Australia. There is the sweater definition, but there's also the sheep the wool came from, the ar**, and perhaps more. I'll keep asking.

Australians don't have nicknames for their coins. They have eliminated the one- and two-cent coins, they have fives and tens, twenties and fifties. The one- and two-dollar coins take the place of bills--there aren't any for those amounts. And the two-dollar coin is about half the size of the one-dollar coin--the opposite of what you'd expect. Leanne at the bank thinks it's hilarious that we call our coins pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. She asks me which one is which and giggles.

I think Australians like talking to us. Women of all ages tend to get misty-eyed when Andy or Liam speak--one told me it's so cute to hear children with American accents. Sort of like when we hear tiny children speaking German--we don't expect them to be so good at it!

The photos attached to this blog entry are local photos--the apartment we're living in, the exterior of the house we're going to rent beginning in July, local, ordinary sights.

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Katy on

Hi, I bet you are really enjoying learning your new envirment. The language alone really sounds hard. Are the kids excited to go to school?

It has really been hot here. Nearly 100 every day. And the fires are really scarry. David is packed and ready to leave. They have fires on both sides of them and they closed their road.
tfhere's a firebug starting 3 or 4 fires in there area. Do you get the news down there?

I calledCindy to ask if I could hire her girl's tohelp me decorate the Elks for 'Earl's birthday party on the 8th of July. She never called me back. So Annie said she would help. I just can't lean over the tables. I have no idea what they are so mad at us. It's like we kicked them out of "their" shop. Oh Well.......

I hope you are feeling better.

Love Katy

Ryan Sweetwood on

DO you have any big trips planned already, or a bucket list of countries to see? We miss you and are excited for your new adventures.

The Sweetwoods

Sheilla Torkelson on

I was fortunate to be in Los Angeles area a whole week with dear family and friends; Thinking of you and your family while visiting my old favorites and squeezing in the new, the first times, and loving all of it for 7 days!

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