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Old 06-12-2009, 12:03 AM
 
184 posts, read 783,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshadow View Post
Well I can't really talk. I mean he was a nice bloke, just a little geographically confused
Yep, could definitely be the same guy . He was a really nice bloke too, he was really keen to learn all about NZ when I explained where it really was in more detail. Realistically, it was probably just my accent that threw him, but like you - I had always assumed the whole Austria/Australia thing was just an urban legend until it actually happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshadow View Post
at home I can normally pick the difference between an Australian and a NZ accent but there........well I think my accent button had a malfunction or something.
Haha, I've had exactly the same thing happen . That's why I've never taken offence when somebody asks me if I'm an Aussie. If I can't even tell straight away after a period of time abroad, how can I expect anybody else to.

Last edited by MarcNZ; 06-12-2009 at 12:12 AM..
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Paramus, NJ
500 posts, read 1,255,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshadow View Post
So I guess most of my shock was based on not being shocked. Our cultures, day to day life is very similar, very familiar.
That's actually what I thought when I visited Australia. Not so much with New Zealand, but Australia, yeah. O.o I felt almost like I was "home" in a sense. But, it wasn't home. I had to constantly remind myself to look at the traffic light poles that have the crossing buttons to see the word "punch" instead of "push". ^__^ At a restaurant, I couldn't wait to say "take-away" instead of "take-out", which is an odd multilated word of the English language. It's been changed in many places of the world much like Wally's (US: Waldo) name.

Oh yeah... Since I live in an Asian populated area, seeing a lot of Asian people in AUS was the last thing on my mind. >D Hahah...

So, I can completely understand how it feels to be in another country and feel almost right at home.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:19 AM
 
9,912 posts, read 12,468,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcNZ View Post
Yep, could definitely be the same guy . He was a really nice bloke too, he was really keen to learn all about NZ when I explained where it really was in more detail. Realistically, it was probably just my accent that threw him, but like you - I had always assumed the whole Austria/Australia thing was just an urban legend until it actually happened.
Surreal is probably how I could best describe it. At first I felt certain he was just messing with me, that is wasn't possible that this urban legend wasn't actually an urban legend, but he genuinly was confused.
Once we'd established I meant Downunder it lead to the usual discussion about Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin but that was cool with me and yeah, I think my accent probably confused him a little too in that, as I said before, to a lot of people in the States I sounded pommy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcNZ View Post
Haha, I've had exactly the same thing happen . That's why I've never taken offence when somebody asks me if I'm an Aussie. If I can't even tell straight away after a period time abroad, how can I expect anybody else to.
Well I admit I asked the Kiwi if he was going to order the fish and chips because I felt sure it would be the only way I'd be able to tell the difference at that point. Felt bad going with the stereotype AND because he just said no (serves me right) because he didn't need to say it because I had I then had to ask where he was from. Which is what I should have done in the first place! I just felt a little odd bowling up to a stranger and assuming some kind of kinship based on accent.
It wasn't until he spoke though that I realized that I had been listening to American accents for the better part of two weeks and not struggling with them at all, like the American accents all around me just felt like the most normal thing in the world. Very odd when you actually think about it.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:29 AM
 
9,912 posts, read 12,468,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknown Memory View Post
That's actually what I thought when I visited Australia. Not so much with New Zealand, but Australia, yeah. O.o I felt almost like I was "home" in a sense. But, it wasn't home. I had to constantly remind myself to look at the traffic light poles that have the crossing buttons to see the word "punch" instead of "push". ^__^ At a restaurant, I couldn't wait to say "take-away" instead of "take-out", which is an odd multilated word of the English language. It's been changed in many places of the world much like Wally's (US: Waldo) name.

Oh yeah... Since I live in an Asian populated area, seeing a lot of Asian people in AUS was the last thing on my mind. >D Hahah...

So, I can completely understand how it feels to be in another country and feel almost right at home.
That's exactly it! You feel like you're home but on another level you know you're not. I had a similar experience when I was in England and Ireland BUT I put that down to having English/Irish ancestors. No such ancestory exists for me in the US so I did have to try to find other reasons and I can only come up with the similarity of Western culture.

When I first arrived in LA a friend came to my hotel to pick me up and take me around the city for the day sight seeing. We wandered out to the car and I immediately walked around to the "passenger" side of the vehicle and waited for him to get in and unlock the door for me.......HE was on the other side of the car waiting to open the passenger door for me to get in. I stood there patiently waiting till I hear from the other side of the car, "sweetie, this side" and a little chuckle and I look through the car window to see that I am indeed on the driver's side staring at the steering wheel and he is laughing at me through the windows on the other side of the car.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Australia
1,492 posts, read 2,749,503 times
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I am from Australia.
I have had some great visits to the USA.
Most Americans are very hospitible and friendly.
I don't think I am shocked but here are some differences.

When on holidays, don't come up from the subway looking at a map. Some guy will offer to give you directions and then ask for a dollar for helping. We would come up and just walk out looking confident but no idea where we were going. Go two blocks. Find a road sign and pull out the map.

I was suprised to find that Americans tip even if the service is bad. We don't tip in Australia so it was a new thing. We thought it was to reward good service. But it seemed that people tipped 15% even if the service was terrible. We also learned that they realise Aussies don't tip so we always had to tip on the first drink or such otherwise we got no service at all.

What else is different?
Well light switches are up side down.
Yanks drive on the wrong side of the road.
TV is pretty much exactly the same. (All crap)
I don't think they do maintenance on things like roads and bridges until it breaks.
I think you had to pay to receive mobile calls as well as to make them.
Free local calls was a novilty for us.
Payphones were hard to understand. The operator would call you back and tell you to put more coins in and people actually did. You would think they would just walk away. And also the phone numbers were on some pay phones so you could call them like in the movies.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:28 AM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
4,000 posts, read 10,442,185 times
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A co-worker's parents were visiting from India, and I asked him what they noticed most about the US on this, their first visit. He said it was the sheer number of cars.

The other comment made was that in India the stereotypical, "there go those wacky Americans again" news story would be about some multi-million dollar award for some silly lawsuit about spilled coffee or the like.

A visitor from Germany commented on the willingness of the US to "waste" land on service alleys behind houses or at unusually shaped neighborhood intersections.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:57 AM
 
184 posts, read 783,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidxen View Post
I was suprised to find that Americans tip even if the service is bad. We don't tip in Australia so it was a new thing. We thought it was to reward good service. But it seemed that people tipped 15% even if the service was terrible.
Yeah, the tipping is an interesting one. I wouldn't say it "shocked" me as I knew to expect it, but it took some getting use to. As I had absolutely no experience of it I had to keep asking advice from strangers around me about when to tip, when not to and how much to tip (good way to meet people though ). I think I eventually got the hang of it, but it took a while.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:32 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,257,058 times
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A few things...

1. Super size portions of anything
2. Drivers that actually stop for people in a crosswalk
3. No law requiring paid vacation or any vacations days
4. Great Handicap accessibility... this was from a Nurse from Vienna
5. Stores that are open 24 hours a day or close to it... seven days a week
6. That anyone with a license can rent a 40' motor
7. Seeing people in Colorado walking around with holstered pistols...
8. The diversity of people... all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and races...
9. Having to pay for medical treatment...
10. Having to fill out the new forms for entry with so much personal info...
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:48 AM
 
184 posts, read 783,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
1. Super size portions of anything
I forgot about that one. Asking for a "large" coke was a mistake I only made once
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:00 AM
 
Location: Invercargill, New Zealand
2,818 posts, read 5,816,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
I would like to hear some interesting stories from people who grew up abroad...What shocked you the most about the US, its culture and people? Please include which country you are from and what you expected the US to be like. I love hearing these stories from people. Thank you very much.
Spent some time in the US in December 2007, beleive it or not I was shocked at the amount of fat people I didn't see, I honestly cannot remember seeing a single fat person while in Reno,NV and South Lake Tahoe,CA.

Apart from that the USA was all what I expected it to be, and loved every minute of it!
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