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    Aussies Are Sharing The Biggest Cultural Differences Between Australia And The USA And It's So Insightful

    Traumatised by the fact that Americans boil water in the microwave instead of using electric kettles.

    Every day I scroll on TikTok and come across a startling revelation that a fellow Australian has found out about American culture. For some reason, I thought we were pretty much alike, but here are some of the most interesting differences between our two countries.

    1. On getting your license:

    Alright, so surely it can't be this easy to get your license in the States, right? Perhaps, this is only for a learner's permit? In Australia, it's a whole process to obtain your full license. You start off on a "learner license," where you need to obtain 120 hours of supervised driving (with a parent or trained instructor). Then, a practical test, then a solid two years of two different types of "provisional licenses," which has another test in-between, and then, finally, your full license. Phew!

    2. On school curriculums and their difficulty: 

    I've never been on exchange to the US, so I can't vouch for this one. But there are a lot of Aussies who agree in the comments of this TikTok, saying that they found it to be a lot easier than what they were expected to complete in Australia. I will say that Australian schooling standards aren't anything to be triumphant about — we're below a lot of other countries.

    3. On school rules:


    WTF I CRIED SM IN PRIMARY SCHOOL CAUSE MY FRIENDS LEFT ME TO PLAY ON THE GRASS- #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #xyzbca #australia #nohatnoplay

    ♬ Aussie too stunned to speak - adisenofficial

    Look, I'll boil this one down to weather differences because as we all probably know, it gets fucking hot in Australia — especially during summer. As part of that, school kids are required to wear a hat when playing outside during recess and lunch. We even have a saying: "No hat, no play" — and you can bet teachers enforced this. No hat meant sitting on the benches in the shade while your friends got to have fun.

    4. On Australian English vs. American English:


    i think abt this senario alot, kinda funny

    ♬ Aussie too stunned to speak - adisenofficial

    This was peak humour in Aussie schools when kids learned what "rubber" meant in the States. Basically, we use the word "rubber" in Australia to refer to an eraser, while I guess in the US it's used as slang for condom.

    5. On menu differences between Australian McDonald's (Macca's) and American McDonald's:

    Getting a Frozen Coke (basically a coke slushie) from Macca's is one of Australia's greatest summertime traditions. It cools you off, and the best thing is that the large size will only set you back $1. Plus, they even have "Spiders" available at Macca's, which is basically the Frozen Coke topped with soft serve. Yuuuum! I feel sorry for Americans that don't get to experience this.

    6. On driving:

    So, we did a deep dive about this on BuzzFeed last year. Roundabouts do exist in the States, but as the TikTok mentions, they're super uncommon, and a lot of Americans are just flat out confused on how to use them. Meanwhile in Australia, we froth over roundabouts, as they're considered to be incredibly simple, safe, and efficient. Honestly, if I'm driving home from the station (like, less than a five-minute drive), I'll run into at least three roundabouts — and I'm not mad about it. It's way better than having traffic lights everywhere.

    7. On birthday songs:

    I really thought this was a universal tradition, but it turns out that Americans aren't familiar with the good, old "hip hip hooray!" that's tagged on after singing someone happy birthday. Honestly, though, you guys should try it. It gives a bit of extra pep and pizzazz to birthday singing. Also, if Americans think that's weird, wait until they hear "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" and "Why Was He Born So Beautiful," which are both commonly used at Aussie birthdays.

    8. On things not existing in each other's country:


    like how do they all just have gas stove tops or something… #fyp #xyzbca #foryou

    ♬ Aussie too stunned to speak - adisenofficial

    Out of all the cultural differences between Australia and the US, this is the one that confuses me the most. I am an avid tea lover, so I am constantly using my electric kettle to boil water in the most efficient way possible. But I guess in the US, you guys boil it in the microwave (ick?!) or the stove (not ick, but that takes a whole saucepan and time, and it's just so much EFFORT!) — and I just don't understand why you don't use electric kettles.

    9. On minimum wage:

    Look, it's a well-established fact that wage rates, especially for those working in service industries like hospitality, are absolutely horrible in the States. It's why tipping culture is essential — those workers rely on it to supplement their income. In Australia, workers operating under service industries receive decent pay under award wages, which set pay rates according to the type of work they're doing, the level they're at, and the industry they're in. As a rough example, the national minimum wage in Australia in 2022 is $20.33/hour.

    10. On school start times:

    I get that the US is a whole different hemisphere and this correlates with their seasons, but starting the school year at the START of the year just makes more sense, you know? 

    11. On outdated stereotypes:

    I think almost every Australian can attest to being asked this question by an American at some stage in their life. It's getting old! We're not all Chris Hemsworth or Steve Irwin types — Australia is multicultural and multiracial. Plus, we have First Nations peoples who form an important part of our history. It's totally fine to joke around, but the perception of Australians by Americans can be limited.

    12. On eating habits:

    Alright, attention all Americans: If you ever find yourself trying the yeasty goodness that is Vegemite, please — and I repeat PLEASE — do not attempt to it eat it like Nutella, or lick an entire gob off a spoon. That's only for trained professionals, aka Australians. You have to start off small and work your way up — just a dab on some toast, with a little bit of butter to mellow out the taste. If you eat Vegemite that way, I can guarantee it will taste delicious.

    13. On how servos, ahem, I mean gas stations, work: 

    FYI servo is short for service station, aka where we fill up our cars in Australia. As the TikTok mentions, Australians DO NOT pay for petrol before it goes in the car — we fill up and keep an eye on the bowser (which has a dial showing how much petrol costs, as well as how much you're filling it and how much THAT costs). Then, we simply walk in and pay! The idea of doing the opposite, without knowing how much you're going to fill up, confuses me. Like, what if I pay $20 for fuel, but end up needing more?!

    14. On seasoning hot chips:

    For context, when I say hot chips, as an Australian I'm referring chips you get at KFC, Macca's, the like. Not potato chips — hot chips. Anyway, here in Australia, our hot chips are seasoned with chicken salt, which is one of the most magical seasonings to grace humankind. It's an umami bomb and transforms ordinary chips into the most freakin' delicious thing you've ever consumed.

    15. And lastly, on nostalgic childhood traditions:

    Americans, let me introduce you to Healthy Harold, a puppet giraffe that was — and still is — used to educate Australian children about drugs, alcohol and healthy living habits. He was the mascot for Life Education Australia and would visit schools once a year, where you would enter his van...and now I'm realising how odd this sounds. But honestly, it was the highlight of the school year.

    Alright, what other cultural differences between Australia and the USA have you noticed? Let us know in the comments!