Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Aussie Laundry

Ok, this is just too cruel. Laundry "Down Under " consists of washing with expensive and substandard washing detergent (Omo). It also means I have no clothes dryer, therefore I must hang everything outside on a Hill's Hoist. Gawd almighty, I hated doing laundry BEFORE I came here, now I have to hang the shit outside on a clothes line? WTF ever happened to Tide or All? Speaking of All , I miss Unilever products in general. Luckily I can still buy Dove soap and Hellmann's Mayo , though here it is sold under the name Best Foods Mayonnaise. Oh yes, and the Dove soap campaign for real beauty....one word, Fabulous!

When you live in a not entirely familiar country for the first time, it's often the little things - things you least suspect, like the unfamiliar sound made at the crosswalk to tell you it's safe to walk - that take a while to adjust to. Bigger things (like driving on the other side of the road) and the things everyone talks about (which way the water drains in a sink - the same as in North Americe btw) can sometimes be pretty banal. But here are a few extra things :

Australians eat a lot of meat

The beet is ubiquitous in Australia, particularly on sandwiches. If you want veggies on your sandwich, you ask for "salads," which typically includes the aforementioned beets! You can't buy frozen juice from concentrate, and if you want milk, get ready to learn a whole new nomenclature (Full cream instead of Whole milk). It just sounds wierd, doesn't it?

Finally, you'll want to ask for "tomato sauce" - not ketchup - to go with your "chips" (not french fries). If you want the kind of chips that come in a bag, you're looking for "crisps."

No Crest toothpaste and no Tide detergent. What's this world coming to? Proctor and Gamble doesn't have the presence in Australia that it has in North America, Europe, and elsewhere, it would seem, so why not give Macleans toothpaste (haven't tried it yet- we use Colgate) and Omo detergent a try? Missing your Oreo cookies? Try Arnott's Tim Tams instead (the Aussie cookie favourite), or sample a wide selection of breakfast and snack foods from Uncle Tobys . If you're looking for Burger King, the logo and food will be familiar but the name - "Hungry Jack's" - won't be. Better to go for the Aussie alternative though - home BBQs are extremely popular though I personally don't like the plain beef sausage with tons of grilled onions on a roll, risoles are more my style - smushed flat (they come from the store in ball shapes) and grilled, then put on a hamburger bun with all the fixin's like a regular hamburger! Pretty good, and they come in pork too *big grin* .

And then there's Australian television advertising, which is completely incomprehensible. Couple the advertising with some bizarre business names - who names an airline after a flightless bird or their Internet ISP after an extinct bird (Dodo Internet) - and you're in for some good laughs.

Power sockets have on-off switches in Australia. The downside is that I occasionally forget to turn on the power for whatever I have plugged in. On the plus side, you ccan leave devices that you would normally unplug plugged in, simply flipping the switch off to prevent over-heating, standby electricity drawing, or whatever else it is you were worried about.

One Flush or Two? Forget clockwise or counterclockwise, the toilets flush completely differently in Australia. There are two buttons, one for a half flush and one for a full or regular flush.

I'll tell ya, the light switches here are wierd, I'll have to get a pic of them because it just boggles my mind. Oh yeah, and the toilet flushy thing (I always use the full flush). It just seems cleaner. I so hate the power socket switches, I'm forever forgetting to turn them on and wondering why something hasn't heated up yet. LOL.


montchan said...

Our building has the only tumble dryer in this town, and let me tell you, I refuse to do the laundry when it's broken.

Other than that, hear hear...

Anonymous said...

Everyone has tumble driers down here in Canberra, probably because its always wet here :S , also the switches on the power is designed for child saftey, or so I believe, I like the idea as I don't have to unplug my stuff.
oh btw Tim Tams >>>> Oreos, it seems though that you mentioned isn't avalible, is down here in the southern states, but Queensland is often called the backwards state of Australia.

kitten said...

Actually, I have found oreos here (in Brisbane), but have heard others complaining of not being able to find them...perhaps its where they live, they don't look hard enough, or the store they frequent doesn't carry them. I know I have had to make the rounds to several stores to find certain items :)