By The Secret Traveller
You might think you’ve slipped under the radar. You might think you look like one of the locals in the country you’re visiting, that people don’t even realise you’re a tourist, let alone where exactly you come from.
But you think wrong. Aussies overseas stick out like Tony Abbott in his budgie smugglers. Everyone can pick us from the moment they lay eyes on us. Why? Because of this.
There’s no official data, but Australians must be some of the most tattooed people out there. Have a look next time you’re overseas and you’re jumping on a flight home – check out all the “tough stickers” covering your fellow passengers’ legs and arms. We like our tats in Australia.
We also like our casual footwear. The Havaianas brand might come from Brazil, but it’s found its spiritual home in Australia. In many countries thongs – or flip-flops – are thought of as shoes for poor people, but that doesn’t stop Aussie travellers from wearing them everywhere they go.
You’re slurring. You’ve got a can of beer in your hand. You’re sitting in a bar at 10 in the morning. Australians love to drink at home, but they like getting smashed even more when they go overseas. It doesn’t matter if the locals binge drink or not. Although, in places like Germany, it helps.
Aussies have a habit of talking about their home country a lot when they travel. As in, how good it is. How the food is tastier, or how the beer is better, or how it’s easier to get around than wherever they happen to be. It’s nice to be patriotic, but this gets old after a while.
For some unknown reason this remains the chosen patriotic chant of Australians the world over. It’s unoriginal and it doesn’t really say anything, but that doesn’t stop people from yelling it out as soon as they get a few beers under their belt.
Pick any tourist in Bali. There’s a solid chance they’re from Australia. This isn’t the most imaginative place to travel, but it is one of the cheapest, particularly if you’re from WA, which results in a destination that’s overrun with Aussie travellers. The locals can spot you from a mile away.
This is mainly for our south-east Asian visitors, the ones who’ve been to Thailand or Vietnam or Cambodia and are now sporting a Beer Chang singlet, or maybe one with a Tiger logo, or Angkor. These are the default souvenirs for Australian travellers, a way of showing everyone you’ve been somewhere without resorting to an “I heart Bangkok” T-shirt.
Have a look around: most other cultures don’t wear shorts. Europeans do, and North Americans do, but most other people don’t. Not adults, anyway. They don’t in India, and they don’t in China, and they don’t really get around in shorts in South and Central America either, unless they’re playing sport. But that doesn’t deter your average Aussie traveller.
We come from a country of immigrants where you can get pretty much any food imaginable, which is why Aussies already know about pho in Vietnam, and mee goreng in Malaysia, and nasi goreng in Indonesia, and chicken tikka masala in England. We’ve been eating all that stuff for most of our lives.
It’s like the old joke: What do you call someone who speaks many languages? Multilingual. What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who speaks just one language? Australian.
Have a fun, safe & enjoyable holiday with our guide to staying safe in Bali.
1Cover’s UK Survival Guide is packed full handy hints, tips and tricks from those in the know.