Oi Oi Oi and all that. It’s hot…again…as it is in everyday in the paradise that is Western Australia.
In celebration of January 26th which is Australia Day, I bring you some fun facts about this weird and wonderful place that is Australia.
1. Ordering beer is a nightmare
You would think getting a beer would be easy, wouldn’t you? Considering all 23 million of us drink 4.14 litres a year of the stuff and it’s practically the national drink (after a tim-tam slam, of course).
I don’t actually like beer and I never have since the age of 8 when my mother let me have my first sip of a shandy (beer mixed with lemonade, and by lemonade I mean something along the lines of 7-up) so because I’ve never been involved much in the ritual of ordering beer at a pub, I always struggle when I take customers from Japan out and have to get them drinks.
The situation is complicated by the fact that in New South Wales, where I grew up, the glass sizes are different to here in Western Australia and when I asked M about it, who, by the way is from Victoria, I got even more confused because in Victoria it is different again. Sometimes you also have to ask the particular pub what sort of glasses they have because the pub closest to my office only sells pints (570ml or 20 oz) and half-pints (285ml or 10oz) which may or may not be the norm in WA.
A schooner is probably the most popular size (425ml or 15 oz), but in South Australia, this size is called a pint. The half-pint is called a middy in Sydney & Canberra, but it becomes a pot in Melbourne & Brisbane. In Adelaide, it becomes a schooner, with their biggest size being an Imperial Pint (just to confuse everyone).
Maybe it’s just better to stay away from the glasses and buy a stubby. A stubby contains 375ml which is just a bit more than the typical US bottle size of 355ml (12oz). A long-neck is a 750ml bottle and a carton of beer is usually called a ‘slab’ (because it’s long and flat…)
2. Ordering a coffee is also tough
My customers also get very confused about how to order a coffee here. In Japan you have coffee, American Coffee (americano) which is weak, black coffee and a latte to choose from. In Australia we have long blacks, short blacks, espresso, extra shots, skinny flat whites, cappuccinos and the list goes on.
I think the largest difference is that in Japan things are set in stone. You order off the menu and there is very little customisation that you can do. Here we generally take our customers to a yummy bakery for lunch and it seriously takes 30 minutes for them to decide what to order because they’re not used to being able to choose the type of bread, the constitution of the ingredients on the sandwich, whether they want it toasted or not and then there is the whole coffee situation. Japan likes neat boxes, in Australia we like to fit outside the box.
3. We eat funny things
It’s usually the first thing my Japanese customers freak out about when they find it on their sandwich.
We always have some in the fridge because M loves it to death. It works well on burgers, sandwiches and in salads. Cakes works well too, in a zucchini-kind of way.
Apparently the ham and pineapple combination is one of Australia’s most loved pizzas.
Tim tam slams
Obviously the above was made for you weird people who call biscuits ‘cookies’ and scones ‘biscuits’.
Just for the record, the above is how NOT to eat vegemite.
Just a little vegemite with a healthy slathering of butter is the best way to eat it ala this:
The vegemite to butter ratio is critical and I think this is where everyone goes wrong and wonders why we like something so horrible so much.
So there we have it, happy Australia Day.