Things people do in Australia that would be totally strange done elsewhere -Part 3

Australia never ceases to amaze and amuse me, that's why I have been keeping track of all the oddities I came across in the past months. Mind you, they are odd to my foreign eye, perfectly sensible for Australians. This is Part 3 of my journey of discovery, so make sure to catch up on Part 1 and Part 2!

Strange things in Australia

  • Drop bears
It seems that everyone is in on the global prank they are pulling on tourists about evil koala twins called 'dropbears'. This prank is so accurate, on google you are able to come across photos and accurate descriptions of their predatory patterns published by the Australian Museum. They even came up with a scientific name (Thylarctos plummetus, in case you were wondering), and with various tactics to adopt in order to deter drop bear attacks, which include Vegemite under your armpits and loud Aussie accent.

  • Christmas in Summer
As an European that have always associated Christmas with snow, seeing surfers santas and ugly christmas swimsuits is quite odd. Nonetheless, much like in those black and white images where you can either see a duck or a rabbit, my brain is starting to catch a glimpse of sense in the matter! Especially when you consider that, by having major celebrations in Summer, that's when everyone is on holiday, and it happens only once a year. Unlike in Italy, where people have several weeks off in December, and more weeks off in Summer. One last thing for my European friends: it is still Christmas for all intents and purposes, just not Winter. Also, 'Christmas in July' markets AND actual Christmas markets? Double the Christmas, double the fun!

  • Rashies
I had no idea what rashies were when I came here. If you're like me and too busy to google, they're some sort of long sleeved swimsuit tops that protect your skin from the sun, but allow you to do all the beach things. As a person that tends to avoid sun damage and who is not too fond of cold ocean breeze, I am starting to see the importance of rashies. Also, the sun here is pretty hot and UV rays work in mysterious ways down here, so people wear funny hats with capes and sun block lotion is a welcomed thing to bring to a bbq, you'll understand how long sleeved swumsuits were bound to happen. 

  • Walking barefoot
It is really not that uncommon to see people walking around without shoes, especially when it's hot. If you see people barefeet in the city they probably don't own shoes, but in the suburbs it's almost socially acceptable to ride to the supermarket and walk in without shoes. Given that the shoe of choice for most Aussies is a simple flip-flop, it's hard for me to understand why would someone ditch the rubbery sole to step on hot concrete, not to mention germs and nature, both trying to kill you.

  • Surrend to a Nanny State
It's no secret that Australia tends to go overboard with its laws. The title 'Nanny State' pretty much sums up this protective and fair attitude to the extreme and the line between law and common sense gets lost. Lockout laws to avoid drunk violence won't allow people to enter pubs after a certain time, plain packaging laws are applied to cigarettes, advertising bans to restrict marketing junk food, alcohol, and cigarettes, picnic permits, website age gates, and don't get me started on the endless list of regulations if you want to have a pool in your backyard. Also, the penalty for cycling without a helmet or without ID are sometimes harsher than speeding tickets, which are applied with extreme precision for as little as 3 km/h over speed limit. Let me just tell you that, in Italy, 10 km over speed limit will cost you just 40 Euro, and they won't suspend your license until they catch you speeding  40 to 60 km over the limit. If your car can do that!

Image: via

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