So, have you seen a kangaroo?

Melbourne, Vic, AU

Yes, yes we’ve seen a kangaroo…

As Americans, Australia is fascinating in a completely different way than any other country in the world.  Because of all the other countries out there, Australia is the one where we can look at what they have done and say, “but for a few key choices, that could have been us.”

Our mainland is similar size, we have the same parent-nation and defacto common base language.  Most of both of our neighbours are from a different culture (US is beside Latin / Spanish influence while Australia is right next to Asia.)  Australians came, in large part, from prisoners while the US got started, at least in the eyes of England, as basically a bunch of armed insurrectionists.  After declaring independence, we’ve both maintained close ties with the motherland, we both had to resolve conflict with a native population, we both face similar issues on fronts of economics and immigration…we could go on.  Our two countries had a lot in common starting out and face many similar challenges to this day.

Like slurpee brain freezes

Which is why it’s so fascinating how we have both developed along slightly different paths.

Wow, Kentucky cricket…who knew!?

Unlike the other countries we’ve been to, the fascinating thing is not how massively different life here is from what we’re used to.

With Oz, the interesting things are in the details of living.

Oh and PS, where does “OZ” come from you ask?  At least we did.  Well…

        • Australia is the country.
        • So “Australian” is the name of the people.
        • But Aussies shorten everything…EVERYTHING so they changed it to “Aussie.”
        • And therefore “Aussies” come from “Aus” which just gets shortened (AGAIN) to became “OZ.”

And therein how we all came to think that tornadoes in Kansas provide free airfare to the land down under.

…back on topic…

This will be an ongoing theme here in Australia and we figured we point out a few of the interesting little things that made us do a double-take while we were in Melbourne.

For example, what happens to daily life when one no longer has an Ozone layer?

And despite America’s national obsession with fast food, why is it we have pretty much abandoned the time-tested originals?

We’ll deep fry a turkey at home, but not so much a fish anymore.

Like in New Zealand, pie – it’s what’s for dinner

 The restrooms at the fast food joints provide additional interest

Really, is this sign actually necessary?

Aussies, like Americans, also have a love of that great fusion of steel, gas and wide open nature…the road trip.  However since their country is largely barren wasteland vice developed towns & farmland, they have to bring their own motels with them.

And if you’re gonna have a camper (“campah” which they tell us is a shortened version but looks the exact same size to us) or a caravan (not synonym for “group of cars” it’s a trailer home in the local dialect) why not have it built by a company that also designs tanks?

In this country when they say off-road they actually mean it.

And this, well, this was just plain amusing:


While technically in the South Pacific it’s a far cry from life in the remote island-nation of Niue!


About the authors

Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures.  If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at!

This entry was posted in travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to So, have you seen a kangaroo?

  1. anneliesz says:

    Glad to hear you are enjoying Oz.

Comments are closed.