Vegemite and firearms

Jindabyne, NSW, AU

Being as Australia isn’t exactly known for its alpine ski industry pretty much no one outside the natives typically makes it to the slopes here.

The upside of this is that working at a ski resort in Australia enabled us to meet one of our main goals for our time down under: we spent 3 months working and living with actual Australians.  As opposed to our previous job where we spent the majority of our time around European cowgirls; here for three months we were immersed in a, granted atypical but nonetheless genuine, Aussie cultural experience.

This, inevitability, led to the conversation on Vegemite.

Because Vegemite in Australia is a lot like guns in America.

  • Many of us in America are at least passingly familiar with firearms.
  • We have grown up in a society where guns are present and over time we have, to a varying degree, normalized this into our daily lives.
  • Though many of us don’t own a gun, a lot of us know how to safely handle one should we be exposed to it.
  • Those Americans who don’t know how to handle a gun at least know who to ask before using one.
  • Most importantly we all recognize that guns should not be handled without proper instruction
  •  Because used improperly guns can and will kill you.

The one big difference between guns in America and Vegemite in Australia is that in America, if you’re new to our land, we tell you not to touch the guns until someone has shown you how to not kill yourself.

Australians provide no such courtesy regarding Vegemite to those that visit their shores.  As is evidenced in the flowing video where Greg has what we believe to be a very typical “initial traumatizing experience”:

So we get to the ski resort and after a month or so someone asks “well have you had Vegemite?” (It’s a rite of passage thing.)

And when we respond that that stuff was, in the language of the land, “a bit full on” they took it as a point of national pride to hold a proper Vegemite cooking class:

Apparently, Vegemite is not to be used as normal spread like butter, peanut butter, jam, Nutella, or any other normal spreadable substance that people use on the planet.

And certainly no one ever mentioned anything about cheese before now.

But somehow we’re just supposed to absorb this information via osmosis when we clear customs or something.

Would it kill you to stick a flyer at the border?

Come on Australia, if Campbell’s Soup can put cooking instructions on the side of their can to tell me to add water,

Then Vegemite can have a line on the jar saying something to the effect of,

“Whoa there cowboy, go easy with this stuff.  See how much you put on there?  Like, 10% of that is about right.  Little bit goes a long long LONG way.”

Just saying, it might help international sales.

Oh and Weet-Bix?

You’re supposed to add the sugar yourself.  Ok fine

but use no more than 2 teaspoons of milk per bowl?

Yeah, just like NO other cereal ON EARTH!

Again, people, seriously?  There’s a whole box these things come in.  You all pride yourself on your international tourist industry.  Little help here.

But then, what did we expect from a cereal company called Sanitarium?

Yeah, we’re not kidding.  That’s the name of the company that makes the cereal down here.

At least our friends taught us about fairy bread.  That’s a cool thing for the kids.

And then the Milo.

Which is like hot chocolate,

except without the chocolate,

and you eat it,

while it sits on top of the milk.

As you can see, it’s all very confusing and this was not our first adventure with miscommunication in international dining.

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!

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