Culture

20 Things Only People Who Grew Up In Australia Will Understand

Being Australian in 2020 means you have a new Prime Minister every month, your most fulfilling relationship is with Married At First Sight and you’re painfully close to being able to taste Marble chocolate again. But sometimes it’s nice to look back on simpler times, and remember what it was like growing up in Australia.

Whether it was ordering lunch from the canteen on a paper bag, learning about the human body from a giraffe or living at your friend’s pool every summer, there are some things that only Aussie kids do.

Here are 20 things you can only learn by growing up in Australia:

#1 No party is complete without Fairy Bread

If your birthday party didn’t have a plate of buttered white bread topped with 100s and 1000s, did you even have a birthday party?

#2 Healthy Harold

It’s crazy to think that kids in the rest of the world never climbed into a pitch-black van to learn about health, sex and drugs from a talking giraffe puppet.

#3 Playing handball

Tired: college football

Wired: playing handball on the quad every recess

#4 “No hat, no play”

Every Aussie schoolkid knew the rule, but we all tried to get away with it so we could play with our friends at recess. Now that we’re adults we appreciate that our teachers were just looking out for our skin, but growing up in Australia and forgetting your hat was a dark time.

#5 You’re used to living with massive spiders

No one is as calm as an Aussie with a giant huntsman in their house. Other people might freak out, but we know that old mate will protect us from mosquitos and just wants to chill out.

#6 You’ll never sweat as much as you do on Christmas day

Unless your family had air con, you dreamed of a white Christmas because Australia in December is unimaginably hot. The pavlova after lunch was pretty great, though.

#7 But there’s nothing hotter than a seatbelt buckle in summer

And don’t even think about gripping the steering wheel properly if you’ve been parked in the sun.

#8  Zooper Doopers are a summer essential

Every Aussie’s freezer is full of Zooper Doopers in summer, and you know there’s nothing quite as disappointing as a bag with just the orange flavour left.

#9 You know all the words to Untouched

None of us know the words to the second verse of the national anthem but we’re ready to sing this on every night out.

#10 You abbreviate everything

“Maccas”, “Avo”, “Choccy”, “Servo” — growing up in Australia makes you a master of shortening words. Even ones that don’t even really need to be shortened.

#11 And you call money “dollarydoos”

Growing up in Australia means you were obsessed with the Australian episode of The Simpsons and you probably quote it at least twice a week.

#12 The unimaginable pain when your thongs break

God help anyone whose thongs broke while they were walking. On hot concrete. In summer!

#13 You low-key wanted to be a mermaid

Thanks to H2O: Just Add Water, every girl hoped she’d grow a mermaid tail when she dived into a pool. And every Aussie was proud when America discovered this show and lost its mind.

#14 Your local bakery has the world’s best meat pie

If you grew up in rural Australia, you know for a fact that your bakery has the best meat pie or vanilla slice in the world. Just because everybody believes this about their hometown doesn’t make it any less real.

#15 You know all the moves to Nutbush City Limits

The most important thing we learned at school wasn’t maths or English, it was the Nutbush dance. Only Australia could take a song about a small American town and claim it as our own national dance, to be performed at every school disco and wedding.

#16 The worst traffic is actually the wildlife

If you learned to drive in rural Australia, you always had to stop to let kangaroos, wombats, echidnas or cows cross the road.

#17 You lost your mind when a Coles mud cake came out

There was no greater betrayal than when your parents baked you a cake for your birthday instead of getting a choccy mud cake from Coles or Woolworths.

#18 How to respond when someone drops a glass

All Australians are born with the innate knowledge that the correct response when someone drops a glass is to yell “TAXI”.

#19 On your first trip to the bottle-o, you got a six pack of Vodka Cruisers

Whether you’re going to your first house party, or drinking in your friend’s paddock, the watermelon Vodka Cruisers is what almost every Aussie kid chose when they started drinking alcohol.

#20 A dog at school was the best thing ever

Whenever a dog got loose in your school, you knew three things: no one would get any work done, you’d get to watch your teacher chase it around the playground, and if you were lucky you’d get to pat it.

(Lead image: The Veronicas, ‘Untouched’ / YouTube)