Contrary to popular belief, Australia is not full of surfer bronze gods.

Whenever I told my fellow Americans that I was going to Australia, they always reacted in two ways. The first reaction was about the guys:

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The other was about Australia’s fine fauna:

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You know your friends are good ones when they post this shizzle on your Facebook.

You know your friends are good friends when they post this shizzle on your Facebook.

Now that I’m in Australia, I can see these stereotypes for myself. Or not. Because honestly…

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And what of the poisonous animals? Perhaps it’s because I’ve been in the city, but I haven’t seen anything scary so far. Though I have taken a shine to all the unusual birds around Sydney.

The Australian White Ibis, or as I like to call it, the Garbage Bird. As exotic as they look, they're actually a pest.

The Australian White Ibis, or as I like to call it, the Garbage Bird. As exotic as they look, they’re actually a pest.

I'm tempted to make a Finding Nemo reference.

I’m tempted to make a Finding Nemo reference.

An Australian Magpie!

An Australian Magpie!

Though as I pass judgement on Australia, people have passed judgement on me. I’m an American, you see, and I’m living in a residential college for international students. I find it highly entertaining to hear other countries’ stereotypes about the USA.

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Granted, it’s partly our fault that we have such a great rep.

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As I’ve tried to explain my country, I’ve run into some roadblocks. America is a big place. My understanding of the US is probably totally different from someone who lives, in, say, Texas, or California, or Kansas. I can only give biased opinions.

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Well, I do my best.

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I’m a born ambassador, that’s for sure.

18 thoughts on “Contrary to popular belief, Australia is not full of surfer bronze gods.

  1. I read this whole comic to myself in an Aussie accent. Not like Crocodile Hunter (rest in peace man) style but more like New Zealander-ish. Hey, it’d be interesting to see what your Aussie friends think of New Zealanders.
    It’s interesting that other countries think that about us. But I’d like to think that the people I hang with (including you) , are decent, normal American peoples. Except my hate of 7th president Andrew Jackson…
    Anyway I hope that Australia is treating you well! Eat a Tim Tam for me! They’re delicious!
    Sorry about the big and bronze guys falling through, that accent is alluring though. Go get em. Haha
    I will make a Finding Nemo reference for you.

    • You know, I wonder about that. So far, all I’ve heard is that New Zealand is home to tons of sheep and is sparsely populated. And, thanks! I’m glad you find me a decent and normal American. ‘MURICA! Andrew Jackson, on the other hand… let’s just say Ol’ Hickory wasn’t the nicest guy around.
      I LOVE TIM TAMS! My god, they’re so delicious and totally make up for the lack of bronze surfer men.

  2. I’M BAAAAAAAACCCCKKKKK!!!!!!!!! Not that I had any real reason for not reading or commenting, which makes me feel kinda mean. How are you doing, though? Haven’t talked to you in a while. Came up with yet, another comic idea. Yeah, that’s weird. I know. Oh, and important questions. What cultures and customs are different than the states? I know that Australia is very westernized, but I’m sure you’ll notice something. What kind of music do they listen to down in the under… I mean down under? And I don’t mean, Ke$ha, Bieber, and One Direction. I mean, what kinda of music and artists do the locals listen to that the rest of the world has NOT heard of. Having a great time? Good! I know you are. When do you start school? I go back the 26th. Well, off to read your other previous posts… and go to bed… Oh, yeah, I’M BAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!! and first to comment.

    • HI!!!! I was wondering where you’ve been!! And no worries, it’s not like you have any obligation to read my blog. I’m just glad you read it in the first place!
      As for your questions: You’re right, Australia is very very Westernized, to the point where I feel like I’m in the States except everyone has accents. I’ve noticed a few things, though: Australians, as rumored, really are laid-back. (In fact, they often call themselves lazy.) Their university system works a little differently; a lot more emphasis is placed on self-study and independent projects. (And I thought the US was individualistic!) The populace is more politically aware (or perhaps it’s because there’s an important election coming up) and it’s actually compulsory to vote, or you get fined! (A small fine, that’s more symbolic than anything. Democracy!)
      As for music? I don’t know yet. I’ve been tuning into the radio, but it seems like the charts are mostly US-dominated. Well, I did like this song, which is by a New Zealander. If I hear any cool Aussie music, I’ll let you know!
      I started school at the end of July! Since Australia’s seasons are reversed, this is actually the second semester of the year, their wintertime! Though I don’t think 70 degrees counts as wintertime.
      I’m glad you’re back!! 😀 Thanks for commenting!

      • Democracy!! Oh, sorry. I thought… oh, never mind. Thanks for the great song. You what else is a great song? Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. You know what else I love? Puppies!! And kittens and mangos and….. Forget it. Here’s my favorite song by the South Korean band f(x): And since you did start classes, how have they been going? Do they expect any different of you than here in ‘Murica?

        • THAT’S RIGHT, YOU LISTEN TO K-POP!! I love K-pop! And that song is highly catchy! I LOVE Can’t Hold Us, too– I can listen to that song on infinite loop.
          My classes have been going… ehh, poorly. USyd is a VERY competitive school if you’re not a study abroad student, so the level of classes is way harder! And Australia seems to be an even more individualistic country than the US. They REALLY expect the students to be independent and figure out stuff for themselves. Grading is harsher too! So, in other words: I’m pretty screwed, especially since I’ve been studying a lot less here than I do in the US. Gotta see Australia while I’m here, you know?
          Though I’ll probably regret it when my GPA gets destroyed back home.

  3. I love hearing stories (or just people in general) sharing their opinion of the U.S., especially if they’re not from around here or if they are from another country. It gives us a chance to sort if step back and be like “wow. So this is how the world sees us…” Sometimes the stereotyping is good, and then other times… XD
    I remember when a friend of my uncle’s went to England on some business endeavor and Bush was in office at the time. Talking to one of his newly made British friends, he said the concencus of the British people was that Americans were all cowboys; we all owned horses, and had an outrageously strong accent. So it’s interesting to see your country through different eyes. As for being an ambassador? You totally got this (;

    • Haha thanks! I hope I’ll make a good ambassador… or at least not turn people off America completely. XD
      My German host parents had the same stereotypes too! Listening to my host dad try to imitate George W. Bush’s accent was the best thing ever. You’re right, learning what other countries think of us definitely gives some perspective.

  4. As far as the surfers and animals, you could probably find them if you really looked (for surfers, the beach – especially Bondi. For animals, of course, the bush.)

    But yeah, America’s reputation is pretty much that. Being half American myself, I’m slightly more clued in, but yeah.

    • Actually, as far as the bush goes, I’m not sure how much of that weird/gross stuff you’d see, but you could certainly see the wildlife.

      You know, you should go to the Blue Mountains if you get the chance. You can see the Three Sisters, and there’s this ride/transport that’ll take you down in the bush where you can go for a walk and see the bush.

      Not sure if I ever mentioned that before. It’d be a nice day trip. I’ve been there before. It’s in Katoomba, which I’m not sure if you might get there by train. You’d have to look it up.

    • Bondi! I already wanted to go there, but now I REALLY want to go. Coming soon, I guess! ;P
      I guess I should have known that America’s rep would be like that. It’s just surprising hearing people sincerely ask me about those stereotypes, wondering if they’re true!

  5. Absolutely Vy! I remember trying to explain some things about my life in the US but I always had to include the caveat: but not all Americans are like me. America is a hodge-podge of so many different cultures that it’s really hard to generalize! I’m glad you get to use English to explain everything though, that makes is easier I bet.

    • Definitely! I can’t even imagine trying to explain how diverse America is in Japanese or Vietnamese. Being able to use English here realllllly makes a difference as compared to my previous travels. (Well, my German host parents were excellent at English, so I did ok there as well. 😛 )

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