Ode to Australia (may contain Aussie slang!)

27 Jan

When we first arrived to the motherland somebody told us that once we get past the three-month mark, everything will be easier. We’ll be nice and settled and comfortable in a job, it will feel more like home and we would begin to miss Australia less and less. Well, we can tell you that is wrong! The first three months we were busy discovering a new city, finding a new place to live and meeting new friends, stepping foot into a brand new job and taking on the challenge of making our way in one of the biggest cities in the world. Things were exciting and unknown and the discovery of it all was massive fun.

We’ve now cruised past being six months in the UK and things are getting harder. We’re craving the hug of a family member more and more and not to mention familiar Aussie food, the beach, driving any time we want and receiving good ol’ fashioned friendly customer service. Going beyond the six month mark is proving tough…

… but then came Australia Day.

Stepping out of Clapham Common station on Sunday and the sound in the air was like sweet song. We could hear that familiar Australian accent – and not just that occasion when an Aussie crosses your path somewhere out and about in London (which is inevitable as there is something like 50,000 of us living in London after all) – but every second person was speaking our language. All we could see were guys and girls wearing green and gold, Aussie flags slung around shoulders as capes, people wearing thongs, boardies and singlets (even though it was well under 10 degrees celsius!) with inflatable kangaroos and crocs in tow. On this day, us Aussies were invading the south London borough in droves all in the name of Australia Day and to celebrate everything that is good about our home country (which, let’s face it, is absolutely everything).

Jaime, Matt and I (together with our friend – the inflatable kangaroo) met Amy and Troy at the station and we walked down to Infernos… usually a sleazy disco club, but today, it was the scene of the TNT Australia Day party and one of many other parties happening in pubs around London. Stepping into the club put a smile on our faces immediately and I could feel the pang of homesickness slowly dissipating… we were surrounded by everything Australian. Ah… home…! It was fabulous! We made a beeline for the cloak room to dump our heavy jackets and then headed straight to the bar to buy the first of many VBs we would consume throughout the rest of the afternoon. It’s funny, VB is usually a beer we wouldn’t touch at home, but it was Australian and it would be un-Australian not to drink it here in London.

The party was off to a great start and we were all in great spirits for the rest of the afternoon, but the best was yet to come. Narelle, Nicole and Rachelle arrived and we had run into another friend Susie… all Aussies, all fabulous and all in for a great Aussie party! The whole afternoon we were singing and dancing to Aussie ballads by great Aussie artists like Johnny Farnham, Hunters and Collectors, Jimmy Barnes, Powerderfinger, Men At Work, Missy Higgins, and John Williamson to name a few. The Australian national anthem even got a play. It’s never been so exciting for us than to hear so many Aussie songs one after another.

The Aussie party was also complete with quintessential Aussie food. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it was food that was ‘home’ and we absolutely loved it. Meat pies for lunch and lamingtons and Twisties for dessert! Oh how the lamingtons went down a treat! We honestly haven’t had one in years, but all of sudden, we were eating the most delicious thing on the face of this planet, all because it was Australian. Homesickness disappearing further…

Along with hundreds of fellow Aussies, we were also joined by our mates from across the stream (our Kiwi friends) and even English friends came to join us Aussies to celebrate our day. Rachelle’s friend, Sereet, who is English, joined us for the afternoon and we had great fun debating over the case of Vegemite versus Marmite – which one tastes better. Is there even a competition? Come on now… seriously! And while we’re on the subject… they’re chips. Not crisps English people. We call them chips!

To get further into the Australian spirit, we brought along patriotic items to make our day even more complete – the Aussie flag one of them, the inflatable kangaroo, miniature clip-on koala, the cork hat, Australian flag stickers and green and gold. People were also dressed up in all things Aussie – there was Vegemite jar and her VB bottle boyfriend, the tin of Milo, the girl with the Ramsay Street sign attached to her head, Chopper Reid, Ned Kelly, even a girl dressed up as a cardboard impersonation of Uluru. Everyone was rejoicing home – even the Kiwi guy who was dressed up as Steve Irwin (and much to my shock, it turns out he didn’t even know where or what Australia Zoo is!) Everything iconically Australian was represented. Even Kylie Minogue and Dame Edna made an appearance.

We left the club later that evening feeling on top of the world with a renewed energy to continue surviving in the UK in all its glory – crappy weather, packed tubes, impatience, lousy customer service…. Marmite. It’s a great experience living as an expat, but it just goes to show that there really is no place like home and we’re going to appreciate every little thing that much more when we eventually return back to the greatest country on Earth!

(For all Aussie Day antics, check out our photos: http://www.facebook.com/mel.cook03?cropsuccess#!/album.php?fbid=488063905869&id=734050869&aid=272396)


One Response to “Ode to Australia (may contain Aussie slang!)”

  1. Grandma January 29, 2011 at 4:38 PM #

    hi melinda great blog keep them coming

    are you all organised for 6 feb can

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today was meaningful

a collection of thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian Writer in (North) Germany

I am the world's oyster

Photography, Aviation, Nature, Culture, Nikon, Canon, Qantas, Airlines, Emirates, Airports, A380, 747


Love for hand-knitted & -crocheted beauty. Proud designer & founder of LN|Beanies and LN|Andes, my two knit brands, my two loves.

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