Posted by: megaschwez | July 10, 2009

Things I don’t miss about Australia

Australia flag map

If you happen to be outside Australia, and you run into an Australian citizen, it is statistically a dead certainty that the topic of ‘what I miss about Australia’ will be canvassed, most likely at length.

I would be prepared to go down to the local TAB-equivalent here and place bets that the words ‘beach’, ‘tim-tams’ and ‘barbie’ will be liberally scattered throughout the next conversation I have with an aussie expat. (Let’s be honest, most of those phrases will probably come from me)

To clarify, I am the last person to play down homesickness. Homesickness is the worst feeling. It can make you even sadder than when Barbara Hershey dies in Beaches*. It is kind of like having a broken heart, but you don’t get as much sympathy when you shovel in a whole tub of icecream and a block of milka to dull the pain.

However, just because you’re overseas does not make it okay to rabbit on about the $10 schnitzel dinner at your local RSL club and how much you miss it (note to self).

Thus, I’m campaigning for the following to be a legitimate conversation topic: ‘Things I Don’t Hate About Australia, But Also Don’t Really Miss’. Here is my contribution.


Tim Tam SlamLet’s start with the obvious. I like tim-tams. But there are a lot of chocolate biscuits here that do the trick just as nicely. My verdict: Tim-tam slams are overrated (I cannot believe there is a wikipedia entry devoted to this practice) There, I’ve said it. I expect a torrent of abuse in the comments.

Christmas hamper advertisements

Christmas hamperTo explain: In Australia, a series of low-budget advertisements run from about December 26. They advertise the fact that you can pay a monthly instalment to receive a christmas hamper delivered to your door next Christmas, choc-full of useless and faintly repulsive grocery items.

The ads are tailored to the Readers’ Digest crowd, and/or the kind of families where the mum still prints out labels to iron onto the clothes of her university-aged children.

I have just conducted a straw-poll amongst my english-speaking but non-Australian colleagues, and they all shook their heads in confusion at the concept of ‘let me get this straight, paying in monthly instalments for a basket of stuff that you can buy in the supermarket anyway?!’

I don’t miss these ads.

Ugg boots

ugg bootsIn europe, the revolutionary concept of central heating pretty much renders the old uggies useless. No one likes sweaty ankles, and that, my friends, is what you end up wtih if you pull them on indoors during wintertime, when the house is heated to a cosy 22°C.

Also, don’t get me started on wearing uggies outside. Lindsay Lohan can get away with it because she is a celebrity lez and we are all too busy looking for traces of cocaine in her nostrils to notice the aesthetically unappealing footwear.

Inflated wine prices

passion popTo my knowledge, the only wine-related products in Sydney under $7 are passion pop and queen adelaide. These are cool when you are 15, then they become uncool as soon as you turn 18 and can legally purchase a decent semillon savignon blanc with your retail wage.

Then they become retro-cool again, mostly at uni parties where all the indie kids wear threadbare dunlops and get ‘like totally wasted’.

Mostly, in Australia,  you pay $13-$21 for a bottle of vino (depending on how much you like the person whose party you are going to). Here, I can’t remember the last time I paid more than 4€.

I am pretty sure there are a whole bunch of other things I don’t miss, including the Royal Easter Show, Karl Stefanovic and annoying commercials such as the ‘Good Guys’ ad. Here it is, to remind you how much you don’t/wouldn’t miss it.

*if you haven’t seen it, you deserved that spoiler


  1. 1) “…choc-full of useless and faintly repulsive grocery items.”

    As the bulimic said to the bishop?

    2) “Lindsay Lohan can get away with it because she is a celebrity lez”

    See above.

  2. Ahhh Ugg boots…the scourge of Penrif!

  3. I have to agree, I have never seen anyone do a “Tim Tam Slam” nor am I convinced that it would even work.

  4. ….still chortling…..the number of times i have attempted, and failed, to try to explain the tim tam obsession to germans, and then lamely ended: “yeah, but there are heaps of rather tasty, if not even more delicous bikkies here, so….”

  5. Beth, are you implying that I have in fact ordered a christmas hamper on the sly? I am not 100% sure about this bulimic bishop business.

  6. meep: you “speak me out of the soul”, as they say. So true. The first time I got someone to bring me over some tim tams, the anticipation was far, far greater than the enjoyment of abovementioned tim-tam slam.

    But they are a cult item, let’s face it. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for ’em. Except I think I like the Leibnitz biscuits better… *shhh*

  7. is it embarrassing to admit that i actually miss the good guys ad? and tim tams (even though we’ve got manner schnitten, which i used to miss just as much during my years in oz)? even the easter show, even though i’ve never actually attended it? hells yeah it is… :o)

  8. hmm. I can forgive you missing tim tams, but the good guys ad? We need to get you some ‘heim’weh therapy quicksmart 🙂 This should do the trick:

  9. I had to throw in that you can get amazing lambrusco for $6.49.
    it is awesome. tastes like fizzy ribena and makes you all silly and lovely.

    ps HIIIIII!!!!

  10. ooh I forgot about that! mmm, fizzy ribena goodness… so true. My sister and I had an awesome Brown Brothers wine that tasted like that too, and we never found out what it was. *smacks lips*

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