Woman Shares 21 Things That She Didn’t Realize Were “American” Until She Moved Abroad
Kaymie Wuerfel relocated from Florida to Sydney after getting married to her Australian partner and has been learning to live in the Land Down Under.
To pass the extra free time that came with the pandemic, she began documenting the differences between life in the US and Australia in a series of TikTok videos which have grown her audience to 242.8K followers.
In a recent clip, for example, Wuerfel admitted that she realized garbage disposals and ranch dressing were quintessential American symbols only after she moved abroad and saw that other places don't really care about them. Who could've known!
Continue scrolling to check out what other cultural nuances the TikToker has noticed.
Kaymie Wuerfel left her home in Clearwater, Florida for Sydney to be with her Australian husband
Image credits: kayywuerf
She adjusted to Aussie life quite well and is now working on a TikTok series, naming all the things she realized are super American
Pharmaceutical Ads Everywhere
Especially the ones where people look super happy while they list the 25 ways it might kill you
"I moved to Australia in November 2019 and I've adapted quite well," Wuerfel told Bored Panda. "The first six months or so were a huge adjustment period as you can tell from my comedic skits. Now it feels like home to me."
The content creator came up with the idea for the series in Spring 2020. "I had just canceled a trip that had been scheduled for that March to visit my family in America (due to Covid) and I was really down and missing home. I decided to make a [sketch] about what it's like being an American in Australia to make light out of the situation. It was my first viral video!"
Interestingly, Kaymie almost didn't post it because she thought it was silly. But now she's glad she did!
Buying Cigarettes At The Pharmacy
"Hi! I'm here to pick up my medication & the cigarettes I shouldn't be smoking while I'm taking it..."
The Ice Obsession
We put TONS of ice in practically everything. We probably get away with this because we have free refills. But before I moved abroad I literally wouldn't drink something unless it had lots of ice
Of course, Australia and the USA have many things in common, too. Both are large land masses, both predominantly English speaking, both with an ancient native population, and both relatively recently settled by European cultures. Both are democracies and both are meritocracies. Both cultures tend to be fairly materialistic and both tend to be open to new ideas and risk in business. Besides, Australians, like Americans, are usually hard-working and results-orientated.
But as you can see from Wuerfel's videos, there are also differences between the two. (It's important to note, however, that they don't make one better or worse than the other.)
"Australians can have a dry and perverse sense of humor and will often deliberately say the exact opposite of what they actually mean," Sue Bryant, a writer and editor specializing in global business culture and travel, wrote in Country Navigator. "Americans, on the other hand, have a very explicit communication style and irony can fall flat on its face. Each side should bear these differences in mind."
"For Halloween!!! It's in 43 days, 7 hours and 2 minutes"
".. are you being serious?"
"Halloween is for kids.."
Bathroom Stall Gaps. (We Are The Only Country This Silly)
I have literally been conditioned to look down the entire time I'm inside
"Australians believe firmly in 'mateship', showing loyalty to friends, family and colleagues," Bryant explained.
"Australians working in teams may be more loyal to the team than to their employer. Americans, on the other hand, may be more loyal to the concept of performance and profit and for many, covering their own back, in a culture where hiring and firing can be extremely rapid."
Bryant said the differences between Australians and Americans are visible even in the way they talk. The former, for instance, "are great lovers of abbreviation and informality in speech; much more so than Americans."
The traveler said Australians tend to shorten words wherever possible and some regional accents, combined with this, can make people difficult to understand at first.
Root Beer & Dr. Pepper
"Sorry we don't have that"
"We don't have that either"
Ranch Dressing. Because It's A Salad Dressing.. But We Put It On Everything
We flavor chips with it. Put it on potatoes. Use it as a veggie dip. Chicken wing dip. Some people even put it on pizza
But even if you get something wrong, an Aussie will probably just say "no worries, mate."
Maybe it's all the sunshine, the miles of beaches, or the excellent quality of life, but nothing much seems to get under their skin. Even when something does go awry, there's another phrase you'll hear Australians say that keeps things nice and chill: "she'll be right, mate."
Garbage Disposals(Other Countries Just Don't Usually Have Them)
They will never be terrorized by the sound a spoon makes when it's left inside when you turn it on
24 Hours Diners
I could really go for some 2AM pancakes. "Yeah, which of the ten 24 hours places nearby do you want to go to?"
Red Solo Cups
It's not just a thing in the movies.. You'll see these at almost an American party
Putting Cheese On Everything
Broccoli, potattoes, salads, eggs, fries
The 7-Eleven Big Gulp
The big gulp is 3.785 ML (McDonald's Large in Australia is 650ML) And we still get free refills
Calling Everyone Mr. & Mrs.
family, friends, teachers, neighbors,
Cheap Breakfast Combos
That's not to say other places don't have breakfast combos... But in America you'd get all of this for like $12