PERTH: Not quite British, not quite American

According to my countdown app, I only have two months left here. It’s really weird to think of going home when I feel like I’ve finally gotten into a solid routine here.

The people I live with have definitely become my dysfunctional, surrogate family and I’m finally having conversations with my classmates and lecturers that go beyond the “Yes I’m studying abroad,” or “It is a lot different from home?” conversations.

More than that, I’m enjoying the culture differences a lot more than I did when I first got here.

Generally speaking, everything is so much more laid back. Sometimes at home I feel like we never really turn off school and work and it’s always like go go go. Here I feel like work and life is a little more balanced.

During my first few weeks another American who has lived here a while told me to be prepared for people to be a lot slower or more relaxed about getting things done. He told me to just go with it.

It was pretty hard to do this coming from a place where professors and employers have answered e-mails and problem solved with me even after hours. Now, I appreciate the change.

Australian culture is a mix of British/European culture and something more outgoing but less definable. I was definitely expecting it to be more similar to the U.S. It’s not a huge culture shock, but compared to my European friends, I’m a lot less familiar with different terms and products.

It’s super apparent when it comes to food just how much stronger the British influence is here than in the U.S. For example, you can buy fish and chips everywhere and my Australian dorm mates eat “beans on toast” and “bangers and mash” just as often as my British dorm mates.

Movies, music, and pop culture stuff is still pretty American though. I’ve spent several of my nights as an RA having “trash-TV-athons” that consist mainly of American shows like “South Park,” “Family Guy,” and even “16 and Pregnant.”

As for music, the vibe here is a lot different than in Austin. Despite the presence of street performers on every corner on the weekend, Perth doesn’t seem to be really big on live music. I also have yet to hear anyone talk about having a favorite local band or venue to see live music at which is kind of disappointing.

Luckily, popular movies are the same everywhere so we can all understand each others’ movie references with no problems.

I have also noticed an insane amount of James Bond movie watching here.