Mikayla goes by Mikooks on TikTok (pictured)
An American college exchange student who was living in Australia before COVID-19 struck has shared some of the ‘weirdest’ habits she noticed in her surrogate home, including how women dress and what particular slang terms mean.
Mikayla, who goes by Mikooks on TikTok, uploaded six videos about the differences between the US and Australia, saying there were just some things – like the metric system and ice cream in an iced coffee – she didn’t understand.
She was forced to cut her exchange short and fly back to the US on March 22, scoring herself a business class seat for the ride.
So what did she think of it Down Under?
Mikayla said she ‘missed’ Arnott’s Tim Tams since departing the southern hemisphere and was hopeful she’d be able to return in a post-coronavirus world.
But until then she would wonder afar about why Aussies refer to hot dogs as a sausage sandwich, putting a singular sausage inside one slice of white bread.
In America the ‘hot dog’ is a frankfurt inside a sliced bun, which to Mikayla makes sense. The Australian version ‘weirded her out a lot’.
Australians also refer to ketchup as tomato sauce, a liquor store is called a ‘bottle-o’ and if you order an iced coffee it will usually have ice cream in it (right)
Australians also refer to ketchup as tomato sauce, a liquor store is called a ‘bottle-o’ and if you order an iced coffee it will usually have ice cream in it.
Alcoholic drinks also caused some confusion, with Mikayla saying: ‘If you want to order a vodka sprite at a bar they give you vodka lemonade. But a vodka lemonade is called a vodka squash.’
She also found crackers to be less fluffy and aerated in Oz compared to back home.
THE WAY OF LIFE
After asking someone where the bathroom is, and being told it’s 50 metres away, Mikayla realised she didn’t understand the metric system, even though ‘most countries in the world use it’.
‘I also didn’t know how hot 30 degrees Celsius was,’ she said.
However, she did enjoy how quick Australians were to abbreviate their terms, describing how she ordered a flat white with oat milk from a barista who called it a. ‘flatty-o’.
The voltage in our power outlets is much higher than that of America’s, 230 volts compared to 120 volts, which made her electrical equipment feel like it was going to ‘explode’ and all of the bus timetables are written in ‘military time’.
After asking someone where the bathroom is, and being told it’s 50 metres away, Mikayla realised she didn’t understand the metric system, even though ‘most countries in the world use it’
She did note there weren’t as many gigantic spiders as she thought there was going to be, but these were replaced by large cockroaches.
Mikayla said the no tipping system – because people make ‘liveable wages’ – was fantastic, as was the fact Ugg boots are much cheaper to buy because they are made Down Under.
Finally, the grading of school years was a transition she had to get used to.
‘In America our years are called freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year. But here they are called first, second and third years which honestly makes more sense,’ she said.
Swimmers at Bondi Beach on April 28, 2020
According to Mikayla there is a well-known stereotype that Australian people are very attractive, and she confirmed in her videos that this was indeed the case.
‘Girls wear fake eyelashes and have lip injections which honestly rocks,’ she said.
Some women are so body confident they will happily go topless on the beach, which isn’t necessarily the case in the States.
She didn’t specifically mention men in her posts, but one can assume she also thought they were physically attractive, given her sweeping statements about the population.
There are a number of names for common items that Australians say differently to the rest of the world, most hilariously calling flip flops ‘thongs’.
But they also refer to sweatpants as ‘trackie dacks’, a sweatshirt as a ‘jumper’ and a bathroom is simply known as a ‘toilet’.
‘If I say thank you usually people respond with ‘that’s alright’ instead of ‘you’re welcome’. We would say that’s alright after someone says sorry,’ Mikayla said.
There are a number of names for common items that Australians say differently to the rest of the world, most hilariously calling flip flops ‘thongs’
The phrasing that confused her the most was ‘avo’ and ‘arvo’, with the former referring to an avocado and the latter, an afternoon.
Words like ‘colour’ and ‘favourite’ as spelt with the letter u, words like ‘analyse’ are spelt with an ‘s’ not a ‘z’ and you don’t pronounce the ‘r’ in words like Cairns.
And finally, instead of saying ‘how are you doing?’ Australian say ‘how are you going?’ Which took her awhile to get used to.
Overall Mikayla said she misses Australia and its natural beauty and was delighted to spend time in its cities.