An Australian woman who has just moved to America has revealed the biggest culture shocks she’s experienced.
Kira LeMarshall, who’s currently in Maui, Hawaii, has been in the states for two months and has already come across a few unexpected differences between Australia and the US.
The 21-year-old said she was surprised cars don’t stop for pedestrians at zebra crossings and that Americans don’t know what chicken salt is.
She said she was ‘laughed at’ when she ordered a chicken burger as Americans call it a chicken sandwich and she confused her US friends when she put an ‘x’ at the end of her text messages.
Kira added American Target was ‘life changing’ and shared some cultural quirks about Hawaii she has noticed like the abundance of food trucks and the nightlife doesn’t start until 11pm.
Kira (pictured), who’s from Australia but moved to the USA two months ago, has shared the biggest culture shocks she’s experienced since moving to Hawaii
‘Zebra crossings are not zebra crossings, cars will not stop for you unless you wait, you cannot just walk along there like you can in Australia, you will get hit by a car,’ Kira said in a TikTok clip.
The traveller was stunned to find Americans don’t know what chicken salt is and will put plain salt on their fish and chips.
‘They don’t call it a chicken burger, they call it a chicken sandwich. A chicken burger from McDonald’s or from anywhere with the buns, that’s called a chicken sandwich,’ Kira said.
She confused her American friends when she finished her text messages with an ‘x’ or a kiss.
‘X’s are not a thing, don’t text your friends ‘x’ in America, they don’t know what it means, they don’t do that, they don’t do like a sign off like we do,’ Kira explained.
The 21-year-old said she was surprised cars don’t stop for pedestrians at zebra crossings and that Americans don’t know what chicken salt is
Kira loved American Target stores calling them ‘life changing’.
‘They have so many cool things. They have big brands there, they have really nice swimmers. It’s a like a new world,’ she said.
Some of Kira’s observations baffled American viewers who were unfamiliar with many of the Aussie things she mentioned.
‘What’s zebra crossing?? What’s chicken salt?? What is the X for???? Help,’ one replied.
‘I’m not going to lie…it took me a minute to understand what you meant by zebra crossing,’ a second admitted.
‘What does the X mean? Seriously though, I don’t understand it. Like XO for ‘kiss and hug’? Why would you need to sign off a text?’ a third asked.
Australians were taken aback by the cultural difference with many astonished to hear chicken salt was an exclusively-Aussie seasoning.
‘The chicken salt is enough to make me turn around and come back home,’ one man said.
‘NO CHICKEN SALT???? I’m never going unless I can take a suitcase with me,’ a second Aussie agreed.
‘All the Sydney/Melbourne people would be at risk in America then! They don’t stop walking for anyone,’ another pointed out.
In a follow-up clip, Kira shared some more quirks about America she’s noticed during her time in Maui starting with how many food trucks there are.
USA vs Down Under: Australian expat’s nine biggest culture shocks
- Zebra crossings: Cars will not stop for you unless you wait. You cannot just walk along there like you can in Australia, you will get hit by a car.
- Chicken salt: They don’t have chicken salt in the US, you get fish and chips and they just have normal salt on it
- Burger vs sandwich: A chicken burger from McDonald’s or from anywhere with the buns, that’s called a chicken sandwich
- Text kisses: X’s are not a thing, don’t text your friends ‘x’ in America, they don’t know what it means, they don’t do that they just, they don’t do like a sign off like we do
- Target: It’s amazing here, like life changing. They have so many cool things, big brands and really nice swimmers, it’s a like a new world,
- Food trucks: If people want takeaway food, they will go to a food truck, there are food trucks everywhere on the streets here
- Island time: It’s actually a thing, places don’t open until 10am, dinner places close at like 7pm. The hours are really short and sometimes they shut in the middle of the day to go for their lunch break
- Latino culture: There’s a really big Spanish culture, they’re always playing Spanish music at the clubs and on the radio and everyone knows how to speak Spanish which is really cool.
- Night life: It starts really late here, you don’t normally get to the bars until 11pm and I know it’s even later on the mainland like Miami or LA.
‘If people want take away food, they will go to a food truck, there are food trucks everywhere on the streets here,’ she said.
Kira also explained what ‘island time’ was where restaurants and shops open at odd hours compared to the mainland.
‘You may have heard of people being on island time, it’s actually a thing, places don’t open until 10am, dinner places close at like 7pm,’ she said.
‘The hours are really short and sometimes they shut in the middle of the day to go for their lunch break.’
The expat noticed how many people spoke Spanish in Maui.
‘They’re always playing Spanish music at the clubs and on the radio and everyone knows how to speak Spanish,’ she said.
‘I think Australia is a little bit behind in that regard.’
Finally, Kira noted people don’t hit the bars and clubs until around 11pm when they’re heading for a night out and said she thinks it’s even later in places like Miami and LA.
Americans in the comments were quick to point out many of her experiences are exclusive to Hawaii.
‘Hawaii is a part of America but if you say you moved to America, we’re thinking continental US. Hawaii has their own culture,’ someone pointed out.
‘Hawaii is so different from the mainland US,’ a second agreed.
Kira defended her stance responding: ‘Hawaii is different to mainland America for sure but as an Aussie who’s never been to America and lives with Americans, the culture shock is real!’.
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