Friday, August 22, 2014

Cultural Differences

Before moving over to Melbourne, Eg and I have been reminding ourselves about the cultural difference in Australia comparing to Malaysia. So far we've been coping quite well as things are within our expectation, and we're always talking to others, and learning the ways of living from the locals here.

But there're a few conversations that EG and I shared after work that make us chuckle. As much as we awe on some of the ways things are done here, the locals here also find our lifestyle back home rather unusual, or bizzare.

1: Milo
Aussies put milk into everything - tea, chocolate, milo, coffee, etc. Local milk here is nice, I don't deny that. Even the cheapest milk in the supermarket also taste really good. But the way I drink milo is only put milo powder, and hot water. I once told my colleagues about it, and they went big eyes and asked,"Serious? No milk?"

2. Sambal
EG's workplace (a university) has a student union house that sells Malaysia food. Once, his colleague bought mee mamak and it came with sambal. He shared with EG and EG put into his home-packed noodle for extra kick. And when his colleague saw the amount of sambal EG took, he went, "That's suicidal!"... And EG told him we're used to this taste. And he asked,"And you have nasi lemak for breakfast?" EG said yes, and they all went shocked as they couldn't understand why would us take such a heavy tasted spicy food for breakfast. But later on they deduced that it's probably healthier as it contains rice, eggs; instead of usual local breakfast of cereal which contains more sugar. EG begged for differ and lots of explanations went on that I'd skip here. :)

3. Coffee
This is again from EG's workplace. When he introduced himself and mentioned that he's from Malaysia, a lady asked him, Oh, you guys eat nasi lemak for breakfast right? (point #2 above), and next that we never expect - "And you drink coffee with ice?".. Hmm at first we thought what's wrong with that, and later we found out, locals here they drink coffee to keep warm due to the cold weather here. No wonder I never see Starbucks being any popular here.

4. Leaving home
While chit chatting during lunch in the pantry, my another colleague who came from Malaysia and been staying here for the past 9 years shared his story. He said he left home to Melbourne at the age of 17 until now. All my colleagues were shocked and asked him how did he cope initially. I told them it's common in Malaysia for someone to leave home after high school. And one of my colleagues mentioned, "Oh yea, I have a friend who did this. He left home to another state, and the parents paid for his fees, rental, food, everything!" And later on they just kept saying that they can't imagine themselves doing this etc etc. Hmmm.....

So far these four are those that we thought it's the usual common which really make locals here jaw dropped. I'd think the coffee is really something that we never expect from anyone.

Anyway, it's interesting to see how others think about us. Nevertheless, we're having lots of fun exchanging our experiences with others here too.

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