Wassup in Philadelphia

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

More frequently asked questions about an Australian living in the USA . . .

Have you picked up an American accent yet?
Nope - but I do put one on if it's really crucial that I get any important details across. They simply cannot understand what you are saying. I may as well be speaking French.

Other than the accent, have you gone "native"?
No. I haven't got a car, a therapist or a handgun yet, so I suppose I will remain a conspicuous legal alien for the time being.

What are the main differences between Australia and the US?
The biggest difference is in the taboos of alcohol and religion.

What's different about alchohol?
Unlike Australia where to be referred to as a "drunk" is a goal to aspire to, in the US it is a genuine insult. And it's not made any easier by the fact that anytime you go to a bar and start talking to the bar staff in an Australian accent - they start feeding you free drinks. It's literally: buy one Guiness, get three free. Waddyagunnado? Hey - I've got an Australian image to maintain, so my heart says yes, but my liver says no.

What's different about religion?
People are very open about their religion over here - as opposed to Australia where you are meant to feel sensibly ashamed if you believe in imaginery friends. Folks will spend their lunch hours reading the bible at their desk. I feel like tapping them on the shoulder and saying, "C'mon guys! Are you crazy! You've got free internet here! There's porn to be surfed!!"

How are you liking the local food?
Funnily enough: "oil" and "salt" have their own food group over here.

So are people fat?
Well to give you some indication - I am a size "S" for small in the USA. I know those that saw my Survivor audition tape ("before" vs "after") will find it hard to believe, but it's true. I wouldn't describe myself as a "small". I was one of the front-row forwards in Honeywell's Rugby Sevens team (although admittedly, that says more about the people that work in the computer software industry than my own physique). Yet compared to Americans, aparently I am "small". What-EVER!!

Stay tuned . . .

posted by Phil Willis 8:13 PM

Powered by Blogger


What's up with Phil in Philly? An Australian comes to grips with life in the US of A.