My First Day In Australia In 2008

Sometimes I think about when I very first arrived in Australia, on July 1st, 2008, all alone-y on my own-y.

Without knowing, I got one Aussie thing completely wrong, and one Aussie thing completely right.


After a 12 hour flight from Beijing, I arrived in Sydney and blearily walked through customs and immigration were an officer lady said “How ya going?” in a friendly way.

I thought about how I was going to be getting to the couchsurfing house I had arranged and replied “BY BUS”.

I found out days later that “how ya going” simply means “how are you”. HAHAHA. She must have thought I was funny.


I’m by myself. It’s hot. I’m thirsty.

I walk into a bar and ask for a LEMONADE.

The flavour isn’t quite what I expected, but it quenches the thirst.

Weeks later I find out that Aussie’s call Sprite-type pop “lemonade”. And actual lemonade does not exist (cry).


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