No I did not ride a kangaroo to school, and that’s where our story starts

In an earlier post on my blog, I talked about my frustrations as an Australian living overseas, particularly American ignorance surrounding Australia. As one friend quipped to me the other day, “all I know about Australia is that they have kangaroos.”

While, both Heath Ledger and I are very frustrated, there is a way to funnel all this frustration. The solution is simple, we just make fun of Americans.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across some very smart marketing from Transfer Wise on Facebook. I liked this video for a number of reasons, despite the fact it’s clearly a Pom (click the link to learn what a Pom is!), who made the video.

  1. It’s hilarious. If you’re one of my American readers, I’d like you to know that that is not our national anthem, it’s the theme from Home and Away, an Aussie soap opera where Chris Hemsworth got his start.
  2. The video was well targeted, it was shared widely across the Aussie expat network, not only in the United States, but across the world. In my case it was shared in a few expat groups I’m a part of, it was also targetted to me through Facebook advertising
  3. The final tag line in the post says “send money to the US the fairer way,” this is really smart framing, to label the service as fair. A core Australian value is the “fair go,”  we believe everyone deserves a chance and should “have a crack”

It was interesting watching this video because it’s not the first time I’ve watched Australians take the mickey out of our American friends.  The Chaser team do it especially well. The city of love? Of course, it’s Melbourne!

Other methods I’ve picked up along the way while living in the United States is to pretend I’m not from Australia. I was at a party with a friend of mine and I told her that I was getting frustrated repeating myself every time I met someone new. “Yes I’m from Melbourne. Yes that is a long way away. No I don’t know that person.”

Her solution was that I should pretend I was from New York while speaking in my regular Australian accent.

While I did elicit some confusion, other people had no idea. One person completely accepted that I was from New York, even when I told him that I grew up in the City of Glen Eira. “Hmmmm I’ve never heard of that place,” he said.

Another time I attended a dinner and I asked someone to guess where I was from. His response was, “Long Island? No, you’re from New Jersey. Definitely New Jersey.” Wrong continent my dear….

I have another friend from Switzerland that enjoys telling people that he is from Wisconsin.

So my question dear expats is, do you make fun of Americans? How do you blow off steam when you’re sick and tired of telling people that your best friend in primary school was not a kangaroo?

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