In anticipation of my upcoming 12 month assignment in Australia, I have prepared as follows:
1. My music collection has been purged of all artists except AC/DC.
2. I have an appointment to get a naff Southern Cross tattooed on my right shoulder blade, with the inscription Yeah, facken true blue Aussie, mate! underneath.
3. I can talk with reasonable authority about the rise and fall of Ben Cousins and Wayne Carey.
4. I can tell you the last time the NSW RL was good. Andrew Ettingshausen was still playing. Brad Fittler was on debut.
5. I have learned the lyrics to every song (i.e. both of them) by The Hunters & Collectors.
6. I know enough to refrain from pointing out that the Cold Chisel anthem Khe Sanh, sung by millions of Aussies with patriotic tears in their eyes, is actually about somebody getting *out* of Australia. Jimmy Barnes didn’t stick around.
7. I am changing my name to “Pommie Caaaaaaaant” in anticipation of being addressed thusly for the entirety of my stay.
8. I have developed an allergy for sleeves. From now on it’s beer singlets only, unless I’m at a job interview in which case a beer t-shirt is allowed for a maximum of an hour.
9. I have studied Australian law to discover that glassing your girlfriend in a nightclub is okay (especially if you are a famous footy player), but disrespecting The Don is punishable by a lengthy prison sentence.
10. From now on I will refer to all persons by the first syllable of their last name with an “o” tacked on the end.
11. On the mere sight of a bottle of Bundaberg Rum I will punch the nearest male of fighting age in the face.
12. And afterwards I’ll tell people “I had a blue”.
13. I will give Queenslanders a few minutes extra to complete their sentences.
14. I will assume that all food originated from Australia by prefixing ordinary dishes with the word “Aussie”.
15. I know that despite the best efforts of most Australian males to claim the title, there is only one “King Wally”.
16. I have learned that the pinnacle of the Australian fashion industry is called Ugg.
17. I will not point out that Australians are the only people who eat their national coat of arms.
18. The Aussie use of the word “thong” ceased to be funny to me years ago.
19. I have integrated myself into Australian culture by watching re-runs of Underbelly, so now I will not be lost when The Carlton Crew and Roberta Williams are topics of conversation.
20. I no longer recognise the island of Bali as belonging to Indonesia.