No. No. No. You're doing it wrong.
Editor's note: Mashable just opened an outpost in Australia and hired Sydney journalist Jenni Ryall to be its editor there. Among her first tasks was to dispel common assumptions about what life is like there. Here's her report.
Throw out your Crocodile Dundee DVD. Stop drinking Fosters. Ignore everything you know about death by poisonous creature. Australia is far more normal than you could ever imagine. Here's a guide to be real when you are Down Under — or as we like to call it, in Australia.
Learn to love coffee
Australians would not walk into a Starbucks if you paid them. We like our coffee strong and brilliant from one of the multiple cafes lining the local streets. It is a morning ritual to grab a takeaway caffeine hit for $A4 (US $3.75) on your way into the peak hour hell. Then be sure to scoff another at 10am, midday, 3pm, 4pm.
Order your flat white, which is definitely not the same as a latte, and take it with "one," as in a sugar. But be warned: standard full-cream milk is frowned upon. Try some soy milk, almond milk or a "skinny," If it doesn't have a drawing of a particular leaf design in the froth, send it back. It's also expected that you grab some overpriced vegemite toast on the side — which can set you back $A6.50 (US $6).
Complain about the weather
If it is 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), it is freezing. Don't dress appropriately. Dress in thongs (flip flops), a summer dress with a scarf and whinge about the "megablizzard" that has hit the country. When the weather hits 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), complain about how the beaches are overcrowded, close your blinds and stay inside to avoid the "heatwave."
If you run out of conversation with someone you have just met, pull out: "How about this weather?!" and you will be greeted with a moan but a look of understanding. Hello, local.
Hold on to trends like they're going out of fashion
In 2006, Fluro (fluorescent) clothing was everywhere. Although it became a fad in the U.S., it moved on at the end of the season as expected. In Australia, the trend continued staining our streets for a good five years. Festival after festival was overrun with young men wearing budgy smugglers (small swimming costumes) in bright pink and orange. Fashion isn't talked about in trends, it is talked about in phenomenons.
Leather and cheetah print became a thing. And is still a thing. From summer to winter, the fashion pack are dolled up like Kim Kardashian.
Hipster fashion hit Australia, and it is still here, even though some media outlets are claiming the rugged fashion trend is on its last legs, don't believe everything you read. Grow back your beard and get a few more tattoos before heading to the land that time forgot.
And if you can't work out what to wear to look the part, a singlet (tank top) in sailor stripes and a fake tan will win every time.
Eat one meal a day: brunch
In the major cities, no one gets up in time for breakfast on the weekends. And who wants lunch food at lunch time? Not Australians. "All day breakfast" isn't a rare gem you have to search for, it is the main meal of the cafe-loving set.
If it is 2 p.m. and it ain't got eggs, you're doing it wrong.
Pay an outrageous amount for rent
With the housing market out of control, the younger generations have pretty much ruled out buying a property.
It is common for people to live at home until their late 20s, and house sharing is common until the ripe age of 30. If you want to rent by yourself, expect to pay half your salary for a rubbish studio in the best location. Because if you can't afford the luxuries in life, you have to look like you can.
Learn your rivals
New Zealanders are your poorer cousins who have moved in and stolen all your stuff.
If you live in Sydney, you hate Melbourne. If you live in Melbourne, you hate Sydney. But if anyone asks, that is absolutely incorrect.
If you haven't left the country and you decide to announce this at any social function, jaws will hit the ground. "Sheltered" is a common term for the non-explorer type. Use it freely.
Go everywhere. Never for a week. Always for a month. Don't go to Bali or New Zealand, you will be judged. Go to the most ridiculous places you can find on the map, preferably where you can build a hut for children and practice yoga at the same time, and post photos constantly of your adventure on Facebook.
Don't say G'Day in the city
Feel free to use "no worries", "ta" (thanks), "arvo" (afternoon), and "brekkie". Don't ever say G'Day unless you are in the outback.
We are not a cliche. We are real city people.
Let reality TV consume you
As much as we love a HBO show like the rest of the world, our free-to-air television networks don't allow for such luxuries. Instead we are forced to endure five hours a night of reality television. We have it all: renovation shows, talent shows, cooking shows, dating shows. It is the only thing that rates, and so it is all we are allowed to watch.
If you don't know all the sob stories on The Voice, you're wasting your life. Sing along.
Know the difference between cricket and baseball
Sport is a national treasure. Learn the codes. We have four football codes — NRL, AFL, Rugby Union and soccer — the fans don't generally cross codes, so pick one and stick with it. If you live in Melbourne, you don't get a choice. AFL is your religion. If that doesn't suit you, for your general safety I'd suggest leaving the city.
Then there is cricket, the national sport. It doesn't have four bases and there isn't a pitcher but it does have a bat. Go to a match, drink 20 plastic cups of beer, make a beer snake out of the empty cups and then get naked and run across the pitch. You'll instantly be an Aussie legend.
Make fun of yourself, constantly
Self-deprecation is the name of the game. If you want friends, start having a laugh at your own expense. Locals find it endearing, politicians use it to get votes, the party host will invite you back. If you struggle with this, at least brush up on a little sarcasm and get comfortable calling your best mate a "dickhead".
Welcome to Australia!
Tags: AMERICAN, AUSTRALIA, DOWN UNDER, MELBOURNE, SYDNEY, TRAVEL, TRAVEL & LEISURE, WATERCOOLER