Stupid things Americans think about Australia

Celebrating Australia Day in South Carolina!
Celebrating Australia Day in South Carolina!

I feel like this post needs to begin with a long disclaimer to the overly sensitive people of the internet, who may take offence to the fact that I am using the words “stupid” and “Americans” together. However, let’s keep it real. I have said time and time again how much I love the US and Americans. This post is all in good humour. These are all real things that were seriously said to my sister or me by locals during our semester abroad in the US, which were quite hilarious.

1. Australia is not a country.

An indirect quote from a cashier at a CVS store in a conversation with my sister, once she noticed her accent: “Wow, I had never really thought of Australia as its own country before.”

2. Russia is an island near Australia.

My sister and I caught a public bus in Fort Worth, Texas. The bus driver was super helpful and friendly. He quickly picked up on our accents and wanted to chat about Australia. He told us he had visited an island really close to Australia, but could not remember its name. We started listing New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia etc. Then he said “No, now I remember… Russia!” RUSSIA?! WHAT?! 1) It is not an island. 2) It is not close to Australia. 3) How can you make that mistake when you have actually been there?!

3. No one lives in Australia.

During my time at the University of South Carolina, I studied an African politics course. My professor said to the class that Africa is the driest continent on earth. He then proceeded to say something along the lines of “Well, Australia actually is, but basically no one lives there, so it does not matter.” EXCUSE ME?!
PS. Neither Australia nor Africa are the driest continent on earth… It’s Antartica, mate.

4. Australia is a developing nation.

We encountered some Americans who did not realise that Australia is a developed country with built-up cities and bitumen roads. Yes, I know we are a predominantly desolate country, but c’mon… Skippy needs a proper road to bounce on, so he can take me to school. And we have this little place called Sydney. It has a couple of high-rises.

5. Aussies only listen to Aussie music.

Our American friends were shocked when we could sing along to songs by popular American artists. They were so surprised to hear that we listen to “American music” all the way over in Australia. They had no idea that it basically dominates all of our music charts. Some people were equally surprised that we watch American movies and television shows in Australia too.

6. There are no black people in Australia.

An American guy seriously asked my sister whether there are black people in Australia and was surprised to hear that there were.

7. Australia is small.

On multiple occasions, people were astounded to hear that Australia is almost the same size as the US. Many people thought it was a similar size to Texas. No, honey. There are 7.692 million km² (sorry, 2.97 million mi²) of Australian goodness, thank you.

8. Australia does not have states.

Some Americans did not realise that Australia has states. In fact, they did not realise that anywhere outside of the United States has states. Someone desperately needs to take these people to a State of Origin game.

This stuff is even worse than the ridiculousness that is Outback Steakhouse. Gosh, I love Americans. ♥


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