Being an Australian is about more than wearing the green and gold, chanting “Aussie Aussie Aussie”, and pretending to know the second verse of the national anthem. For any true Aussie, any of the following will ring true (blue):
I can still hear my mum mocking me by asking “if I’d like some milk with my milo?’ But really, anyone that didn’t grow up with Milo has been, as far as I’m concerned, deprived. Even if going and going and going with Milo actually equated to a short-lived sugar high and 9am class fatigue – it was still worth it.
For me, it will always be, ‘no hat, no play, no school today’ – but that last part seems to be a bit controversial around my office. However you remember it, every Aussie kid would have been ruled by some variation of the adage – and no one would be caught dead without the flappy part of the cap tuck up into the hat (much to the teachers’ chagrin).
Growing up, I played netball and my little brother played rugby union. For some reason his games were always after mine, so every Saturday I would finish my game knowing I was headed straight for a delicious, albeit impossible to take a clean bite from, sausage sambo!
God, I remember waiting and waiting for the latest So Fresh CD. I even remember trying to predict, with my friends, what songs we thought would make the next compilation. And you know what? When researching for this article I learned that, wait for it, So Fresh is actually still going! Wouldn’t a So Fresh CD make the best present for someone!
Whether i’s ‘ba-na-na-na-na-na, ba-na-nanana, ba-na-na-na-na-na make those bodies sing!’ or ‘Banana Boat, sunscreen protection, Banana Boat, it’s thirty plus!’. Australian advertisers have completely toyed with most Australians’ banana word association.
I couldn’t talk about Australian jingles without paying my respects to the Lube Mobile feller. Although, most Aussies will know that the number to dial is actually ‘ferteen ferty ferty two’.
The magpie is an iconic Australian bird, but come spring they turn into clear and present dangers. I’m an avid walker and, come spring, have been known to whip out the golf umbrella and walk with it. Some of us prefer the cable ties in the bike helmet look. Others walk, waving a leafy branch over their heads. I don’t know why magpies don’t get a worse rap overseas – I mean, of all of our dangerous animals, surely the swooping magpie is the one you’re most likely to encounter.
Trying to eat your food outside in Australia, particularly if you’re alone, can be a stressful experience. If you’re on the beach, expect to be joined by the Seagulls. If you’re on the grass, expect a visit for a slightly-more-scary-looking Ibis… or two… or three. And whatever you do, don’t give in and feed them – unless you want to be the centre of birdy-attention.
It doesn’t matter how many times my teachers told me that firemen and women had to do it too. Apart from that one time that I managed to come second in my class, the beep test has never been a cherished childhood memory. More an example of the best legal torture methods available to overworked teachers.
My mum used to get me one of these after every swimming lesson – and occasionally she’d stick one into my lunchbox as well! Lucky me! And, good news for all of the true-blue Yowie fans out there, even though they were discontinued in 2005 – in 2015 they were re-launched in the US and are said to be coming down under soon!
Yes, all Australians, wherever they are, can bond over a mutual love of wildebeest themed chocolate, fear of various native birds, nostalgia for old-time commercials, fond memories of the food at sporting events, less fond memories of sporting events to involved beeps, healthy respect for the humble hat, unhealthy appreciation of bad commercial music and craving for milk with milo (or, more realistically, milo with milk).