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American backpacker Tristan Kuhn lists the WEIRDEST things he’s noticed about Australia

An American traveller has listed the ‘weird’ things about Australia – including mullets, ‘shoey’, misleading supermarket labels and people shopping without shoes.

Backpacker Tristan Kuhn has been travelling around the country, visiting Melbourne, Tasmania, Adelaide and Cairns since moving from Texas in October.

In a new light-hearted YouTube video, the 22-year-old man revealed some of the culture shocks he discovered Down Under over the past eight months.

‘I’ve been here for almost a year now and as much as I love it here, I do have to say there are a couple things that Australians do that Americans may find a little bit odd,’ Tristan said.

PEOPLE SHOP WITHOUT SHOES ON 

Tristan said one of the strangest things he noticed is Australians walking out in public without any shoes on – yet they still get served at the shops.

‘The weird thing about Australia is you do not need to be wearing shoes or shirt to get into most stores here. Pretty much every store in America will have a sign that says like “no shoes, no shirt, no service”. Well that’s not the case here,’ he said.

‘Whether you’re in a Target or a Kmart or even grocery shopping, you don’t need shoes or shirt, you can even queue in a bikini if you want. It is like total Australian vibes – you can’t even get mad at it.’

MULLETS 

Tristan said Australia’s mullets – a popular 80s hairstyle which is short at the front and sides, but long at the back – should never return (file image of a man sporting a mullet at the Mulletfest in February 2018)

Tristan said Australia’s iconic mullets – a popular 80s hairstyle which is short at the front and sides, but long at the back – should never return.

‘The first weird thing about Australians is the mullet,’ he said.

‘I don’t know who decided to bring the mullet back in style but dude, come on Australia, did y’all not learn from the 80s?’

In recent years, some Australian men have been sporting mullet cuts, which is still so popular today, Kurri Kurri, a small country town in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, hosts an annual ‘Mulletfest’ where thousands gather every year to honor the iconic hair style.

Backpacker Tristan Kuhn (pictured) has been travelling around the country, visiting Melbourne, Tasmania, Adelaide and Cairns since moving from Texas in October

SHOEY

Since travelling around Australia, Tristan said one drinking game he doesn’t like is the ‘shoey’, which involves pouring alcohol into a shoe and chugging it.

Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo (pictured in April 2018) celebrating a win on the podium with a shoey 

‘It’s kind of like a beer bong in America but you take an entire beer, you pour it in your shoe and you chug it out of your shoe,’ he explained.

‘I’m not saying all Australians are doing this but it’s kind of like bogans… that kind of group – they like to do it. I’ve seen a couple of them do it and a lot of them have tried to get me to do it. It’s kind of nasty and I don’t want a wet shoe.

‘I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ve done nasty drinking things too but I don’t know. Shoey – you gotta admit, it’s kind of a little bit weird.’

Shoey has long been a traditional yet bizarre drinking game in Australia, with Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo often indulging in the trend to celebrate a win.

THE TERM ‘FOOTY’

Tristan said he gets confused over the term ‘footy’ in Australia because it refers to three different sport – Australian football league (AFL), rugby league (NRL) and rugby union.

‘The word “footy” refers to different sports – depending where you are in Australia,’ he said. 

‘When I was in Melbourne, everyone was talking about footy – referring to AFL, then I came up to Cairns and everyone’s like “oh footy season is about to start” and I’m like “wait, hasn’t it already started?”. They’re like “no, not AFL, like rugby league”. 

‘I’m like “what?”. So I don’t know where the line is but up in Cairns, it means rugby league and then you’re down south in Melbourne, it means AFL.’

In a new light-hearted YouTube video, the 22-year-old man revealed some of the culture shocks he discovered Down Under over the past eight months

MELBOURNE CUP

Another thing Tristan found ‘really weird’ is Melbourne Cup day being a public holiday in Victoria (file image)

Another thing Tristan found ‘really weird’ is Melbourne Cup day being a public holiday in Victoria. 

‘You guys get so much time off for a horse race. It’s a big cool horse race like the Melbourne Cup it’s one of the biggest horse races in the world and it takes place here in Australia,’ he said.

‘Anyway this three minute horse race is… somehow justifies an entire public holiday – you get the whole day off from work. If you are working, then you get paid a time and a half and that’s like not even the start to the craziness.’

When he was coaching gymnastics in Melbourne, Tristan said he noticed the kids he coach had four to five days off during the Melbourne Cup. 

‘They did not just get that Tuesday off, they also got that Monday off of school and some of the private school kids got the Friday before. So every single kid had four days off of school at least and some had five,’ he said.

‘The Superbowl is like one of the biggest most watched sporting event in the world and we don’t even get a public holiday or time off.

‘Not hating on the fact that y’all get time off. To be fair, I’m honestly kind of just jealous but nevertheless it’s a little bit weird.’

POWER OUTLET WITH ON/OFF SWITCH

Tristan said when he first moved to Australia, he noticed how different the country’s electrical outlets with on/off switches were compared to the US (file image of Australia’s power outlet)

Tristan said when he first moved to Australia, he noticed how different the country’s electrical outlets with on/off switches were compared to the US. 

‘I personally found this kind of weird when I came here. Every single one of your outlets has like an on/off switch,’ he said.

‘So you can turn the electricity to the outlet on or off. I don’t really get this because if you want to turn something off, you usually just turn it off like a lamp or if you didn’t want to hit the switch to turn it off, you can like unplug it.

‘But here, there’s also a third way to turn it off – you can go to the little outlet and switch it off.

‘For some reason a lot of Australians like to turn things off by turning the switch off which I don’t like. Is there an advantage to that?’

The American traveller listed the things he finds ‘weird’ about Australia – including mullets, ‘shoey’, misleading supermarket labels and shoppers without shoes

VOTING IS MANDATORY

In Australia, anyone aged 18 or over must vote or they face a fine.

‘Voting in Australia is mandatory. If you don’t vote, you get fined. In America and in most other Western democratic governments, voting is like a freedom, like a right. However in Australia, I think it’s kind of more of an obligation,’ he said.

‘The fines aren’t crazy expensive – it differs between state and national election – but either way, I think it’s kind of crazy that you can get fine to not vote.

‘In America, there is a problem with people not voting so I get why you would do that. However in Australia, you have a bunch of dumba***s voting that don’t know anything about politics [but] they just vote so they don’t get fine. 

‘I think if this was in America, like we already have a bunch of idiots, we don’t need all idiots being forced to vote. I don’t know, I can’t really say if it’s better or worse but I will say I think it’s a little bit weird.’

MISLEADING SUPERMARKET LABELS

Tristan said another thing he noticed in Australian supermarkets are the misleading shelf labels with either ‘discounts’ or ‘savings’ printed on them

Tristan said another thing he noticed in Australian supermarkets are the misleading shelf labels with either ‘discounts’ or ‘savings’ printed on them. 

‘This is super specific but this is like American weird, this isn’t Australian weird but if you go to a grocery store here like Coles and Woolies, I’ve noticed this in both, everything looks like it’s discounted,’ he said.

‘But it took me a long time to realise this – some of them are yellow and some are red and white. The yellow ones are actual discounts, all the ones with red ticket prices aren’t really on sale.’

Upon closer inspection, Tristan said he realised the red and white tickets actually show a permanent ‘price drop’ with a date showing the previous retail price.

‘If you look closely, you’ll see a date and that date might be six months ago, it might be a year or two years ago – doesn’t matter when, it just means that the price was higher on that date,’ he said.

‘It could literally be 10 cents cheaper, they’ll still have that little sticker on there… This little trick is a way to make you think you’re getting a deal when you’re really not. It definitely tricked me, I’m like “sale yes” and then yeah… it’s not a sale.’

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