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The 14 unwritten laws of Australia, according to an expat

23/09/2022BY Migrate 2 Oz

An expat’s view on life in Australia, along with his interpretation of Australia’s 14 unwritten rules.

His first point is about saving water, which is something that many people who come to Australia don’t understand, according to Escape.

The 14 unwritten laws of Australia

“NEVER, not even for a second, let the water tap run when it’s not being used. Australia is very good at using water. “Saving water is like taking your shoes off when you go to an Asian’s house," he wrote.

He also has a lot to say about the rules of the road in Australia.

“When you’re driving and someone lets you go first, give them a thumbs-up, a gentle nod, and a “thanks, mate," even if they can’t hear you.

“Also, if you’re the one crossing the street, you have to jog a little… Even the older people would run to the other end.

The 14 unwritten laws of Australia

He goes on to say, “Australians take the speed limit very seriously—don’t drive too fast or too slow. Don’t drive too close to the car in front of you, and don’t use your car horn unless you’re about to crash. Even then, I don’t think Aussies use their horns when they’re about to crash. Using the horn is like telling someone, “F—k you."

He also has a warning about how to behave in the kitchen.

“The no double dipping rule … Don’t put the part of the food you’ve already eaten back in the sauce if you’re sharing a sauce with someone. In Australia, double-dipping is like kissing each other on both cheeks.

The 14 unwritten laws of Australia

The rest of his advice looks like this:

1. If you stay in Australia for a while, you’ll notice that the people there speak in a very friendly, casual way. The sooner you learn to talk like them, the easier it will be to get along with them.

2. Acting like a boss is a bad idea in Australia, and they don’t care if you’re the son of Jack Ma. Australians don’t like it when people are very assertive in public or even at work. Be fair to everyone. No finger snapping and no whistling.

3. Be polite. People in Australia say “thank you" and “please" a lot, but that’s just how it is.

4. If you’re having a house party and it’s going to last until late, it’s against the law not to invite your neighbors.

5. Cutting in line is also illegal, and it’s a surefire way to get into a fight with an Australian. If you don’t know where the lines start, just ask.

6. Putting “mate" at the end of a sentence makes you sound more friendly. People will respect you a little bit more, even if you are from another country and have an accent.

The 14 unwritten laws of Australia

7. For the love of God, don’t answer or make phone calls when on public transit. If you must, ensure that it is extremely quiet or pick a deserted location.

8. Bring wine or beer to a dinner party or a barbecue.

9. If you don’t know someone well enough, don’t touch them or get physical with them. People are careful about their personal space, and skin-to-skin contact with a stranger is like a threat. Even a small bump will make you have to apologize.

10. If you have luggage and are getting into a taxi or Uber, help the driver even if it’s not that heavy. It’s pretty rude to jump right into the car while the driver is still carrying the bags.

11. Taking selfies in public is weird, especially in places with a lot of people.

12. You will be deported if you eat with your mouth open or make weird noises while you eat.

13. You can use a person’s last name. Some bosses prefer to be called by their first or last name, without the Mr., Mrs., or Miss.

14. Please cover your cough or sneeze. Leave the room, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, and then say sorry or excuse me.

Getting used to life down under is a process on it’s own and the journey is unique for each aspiring resident. We hope these insights into life in Australia have left you more curious than when you started.