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Tom Weiss

Tom Weiss is a retired Army officer with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His writing has appeared in professional military journals, PJ Media, and Liberty Island. He splits time between Western Wisconsin and Eastern Australia and is convinced the Minnesota Vikings will never win the Super Bowl.

What is Macca’s and Why Does Everyone Go There?

Part 4 in an Ongoing Series on Australia, Its People, and Culture

Kevin called me on the phone a while back and the first thing I said when I answered was, “How ya going?”

I instantly regretted my choice of words.

“Where am I going?” He asked quizzically.

“No, I mean how are you?”

“I’m good. Why didn’t you just ask me that?”

I didn’t because I’ve been in Australia too long and nobody here says “How are you doing?” A few months ago I was on the wrong end of a long, one-sided conversation with another American expat who was exasperated that a young person working the checkout at ALDI had asked her “How are you doing?” instead of “How ya going?”

Which Way Do Australian Toilets Flush?

Part 3: Thank You Bart Simpson

This, believe it or not, is the first thing my friend Kevin wants to know about Australia. He saw a Simpson’s episode once (Season 6, Episode 16. Kevin remembers next to nothing of his four years in college, but he does remember this.) where Bart calls Australia, collect, to find out which way the toilets flush.

Educating Kevin About Australia

Part 2 in an ongoing series about life and culture down under

I Would Like to Acknowledge…

Part 1 of a new series on Australian culture

The entrance to the Stringybark Creek Bushwalk is not far from my apartment a couple miles north of the Opera House in Sydney, Australia. If you planned a hike in this government-funded nature reserve smack dab in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world – Sydney is home to 5.7 million people – you could be forgiven for thinking you might not see much bush on your Bushwalk, but you’d be wrong.  Soon after you set off, the sights and sounds of the city are swallowed by the densely packed canopy above. Forty minutes and a few random turns later you start to wonder – especially if you’ve decided to go without your phone for the afternoon – whether you’ll be able to find your way back home. A half hour later, emerging from the Bushwalk a few steps away from a pub with a Sunday schnitzel and beer special, you wonder why you were ever worried in the first place.

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