Woman reveals what shocked her most since moving to Australia

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·2-min read

An American woman has documented a myriad of unexpected culture shocks she has experienced since moving to live with her Australian husband in Sydney. 

Kaymie Wuerfel moved from the US state of Florida with her husband in 2019 and has detailed her shock at learning about some quintessential Australian things that until two years ago she had never heard of. 

Ms Wuerfel has shared some of her key findings in TikTok videos which have been watched hundreds of thousands of times and earned her account almost 119,000 followers.

Screenshots from two TikTok videos.
Free healthcare and a livable minimum wage were two major culture shocks for Kaymie Wuerfel when she moved to Sydney. Source: TikTok/kayywuerf

In a recent video, she expressed her confusion over the different coloured letters she often saw attached to cars, saying she had to have her husband explain what P and L plates meant. 

"We don't have anything like this in America, so when I first got here I was like 'what are all these letters on the cars and why does my husband get so angry when there's an L plate in front of him?'," she said.

Utes, or what Ms Wuerfel described as "mini trucks", were also a big shock for her to see on the road when she first arrived.

"We don't really have anything like that in America," she said. 

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Ms Muerful said she learned the hard way that power outlets needed to be turned on if she wanted them to charge her phone, as the ones in America didn't come with switches. 

Free healthcare through Medicare was another big shock for Ms Muerful, who acted out a scenario involving her husband hurting his elbow and thinking it was going to cost hundreds in hospital bills. 

Two screenshots from TikTok videos.
Not paying tax on top of advertised prices and utes were among Ms Wuerfel's culture shocks. Source: TikTok/kayywuerf

In another scenario, she depicted her amazement at not having to pay tax on top of the advertised price on items in the supermarket, as well as having to pay 15 cents at the checkout for a plastic bag. 

Ms Muerful also acted out the shock she experienced when she was first offered chicken salt at a restaurant - a delicacy she had never heard of and she said is only available in Australia.

Australians casually and aggressive use of the word c*** was yet another of her more jarring experiences when first arriving in Sydney. 

She was also amazed at the liveable minimum wage and leaving tips for hospitality workers not being as culturally engrained as it is in America. 

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