American Kaymie Wuerfel reveals culture shocks she’s experienced since moving to Australia

My life Down Under: Expat reveals the Australian culture shocks she faces every day – and the excitement of discovering chicken salt for the first time

  • US expat living in Australia has revealed biggest cultural shocks she discovered
  • Kaymie Wuerfel moved from Florida to Sydney in November 2019
  • Her list included using C-word to greet people, free healthcare and chicken salt

An American expat living in Australia has revealed the biggest cultural shocks she discovered – including using the C-word to greet people, free healthcare, chicken salt and being charged 15 cents for a grocery bag.

Kaymie Wuerfel has been adjusting to a new life Down Under after moving from Florida to Sydney in November 2019 to be with her Australian husband.

In a series of new viral TikTok videos, she listed the things she learned about the country such as not having to calculate a retail price with tax when shopping.

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American expat Kaymie Wuerfel (pictured) living in Australia has revealed the biggest cultural shocks she discovered – including using the C-word to greet people, free healthcare, chicken salt and being charged 15 cents for a grocery bag

Revealed: The culture shocks in Australia 

– Free healthcare

– Using the C-word to greet people

– Chicken salt

– No tips for waiters/waitresses 

– Paying 15 cents for a grocery bag

– Retail prices include tax 

During a grocery shop with her husband, the young brunette said she realised all the prices labelled on shelves were already ‘marked to include tax’. 

She said the conversation came up when she asked him to give her $5 plus tax so she could pay for a tub of peanut butter.

‘But he told me that all prices in Australia are marked to include tax… I realised how much simpler life is buying things for the price as marked,’ she explained.

After dining at a ‘nice’ restaurant, Kaymie said she asked her husband if he had any cash on him so they could leave a tip.

‘He told me that you don’t leave tips in Australia. I asked how the waiters survive? He said minimum wage is about $20,’ she recalled.

‘I acted like that’s not the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard.’

When her husband injured himself, he told her he needed to go to the hospital, in which she dreaded: ‘We’re going to spend our life savings on hospital bills.’

One of the things that 'shocked' her about the country was being confronted with 'random Aussies' using the C-word in their conversations

When ordering fries, she was left scratching her head when the waitress asked whether she wanted chicken salt, one of Australia's classic condiments that's commonly used for seasoning hot chips

One of the things that ‘shocked’ her about the country was being confronted with ‘random Aussies’ using the C-word in their conversations. When ordering fries, she was left scratching her head when the waitress asked whether she wanted chicken salt

The young brunette has been adjusting to a new life Down Under after moving from Florida to Sydney in November 2019 to be with her Australian husband

The young brunette has been adjusting to a new life Down Under after moving from Florida to Sydney in November 2019 to be with her Australian husband

But she said he then reassured her that Medicare covers ‘the whole thing’, to which a Kaymie explained she was ‘disbelief’ to hear about this ‘incredible information’.

One of the things that ‘shocked’ her about the country was being confronted with ‘random Aussies’ using the C-word in their conversations.

Kaymie said while walking down she witnessed people casually saying ‘yeah sick c***’, ‘oi c***’, ‘hey c***’ or ‘what’s up c***?’.

When ordering fries, she was left scratching her head when the waitress asked whether she wanted chicken salt, one of Australia’s classic condiments that’s commonly used for seasoning hot chips. 

But she confirmed she’ll say “yes” to chicken salt every time it’s offered to her.

During her first visit to a supermarket, Kaymie said she was surprised when a checkout employee wanted to charge her 15 cents for a grocery bag

During her first visit to a supermarket, Kaymie said she was surprised when a checkout employee wanted to charge her 15 cents for a grocery bag

During her first visit to a supermarket, Kaymie said she was surprised when a checkout employee wanted to charge her 15 cents for a grocery bag

During her first visit to a supermarket, Kaymie said she was surprised when a checkout employee wanted to charge her 15 cents for a grocery bag. 

‘She asked: ‘Would you like a bag?” and I was like: “Of course I’d like a bag.” Then she goes: “Okay, that’s 15 cents per bag” 15 cents per bag?’ she recalled.

Major supermarkets in Australia have been charging customers money for reusable bags in an attempt to crack down on single-use plastic bags.

Her two videos have since been viewed nearly one million times, with many agreeing with most of her points.

‘As an Australian waitress, I can confirm the money is fairly good but some people do still tip and it’s so nice because it means they loved your service,’ one wrote.

‘The answer is always yes to chicken salt,’ another said, while one added: ‘When I found out America doesn’t include tax in the marked prices, I nearly cried thinking about how much math I’d have to do.’

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