Culture Shock: Australia, the Land of Scooters and Wonder Wall

As I walk to the train station sipping on my latte and listening to Kamasi Washington on my phone, I almost got run over. Not by a bike, car or bus. By a scooter. Not one of those fancy motor powered scooters, it’s the pride of every American preteen—the good old Razor Scooter. The rider zooms past without a care in the world as he weaves in and out of pockets of people walking down the corridor.

Culturally, Australia is very similar to the US but with small differences in things. The use of razor scooters is one of these differences. In America, these scooters have some sort of stigma. There is an unsaid agreement with each individual that scooters are strictly for kids looking for an faster mode of transportation and professionals who make a living of doing cool tricks in a half pipe. In Australia, there is no such unspoken agreement. Here, scooters rule the sidewalks. While not as popular as bikes, they are still a notable mode of transportation. While efficient, in my eyes they still remain uncool.

In addition to the strange scooter phenomenon, many Australians have an odd obsession for the popular song by Oasis, Wonderwall. In America, Wonderwall, is a cliché—often being the anthem for amateur guitarists trying to impress their friends. In Australia, all bets are off. The people here LOVE this song. Almost every time I’ve went to a bar or club, some version of Wonderwall has been played and when it is played, the people go crazy. One time while walking the streets of Melbourne at night, a guitarist playing on the street was being overwhelmed by a mob of young men bouncing around him as he played the legendary song.

As become more and more attuned to the Australian culture, I can’t wait to cruise on my manual scooter as I blast Oasis in my headphones until I go deaf.

Cheers mate