Let’s face it, Australian English ≠ American English. Many words have different meanings and others simply just don’t exist. Yes, we can understand each other but their slang is strange and my slang is strange and it quite honestly makes for some awkward moments. Like the time I was trekking up a mountain side and exclaimed, “I wish I had a fanny pack right now!” I got a gaggle of chuckles and embrassed looks from my Aus buddies. Fanny does not exactly mean fanny here, far from it. I’ll leave the meaning for you to figure out…
In my spree of honesty I am going to admit that I still occasionally have trouble understanding Australian. I’m in the middle of a conversation and someone randomly throws arvo or brekky into the middle of a sentence and my racing mind comes to a halt…what? Oh and then there’s the whole pronunciation thing pawn sounds like porn, filet is fil-et and HR is hay-ch R. Weird, I know.
Despite the many hilarious and not so hilarious more embarrassing miscommunication moments I’ve had, the real issue at hand is one near and dear to my heart, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Yes, the glorious and somewhat nostalgic lunch wrapped in brown paper packed with love by mom that I spent the better part of my childhood chomping on. For us Americans peanut butter jelly time is a symbol of childhood, long awaited recesses and trading lunches with our elementary besties.
Australians just laugh when I speak of the beloved PB&J. They think I am so peculiar for combining these two abstract ingredients between two slices of bread, rolling their eyes in disgust and shock as I bask in the glory of PB&J memories. And
I can’t believe that there is a whole continent completely oblivious to this childhood specialty. But, it didn’t take too long to figure out why.
In Australia, jelly is gelatine, JELL-O, gel whatever you may call it and they have absolutely no idea why any sane human would make a sandwich with peanut butter and slimy JELL-O slipping out of the sides. I have Australian friends who have actually tried (a la American television inspiration) to squish JELL-O smeared with chunky peanut butter between two slices of bread. It makes me chuckle.
The moral of the story? Ladies and gentlemen, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches fall into the realms of flaming catapult machines and forklift drag racing, don’t try this at home…unless under strict supervision from yours truly.