Australians are a pretty easy going lot and it can be hard to tell the different types apart without knowing just what to look for. For the most part we’re one great big happy Aussie family, but we do have our own little quirks.
You generally know what to expect when you visit any state, but we South Aussies have a couple of little quirks that might keep unaware Easterners on their toes. Street signs are an unnecessary luxury, the correct pronunciation of the letter A is a hot topic and there is no such thing as rugby.
If you’ve ever found yourself deep in conversation on about any of these things, you know you’re in SA. Other indicators include…
Pie Floaters are actually so odd that even the younger generation is starting to regard them with a bit of scepticism. For the uninitiated, a pie floater is a meat pie drenched in pea soup and generally, for one reason or another, consumed after midnight.
Upon seeing one for the first time, a visitor is bound to ask at least one of two questions: Why are you eating that? And; who the hell thought that was a good idea to begin with?
Weird “A” sounds
South Australians have very strong feelings on the letter A. In most places in the world there are five legitimate A sounds. In South Australia there are four. As a state, we do not recognise the validity of the hard A (and we’ll stick our fingers in our ears and shout if you point out instances of us using one).
Hard A sounds are for convicts. We’re not convicts.
The mysterious vanishing street signs
Strictly speaking, we do have street signs in South Australia but you’ll need a keen eye to spot them. A first time visitor to Adelaide would be well advised to allow a little extra navigation time if driving themselves because it is entirely possible to drive through a major intersection without noting any identifying features.
There are a few reasons for this, ranging from miniscule signs located behind plant life or speed limits or miniscule signs that were simply never taken out of the council depot. Thankfully, new technology in the form of GPS is finally finding a common ground between SA’s hatred of street signs and its visitors’ affinity for them.
Fritz is Devon. It’s exactly the same thing. We’re assuming the difference in name has something to do with South Australia’s strong German heritage.
A vicious war between football codes
The rest of the world is not aware of this, but many South Australians are committed to fighting the good fight against everything that isn’t Aussie Rules. Soccer just isn’t going to catch on and rugby league is all about “bum sniffing”, so a staunch South Aussie will defend his beloved Aussie rules against any easterner arguing the virtues of any sport other than cricket.
Interestingly, an enormous section of the South Australian population refuses to acknowledge the existence of rugby union at all.
Under-sized beer glasses
Only in South Australia is a pint of beer literally never a pint. Ordering a pint will get you 425ml of beer (a Schooner in everyone else’s money). If you want a proper big beer you’ll have to order an “Imperial Pint”, which is the 570ml of liquid that is known as a pint literally everyone but South Australia. Tour SA has made some inquiries to try to understand the history of this quirk but it appears to be a mystery.
To make life even more difficult for foreigners, SA has also adopted a beer measure called a schooner. It contains 285ml and its entire purpose in life appears to be convincing interstate tourists to swear at bartenders.