‘I’m not sure how Argos works’ - an Aussie’s first impressions of Norwich

Josh Hanrahan, an Aussie in Norwich.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Josh Hanrahan, an Aussie in Norwich.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

'You all right?' My first-ever trip to England, or any overseas country for that matter, is into its seventh day now and I'm not sure I'll ever get used to being asked that question.

Down Under, our equivalent welcoming phrase would be 'How ya going?'.

Essentially, when Australians ask this question, they most likely don't really care about the answer.

And so, the trouble whenever I hear someone being asked if they're all right, is that my mind immediately wonders why they wouldn't be.

So informal are greetings in Australia, that one day every year is called 'R U OK day?'A day when Australians are encouraged to genuinely care about how the person they are talking to is actually doing.


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On to another issue. Dear people of Norwich, if every time one of you identifies my accent as Australian you wouldn't ask me about the temperature back home, it'd be greatly appreciated.

I would say that the colder British weather has smacked me in the face, but I can no longer confirm that I have a face at all considering I haven't felt it since last Sunday. It's funny when you hear people over here describe the weather as 'mild'.

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Back home, that term is usually reserved for days well in excess of 20 degrees, and I can't recall experiencing one of them yet.

It was 37 degrees on New Year's Eve in Australia. When I arrived in England about 48 hours later, I stepped off a plane to find the temperature had dropped some 30 degrees.

Now, I promised myself that I wouldn't make this entire column about the weather, because to be honest there's so much to talk about, even though I've only spent a few days in Norfolk.

Gee it's pretty. The castles, cathedrals, manors and red telephone boxes fit the English stereotype perfectly, and I love it.

I've got three months here and I can't wait to explore as much as possible.

High on my list of things to explore in Norwich is Carrow Road.

When I stepped off the train on Saturday night and into a sea of football supporters, it didn't take me long to understand how big a deal Norwich City was in these parts. It suits me fine that I'm in Norwich, because, as an Australian, seeing green and yellow around the city has made me feel at home.

Somewhat surprisingly, the transition from sunny Australia to not-so-sunny Norfolk has actually been very smooth.

Adjusting to the accent has been easy and so too the food. And while The Ashes have been a bit of a sore point, a bigger hassle this week proved to be power points. Of all the things to worry about when I came across to the UK, power points were not in the top 100.

Having been unable to charge my laptop for a few days, I finally ventured into a weird shop called Argos, where it appears there is nothing in the store, because apparently it's all hidden out the back.

To be honest, I'm still not quite sure how it works, but I have my adaptor and that's all that matters.

On the whole, while back in Aus they're dealing with fires and over here I've been out covering floods, week one in England has been a success.

Although I've already started to lose my tan…

•Josh Hanrahan is an Australian journalist currently working at the EDP.

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