On the lighter side, communication difficulties have led to many a hilarious moment. Here are a few:
Me: What time are you coming in tomorrow?
Jason: Well it won't be sparrow's fart.
At this, our section of the office erupted in laughter and Jason explained to me that the sparrow gets the early worm, after which he has a nice fart. Translation: I won't be in very early, that's for sure.
Me: Where is the new supply closet?
Terrie: Supply closet? Ah, you would be meaning the stationary cupboard. The closest we've got to a closet is the water closet-- the loo.
Jason: That's a neat honey squeeze bottle you've got.
Me: Yeah, I had to get it because it had this cute koala bear on it.
Everyone in unison: A KOALA IS NOT A BEAR!
Much laughter ensued.
Me: Why don't we meet at Coffee Club on Margaret Street?
Neil: Sure. Your shout?
Neil: Your shout?
Neil: Are you buying me coffee?
Me: Ohh! Sorry, I haven't got the slang down quite yet.
Lots of chortling from the office mates.
[Everyone seemed to think this was one I should know. Has anyone ever heard "your shout" in a bar or other situation where you're treating people in the US? Am I just oblivious?]
Other things I'm learning:
peanut butter = peanut paste
dunny = toilet
The Lodge = the Prime Minister's residence in Canberra
"Fanny" and the verb "to root" are not appropriate. Ever. Poor Carrie Underwood has received a lot of attention lately for saying she would be rooting for one of the rugby teams while she was here. Oooooops!