It’s pronounced “Chawckaz”, and means something’s chockablock. And chockablock means “something’s full”.
So many new words to learn when coming to Australia… Today the guy at the green waste disposal site (the “tip”, because you tip crap in, which I’ve been visiting for my new Girl vs. Garden mini-business with the use of a classic Australian Ute) said, “Yaw day must be chawkaz”. “Excuse me?”, I said. “Yaw day, it must be chawkaz” he repeated. “Uh, what was that?” I questioned again. “Yaw day, it must be chawkaz”, and finally added, “It means yaw day is fuuuuull! Busy! Ya’ aready bean hea twice today!”.
A few more things to note about Australia:
1. Feminism, according to Tom, hasn’t hit Australia. I think he’s joking…?
2. The full blood aborigine has a working appendix (apparently). I don’t know why this is important, but Tom thinks it is. I think he’s jealous they can eat weird poisonous animals and he can’t.
3. The Ute is the perfect vehicle for the Australian male (and Girl vs. Garden): No space for children, just one seat left over for whichever girl (or dog I’m pet sitting) is tagging along, and a huge ‘tray’ to put all his vast material possessions in (like garden waste). Cart around tools, subwoofer, frisbee, you name it!
My first client for Girl vs. Garden said, “Do you know how strange it is to see an American girl driving around in a Ute?? It’s every Australian boy’s dream to own one of those!”.
4. SPF 30 is a joke. You should see my tan lines. And it’s only winter!
5. Vegemite is the Australian peanut butter, minus the peanuts. It’s made from yeast. “Vegemite is a dark brown Australian food paste made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacture, and various vegetable and spice additives.” Yuuummyyy, right?! Right?! EWWW….
“Vegemite is a nutritious, and undeniably delicious start to the day. Sure, it’s great on toast, but what if we add an egg? Or a slice of tomato? Or some cheese or creamy Aussie avo?” What’s an avo? Keep reading…
6. Australians think their beer is good, but it’s crap. And $20 for a six pack.
7. Government road signs read the following: “It won’t kill you to miss a call”, “Pick up your phone, pick up a fine”, “Drive N Text U B Next”. And my all-time favorite, “Drink drive, die in a ditch”.
8. There’s a gigantic hole in the ozone (and it’s too “bloody” hot). I learned that in the 2nd grade thanks to Mrs. Thompson.
9. Brits are called “Poms”, and are universally mocked.
10. It’s the only country that eats their national emblems. Kangaroo and emu, both readily available for purchase.
11. Beer is pronounced “beah”.
12. There are dead kangaroo all over the sides of the roads.
13. Minimum wage here is astronomical, and we should all immigrate to Australia.
14. If you press the wrong button when listening to voicemail, the service says, “You pressed the wrong button. Feeling a little tipsy?“. SERIOUSLY??
15. Aussies don’t say “I’m sorry”, unless they actually did something wrong, like kick you. They’re not sorry you stubbed your toe, caught a cold, or your dog died.
16. Australians shorten everything. Here are a few examples to show how extreme this phenomenon is:
Cuppa/cup of coffee or tea, Nacho/national park, mozzie/mosquito, Ace!/excellent, sambo/sandwich, arvo/evening, billy/teapot or water boiler, exy/expensive, servo/gas station, avo/avocado and the list goes on….
This list feels very incomplete, but I’ll add more as material presents itself.
I leave you with this flyer. Welcome to Canberra!