US expat surprised by ‘uniquely Australian’ habit when catching bus

A US expat has shared the “uniquely Australian” thing we do Down Under when catching public transport that she loves – and her surprise has shocked Aussies.

“There’s this thing that Australians do and I absolutely love it, and it’s changed how I ride public transport,” Brooke Laven said in TikTok viewed more than half a million times.

She explains if you catch a bus in Australia, you must say hello to the driver when getting on and “give the biggest thank you” when getting off.

The keen traveller from Minnesota said she had been using public transport around the world for years and hearing everyone say thank you to the bus driver everyday in Sydney was “uniquely Australian”.

The observation shocked Aussies.

“Blows my mind that people don’t do it in other countries,” one said.

“Wait but these are basic manners? You’re telling me in other countries, you don’t say thank you to the person who drove you safely to your location?” another asked.

“That’s just common decency and it’s staggering to think such basic manners are unusual to some people!” added a third.

“As an Australian I thought this was a normal practice that everyone does,” wrote a fourth.

One Aussie offered a possible explanation for the common behaviour: “Often starts from a young age if you catch a bus to school then I guess it just continues into adulthood!”

“In Australia the biggest tip we give our workers is thank you,” said another.

Others pitched in with more simple scenarios that require a thank you in Australia, including your barista and flight attendant.

“Oh yes … you must also say ‘thank you’ after having just browsed in a quiet shop without having bought anything,” contributed on Aussie.

“Your not a true Australian until you say good morning to every one on the bike track when you go walking!” said another, which Ms Laven said she couldn’t tell whether they were being sarcastic or not.

Some Australians travellers shared their experiences overseas when they automatically said thank you to their bus driver to a look of confusion or pleasant surprise.

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