Recruits give their take on the true blue

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian

Americans recruited to play for the Geraldton Buccaneers have revealed what they find most striking about Australian culture.

The imports visited Allendale Primary School to celebrate Harmony Day with students and teach them basketball skills.

Buccaneers point guard Marcus Alipate, 25, is from Minnesota and his father is Tongan.

He said he loved Australian mockumentary seriesSummer Heights High, which features a Tongan character named Jonah Takalua.

“I love Jonah. He’s such an interesting character,” Alipate said.

“It’s different out here, obviously. You guys drive on the wrong side of the road and the toilet flushes the opposite way.

“You have different food like Vegemite, and in America we say cooler but you call it an esky over here.”

Buccaneers forward Colter Lasher, 24, is from Alaska.

He said Australians had left him a little confused.

“There’s a lot of slang that I don’t understand,” he said.

“The other day someone said, ‘what’s for tea?’ I had no idea what that meant until someone explained it to me, and I was like, ‘oh, dinner’.”

Shooting guard Gokul Natesan, 23, from California has a Tamil heritage.

He said Australians were very welcoming, but he could do without the flies.

“There’s less kangaroos than I predicted but the food is about the same,” he said.

‘I’ve been to Hungry Jacks.

“It’s a bit like our Burger King.

“I was very surprised by a thing called Vegemite.

“I had a tablespoon of it and I almost barfed. “One more thing.

“The flies here are so annoying, I almost had one go down my mouth.” Harmony Week is a State Government initiative designed to promote multiculturalism.

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