Sunday, May 22, 2005


I’m currently reading a fascinating book called ‘Watching the English’ by Kate Fox. It alludes to the subtle English rules of interaction, humour and irony as well as, I’m sure, many other interesting things………….I’m only up to page 250 and there’s a lot more to go.

What prompted me to make this entry was how English my social interactions are, how I observe these unspoken laws with regards to conversation, behaviour and humour…………….and how I am not actually ‘English’.

I’ve always been a bit….out of place so to speak when I interact with other nationalities outside Australia, my home. Living as an expatriate, first in the UK and now in the Middle East, I just don’t fit the Aussie ‘type’.

I am useless in social situations and will sit in an unobtrusive corner for an entire evening rather than try and interact with another human being who I don’t know. Even the awkward looking person in the other corner is too scary a proposition to approach. Australians are known for being friendly, sociable, boisterous and always socially adapt at getting to know everyone – who we will, inevitably, end up calling mate. The surprise when people find out my nationality is usually audible – and that’s before they even find out that I don’t drink beer, hate the sun and am not into sports! Those revelations usually lead to a “are you sure you’re Australian” in a joking but really I’m serious sort of tone.

Once people get to know me I’m the typical Aussie………minus the beer, sun and sports - hey sun and sports as some sort of torture device devised by our English forbearers to punish us in the long run for being criminals but getting to live in a vast, sunny country. Beer smells and tastes like puke…come on, you know it’s true why not admit it.

Let’s just say it’s got me thinking………and when I do go to Oz this year I’ll be people watching like you won’t believe. However I’m not sure now if I want to find out the Aussie myth is real or not – I kind of like being unexpected …….or as an extremely good friend once said “you’re just on a different radio station to the rest of us”

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