Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 402

Sunshine (at last)

Well, after two days of Spring, summer’s here on the East Coast, and gloriously hot it was too. It’s warmer than England now, don’t ya know (and bloody right, so it should be – summer’s one of the reasons I wanted to move here!)

Aussie or British: A Very British Problem

Today an older American gent approached me at one of the gyms where I work. Nothing untoward there, to be honest. Except that this is the conversation that ensued:

‘G’day. You ever go out for a “sneaky beak”?’

“I beg your pardon?’

‘A “sneaky beak”….you know…that’s what a lady in Australia told me is the phrase she used when she went ‘taking a look around a place’. How long have you been over here in the States? Forgotten that already?! Hahahaha!’

‘It must be a colloquialism….’ [pause] ‘We don’t really use that in, um, Sydney.’

And for the next [excrutiating] ten minutes he told me all about his adventures in Australia, with me nodding about how lovely the lamb is there, and how big the vegetables are, and how cool Bondi Beach is (never been there). Occasionally I interjected, in a kind of mock Aussie-drawl. I even asked him if he’d been to England ever and that I had been there myself several times, but he kept going on about Oz. Ten minutes is a long, long time.

Oh, why did I stumble and not tell him that I was from England? Because I am British, and I don’t like to correct that kind of thing, that’s why. He’d made the assumption I was Australian, and I just really, really did not want to embarrass him, because he obviously wanted to talk to someone from Australia about his time in Australia, and I at least gave him that, in a manner of speaking. I do get asked if I am from Australia a lot; this time I stood no chance of saying I wasn’t (even though I am sure I would love the place). Sigh.

These images will explain this British etiquette/phenomenon/awkwardness that occurred today in no uncertain terms.









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10 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 402

  1. Nutty says:

    When people confuse me for a convict, sorry Aussie, I politely tell them to bugger off.

  2. Andy says:

    My answer to the aussie thing is pretty much the same as Nutty’s. I usually add some insult to it as well.

  3. Sharon says:

    Ahhh … The old “are you Australian” conversation – I have that at least once a month!!! Although this was more of a “you are Australian”!!!

  4. EmmaK says:

    You are just polite and maybe a good actress. I always say ‘no I’m not australian’ when asked if I’m a Sheila and mostly they reply ‘oh I always get S African, Australian and British confused. ‘ Which is fair dos as I usually say silly things to some people here like which country are you from and they say somewhere in the USA like ‘I’m from Savannah.’ They don’t seem to be offended though at my ignorance!

  5. Mick says:

    It’s sticky beak, not sneaky!
    Hahaha. Crazy poms!

  6. Mick says:

    Funnily enough I got this ALL THE TIME when I was there. Everyone wanted to talk about Australia and how much they loved it. At the time Steve Irwin was popular and he died while I was there. It was the only topic of conversation most of the time!
    Nice restraint though. I would have fucked with them a little more though…

  7. Pat and Pam says:

    Being an American in the UK, I get the question, “Are you American or Canadian?” Reportedly the Canadians are not happy being mistaken for Americans, so the deferential Brits do not want to offend me if I WERE Canadian. I tell them I’m American and I’m not bothered if they think I am Canadian, and then I usually offer that Americans and Canadians are both NORTH Americans.

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