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.