Cousin Lucy’s Excessive Wisdom: How To Avoid Being A Typical Aussie

(Image: badjonni)

(Image: badjonni)

You know how everyone overseas hates American tourists? I kind of think that’s almost gotten a little clichéd – I know plenty of well-travelled, well-spoken lovely American travellers that hardly wear any Hawaiian shirts at all and don’t eat fast food for every meal. To be honest, if you are travelling in a foreign country and you are rude, loud, brash or demanding, it doesn’t really matter what nationality you are, you belong to the Republic of Dicks. And not the good one.

These days it actually seems to be us Aussies that are everywhere. We seem to be the travelling bunch! Well, how could we not be, when we live on the arse end of the world with nothing except except Indonesia, which is basically like another local city the flights are so cheap; and New Zealand … ahem. Anyway, cover up that southern cross tattoo, here’s how to avoid being a typical Aussie when travelling.

1. Be South Australian.

Sure, there’s not much way around it if you aren’t actually from South Australia, but I’ve gotta share this with you. Every time I go travelling, absolutely no one can place my accent, nor can my friends that have also been raised here. Us South Aussies have a somewhat more posh drawl than you bogans out on the east coast, to the point that several fellow Australians I’ve met abroad have mistaken me for English. This has also happened to me WHILE LIVING IN ADELAIDE. Do I just sound like Basil Fawlty or something? Is it the fact I was fed wine instead of breast milk? Who knows. Anyway, this time around, I’m just going to tell everyone I’m from “Transatlantica” and try and convince them they failed geography.

2. Avoid Aussie phrases.

We all know that many foreigners are familiar with the stereotypically Aussie phrases that no one here actually uses. These include “sheila”, “throw another shrimp on the barbie” and “G’day”. If you want to highlight yourself as being very Australian, by all means, throw these outdated idiot phrases around. For the rest of us, avoid using any actual Aussie phrases at all, apart from anything, no one will understand you. These include the classics “oi” “fuck off mate” “do ya have a spare durry” “I’ll fucken smash you” and of course, “fight me cunt”. However, if I do hear one of these phrases shouted from across the bar, I will most probably shed a tear and start yelling at the DJ to play ‘The Voice’ by John Farnham.

3. Be Lazy.

It’s known by all across the world that us Aussies are a very tanned, gorgeous, hard working bunch. Avoid being typecast into this role by staying inside for a long time and developing a sickly pale-skinned hue and make yourself less good looking … or Tasmanian (sorry guys, you’re letting the country down). If you’ve always been ugly, now’s your chance to go somewhere you may be more accepted and get away from the harsh bullies of your childhood. Escape the stereotype of “hardworking” by ordering people around you to fetch you drinks, carry your bags up the five flights of stairs to your hostel room, asking locals what their version of the dole is, and where you can apply for it etc.

4. Celebrate other national holidays.

This is a great one because not only will you be given an honorary membership of whatever country you’re celebrating for the day, you get to experience how other cultures party and patriotically get shitfaced. If you’re in the US for July 4, I am so jealous. Set off a bunch of fireworks, sing ‘Party In The USA’ by Miley Cyrus, maybe shoot someone. If you’re in France right now and you will be for Bastille Day then throw some baguettes at people, maybe do some miming, I don’t know actually. If you’re in England, enjoy the many occasions they take to celebrate the Queen and the Royal family. Pledge your allegiance to her with fervour, go to the pub, yell about teams in the Premier League. I personally can’t wait to go to a football game, I hope there’s a riot – anyone got any tips on starting one?

5. Pretend you hate beer.

This is not to be taken lightly, as it is not only a very masochistic thing to do but will also require a great amount of willpower. We all know many other countries enjoy beer, so enjoying it may not arouse too much suspicion, but when they see you smashing tin after tin of VB or Carlton Draught or whatever, foreigners may become alert to the fact that such a seasoned beer drinker can only be from Australia. Beware.

6. Fuck with people (gently)

If your clever ruse is, in fact, blown, there’s nothing for it but to give the people exactly what they want. A full blown, stereotypical account of Australia. This means telling everyone exactly how many spiders there are in your garage that could kill you. How far you might get into a bush walk down the road to buy some milk before being accosted by a deadly snake. The story of your mate that narrowly avoided a shark attack or show them the scar from when you got your appendix out and tell them that’s where a shark bit you. Don’t forget that time you got third degree burn-level sunburn. The best part about these stories is that they will mostly be true – watch with hilarity the horror that will unfold on the poor foreigners’ faces as you describe the hell hole that is our great country.

So there you have it! To be honest, there’s nothing wrong with embracing the good stereotypical qualities of “the Aussie”. This means being friendly, helpful and up for anything. This does not mean being racist, disgustingly loud and obnoxious when drunk, and lecturing people about the inner workings of the AFL. No one cares. If you’re lucky enough to be travelling, embrace everything about the places you go that are different to what we have back home – it’ll only make what we have all the more sweeter when you return.

Happy travels!

Lucy Wood

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