Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Hunt, Ken; Taylor, Mike "Xenophobe's Guide to the Aussies"


Hunt, Ken; Taylor, Mike "Xenophobe's Guide to the Aussies" - 1995

I found this book on an airport. And since my son has lived "down under" for a while and I have many lovely friends there, I couldn't leave it behind.

Even if you don't plan to go there and don't know any Aussies, this is hilarious. One of the writers is Australian, the other one has lived there most of his life, I think that is a great combination to get the particularities of a a people.

In any case, a funny read, a hilarious but very loving description.

What a lovely way of explaining to foreigners what is so special about Oz and its inhabitants, how they came to be how they are and what you should know before embarking on a voyage there. I also liked the masses of words that are explained.

Even if you don't plan to go there and don't know any Aussies, this is hilarious. One of the writers is Australian, the other one has lived there most of his life, I think that is a great combination to get the particularities of a a people.

In any case, a funny read, a hilarious but very loving description. And it also makes clear that we are all the same, after all. I can explain how funny this book is by an example. Apparently, the reason, they say "G'day" is, it has to be so brief because of the flies. The longer your mouth is open, the more flies crawl in." LOL

There is just one part of the book I don't agree with and I'm sure it wasn't written by the authors. The declaration for Xenophobia is "A phobia about foreigners, probably justified, always understandable." Nope, sorry, I don't understand it. In our day and age where people either travel the world themselves or know about a hundred who do and where we have the world at our fingertips - literally! - xenophobia is NEVER justified.

From the back cover:

"This is one of a series of guides designed to tell the truth about other nations, using sweeping generalizations and observations as a base, detailing what to expect and how to cope with it. The guides try to explain why things are done the way they are and they try to allay the feelings of trepidation with which the xenophobe approaches new territory. This particular book looks at Australians.

A guide to understanding the Aussies which takes an insightful, laconic look at their character and attitudes.

Appearances are deceptive
Never make the error of underestimating the Aussies. They love to portray a casual disregard for everything around them, but no-one accidentally achieves a lifestyle as relaxed as theirs.

Logic down under
Aussies will twist any statistics to their own ends. One statistic doing the rounds was that 40% of drivers in accidents had been drinking. Since this left 60% of drivers who hadn't had a drop, but who still had accidents, it must obviously be safer to drink and drive.

Let's talk 'strine'
The Aussies are not subtle and neither is their language. They will say what they mean. The problem is that the words they use don't always mean what they say. For example: bluey - someone who has red hair; you're orright - you are absolutely super; itsa bit warm - it is probably 120¼F in the water bag (water bags are always hung in the shade); that'd be right - I don't believe it either.

Out in the outback
Nature is the biggest single influence on the Aussie attitude. And a very harsh and unforgiving influence it is. Reality, totally uncontrollable, is never far outside the suburban limits."

4 comments:

  1. It is good to read about where our loved ones live. Have you visited Australia?

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    1. Unfortunately not. Have you?

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    2. No. I once had a friend from New Zealand and always intended to visit her someday. Now the length of the flight deters me.

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    3. Same here.

      New Zealand has always been one of my favourite destinations, ever since I read the first book by Mary Scott, as I probably have mentioned a few times. ;) I do have a friend in New Zealand, as well, but many many more in Australia in the meantime. Our son intends to go there again, so maybe we will take it upon us ... we'll see.

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