Monday 17 January 2011

Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the Midday Sun

Dear Mr English Tourist

I was kind of enjoying lunch on Friday when you are your French dining companion came to sit at the table right

on topnext to us.

And I really want to tell you something that I was too gutless to tell you then. You really, really annoyed the hell out of me.

I'm sure it was not lost on you that when you dine in one of those tiny chic cafes, often so small and cramped that it hurts to breathe, everyone can hear each other’s conversations. Therefore, the concept of being seen and not exactly overheard is front and centre in most diner's minds. Comprenez-vous?

I'm also guessing that it was not entirely lost on you that the tiny chic cafĂ© you were sitting in was in Australia not downtown Birmingham and therefore it was full of people with that "bloody awful accent" you said you absolutely detest. Or did your actual whereabouts escape your notice somewhere between jumping on that plane at Heathrow, taking that long 24 hour crazy making flight and landing at an international airport that says, G’day and Welcome to Australia?

I nearly lost it when you started analysing the Australian psyche with that gawd awful attempt at an Aussie accent. In fact I came close to standing up and throwing my bowl of salad leaves over your head. As a side note I restrained myself only because I was actually pretty shocked that I could be charged $16.95 for a bowl of green grass masquerading as a Moroccan salad and didn't want to waste money.

After your long and loud take on the country you then summed us up by calling us Lazy.
"AUSTRALIANS ARE LAZY", you said to your lady friend.
And you said it with such confidence and authority that I had this mental picture of you carrying out extensive research on the precise degree of idleness and resistance to hard work exhibited by every one of the country’s 20 million residents.

I was offended and let me tell you, we are a land of very thick …..skinned people.

Could I get away with saying the English are complete tossers just because you're one? Err, no, not in public anyway.

I could be immature and disappoint my readers and take this to a new level of tit for tat throwing out a few insults about your countrymen and their decaying interest in their historical past. However, these would be generalisations based more than likely on my singular experience with the English and totally unfair to English men and women as a whole.

What a lazy old day it was! I walked 4km into the city to have that lunch after being up half the night completing a project. I exerted myself in that hot 90% humidity so that by the time I reached my destination some 46 minutes and 43 seconds later, my luxurious straightened locks looked like an unfortunate frizz ball. Not only that but the sweat patches I was now wearing resulted in my outfit having a very unfashionable tie dyed look which created enormous embarrassment for me in what is our nation’s fashion capital. My only saving grace was that it was hard to tell if my face was flushed with embarrassment because of the rather unfortunate case of sunburn I was now sporting.

I then ordered an expensive lunch of - who knew? - assorted green grass that you wouldn’t even feed to any self respecting cow. And then like an unwanted foreign side dish I never ordered, you commenced your running negative commentary at the top of your voice on why you, as the world's unappointed spokesperson, disliked Australia and Australians. Worse still, my dining companion, being a foreigner himself, seemed to be more intrigued in your conversation than our own just to see how far you would actually take it before someone decked you.

So, while I can accept that some of us might be disposed to being somewhat stupid with a tendency to over embellish, and overheat in the midday sun, we are NOT LAZY!

We are the lucky country not the lazy country. Just ask Oprah!

Let's hope the sharks, the red back spiders and crocodiles don’t bite you on the backside on the way out and really give you something to complain about for the next fifty years. Because let me tell you there are some Aussies creatures whose bite is far worse than their bark!


Lilly x

PS. And if any of you ever hear an Australian dissing your country and its people while visiting your country you have my permission to defend yourselves…with whatever you can muster at the time….hopefully a better salad then I had to defend myself with…...that’s all I am saying…'s over, on your way now....


  1. Many years ago, while travelling in a train, I was witness to an English couple going all hoity toity in the midst of other passengers in the compartment, and they kept up a steady criticism in the Queen's English, probably directed to a gent sitting nearby. He didnt look like he knew who the Queen was , forget her English. But he suddenly looked up and gave them some kind of very polite but cutting answer (I know, polite but cutting, its possible here), and Queen Victoria would have actually applauded his accent, besides sending this couple scurrying to the Oxford Dictionary...

    This kind of thing keeps happening. But it just occurred to me that as far as throwing stuff goes, we have so many interesting things, like hot curries ....guaranteed to give your clothes some unforgettable turmeric spots for life much nicer than salad , na ?:-))

  2. hehehehe... What a post Lilly, brilliant provocative and very post tempting ... Remember missus, I'm Scottish hehehe... Oh so tempting!

    Thanks for the laughs, I KNOW exactly how you felt then - at the same time I know how some drunken, loud and outrageous Scots appear to other folk too and with THAT little titbit of info I'm keeping my mouth firmly shut!

    Cheers from the English's neighbours! Kate x.

  3. Hi Lily,
    Am ashamed for them. Perhaps it would have been worth $16.95 for the satisfaction of emptying the salad bowl all over his head ?

  4. I have some friends who will be visiting Australia in February and in April; they are looking forward to it and, I'm sure, returning with positive observations and stories about their visit. That is because Australia truly is beautiful, with wonderful people, and because my friends will be looking for, and finding good experiences and the best in the people they meet. Unfortunately, there are boors around the globe and we're bound to run into some of them. BTW, my sixth grade teacher (over 50 years ago) was Australian and is still on my list of all-time favorite people. She introduced her students to her home country; I still know the words of Waltzing Matilda, thanks to her. She was a charming woman and a true ambassador for Australia!

  5. Was he trying to impress his companion or maybe was force to be there and is just a big whiner.
    I've worked with both Brits and Aussies but certainly more Brits and I've never been to Oz. Some Brits take to being pompous asses with great ease.
    The right words with the right timing is more impressive than spewing every opinion.
    Good that you restrained yourself. I don't know an accent that I dislike. They are all interesting as are people.

  6. Melting Pot ~ it's what I love about my country. I can't fathom visiting another land and proceeding to bad-mouth the residents!

    Good to know your family escaped the flooding. I have been following the disaster, horrified at the images.

    ** You could have tossed the salad, I would have created a new one (better) for you!

  7. Sounds like a douche bag. A universal illness.

  8. OH GOD, it wasn't my father was it? He is renowned for being an absolute twat when he travels. It is true that some English people still think Britannia rules the world. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but there is no point being openly rude when visiting anothe country. 'Different' doesn't mean it is inferior.

    I am sure someone will hit him before his trip is over. My father I mean, lol.

  9. I can't believe that guy, amazing that no one said anything to him.

  10. @ Ugich - now curry would be a conversation stopper would it not?

    @ Kate - I lived in Scotland for a fair while and I know what you are saying - I love the Scots (except one but we arent going to go And you could have said so much....

    @ Christine - someone would have I am sure but we are all just too damn lazy here to bother, ha ha!! As summer said, douche bags are everywhere and not exclusive to one Nationality over another.

  11. You must be lazy Lilly otherwise you would have told him off. Perhaps he has a point and I am so glad I live so many miles away so you can't throw salad over my head too.

    Tourists are funny creatures there is no doubt about it. We seem to lose our manners when we travel. You know how I love your accent and your laidback style over there. Perhaps that is what he meant laidback and not lazy. As a fellow Brit I can only hope so.

  12. Ha! Some people are so full of themselves. He deserved every word you gave him, Lilly.
    xo jj

  13. Oh wow! What an idiot! I'd have loved to calmly go over there and told him, "We Aussies are also polite and civil. We prefer not going to another country and saying terrible things about the people who live there."

    At least that's what I'd love to say, but I always think of what to say AFTER the fact. Sigh.

  14. Tehehe. I love this post, Lilly. I would love to have seen your reaction right then and there. Your green eyes must have turned crimson color during that time.

    I'm surprised no one clubbed him for his rude comments and behaviour.


  15. You know, this jerk has a perfect right not to like Australia, or Australians.... He also has a perfect right f*** off home and not return and bloody good riddance!

    Sorry about the tone, but I too thoroughly abhor such rudeness and stupidity - especially from a very dirty pot calling kettles black!


  16. af1blog - mmmm - so I hope you say exactly that if you see an Aussie doing the same thing there. Bloody rude it is!

  17. You tell 'em Lilly. Some people are insufferable complainers and if it's not about a group of people in whose midst they sit, it is about other things equally embarassing like - what kind of food is this - uh, the kind of food a Thai restaurant would serve...didn't you notice the name of the restaurant was Bangkok Cafe.
    I admire your restraint. I think you should have called the maitre'd or waiter over and said that the rowdy rude one was disturbing your dining experience.

  18. And the English have the nerve to complain that Americans are loud. I think you'll find that there are decent tourists and not so decent tourists of all nationalities.

    What you needed was a waiter in shining armor. I was in Prague during a stint as an exchange student having lunch with a friend who was also on the tour. Another man from our tour came and sat down with us. We're all Americans. It must have shown on our faces that we did not like this guy. And it didn't help that he was rude and loud. It wasn't too long before the waiter came over and said I'm sorry sir, but you can not sit in this dining area, it's reserved for a business group. He said these two are from my group. The waiter insisted that he leave. I loved it. This guy from our tour was loud borish and just gross. I don't think anyone else cared for him. I thought it was really classy of that waiter to move him on and let Melanie and I stay.

    We noticed that it was reserved, but we figured if we sat down quietly no one would care. The room we were supposed to dine in was so loud and noisy and we couldn't hear ourselves think much less have a conversation. Turns out we were right. The waiter didn't care if we were there.

  19. $16.95??

    $16 FREAKING 95?


    And no, the rest of your post wasn't lost on me. I would love to come over there and whoop some cocky English ass, but alas, I'm stuck here. In boring, lazy, really, really cold Canada. Where there is not a sweat stain in sight. Sigh....


Thanks for your comments.