Tuesday, 1 March 2011


The people of this very large island are not hamstrung or hog tied by stupid things like etiquette or a sense of formality. From the highest offices of government right through to the common man, Aussies 'tell it like it is.' I'm not saying this is always a good thing, it isn't, it can never be a good thing to tell it like it is all of the time but there are times when it's refreshing to be in a country where the people are not shackled by political correctness. 

A good example is the banter on TV breakfast shows. A recent sports news section showed a pretty impressive slam dunk from an all star game and as the news reader acknowledged the prowess of the athlete for jumping over a car whilst catching a ball mid air and dunking it, he finished with “we still don't need to see it 45 times.” A very tame example but one that you would not likely get on a British news bulletin. I often think the same when replays are overdone, every angle at varying speeds is frankly too many. 

The police too are quite relaxed and do not have the formality and by extension the unapproachable aura about them that British police officers have. My most recent experience came when my next door neighbour in Corryong, a regular piss head who played music loud and often aggressively attacked the nearest fence with both fists and head, decided, as if there was any sentient thought involved at all, or felt compelled to light a fire very near to the house I was staying in using our own rubbish as fuel. The rubbish was admittedly spilling over the floor from an unsealed bag (see my post about the French) but still a drastic measure I think. Jarkko, my Finnish mate in the house put out the flames with a pan of water and as I poked my head around the corner to have a gentle word with the psycho he appeared in just his boxer shorts carrying what the police later described as a 'tomahawk' which to me and you is a hatchet or a small axe. Suffice it to say the police turned up soon after and had a chat to him. After telling him, let's not forget we are talking about a drunken, axe wielding pyromaniac, to not be a naughty boy police officer 1 came to us and said “I threw the tomahawk in the out house so he probably wont find it for a couple of days and we told him to got bed so if he causes any more trouble just give us a call.” 


What if he does find it and he decides that he wants to use it or he decides that the fire we so rudely put out needs to be started again or that we really shouldn't have called the police and we need to be punished. And what if he decided to punish us at 4 in the morning when we are all in bed? Perhaps he would creep in and slaughter us in our sleep, although I don't think creeping is his style, I imagine he is more of a Jack Torrance type character. Or maybe he would plump for setting the tinderbox Australian house on fire, which I am pretty sure you could do very easily with a piece of flint and a stone. In this case I would have to say the relaxed attitude of the police was maybe a bit too relaxed. At least take the bloody axe away with you.

I have also been slightly surprised by the number of Australians, seemingly normal people who do not look like the have recently escaped from some hospital for the mentally ill, who walk around the streets with no shoes or socks on. Out of the 2 having no shoes on is the bigger deal I think because I would be inclined to think someone was even more of a nutter if they had socks on but no shoes but never the less there are a lot of people here and by here I mean in Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and Corryong who walk around with no shoes on. Like hobbits. Maybe they are trying to toughen up the skin on their feet in order to become a hobbit, god knows some of the have the rest of the hobbit features but honestly what is the deal with this. If you are walking form the beach to your car or carrying your surfboard and are clearly going to or from the sea and don't want anything you have to leave on the beach that might get stolen, you get a pass but other that that you are just an idiot. And you like like a trampy hobbit.

Where shoes are optional and nutters are free!

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