So as we’ve just survived Ozzie day here in Thailand I thought I’d take the opportunity to write about my experience of Australians in the time I’ve been travelling. First off, I love Ozzies. There has been many times in the last year and a half I’ve found myself saying that phrase either incredulously, heartfeltly, disbelievingly, affectionately or laughingly. So at risk of being horribly stereotypical lol, here it is: a light hearted look at the generic Ozzie male through the eyes of an English girl.
I can pick out an Australian guy a mile away, particularly the ones who travel Asia. Medium to longish ruffled hair, THAT particular style of walking, sun kissed freckles on usually rugged faces, twinkly eyes, a lot of noise, a beer in hand and usually aiming for the beach. In a group at least 50% will be wearing caps on backwards, there’s normally one sporting those awful wrap around sunglasses with the orange tinted lenses, and there’ll be a healthy collection of scars and injuries spread out amongst them – each one willingly and joyfully explained if asked about. I can’t help it, nearly every time I speak to Ozzies I’m remind of big cheerful drunken Labradors 🙂
I’ve found that there is generally two main types of Ozzie. The ones so laid back you’re not sure if they’re stoned, smile at them and they’ll smile benignly back and maybe even give you a lethargic “how are ya?!”. Or the ones so over excited they all try and talk at once, and 20 minutes later you have no idea how it happened but you’re having a conversation about “maccas”, rugby and what happened when their friends little brother went to Schoolies. Whatever the subject they’ll have something relevant or not to contribute and will listen earnestly to what you have to say. I thoroughly recommend getting into one of these conversations, one of the best debates I ever entered into was with a group of Ozzies. Subject: scrambled eggs vs fried. Duration: 25 minutes. Conclusion: both over-rated, omelettes are better.
WHEN THEY FLOURISH
In a crisis. Ozzies come into their own in an emergency. I cannot count the number of times one of those handsome rugged types have come to the rescue when in a pickle. For example when an entire longtail of people, myself included, were dumped in a swamp in Laos, complete with all our backpacks etc, and a giant sewage pipe twice my height blocking the way out, it was the two Ozzie lads who gleefully scrambled up and organised an escape plan. Within a few minutes bags were being passed down the newly formed line and the smaller of us were being hoisted up and over to safety. Excellent stuff.
At a party. No party is complete without and Ozzie. Everyone knows this.
WHEN THEY DON’T.
Kuta in Bali. It is possible to have too much of a good thing and Kuta is a melting pot of testosterone/liquor fuelled Australian men there to conquer the waves and anything with tits and a pulse. Guys, no means no! And I don’t want to play that game where you spit beer in each others faces either.
When they’ve lost their pack. Dazed and alone, clutching a half empty warm beer. It’s like little lost lambs without their flock, they don’t like it, we don’t like seeing it, stick together guys!
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE OZZIES
Christian and Co – after a particularly belligerent night of drinking and and early start to help clean up after the typhoon I was in no mood to be selling boat tickets. Instead taking up my usual perch at the bar, I left a note Sellotaped outside saying “I have an awesome boat trip going tomorrow and a stick in the shape of a snake if anyone’s interested” Lo and behold soon enough I am signing up Christian, Ollie, Tim and the rest of the gang on the proviso that I get on the boat the next day with them. I always say to people it’s ok to bring you’re own drinks ie a couple of beers on the boat coz were awesome like that – these guys brought on an entire eskie full of beer, bottles of whiskey, mixer and ice. They even had the best mugs I’ve ever seen (one of which I still have and treasure), I was smashed, the guides had never seen anything like it, and there was topless shoulder wrestling at maya bay involved.
Dirk. Zoolander. There are either no words or a novels worth to accurately describe my friend Mr. Zoolander. Love him or hate him he’s a speedo toting, wall of muscle, force to be reckoned with and if he’s around you’ll know about it. Approach with caution if easily offended, eating Pad Thai, or prone to succumbing to the charms of absolute confidence and a repertoire Casanova would be proud of. If however you’re impervious and he’s sober he’s quite delightful company and you can sit back and watch in wonder as the mayhem unfolds.
Mickey – my usually peaceful days selling boat tickets were unceremoniously shattered by the arrival of the wonderful Mickey. I’m talking to three girls trying to get them on to the boat. Mid pitch he bounds over, big grin from ear to ear, gabbles something utterly unrelated and over excited, leaves me and the three girls I was talking to absolutely baffled, and scampers back to the bar for another beer. It was the start of a beautiful friendship, and despite being marginally insane I miss having his boundless bounciness around to ruin my pitches.
The best thing about travelling is the people, you get to meet such a wonderfully diverse sparkly array of characters and nationalities. You’re never going to get on with everyone, and of course everyone is delightfully different. But for all the Ozzies I’ve been saved by, had the pleasure of chatting with, whiled away nights consuming Asian ethanol in dingy taverns, boats and bowling alleys with, thanks! It’s been a blast.