Aussies love to strike up a good conversation when travelling, but more often than not the chat heads down a very stereotypical road. Maybe it’s our addiction to t-shirts with inappropriate sayings, or our love of wearing thongs everywhere, or maybe it’s the fact that we just love a good old-fashioned bevvy. Whatever the reason, here are some of the most cliché conservations every Aussie traveller experiences:
The “OMG your accent” conversation
This conversation never gets old. That was a lie. It gets very, very old. Picture this: you’re in a bar, halfway across the world, laughing, chatting and just having a jolly time, when across the room you hear the screech: “OMG. THEY’RE AUSTRALIAN.”
This group comes gallivanting over pulls up a chair and says, “Gih-dey, mate!” You laugh and, being a super laidback Aussie, say, “You really nailed the accent!” (They didn’t.) WHAT. HAVE. YOU. DONE. Now you’re stuck in purgatory. “Say ‘cheese’. No, wait! Say my name! No, no use my name in a sentence! Now say the alphabet. I LOVE YOUR ACCENT.”
The land far, far away conversation
Yes, Australia is a LONG way away. They don’t call it the Down Under for nothing. So when you’re having a little chin-wag to your fellow traveller and they say, “Oh I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, but it’s just such a long flight,” just casually shrug it off.
You may feel an obligation to reinforce that Australia is a beautiful country of amazing beaches, lots of adventure, and glorious, glorious sunshine, and the trip will be oh-so-worth it. That’s fine. That’s patriotism for you. But whatever you do, bite your tongue and do not under any circumstances say, “It’s 26 hours, 26 HOURS out of your whole life. 26 HOURS. How did you think I got here? Teleportation?” Did I mention it’s only 26 hours?
The Foster’s conversation
This is when your BFF (person you met five minutes ago) says, “How good are Foster’s? You must love Foster’s being from Australia and all.”
I – wait, what? No one drinks Foster’s unless it’s under duress. Do not associate that with our country. NO, DON’T BUY ME A FOSTER’S. I didn’t even want a drink. No, seriously. If we’re going to go there, WHERE THE XXXX AT?
The Vegemite conversation
Yep. We’ve all been here. When you’re desperately craving the salty goodness that is Vegemite, someone comes out with, “How do you eat that stuff?!” B*tch, puh-lease. Do not bag our beloved Vegemite! Once again, you laugh it off (because you’re super laidback, remember?) and tell them that it’s actually not that bad. You go through the various techniques, such as spreading a thin layer onto thick toast with copious amounts of butter, or adding avocado, or even topping it with some grated cheese and eggs. But alas, they just stare. And stare and stare and stare.
The Outback conversation
You’re in NYC, taking in the sights when someone says, “Oh, New York must be so overwhelming for you. It’s just so different from the Outback, right?” Insert super laidback response here. Do people really think there is no civilisation in Australia?! We have trains, buses and ferries. OK, we may not have a super complex subway system, but still, we don’t ride our horses 100km to get to the nearest grocery store.
The method of transport conversation
“Do you ride kangaroos to work?” Why yes, new friend. Yes, I do. My roo Joey is saddled up out the back every morning at 8am ready to take me on my morning commute. I only work a hop, skip and a jump away so it doesn’t take very long. Seriously, though, do people not understand how vicious kangaroos can be?
The venomous animal conversation
Nine times out of 10, when you’re having a chat with a stranger overseas they will ask you one very important question: “How do you live in a place with so many animals that could kill you?!”
Personally, I like to have a little fun with this (it would be un-Australian not to). “You get used to it, mate. You just have to check the toilet before you sit on it because snakes normally slither up the drains and have a bit of a g’day. You’ve gotta check under your pillow because that’s where spiders love to hide and a redback will flat-out kill ya. And you defo can’t leave your windows open because of the disease-ridden insects. Let one of them bite you and you’re headed right for a bingle and it’s not something a bottle of grog can fix, I don’t reckon.”
Call me cruel, but the look on their face is beyond priceless.