Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Having a conversation with an Australian

My final post in this series (I promise) focuses on the Art of Conversation in Australia, according to a cyncial, un-PC 17 year old girl (me) prior to her departure to Germany on Exchange in 1991. This is all tongue-in-cheek (in case you think I am horrible or down on my country) and was meant to show the Nowra RC guys just how idiosyncratic our Australian culture is.

It's easy to talk to an Australian. They've ALWAYS got something to say. Though books and editorials in our country may be informative, face to face communication ought to be vague and full of abstractions. This is something we can all learn to do. For example: an everyday conversation as only an Australian could have it:

"Not bad eh?"
"Could've been worse"
"My oath"
"Makes you wonder"
"You're not wrong there"
"Might change but"
"Pretty unlikely"
"You never know"
"Fair enough."

It makes sense somehow, but the big question is, what the hell are they talking about?

I take this opportunity to put forward some tried and true conversational topics which are always likely to find favour with Australians:

1. Movies you missed on TV - Describe in meandering detail the circumstances that led you to come home late and catch only the last 10 minutes of the movie under discussion. Lose interest once a person starts retelling the storyline.

2. Books - Never actually refer to books you have read as that could lead to a difference of opinion. You're better off finding books neither of you have read and discussing what you've heard about them.

3. Discussing or discovering common acquaintances could lead to blunders, so it is best to talk about people neither of you have ever met. Stars and politicians are alright, but cookery experts are even better.

4. Talking of what you'd do it you won the lottery is very acceptable, since it permits both of you to rave on endlessly without having to listen to the other person.

5. Finally the weather is a fabulous idea. With the ever-changing weather patterns - flooding a cyclones in Queensland (a northern state if you are not from around here), bushfires and raging heat in NSW (where I am from) and typically unpredictable weather patterns in South Australia and Victoria (Southern states in Australia), this topic has enough scope to ramble for days without running out of material, not to mention that Weather Watching is a great time passer.

Have you got any suggestions for my younger self on what we Aussies REALLY like talking about?


Maxabella said...

I am fondly remembering your 17 year old self, my oath I am. I've really enjoyed this 'series' and I'm still giggling about some of the advice you had for the rotary club. You're still a star, Coo!

Kelly said...

hehe what great posts, definitely entertaining!

life in a pink fibro said...

I wish I'd been in the actual room when you'd delivered this speech. I can see waggling eyebrows from here. x

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