Sometimes in life the littlest things, can be the most powerful. Sometimes in life the smallest of things can illustrate the most profound truths, they point the way for true understanding, for enlightenment. This powerful reality is brought to me over and over in Australia. It is not the same here. There is a difference between America and Australia, even though most Americans (being the insensitive louts that we are) would miss them at first. And its the little things that show this.
John, what the hell are you talking about?
My friend Mark Sayers, tried to get us ready for Australia. Tried to help us understand the differences in cultures. He explained the little things that most Americans miss at first and therefore suffer culture shock, six months in, rather than right away. And some of the things he showed us we understood, and some we have since learned.
Aussies don't usually like to talk about themselves.
Aussies often take their time becoming your friend, but once they are mates, there is intense loyalty.
Melbourne Aussies have a taste for the sarcastic and cynical.
I don't always learn my lessons well. I remember we went out to eat on a Friday night in the city. There was fourteen of us, so we were hard to seat. Everyone wanted to eat at a certain restaurant, but they couldn't seat us for an hour and a half. This wouldn't do, we were hungry. Everyone was upset, they wanted to eat here, but we couldn't. I asked my friend, "if its such a big deal, why not slip the host a twenty or two and have him seat us now"
Now Mark looked at me like I had murdered his mother and was dancing in her blood. "you are kidding right?" I was perplexed, and shook my head no. "you can't do that!!! he'd get fired, you can't get a seat because you have money" I was a bit surprised, this is common place in Los Angeles. I was given a lesson about egalitarianism, and how improper it is to get special treatment because of money. I still don't understand why its okay to eat a better meal with better wine because of money, but not to sit sooner, but then I was born in America.
Its the little things.
Let me tell you about the little things.
Flies!!! Australian flies powerfully show the difference. You can't get away from them, they are everywhere, so I am constantly reminded of the difference. See American flies are different. They are tend to be individualistic. One fly will decide you are its target for the day, and he will buzz around, saying look at me, look at me. But not the aussie fly, they are always together. No one fly gets the attention, they are all together, equal. No one calling for more attention than the rest. And they are persistent. If you make contact with an american fly, infact if you even stir the wind a bit, they will often leave you alone. Lots of show, no go. But these aussie flies, they never give up. They keep coming back and coming back. Battlers to the last one. I have seen them in the hundreds stay on the arms and back of a golfer as he swings his club. And if you kill one aussie, another five will come right back at you. And I have never seen an aussie fly map out a geometric pattern and continue to fly it over and over, they are way more layed back. They go from one to another, but don't waste time with relentless precision for the sake of it. They are far from lazy, but don't stress so much. They take life as it comes, and don't make it more or less than that.
Aussie flies mate, their fairdinkum different than American flies
but French flies...
thats just stupid!