Monday, May 18, 2009

Best of British

While at the pub celebrating a friend's birthday recently, I found myself standing at the bar next to another friend of his whom I had not met before that night. Feeling the need for conversation, I was about to tell her the faskinating story of how they'd run out of Toohey's Premium Dry and I felt like I was in a Slim Dusty song ("Pub With No Beer", in case you're wondering), when she spoke first.

Are you Australian?


Oh. I thought I noticed a bit of an accent.

Sometimes people think I sound British because I'm so eloquent and sophisticated.

And she looked at me like I was a complete wanker and at that point the conversation kind of ground to a halt. I must try to remember that conversational gambits that might look good in a blog aren't necessarily successful in person.

The funny thing is that it's true - on several occasions I have been asked to my face if I'm British.

The first time was when my Smaller Half and I were staying in a B&B in Victoria and we were ordering our breakfast from the proprietor. I ordered the tea-smoked kippers because they sounded so absurd. I then asked the proprietor how big a kipper was because I had never seen one and he was flabbergasted that I hadn't. It turned out that he was flabbergasted because he thought I was British, and apparently British kids have to pass a kipper identification test to enter high school.

The even stranger time was when my then-Boss and I were in the US on a work trip. We decided it would be funny for we two Australians to go to the Outback Steakhouse - a cheesy Aussie-themed chain restaurant. When the waitress came to take our order we had to repeat ourselves several times because she had difficulty understanding us. Then she said, "Wait - are you guys English?"

To be honest I really don't know why people sometimes mistake me for a non-colonial. Ahh - brainwave! I'll make a poll about it and let you tell me. Internetz for the win!

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