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Le sondage s’est clôturé le 05 Juil 2003 18:19
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  Livre extract "How to be Normal in Australia"
Message Publié : 25 Juin 2003 18:19 
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This is a great book, written honestly by a non-australian. It's hilarious even for Aussies, who can look at the book and see that some parts of Oz culture have changed since the book was written...but some are just the same!
Author: Robert Treborlang, 1987.

Chapter titles:

Initiation

The National Etiquette
The National Sport
How to Avoid People

Always be Sorry
Grimacing for beginners
Mother’s Day

How not to worry

How to be passive
Why kissing always means ‘yes’
A modest observation
Sex by attrition

How to be respectable
The Australian wedding
Three games for beginners

Bringing down children
The seven ages of man
The bedroom
The lounge room

The Twilight zone
Renovations
Keeping the peace

How to recognise your father
How to be no trouble
Fathers Day

Growing up Normal
How to say ‘no’ to everything
How to start a rumour.

Initiation:
Just before lunch on a public holiday, I woke up in Australia. Having survived my first few months - learned not to ask questions, never dress well and always look busy, I had at long last received an invitation to a genuine Australian barbecue. The sky was a piercing blue, the air scorching hot. I felt like an explorer about to step into new uncharted territory.
My host welcomed me at the front door and quickly led me through the house to the back yard. People stood around in groups in a cafeteria like atmosphere. The sun was at its zenith and meat was being thrown on the smoky grill.
“Help yourself” said my host.
I’d never before seen an Australian Barbecue in action and felt excited. It was like finding out how the Royal Family behaved in private. Just what exactly happened there? What were Australians like away from the public eye?
It was only some hours later, that I began to realize that polite and apologetic, people spoke to each other no differently from those I had met in offices, factories and streets. There appeared to be an arm’s length even among the closest relatives and friends.
When I discussed my observation with a few of the other guests, they advised me to have another drink.
At first I thought that everyone was tired from a week’s hard work but after attending a great number of such events, I became aware that Australians were like this all the time. In fact, no one appeared to have any personal problems or worries. Unlike people in overseas societies, Australians just didn’t seem to have the need to be too close to one another.
Could it be that they were a race apart? Maybe they were communicating in a different dimension.
I started to feel envious. I wanted to be like the people around me. Everybody acted so normal, so problem free. I was like a visitor to an island paradise who longed to emulate the mystifying philosophy of the carefree locals.
But how?
Perhaps the key to everything was to create just the right distance between ourselves and others. Maybe the secret was to treat friends, family members and strangers all alike...I set myself the task of finding out......

(Well, if you like that and want me to print some more of it, just leave a comment! Beware, it’s copywrite though (maybe the book is out of print) :) _ Kate


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Message Publié : 26 Juin 2003 09:23 
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hum... j'aimerais bien le lire.... mais j'ai deja abandonne 'almost french' pour me comsacrer au dernier 'harry potter'... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

ben oui, il me faut encore des lectures simples pour ameliorer mon anglais !!!! :wink:

-Reno


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Message Publié : 26 Juin 2003 12:26 
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Je viens de chercher un peu et mauvaise surprise : tous les bouqins de Robert Treborlang sont 'Out of Print' sur Amazon.
Apparemment cet auteur a écrit une série de bouqins sur l'australie à la fin des années 80 mais aucun d'entre eux n'a été réédité... dommage !

Dans le même genre j'ai quand même trouvé les titres suivants :


Anglo-Australian Attitudes

Homesickness: A Novel

Et bien sur Almost French

Si j'en trouve d'autre, je les mettrai à la suite...

PS: Je déplace le sujet dans le forum Culture, je crois que c'est plus sa place..


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  How to be normal in Australia Pt II (version plus simple)
Message Publié : 06 Juil 2003 19:51 
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As the book is copyright, I can’t copy it here, but I can talk about the subjects which are still relevant to Australian life..and perhaps make it a little easier to understand than the actual book text.

Chapter 2 concerns ‘National Etiquette’.
The story is told that when Italians have a problem, they expect everyone to take an interest, all friends or family gather round and help them solve it...tears are poured out, hours spent discussing it late at night over cups of black coffee and all kinds of solutions put are forward.
But Australians through history haven’t been like that, and generally they’re still not.
Australian’s don’t really stand for that kind of thing.
The book says too that the USA is full of millions of brash people (well, we know that!) who run around with a variety of problems which they pour out to their family, friends, colleagues, psychatrists, shrinks, therapists, self help organisations, or to anyone in subways and bars.
In Oz...pas du tout...it’s not on. (Of course there are exceptions. I am just describing what I find to be the most general cases)

The book says we’re a polite and courteous people (well, I hope we all are!). We think it bad manners to put our problems onto others. We may be in serious trouble, have the in-laws staying, but under no circumstances are we to admit to it. We can admit to problems, but only really small or insignificant ones, not the main issues.
Australians may appear happy and carefree, but don’t be completely tricked.
There is a hidden down side to the ‘she’ll be right mate’ philosophy.
Ignoring problems, saying ‘she’ll be right’ and thinking things will work out ok by themselves by just doing nothing.... isn’t dealing with anything...but try telling one of the Aussies featured in this book! By denying the problem, they make it impossible for others to know about their business, or to help at all.
It’s considered improper to voice your problems in understandable terms.
One way of hedging around is to act as if the problem is something that’s all over now and no longer matters.
Polite Australians talk about things that bother them with hidden cryptic comments:
A german with marriage problems may go out, drink some schnapps or whatever and turn to a friend and tell him the story, i.e., say that he’d had an argument with his wife and that she’d told him to mend his ways or else....
But this is too precise for an Australian. In a similar situation, an Australian, after a long evening of inconsequential, trivial, petit conversation with a friend, might remark something like
“Anne’s been strange lately’’
“Oh yeah”
‘She’s been acting sort of funny’’
‘’Hmmm’’
‘’Makes one wonder...’’
Another important rule emerges: well brought up friends downunder know to keep their distance and not get involved.
The degree to which you can distance yourself from someone with a problem, still be their friend, but insist on not helping them solve it, is a measure of your good manners.
I.e.,: response “It’s up to you’’
‘’I don’t care either way’’
‘’Whatever makes you happy’’

If you should in a moment of weakness, take note of the problems of others or even offer to help, you could be in trouble for being tactless.
You may know that the lives of several of your friends are currently in a disastrous state, but you must never say anything upon meeting them. They may have lost their jobs or look like death warmed up, but still you should overlook this and go along with the happy go lucky charade
“You look great!”
“Thanks”
“Things must be going really well for you”
“Aha”
“It’s good to see someone who has their life all together..”
“Errrr....um...”

If you don’t do this, they could be upset: thinking that you finding out that they’re having problems is casting doubt on their ability to cope/manage, their “I’ve got it all under control, mate!”

On the other hand, if others find out that something is bothering YOU, if they find out you are in some kind of trouble, the book says you must to dismiss what they say at once.
“Oh no, I’ve already thought of that”
“I tried that but it didn’t work. No use.”
Or the classic “It’s ok, I’ve got it all under control”.

Unlike the rest of the world, in Australia you should be able to disguise your problem so completely that no one, even yourself, can understand the issues involved any more
(this last part can be quite sad, but very true!)
For this reason, it’s best if problems are simply left neglected. Do nothing, just ignore them until circumstances allow you only one possible solution.
“What else could I do?”
“There was no other way”
“It sort of just happened”

The idea is to hold back from talking about the things that bother you until you’ve done this so long that it has become impossible to talk about them any more.
You are now ready to be a polite Australian.


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Message Publié : 29 Juil 2003 15:19 
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je viens de decouvrir ce topic, et je dois dire que je commence a percevoir ce que le livre veut dire.

j'habite avec un couple d'amis australiens depuis 3 mois, et il y a des hauts et des bas.

dernierement, il y a eu beaucoup d'incomprehension, parfois j'apprenais par le biais d'un membre de leur famille, qu'il voulait vendre la maison ou vendre une voiture car ils voulaient economiser, et moi quand je leur demandais si tout va bien " No worries"

autre exemple, quand il me racontait un de ses problemes, et bien moi je m'empresse d'essayer de lui donner des solutions "You should do that..." puis il changeait de sujet.

j'aimerais savoir si il est encore possible de se procurer ce livre, j'en ai grandement besoin.

jc


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  Chapter 3 - How to be normal in Australia
Message Publié : 30 Juil 2003 09:55 
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Hey, now that somebody else has discovered my post, I can go on to the next chapter! (Pity the book is out of print...the illustration cartoons in it are rather good)

Chapter 3 - 'How to Avoid People', says:
Australians are a cordial and friendly people who seem to more than welcome you into their midst. This natural openness should not be abused, however, and you’d be well advised to practice the restraint Australians clearly expect and deserve”.

On trains and buses: The book instructs readers to:
Always sit on your own, as far away as possible from other passengers.
This will show that you are serious, and self contained as well (the latter is another important Oz quality).
Do not stare around you, fidget or hum ‘in the manner of many overseas travellers.’
It’s suggested that you gaze at some unseen, inner landscape, as if you were in a trance.
Only when the entire bus or train carriage is full is it ok to sit next to others.
Now you’re allowed to sit next to a stranger, but only hesitantly.
Ensure that no part of your body or clothing touches theirs.
Pick passengers not out of choosing, but because they either
1. seem the least offensive (or little old ladies...)
or 2. They look as if they’re about to get off.

(Kate’s note; I took exception to some of this, because after all, it was written in the 1980’s and surely it’s not like this any more. In my little town, it’s not, so I was a bit horrified on a trip to Melbourne not long ago, riding trams, to find this situation given above is alive and well! People sitting staring in trances out the window....or pretending to read newspapers...anything rather than look at the stranger sitting beside them.....so in some ways, this book just highlights how much we have NOT progressed on Oz....)

Queues: Recommends that you don’t try to start up a conversation with others while in a queue (again, this is fine in small towns, but will probably just get you stared at in the city)

It says it might be acceptable to launch into a discussion in the street or in queues with perfect strangers in Italy - have drinks together and begin lifelong friendships...but this generally isn’t going to happen in Australia (I suggest New Zealand for this! I’ve seen it happen so many times there..)

It seems from the book that they say that Australians, who are ‘self assured (oh really??) inhabitants of the world’s largest island’, have no immature habits like this and don’t feel the need to communicate with strangers. (Tourism is different, fortunately!)

Australians are taught in childhood to beware of people, never to talk to anybody with too friendly a smile on their face, and to ignore those who wish to start up a conversation with them. (This is indeed mostly true...)

Stay tuned for Chapter 4...
Kate :)


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  Chapter 4: Always being sorry for something...
Message Publié : 02 Août 2003 18:34 
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According to the book, parents in Germany are always encouraging their kids to be good at everything they do, to do things right. In Japan, kids are taught to be loyal and hardworking...but in Oz, much time and energy of parents goes into teaching children how important it is to be sorry...

“Say you’re sorry!”
“And what do we say now?”

“You’d better apologise or else!!”

They say you can tell a sophisticated and well brought up Australian by the number of times they say they’re sorry...

“I’m awfully sorry but...”
“I hope you don’t mind that...”
“I’m sorry to have to do this, however...”
“I’m sorry to be too much trouble...” (one of the top ones)
or even “Sorry, I’m a bit early” (after reading this book, I ‘kick’ myself every time I hear myself say this when I’m early for a party or an appointment or whatever...!”

Aha, now it says, that in France, the ‘birthplace of courtly manners’, if somebody steps on your foot, it’s ok to say ‘Get off my bloody foot’, but in Australia, you have to be more polite about it “I hope I’m not too much bother but you’re standing on my foot.” (I disagree: this last one is just silly. Maybe we used to do it this way, but not now). But I do agree after an incident like this, even if it’s someone else’s fault, you do have to say sorry anyway.

In Australia, one should never miss an opportunity to apologise.
With strangers, friends, anybody. You have to say you’re sorry especially: if you are right; if you think you’re right; if others agree you’re right, if you’re suspected of making a mistake; if someone else makes a mistake; if you’re getting drunk and falling over; if you don’t happen to drink at all; if you disagree with someone or they disagree with you; if you lose at a game; if you win at a game.....many different instances.

On arriving at an Australian home, the book says it’s a good idea to start apologising the moment you enter the door. Being on time is a good excuse ‘Sorry to be so punctual’ (true!). On being offered a drink you must excuse yourself for proving a bother (sometimes true!)
It’s also useful to throw in a few random apologies to keep the conversation going, i.e., “I’m sorry, have I sat on the wrong chair?’’
It’s also good form to be sorry for having burped, even if nobody else could possibly have heard it.
‘Like a religion, being sorry is something in which everyone must participate - a sort of chain reaction without an end in sight.
If somebody apologises to you, it’s important to immediately apologise back (especially if you bump into somebody, par exemple).
“I’m sorry I took longer than I thought”
“I’m sorry, I should have realized”
“I’m sorry to put you to all this trouble”
Oh no, I’m the one sorry for it”
“No, no, it was definitely my fault.”

Book says, whatever you do, don’t break the chain! (but, of course you can).
The reasoning behind this is that ‘unreassured apologetic Aussies may even get aggressive if not allowed to complete their apology'.
"I hope you'll forgive me for being late"
"ok"
"I'm sorry but it wasn't my fault"
"Good".
"I said I'm sorry"...and so on it can go.

Due to all these examples, the meaning of the word has somewhat changed.
They say, then, not to say you're sorry under the following circumstances: if you definitely know you're in the wrong, or speaking to somebody when somebody they care about has just died.
In these cases, the book says, the best line to take is always "I just don't know what to say." (And it happens)

It seems to me from all this that it would be a lot easier just to reserve sorry for the times when you really need it - but it doesn't work like that.


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  NEVER APPEAR WORRIED - Chapter 7
Message Publié : 03 Août 2003 15:11 
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To be normal in Australia you must never appear to be worried about anything. Happy-go-lucky and carefree, Aussies pride themselves on being able to remain optimistic even during the greatest adversity.
It may be ok to worry in Greece, Italy or Iraq. Nobody argues the state of pessimism which presides over certain lands.
But in the young and vital nation of Australia, it is your DUTY to be nonchalant and carefree at all times. Everyone must deny any concern or emotional involvement, no matter what happens.

I.e., “It’s got nothing to do with me” (K: How often do we hear this one!”
“I can’t be bothered”
“Things always sort themselves out” (K: Famous last words!)

This attitude is to be carried into all kinds of life.

This chapter also suggests that too much initiative in this country is really ‘un Australian’. I’m not sure how widespread this still is.

Being cheery and worry free is one thing, of course. Accusing others of worrying is another. Be careful never to say “You look worried, mate” or “Stop worrying.” To an Aussie. That’s how arguments start.
“Frankly, I wouldn’t worry.”
“Who’s worried?”
“Some people worry a lot”
“Not me, I never worry.”
“I definitely don’t.”
“Well I don’t either”
“Why should I worry?”
“There’s nothing to worry about.”

As maybe you can see, saying ‘you look worried’ to an Australian can almost be making an attack on them (from their point of view, as they could think you’ve accused them of failing the Oz joviality test or not being able to cope, or need Psychiatric help or something).

If somebody should tell YOU that you look worried, it is vital to demonstrate right away that you’re not at all.
1. Scowl as if they had said your breath smells.
2. Talk about all the other people you know who have REAL worries - find as many as you can to dob in (tell on).
3. Sink low in your seat as if you’re about to go to sleep, to show how relaxed you are.

Always keep projecting the worry free image. Act as if concern is the furthest thought from your mind. In fact, the worse things are, the more light hearted you ought to appear. (Only after it’s all over can you admit you were worried at the time, and only to certain trusted people usually).
Remember, the only worrying you should do in Australia is never to appear worried.

(But there are a few exceptions: you can worry about trivial things but not the bigger picture, and it’s ok to worry about numbers: “Did I drink 4 or 5 beers at lunch time?”
“Will I bet on the 6th horse in the 4th race at Moonee Valley?”
“I wonder which of the 6 plugs is misfiring”?

And there you go...

Chapter 5: Grimacing for beginners:

This chapter seems to say that you can absorb local customs all you want, imitate slang or whatever, but you will never be considered ‘normal’ here until you LOOK right, until you look at ease in the natural environment of Oz.
The book suggests that what makes Australians LOOK right, is the faces they pull.
Watching some of them on tv, I guess this is quite true.

The Aussie grimace is said to be the top one you should know. Then, followed by scowls, mouth contortions and grins that you learn to use on their appropriate occasions.
One type is: ‘Uh-uh’
The most popular way to really start pulling faces is when somebody becomes suddenly passionate about a certain subject. This usually happens in a group situation.
The book says that in Israel or Greece, it’s ok to be impassioned, and you can set the scene for an interesting discussion this way, but in Australia, if you see this starting to happen, you and your aussie friends must start to look at one another nervously, while frowning heavily, to indicate a speaker who is ‘out of control’.
If this doesn’t work, parts of the party are to break off into little groups so as to exclude the speaker, who then finds himself talking to...just himself.
(I don’t know if this still happens, but certain types of Aussies can tend to be wary of impassioned speakers...the 'don't get involved' motto).

To add: It's fairly easy to get an Aussie guy to tell you what he THINKS, but try getting one of them to tell you how he 'feels' about things, anything, and it can be a difficult, if not impossible task, no matter if it's an intelligent or semi-intelligent or 'ocker' slang speaking beer drinking Aussie - in this I have found most of them are all the same, and it's really a huge difference between them and European men, who I have found will talk to others about how they feel about things, when they hardly even know the people they're talking to!
Fortunately in society, the Australian women ARE allowed to express how they feel about things (the Australian male just may not listen!)

This could probably be a chapter all on its own...comparing the seemingly easy emotion I've observed in European acquaintances and friends such as French, swiss and Italian guys in particular, to the very common 'non emotional' aspect of many Australian males.
It's not that Australian guys don't have feelings: they do, but they're not going to tell you, and it's not expressed much in society.
Maybe after so long they even forget how to do it (je crois).
As for negative emotions, like sadness, grief and loss, that's an even bigger story, because in Australia, it seems that only a small percentage of the male population will ever express these, even in modern times.
Part of it is that these feelings have been learned to be hidden far away, and the other is that they feel they could be ridiculed or thought 'sissy' or weak. Therefore, it's important to keep up a macho facade of some kind or another.
Par exemple, if an Australian guy watching English soccer sees any member of the losing team shed a tear or two, or worse, cry properly, contempt and amusement seem to be very quick in coming.
If you ever see a 'real' Aussie man cry, then it's pretty sure you know it's almost the end of the world, and the biggest crisis ever possible has happened. Then it's scary, and nobody knows what to do.

Those are my theories anyway, and I've been working on them a very long time....Understanding Australians is no easy thing (my NZ mother says she has been trying for 30 years and she hasn't succeeded yet)....so, readers, don't worry if a lot of this stuff doesn't make sense...un jour ca arrivera, peut etre!

Kate
:)


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Message Publié : 06 Août 2003 16:30 
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whaou !! je ne pensais pas qu'il y avait autant de difference ! Je pense que c'est en parti vrai.

Avec mes aussie roomates, j'apparais comme un peu rude, et je pense que c'est parce que je ne m'excuse pas autant que les aussies.
Ensuite, pour les feelings, c'est vrai egalement, car j'ai egalement tendance a partager facilement mes humeurs lorsque j'ai bien du mal a savoir lorsque mon pote est contrarie...

merci Kate pour ces informations and keep going.


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  How to be Passive - Chapter 8
Message Publié : 09 Août 2003 12:45 
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While in Europe, Asia and America, men without initiative might be shunned, avoided or even set apart, in Australia in some sections of the population, this quality is still actively sought out, recognised and encouraged by ‘sensitive and romantic women’.

What elegance and ‘savoir faire’ do for French girls, showing lack of initiative still seems to do to many types of Australian female.

To Europeans, the attraction Australian women feel for men who sit in corners all night drinking with their buddies, might seem slightly strange. To the Japanese, the penchant of the Australian female for making the first move towards a relationship might even seem pushy. To South Americans, not unexpectedly, the Australian male’s habit of waiting to be spoken to would seem rather unexciting.
Australian males, of course, know better. They understand only too well that the less energy they expend and the more passive they behave, the greater their chances of being picked up. They know that women have to be allowed to take the initiative, otherwise things would never get anywhere. After all, there’s nothing Australian females suspect more than a man going out of his way to make an impression.

“He likes you”
“He’s a creep”
“Keeps on telling me how much he likes me”

The author discovered the importance of being passive at his first Oz party. About midnight he noticed that guys who had, all night until then, sat around in corners and never paid the slightest attention to any girls or anything all evening, were now approached by girls who had spent the whole night in opposite corners chatting to each other.
Girl: “You’re very quiet”
Male: “I’m ok”
G: “You don’t seem to be enjoying yourself.”
M: “I’m not a party person”
G: “Neither am I really.”
M: “I like to get to know people one at a time”
G: “Why don’t we go outside then?”
M: Alright”

Supposedly, Australian women are strong minded, proud individuals who would hate the idea of somebody deliberately setting out to seduce them. A man may entertain desires, he may even have designs, but they should not be revealed under any circumstances.
(Some of this may be a little out of date, but the last sentence definitely stands very true still).
“What shall we do?”
“Up to you”
“A drive?”
“I don’t mind”
“Where to”
“I’m easy” (this one’s a classic standard one that was still much used 10 years ago ...pretty much the same now for certain % of the population, je crois).

Since the aim is to protect the woman from feeling that advantage is being taken of her, and as even the smallest difference of opinion could land you in trouble, early conversation should be limited to a few neutral topics (this is also true!)
Some of these could include:

The trade in value of cars
Property prices
What you had for lunch
Problems of people she’s never met.

It says you should also be passive in a relationship. If somebody telephones to invite the two of you somewhere, care should be taken not to show too independent a spirit.
“What are you doing next Saturday?”
“I’m not sure”
“Would you like to come to a party?”
“Wait till I ask Sue”

In Germany or Russia it may be quite ok for a man to reply promptly ‘yes’ in response to an invitation. In Australia though it is only the women’s right to pick up the phone and say ‘we’d love to come’. (In some ways, this one still goes too.)

Failure to go along with the simple rules of passivity could escalate the situation into circumstances beyond anyone’s control.

Woman: “What did you do that for?”
“What’s that?”
W: “Saturday was going to be my quiet night”
“I just thought....”
W: “Well, you can go on your own.”

It’s best not to reply. Sit on the edge of a chair or sofa and gaze unhappily at the floor, until your partner relents.
And if you’re passive enough, they will.

Back on the subject of women being forward when it comes to guys and dating, I believe this to be even more true now than it was when the book was written.
At my all-girls secondary school (where we grew up to be quite socially inept for many years when it came to boys), girls were always asking boys out - even if they didn’t really go anywhere because they were too young for dating.
Guys really didn’t have to do much. They just had to be guys, and wait. They didn’t even have to wait very long, girls at all girls schools being pretty boy-obsessed. Some of them were quite shy but pushy all at the same time.
My nieces now go to the same all-girls school that I went to, and it’s just the same situation there now.
To give you another real life example, un de mes amis de l’Alliance Francaise a deux fils, a l’age de 15 et 13....and it’s the 13 year old who the girls at his co-ed school are already chasing!
Brenton gets phone calls at home “is Dale there...?” rather often...and even one inventive girl who called looking for his son who used an operator to call and reversed the charges to his home phone!
These days girls probably chase guys by mobile SMS messages. This might explain why Brenton’s son is so desperate to steal his mother’s mobile phone and take it to school with him whenever he can.
And the bars/night clubs/social events scene with ‘guys sitting in corners pretending they don’t see girls watching them from opposite corners’ - can be seen just about anywhere.

Next chapter...further into this kind of subject


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Message Publié : 10 Août 2003 09:47 
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un petit site sur le sujet ;-)

http://www.majormitchell.com.au/contents.html

être francais donc eternel raleur/partageur d'humeur en tout genre et se transformer en parfait australien doit relever de l'exploit ;-)


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Message Publié : 13 Août 2003 11:04 
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fredouil a écrit :
un petit site sur le sujet ;-)

http://www.majormitchell.com.au/contents.html

être francais donc eternel raleur/partageur d'humeur en tout genre et se transformer en parfait australien doit relever de l'exploit ;-)


Ah, formidable! Un site de Robert Treborlang! Incroyable...et avec les chapitres de ses livres aussi, tout gratuit, avec les dessines aussi!

Je te remercie tres beaucoup Fredouil!
J'ai lu un de ces 'nouveau' internet livres deja et c'est formidable!
Mais...apres j'ai fini et j'etais presque mort de rire...j'ai compris que les blagues sont aussi pour la plupart la verite!
That's a little scary! Hehe

Kate :mrgreen:


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  what kind of barbaric country is this ?
Message Publié : 14 Août 2003 22:05 
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:evil: Who says we have to open to other values and other cultures...
Come on !!! :evil:
:mrgreen:
Now I will never ever even say a word to an australian. Bunch of beer barrel cowboys individualistic to hell and unable to cope with their inability to cope... :lol:

Burn them all !!! :wink:

At least It's cool to know I live in a superior country. :D :D :P

Would any one have a book on how to live in France when you're an australian ?
That might be interesting ... And help see the other side of the picture.


Long live the french, the italians, the mediterraneans and all the worried and passionate races that fill this world with meaning. 8)

Well at least I learned more reading this on how to behave with an Ozian than if I had stayed 6 months.

I can imagine myself.
Me :
Hey mate. Sorry 'bout your mum's death. I hope you'll get over it pretty soon.
Oz : I'm doing OK.
Me : You say... it must be terrible. I mean. And you look devastated.
Oz: Well I handle things all right.
Me : Oh .. and I'm not even offering help. I forgot !! This must imply an awful lot of paper work and having to write all these cards.
Oz : No that's OK.
Me: Coz you know I could take care of the kids... I've got some good books on coping with death.
Oz: Hey I'm all right;
Me : Come on you don't need to pretend that.

AND THEN WE FIGHT. YES !!

(And I lose because he's bigger than me)

gosh.

WHat a strange country. :idea: I advise to all Oz tralians the reading of "belle du seigneur" or "solal" from albert cohen.
There you'll get a glimpse of the mediterranean way of life. Cries, shouts, passion, worries and lots of words.


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  Re: what kind of barbaric country is this ?
Message Publié : 15 Août 2003 16:53 
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VentDuReve a écrit :
:evil: Who says we have to open to other values and other cultures...
Come on !!! :evil:
:mrgreen:
Now I will never ever even say a word to an australian. Bunch of beer barrel cowboys individualistic to hell and unable to cope with their inability to cope... :lol:

Burn them all !!! :wink:

At least It's cool to know I live in a superior country. :D :D :P

Would any one have a book on how to live in France when you're an australian ?
That might be interesting ... And help see the other side of the picture.


Long live the french, the italians, the mediterraneans and all the worried and passionate races that fill this world with meaning. 8)

Well at least I learned more reading this on how to behave with an Ozian than if I had stayed 6 months.

I can imagine myself.
Me :
Hey mate. Sorry 'bout your mum's death. I hope you'll get over it pretty soon.
Oz : I'm doing OK.
Me : You say... it must be terrible. I mean. And you look devastated.
Oz: Well I handle things all right.
Me : Oh .. and I'm not even offering help. I forgot !! This must imply an awful lot of paper work and having to write all these cards.
Oz : No that's OK.
Me: Coz you know I could take care of the kids... I've got some good books on coping with death.
Oz: Hey I'm all right;
Me : Come on you don't need to pretend that.

AND THEN WE FIGHT. YES !!

(And I lose because he's bigger than me)

gosh.

WHat a strange country. :idea: I advise to all Oz tralians the reading of "belle du seigneur" or "solal" from albert cohen.
There you'll get a glimpse of the mediterranean way of life. Cries, shouts, passion, worries and lots of words.


Salut VentduReve
Well, it's not maybe so much a matter of opening to the other culture (unless you live here) but maybe just understanding a little so the behaviour of people doesn't seem quite so bizarre when the cultures are very different...but in this case maybe in print it sometimes looks more bizarre than if you didn't know the reasoning behind the actions of some Aussies and you just met them without knowing and were just vaguely confused afterwards!
But it's not all beer barrels now like it used to be in the 80's (a time when I et mes amis de L'alliance Francaise think that the Australian culture was quite embarrassingly unsophisticated in many ways). Now more than ever, a lot of Australians appreciate good wines too. And fine restaurants, and staying in scenic B & B's and appreciating the cultural things as well as the 'Oz humour' things. Aboriginal art at an auction 2 weeks ago (forget where it was but it was huge) reached record prices for about the first time.
I'd be interested in finding a book on how to live in France if you're an Australian ('Almost French' was a good start, about learning to live in Paris, but what about the rest of France? Like, life in Sydney is surely a lot different to living in smaller, more intimate communities in Australia). If anybody finds one, let me know!
The first time I ever went to an Italian restaurant in Europe, about 10 years ago, I thought: "Wow! This owner has such a big family! Must be a reunion" as I watched him kiss everyone as they arrived in big noisy groups. :D Of course, now I know better, but unless Aussies have gone to Europe and seen for themselves how it works, they probably don't, or won't.
Yes, you can learn more about being an Aussie by reading the 'How to be Normal in Australia' and the Robert Treborlang website than being here 6 months....or 6 years even!
Of course, generalisations aside for a bit, there are S.N.A.G's living here (Sensitive New Age Guys) who are more sensitive than most.....I just don't happen to know many! Some are capable, but only at certain times.
Maybe I forgot to include some of the very best things about Australians. Like, when there's a really bad situation, they can be incredibly supportive.

Your little imaginary scenario actually hits quite close to home for me.
2 weeks ago a 22 year old niece of my husband died of a virus far worse than SARS (and completely unknown to modern medicine).
In the 3 months that she was on life support machines in Intensive Care in hospital, the way people in her city responded to the crisis struck me as being even more amazingly supportive than Aussies even are normally, in much smaller communities.
Normally when somebody gets really sick, family, friends and colleagues rally around the family - they cook them food to eat, send cards, flowers, make phone calls, and offer help. And they visit the sick person, and all that. And the person gets well, and the meals stop, the calls get a bit less, and things go back to normal.
This case was different. It went on for such a very long time. And still, people kept cooking and bringing food for her parents. And her friends from her PhD Uni research laboratory in Melbourne (1 hour away) kept visiting regularly, bringing her presents and cards and flowers, even though she couldn't see these things. The parents were there almost all the time, and brother and sister did the same, between catching a few of their classes at University. Her boyfriend abandoned his own PhD and just stayed with her, all day every day, just to be there even though she didn't know he was there.
But she didn't get better and then there was the funeral, worst of all, including hundreds of students from Melbourne Uni. It was very close, personal and filled with emotion - more of an internal feeling that many people afterwards said they had, almost the same feeling as each other.
At times like this, you can tell that Australians do have a lot of emotion. Some reasons why they look so sad but don't express it much further, could certainly be that at a time like this, people are numb and shocked and can't believe what has happened. Also there is the fear that if one of them 'cracks up', everyone else will start crying too, and maybe not be able to stop.
Because they are Australians, they will also try to be brave, which is another quality that is important, and other Australians respct them for this (though in an extreme case like this, crying was acceptable too, especially for the girls). Also because they are Australians, they tried to look on the bright side. So instead of being completely sad, they told happy stories of her life and made her goodbye completely modern with her favourite pop songs and everything in colours she loved, with even some laughter at the great stories as people reached for their tissues (the only sound of grief you could hear).
Her boyfriend made many more people go for the tissues when in front of everyone, he told the whole story of how they met, how he tried to win her heart with chocolates (her 1 major weakness) and so many personal details that I thought an Australian could never say. But he did and I think people thought him all the more brave for being able to say it, and nobody minded that he cried his heart out because all could see how special she was to him. I'm not ashamed to say that I cried for days and I know others would have too. After a few days, you're just expected to 'get on with life', but you never forget.....
So there's a little of the other side of Australians.
Thanks for the book suggestion. I'll see if I can find it.

Kate


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  thanks for your post
Message Publié : 15 Août 2003 17:15 
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Be sure I have no prejudices at all against australians... It's just the written description you made was kind of shocking to anyone with more mediterranean values...
I hope this death brought you sense of unity and a firmer belief in life... For as I see it any way we live only out of the death of others (and even ourself, they say 90 % of the human cells are replaced every 100 days).

I spent last WE drinking (wine and cognac and prune alkohol) with parents of a late 21 year old... Cancer. 6 months.. ABout the same story.

So all in all there are nice people all over the world. And sad stories too. :D

HEY !!!!! Why do smilies have to erase what I'm writing ? They did it twice... I hate that.

So I was saying ...
Seems the book is a little misleading... Australians are humans



:wink:


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