Tuesday, September 1, 2009

There's an Aussie in my soup

I’ve just realised I missed posting anything for the entire month of August. It’s partly because I was just too damned busy at the start of the month finishing off some projects before I could go on holiday for three weeks. I’ve been in the beautiful South Island town of Wanaka, enjoying some great skiing and snowboarding and a lot of excellent Otago pinot noir and pinot gris.

The only problem this year is the very noticeable infestation (I know I shouldn’t put it like that, b
ut I can’t really think of a better term) of Australians. Kevin Rudd’s stimulus package – Australian taxpayers got an average of about $1000 each to help kick-start the Australian economy – back-fired somewhat as they’re all over here, spending it in the New Zealand economy. And while the local businesses here are loving the cash injection, sadly there are suddenly queues at Treble Cone, where we used to be able to ski all day without ever having to wait to get on a chairlift. Saturday was an awesome blue sky powder day (photo below for your edification) but the wait to get on the chairlift was 20 minutes.

[Warning: What could be construed as a wee tiny rant follows.]

Worse, most of the Aussies I’ve encountered on this trip (to be fair, mostly young white men) confirm the stereotype: br
ash, loud, excruciatingly nasal accent; arrogant; somewhat racist. Extremely (uncomfortably) sexist. Also, completely dangerous yobs on snowboards. The kind that think it’s hilarious to race through the beginners area cutting so close to the already-shaky novices they make them startle and fall down.

On the plus side, there are also lots of French people here this year, so I’ve been able to get some practice at conversation. They seem delighted that anyone local would attempt to speak to them in their own language. Odd when you think about it, because most native English-speakers seem to take it for granted that the locals will converse with them in English when they visit France. Oh, and in general, the Frenchies’ opinion of the Aussies they’ve encountered has not been much better than mine. As one Frenchman put it to me, “They seem to lack…how you say…civilisation?”

I know this post lacked anything whatsoever to do with history, but I’m heading home tomorrow so it will be back to regular programming after that. Also, back to catching up on the many blog posts I’ve missed this last month that have now stacked up to terrifying proportions in
my Google Reader.

I've been told this is the best view from a ski field anywhere in the world.


Steve Muhlberger said...

Well, I at least got one of your posts in Aug.

Digger said...

It's still August here, for another hour and a half or so ^^ Glad you had a good vacation!

Bavardess said...

Ha ha - I forgot the rest of the world is so far behind!