Wake Up and Smell the Eucalyptus

By Geisha Bar

Now that Australia Day is out of the way, I’ve got to get this off my chest. It is time Australia wakes up and smells the eucalyptus. Abroad, Aussies are increasingly called “New Yanks” and JAFAs (Just Another F***ing Aussie). For decent reasons.

Australians are LOUD. People need to get in touch with their inner volume knob quick smart. We have a reputation for being obnoxious drunks. Especially en masse. Do we egg each other on? Maybe. These are made worse by notoriety for being stingy tight arses. Ironic for two reasons. We rank high on the international tourism spend index (US $22.5 billion in 2010 alone). Many Aussie travellers understand that the small salaries of service workers in other countries must be supplemented with tips. Apparently, wait staff the world over still shudder at serving a table of Aussies, as the chance of landing penny pinchers who don’t know their tip from their arse is high.

Why do we insist on ridiculous patriotism as soon as we leave our country? An Aussie flag towel has no place on the beaches of Asia, and lurid cries of “Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi” make you look like a dick. This is closely followed by The Famous Australian Arrogance. I promise you, the chic European lady 3 deck chairs along on an idyllic beach on the Mediterranean does not want to hear you loudly telling your new-best-travel-buddy-friend how the beaches are “soooo much better at home”. Her thoughts? Exactly what we tell people — “If you don’t like it here go home!”

Go home Australia. You’re drunk. Which leads me to my next point.

Upon arriving home, the fun really begins. Familiar with the Facebook humblebrag, disguised as post-holiday-blues, anyone? These travellers put friends and family through long, involved stories about how hideously drunk they were in Athens, how superior-to-every-other-drink-in-the-world their bucket cocktail was in Thailand, or just how absolutely-authentic their overpriced-tourist-strip-sweatbox-room was in Paris. Pretty funny given they were probably loudly comparing everything to Australia at each one of those locations.

It’s time Australia starts acting its age, and stops acting its population size.