Guess where I come from
Trip Start Apr 25, 2012
16Trip End Ongoing
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The guessing game started from an incident that happened in Spain. In Mallorca there are lots of Germans. The Champions league final between Bayern Munich (Germany) and Chelsea (England) had recently been played, with Chelsea winning. Bayern are like the Collingwood of German football, therefore most people hate them. As I was walking through the streets of the German part of the island a drunken buffoon who had heard me speaking English stopped me and yelled “English!” Then he raised his hand into high-5 position and yelled “Chelsea!!” My response lacked amusement
The fact is in continental Europe the English are not so highly regarded. They are considered loud and obnoxious. I don’t necessarily agree with that generalization, but this is what one of my German friends told me. Australians on the other hand are considered very intriguing and interesting people, because we are so far away and people do not know a great deal about our country. I love the curiosity and I’m always answering lots of questions.
So I started the guessing game to try and filter out the ignorant. Thankfully there are very few who think I’m British. Most will say either Australian or New Zealand within two guesses. But I’ve had some classic responses. One girl said white Jamaican, and another girl actually said Antarctica. Someone even thought I was an Italian bloke who just happened to speak very good English. Apparently I look Italian now. But the best response I’ve had by far was from a girl in Iceland. She simply stared at me in amazement and said “you must be from Mars!”
Another classic response was from when I was travelling in Poland
Once it has been established that I am Australian, somehow the conversation almost immediately turns to spiders. I have no idea why, but our spiders seem to have developed a bad reputation overseas, especially in Europe. I keep trying to convince people that it really is a safe country to visit and that spider bites don’t kill anyone. Not everyone is convinced, but I never help my case by mentioning that you are far more likely to be eaten by a crocodile. After freaking them out with that they often will mention sharks, to which my response will have something to do with the jellyfish being far more deadly. I would like to apologise to our Tourism board, because according to everyone I meet, all the animals in Australia just want to kill you.
I will continue to write entries on where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. I’ve tried to shoot some videos with my camera, and I’ve added some of the better ones. Have a look.