January 27, 2011

Australia Day Confessions

So yesterday was Australia Day. I had a lovely day, hanging with friends, swimming with the kids, and eating smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches (but only because we've had about 17,000 barbecues lately, and I couldn't bear the thought of another slab of charred beef).

I truly love this country of ours. For me, living in Sydney, it's Bondi. The harbour. The Opera House. The cafes. The parks. The restaurants.

On a macro level, it's universal health care. Our welfare system. The abundance of food. Strict gun laws. Excellent public schools. Multiculturalism. Our entrenched sense of fairness.

I love Australia. And yet, in many ways I am unAustralian. And today, with 364 days to go till the next Australia day, I shall confess all the reasons why:
  • I don't like pavlova. This is partly because I don't like meringe, partly because I don't like passionfruit, and partly because of a deeply entrenched belief that dessert is not dessert unless it is chocolate. 
  • I don't use the term 'mate'. Ever. (Except in reference to Prince's ex-wife, and I'm not even sure I got the pronunciation right.) I've tried to call people 'mate' - it just seems like the culturally appropriate thing to do - but it comes out all forced and twisted, like when you bump into an ex-teacher and try to call them by their first name. So I generally use people's real names, and if I forget them, I just stammer and look anxiously for the nearest exit.  
  • I've never said G'day. Again, just doesn't roll off my tongue. I say 'Hello', 'Hi', 'Hey', 'Shalom' and 'Bonjour' (I am nothing if not multi-lingual), but never, ever G'day. I should probably expand my repetoire, though. Ni Hao, anyone?
  • I don't drink beer. In fact, I think beer tastes like carbonated wee wee. Of course, I've never actually tasted carbonated wee wee - in fact, I've never tasted wee wee at all* - but I believe that if I did, it would taste exactly like beer.
  • I have never owned a Hills Hoist and I never plan to. I think they're ugly. Still, this is better than my friend Cate, who once owned a Hills hoist and took it down. Better to have never owned, I say, than to own and throw away.
  • I have never watched 'Home And Away'. I've never even watched a commercial for it. Does Kate Ritchie play a policewoman?
  • I didn't like 'Strictly Ballroom'. I know I was supposed to, and I was very glad that other people did, and I fully support the Australian film industry...but I just thought it was boring.
  • I don't own tracksuit pants. Never have. Never will.
Still, all is not lost. I have some redeeming Australian qualities:
  • I love Vegemite. I eat it every day. I love it with butter. I love it with cheese. I love it with peanut butter. I love it on toast. I love it in sandwiches. And I love it on a knife, or a spoon, or licked from my fingers when no-one is watching. I think Vegemite deserves its own place on the Healthy Foods Pyramid. Best food invention EVER.
  • I call people 'luv'. It's not 'mate', but I can't see people in Italy or Pakistan using it, so I will claim it as a purely Australian term.
  • I wear thongs on my feet. The little slip of fabric under my jeans is called a 'G-string'. And the thing I carry around with me is a 'mobile phone'. A cell is something you're locked in in prison.
  • I watched the early years of Neighbours religiously. Scott and Charlene's wedding was one of the highlights of my television viewing life. And my earliest ambition was to be one of the Young Talent Team. This was hindered by the fact that I couldn't sing or dance, but hey, you've got to have a dream.
  • My favourite film as a teen was 'Puberty Blues'. It reflected my life exactly (except that I was a flat-chested virgin who'd never been in a panel van).
  • I own Ugg boots. I wear them all the time. They make me feel like I am walking on a cloud of fluff. Probably because they make me walk on a cloud of fluff.
  • I love Simon Baker. He's Australian. Enough said. 
*My mum, however, tasted wee wee, when my son was a few months old and wee'd straight up into her mouth during a nappy change, and she says it tastes just like beer. Or I'm pretty sure she would if I asked her.


  1. Whilst I am horrified to find out such a terrible thing about you (you don't like Pavlova) I pretty much echo the sentiments of all the other confessions.
    G'day and mate is pretty much reserved for hard working blue collar men I would say. I hear them use it a lot.
    For a woman to be truly Australia she must love Simon so you fit the criteria.

  2. You didn't like Strictly Ballroom and you don't like pavlova?

    I just don't know you anymore.

  3. I too am unAustralian in many ways. A lot of the slang makes me cringe. I don't own a Holden. In fact, I couldn't care less about cars. I have vegan barbecues and I hate Neighbours and Home and Away. And possibly Noni Hazelhurst. But I do love my Vegemite!

  4. I SO wanted to be on YTT!! Sadly, I too, had no singing or dancing ability. I think I was attracted to the extensive wardrobe they had access to.

  5. Macsnorky: I am sorry. Does it help that I really WANT to like them?

  6. Oh. I ticked off all of the first bits. Oh except I don't like all the fruit that goes on top of the pav. Meringue and cream is all I need.

    I think I type mate more than I say it though and yes, I wear thongs, like constantly.

    Loving the new look blog too. I've said it again, I'll say it again, you are so preeeety.

  7. You don't like pav? Really? Well, I'm willing to overlook that if you can get past the fact that I don't particularly like meat pies.

    I don't say G'day either, although I have been know to greet people with 'Hey'. Is that close?

  8. I used all my funny pavlova jokes on Twitter. They were pretty good. Unlike pavlova. Which is shit.

    Also, nice work Kerri ;P

  9. How could you not like 'Strickly Ballroom'?
    Please redeem yourself by admitting you loved Moulin Rouge!

  10. Ahhhhhhhhh...finally...FINALLY...I have found the perfect Aussie!!
    Thank you Kerri! :)

  11. Okay, this is really scary. I actually agree with everything (or have done/don't do) You know what I mean...?

    The only one I have an issue with is the Pavlova, but I can understand the reason why - because you haven't tried mine! My pav is the best ever pav in the whole universe, even if I do say so myself (and I never use passionfruit - what's with eating seeds anyway?)

  12. Pavlova is spectacular I say, spectacular. I hope you were a fan of Muriel's Wedding - Strictly Ballroom did not do it for me either. If not *sigh* it might be over before it began :(

  13. pavlova smells like wet dog - once I was told this I could never, ever eat it again.

    I think I caught strictly ballroom at exactly the right age for it not to be boring - narrow window that- year 8 - I think - or year 9. I skipped school to see it too (the only time ever I was boringly good) which may have added to its appeal.

    But yes I too wanted to be on YTT *sigh* and Neighbours. Neither were forthcoming (although my second cousin did the hair for Neighbours and I had some a Jason Donovans hair and all the clothes that Daphne wore for her pregnancy my aunt was given for her first :) (my aussie claim to fame ) ( and it isn't even what I did)

  14. LOVED Muriel's wedding. And Priscilla. Do I get points for that???

  15. G'day Kerri

    You've been such a great mate recently, but I was more than a bit disappointed to read your list. I mean I was going to invite you over for some beer and a slice of pav. I was even going to fold down my Hills Hoist so that we could sit out in the backyard, in our tracky dacks, and watch re-runs of Home and Away. Then, when we got really pissed (hey, maybe that's why they call it "getting on the piss"??), I thought we could re-enact that roof-top dance scene from Strictly Ballroom.

    What can I say. I'm shattered. Completely shattered.

  16. Sorry Trish. Brilliantly put, but.

    And Lisa: I hated MR even more. I wanted to stab myself in the eye with my popcorn. In fact, I think I tried, but the damage wasn't enough to take my mind off the terrible film.

  17. Trish @Show and Tell said EVERYTHING I was going to say. Trish, are you inside my head? Is my name really Trish? I'm so confused and bereft of humourous comment, that I shall just go away, and browse someone elses blog. So there !

  18. Oh, Kerri, so sad.

    Probably even sadder (and more than a little bit scary) is the fact that you will actually hear me say words and phrases like "crikey" and "bloody nora" in every day speech. I have absolutely no idea where I got this from....can't remember my parents ever saying it. But I do it all the time.

    I loved all those Aussie movies.

  19. fender4eva: if I am inside your head, or you are inside mine, then that really explains a lot. Otherwise I just need to make an appointment with a psychiatrist.

  20. when we meet...and we will my bunny loving friend, I will sing every song from Moulin Rouge to you...complete with actions. You'll love it!

  21. I'm with you - pavlova, beer... all gross. As for the word g'day, I've never said it but my husband does. So much so that when we've travelled overseas people think he's putting it on for their sake (surely Australians don't actually say that word so often?!).

  22. I don't like pavlova or meat pies but vegemite runs through my veins (and has since my mother started me on solid foods 26 years ago).

    And I don't use "mate" or "g'day" either. But I do pronounce that f word as "faaaark" at inappropriate times..... Does that make up for the lack of Aussie slang words in my vocabulary?

  23. I make chocolate pavlova. It has nutella in it/on it. strawberries on top. yum!

  24. Okay, Gilly's pavlova sounds less horrible than the average pavlova.....!

  25. Pavlova is rancid. Beer is sublime. I will meet you in the middle xo

  26. I hated SB and MR. And that horror film Australia. However I do love vegemite, but only on toast, or in a cheese and vegie sammie/roll. I hate pavlova, but will make it for the fruit of my loins, who love it. I make them help me though ... that's got to be Aussie, right. Also I love nuts - macadamia nuts that is!

  27. I went to the Johnny Young Talent School. Was SURE I would be discovered. Being 6 feet tall when you're 12 does tend to hinder your leading lady potential. I was always the dancer up the back while Kathleen de Leon (Hi-5) shook her perky butt down the front. Not bitter.

  28. Oh, MATE!

    I can't BELIEVE you have never owned a pair of tracksuit pants. Seriously, I'm in shock. Not even a cool pair of Adidas? Juicy?

    Are you going to the blogging conference in March? If so, I would gladly let you try on a pair of mine. Just so you know how comfie they can be.


  29. Yet to proud overseas born Aussies like me, it's people like you with your great sense of humour, honesty & intelligence who make Australia unique & make me love & cherish this country! :)

  30. Okay, this is really scary. I actually agree with everything (or have done/don't do) You know what I mean...?

    The only one I have an issue with is the Pavlova, but I can understand the reason why - because you haven't tried mine! My pav is the best ever pav in the whole universe, even if I do say so myself (and I never use passionfruit - what's with eating seeds anyway?)


Thanks! Love hearing from you.

Like it? Share it!