Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quick Snapshot Impressions of Oz and the Aussies

Australia is an interesting place. Very much worth a visit. I've been particularly struck by how open and friendly people are. And how casual. I have one last night in Sydney before I head back to Hawaii and bought a ticket to the opera. I asked a friend here if the dress code would permit an open-collared shirt and sportcoat. He scoffed. "You'll be fine in jeans if ya like. It's very, very casual."

It's casual, all right. And -- to my eye, anyway -- a bit off kilter. I've often seen women wearing what I can only describe as adult-sized versions of cutsie little dresses suited to 3- or 4-year-old girls. And guys -- big, rugged-looking guys -- walk around in pants that are peddle-pusher length, halfway down the calf. That's odd-looking, but the look is really completed with dark-colored dress socks and street shoes ... sometimes work boots.

There's no contest for favorite expression here: "No worries!" But it often seems to be used out of context, at least out of my context. For instance, over dinner here in Darwin last night ...

Very cheerful waitress: "And would you care for some cracked pepper?
Me: "No, thank you."
Waitress: "No worries!"

(I was so relieved!)

Dinner was quite good, by the way. It was a difficult decision, but I finally opted for the linguini with mushrooms and chicken instead of the smoked crocodile.



Mike said...

"No worries" sounds like our "no problem." I read a brief article that suggested that, among our young Americans at least, "no problem" has replaced "you're welcome."

Jim Loomis said...

Yes, exactly. The Aussie accent takes getting used to. On the Ghan I was located in "car high-tch."