By Shannon Crane
THERE have been times recently when I have felt embarrassed to be an Australian.
I never thought the day would come.
But when I see my fellow countrymen drunkenly stumbling on the footpath or hurling abuse at innocent people on a Sunday afternoon, I want to hide my nationality.
It’s clear where they’ve been and that they’re making their way to one of the many other popular Australian watering holes, but that’s no excuse.
I have no problem with people having fun.
I, too, have been drunk on a Sunday afternoon before, but I have managed to resist the urge to cause a public nuisance.
The sort of behaviour that I’ve witnessed is cringe-worthy.
But it’s more than just the boozing.
It absolutely ticks me off when I hear Aussies, or Kiwis, bagging out Brits.
A bit of friendly banter is completely acceptable, but I have been caught in several conversations with other Antipodeans where not a good word has been said about the Poms.
The discussion usually centres on trivial things like their ‘annoying’ accent or ‘lazy’ work ethic and in my experience, the Aussies and Kiwis who haven’t bothered to give them a chance are the main culprits.
If you don’t like the place then why are you still here?
While we’re living in someone else’s country, showing a little bit of respect is the least we can do.
In a similar vein, I was once told by an estate agent that I couldn’t even apply for a house because the landlord wouldn’t accept Australians.
The last time Aussies lived in one of his rental properties, they trashed it and, understandably, he wasn’t about to take the risk again.
Many Antipodeans treat the two-year youth mobility visa is a ticket to act like an 18-year-old on a schoolie’s trip.
Don’t they realise they can get wasted and make fools of themselves back in Australia, where the rent is a whole lot cheaper and the climate much warmer?
I know people from the UK also have a reputation in Australia for behaving like idiots during their stay.
But I really can’t see the point.
It’s embarrassing for those of us who want to embrace the culture and make a real go of life in this part of the world.
Stop making fools of yourselves and giving the rest of us a bad name.
If you can’t do that, then please, just go home.