Separated by a Common Language

Sometimes I'm misinterpreted.
Sometimes I’m misinterpreted.
It used to be amusing, but after two decades, being a hard-to-understand Australian in America is getting a bit old.
Back in the nineties, it was kind of understandable—about the only Australian sound most Americans recognized was Steve Irwin’s auditory smack in the face. It was so rare to hear the dulcet tones of my people on the streets of New York, I would hone in on even a hint of a strangled vowel from a footy field away.
However, these days, it seems, you can’t walk more than a few steps without mumbling Aussies drifting into earshot. We’re everywhere, especially playgrounds. Don’t ask me why Australians assemble in numbers around small folk on swings in foreign countries but we do. (And it’s a slide, not a slippery dip, Cheryl.)

Despite our relative ubiquity, I still regularly feel separated by a common language from my American friends. If you’re visiting here, you should be aware that if you talk as you would to a mate in Australia (swiftly, into your beard, full of colloquialisms), no-one will understand you. They may say they “love” your accent and could “listen to you talk all day,” but they’re lying. Some of them think you’re Austrian.

The Wiggles: If Only They’d Listened


By Greg Truman

For more than 21 years I’ve offered my talent and advice, but here they go again, off on some tangent, turning their back on opportunity.

Sure, they’ve more or less reinvented a musical genre, maintained their independence in the face of a global industry steered by corporate giants, entertained about a million kids around the world annually in concert for two decades and sold tens of millions of recordings, but come on, is selling out 12 straight shows at Madison Square Garden in matter of hours; receiving one of the highest honors from your country and creating a gazillion dollar business as good as it gets?

The Great Western

How sweet it is.

Through five generations and beyond, some scandal, the occasional battle.

Marriages, children — hordes of bloody children.

Religion and faith, one sometimes existing without the other, love and laughter linking us in the battling bush towns and the uppity cities.

There’s Paddy, all 300 pounds of him with hands like shovels, planting his size 14s in the dirt track from Hillston to Cobar. He fancied a walk and wandered into the rest of his life.

Antipodean Etiquette in NYC

Some bridge ... I dunno

Every expatriate with a crappy blog wants to give you advice about ‘their’ city.

I never used to, but kind of feel compelled now I have a crappy blog. I also consider myself to be of two cities: New York and Sydney, so I plan on being doubly annoying, though I’ll restrict myself to my current abode for the moment.

To be honest, my ‘guide’ to New York after 17 years of residency is a boring disgrace. When friends come from overseas they tell me their plans and I can’t help but be impressed. “I wish I was doing that,” I think as they saunter off to The Frick followed by drinks at Le Bain, dinner at Per Si and catching several bands and an attitude in Williamsburg.