Because Kangaroos deliver our mail and we all have pet Koalas

Whilst on holiday in America a few years ago I was asked (with all sincerity) if I had a pet Kangaroo.  Of course I do! I am Australian aren’t I?!  It picks up the mail for me each day while my Koala does the gardening.  I also have a crocodile in my swimming pool (they’re handy for dealing with people who overstay their welcome), carry a HUGE knife on my person at all times and wear an Akubra hat with corks hanging off the brim to get rid of the flies…

In preparation for my upcoming holiday I have decided to do some research into the types of cultural practices and traits I will encounter in the 3 countries I will be visiting.  This is exactly what I expect to find on my trip as I have learned it all from completely reliable sources – Movies and TV shows:

I will be spending most of my time in Spain.  In Spain everyone drinks Sangria, dances Salsa like Ricky Martin, sings like Enrique Iglesias, fights crime with a foil wearing a cape, mask and hat and all the guys are incredibly sexy and talk like Antonio Banderas and all the women are beautiful and sultry and look like Catherine Zeta Jones.  Interactions between men and women in Spain commonly go something like this:

In France everyone goes around wearing berets, striped shirts and red scarves, eats nothing but frogs legs, snails and baguettes, drinks lots of wine, cycles through the french countryside on weekends wearing said beret with baguettes and wine in a wicker basket on the front.  Most of the men are either very short, blonde, smart and carry an oddly shaped hip-flask filled with ‘magic potion’ or tall and fat, wear rather unflattering stripy pants, are amazingly strong, love dogs and want the contents of the others hip flask – both have an intense dislike of Romans.  Those who don’t are seafood-obsessed chefs, ridiculously amorous and monochromatic or undercover law enforcement agents whose stupidity and penchant for the ridiculous is surprisingly genius, for example:

In contrast, the English are loud, crude, beer-swilling, football-watching, pub-frequenting commoners who are difficult to understand or are tweed-sporting, pheasant-hunting, port-drinking, gumboot-wearing, posh-talking aristocracy who were all either part of the rowing or equestrian clubs at university.  All subtypes eat crumpets, drink tea, eat fish and chips and think Mr Bean is a national hero.
All interactions between the French and English tend to go something like this:

Obviously I know this is all ridiculous,  For example, French men are a lot less like Inspector Clouseau or OSS117 and more like Hercule Poirot 😉
But isn’t it funny, the misconceptions we can have about other countries and cultures because we only know what we have seen in the media.

Ps, I don’t usually have a Monty Python obsession, it just seems to fit well lately 😀

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. una
    May 10, 2011 @ 20:25:55

    I am going back now to watch Monty Python’s movies all over again as one should. PS Catherine Zeta Jones is Welsh BUT you know that don’t you ? You might some meet some nice ORISH people on route-prepare a stereotype for us and don’t leave out the potatoes and guinness (it will be vino tinto in my case).
    Una

    Reply

    • Claire
      May 10, 2011 @ 20:45:07

      He he, of course! But she was so perfect in Zorro she was the obvious choice – and of course Spanish women are supposed to be sexy and sultry and she is the epitome of both!
      I would hate to leave out the Irish so must do some more research – I’m thinking PS. I love you and Waking Ned Devine for a start with a good dose of leprechauns and beer on top 🙂

      Reply

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