I woke up in a hot sweat the other night. But that’s something you just have to get used to during the summers here in Australia. But while I was lying there, trying to get back to sleep, I had this thought.
I didn’t actually address Vivienne’s comment when she said “I do love the English people and their witty characters, their honesty and friendliness I don’t know how you find the Australians but I found them to have a lot of road rage and rude and will not go out of their way for most people.”
So, what do I think of Australians?
Before I answer, I just want to say that I have never agreed with the idea of “pigeonholing” a whole nation. It would be ridiculous to say ALL the English are friendly because clearly not all of them are. Similarly, Australians can’t all be rude and full of road rage and I’m sure that is what Vivienne thinks too. Having said that….
Generalisations about countries and their people can be valid, otherwise this wouldn’t be funny…..
Heaven is where…….
the Chefs are French
the Police are British
the Mechanics are German
the Lovers Italian
and it’s all organized by
Hell is where……
the Chefs are British
the Police are German
the Mechanics are French
the Lovers are Swiss
and it’s all organized by
Here’s what I have found since moving to Australia. I’ve not seen any road rage whatsoever, and I drive quite a bit. In England, road rage sightings were a regular occurrence, not just by me, but by my wife my friends and my son. We were all perfect “gentlemen” of the road, of course.
So I can’t sign up for that theory.
But what about friendliness? Yes, by and large the English are pretty friendly and there are some great characters, but there are also some very short and abrupt folk too. Try stopping a selection of strangers in the street and asking them for help and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.
Here in Australia, whenever I’ve stopped somebody in the street to ask for help the response has always been more than friendly, to the extent where I felt perhaps I’ve been a bit abrupt.
For example, I’d say “Excuse me, do you know the way to the beach?” and they would reply with “Hey mate, how are you going?” – before answering the question. So now I have learnt to precede my question with something like “Hi, how are you doing?” It’s all much friendlier.
That doesn’t seem to happen much in England.
Whenever a worker has come around to my house to do something, they always introduce themselves by name at the door and hold out a hand to shake. That’s whether they have come round to fix the TV, do some electrical work, fix a leak or lay some carpet.
I don’t remember that always happening in England.
In the shops, I am always being served by extremely friendly people, and not in a “I’m trying to be nice because I want to sell you something” way, but just genuinely friendly. I’d say they’re not very big out here on high-pressure selling, but they are big on being friendly.
And with that you have another totally unscientific and factless BobinOz comparison, this time on England versus Australia at friendliness. So I thought you might like something more concrete.
A real survey with factual answers.
The HSBC Bank International’s Expat Explorer Survey spoke to 2,155 expats in 48 countries early in 2008. Asked whether they have made friends with the locals, 95% of those who had moved to Canada said yes, making Canada the friendliest country.
Second was Germany with 92% and third was Australia with 91%. The most difficult country for expats to make friends in was apparently the United Arab Emirates at 54%.
So according to the HSBC, Canada is top of the list, so we can’t say the Australians are the friendliest people in the world. But they are certainly up there among the friendliest and at the very least are every bit as friendly as the English.
The HSBC followed up HSBC Bank International’s Expat Explorer Survey 2008 with a more comprehensive and more excitingly named HSBC Bank International’s Expat Explorer Survey 2009.
Checkout the country reports. It says out of 26 countries, Australia ranked 2nd overall, 8th for quality of life and 3rd for ease of integration. Meanwhile, the UK was 23rd, 23rd and 24th respectively in the same report. Again, Canada was top with positions of 1st, 4th and 2nd.
For those who may now be thinking of moving to Canada instead of Australia, allow me to remind you about the impact of the weather on your move.
Diplomatically, I’ll call it a draw. But between you and I, I think the Aussies just about nick it, after all, even I’ve made Australian friends out here.