As you know, I recently received a letter from Immigration Minister Chris Bowen informing me that my application for Australian citizenship had been approved. He also said I would soon receive an invitation from his department about my Australian citizenship ceremony.
And I have.
My, or rather our ceremony will take place on Australia Day, that’s 26 January for those who aren’t aware, in the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Hehe! Nearly there.
Now, I had to pass a pretty stiff citizenship test (ahem) in order to get through. But if the spokeswoman on citizenship for the coalition, that’s the political party not in power, gets her way, I’d have to take a little bit of extra training.
This is how the story appeared on the news….
Yes, Teresa Gambaro, MP, has caused a bit of a stink around here with remarks suggesting that us migrants need to be better educated with regards to the Australian way of life, and in particular, about wearing deodorant and waiting in line politely.
Suggesting that us migrants stink has got up a lot of people’s noses around here, but I’m livid about this waiting in line thing.
I come from somewhere they used to call Great Britain; we invented queueing up! We are world leaders at standing in line patiently! There isn’t anything anyone can teach us about standing still politely!
We have had some fantastic (and polite) queues in England.
- To be truly British, to really understand our culture, most Brits have spent at least three hours queueing up to get into Madame Tussaud’s.
- When the Northern Rock Building Society hit the rocks in September 2007, thousands of people realised their life savings were at risk. What did they do? They formed a queue!
- We even teach new immigrants how to line up before they even enter Britain….
In contrast, on the very first day I arrived here in Australia as a permanent resident, somebody “pushed in” as I was waiting to board the transfer bus from the international terminal to domestic.
“Hey, there is a queue!” I said.
His reply made it obvious to me that he was an Australian. “No worries mate, there you go” he said, waving me ahead.
Very soon after my arrival here, at Wet ‘n’ Wild, about four 12-year-old kids tried to push past me in the queue for the SkyCoaster.
“Oi!” I said.
And they swivelled around and went to the back of the queue.
In other countries, either of these two incidents may well have led to a fatal stabbing.
So I think we can applaud the Australians for their easy-going and non-aggressive nature. But please, you can’t teach us Brits anything about queueing!
As for deodorant, she may have a point. Maybe I’ll go and buy some tomorrow.
Or perhaps I’ll go jump in the ….