(Not actually me)
First thing’s first… Straya.
Since living in Paris, there’s only really been one thing I’ve truly struggled with. You see, I’m never sure when I’m meeting new Frenchies whether to really discuss or even mention my nationality. Obviously they detect the difference in my French accent when we’re talking, or I get introduced as “the Aussie” to people when I’m out.
I didn’t come here to be singled out or to discuss kangaroos as a form of transport, but for some reason discussion always tends to head in that direction. I mean, I’m a novelty to their relatively closed circle. And I guess it feels nice (though if I have to explain what Vegemite is once more I swear on Paul Hogan’s leathery skin…).
The problem is we Aussies are known to be little ratbags. We’ve made a name for ourselves as the reckless party-goers, the loosey-gooseys who have beer and Rolph Harris on the mind and are accused as being the ones to throw the first punch (side note: my Aussie friend graciously lived up to this expectation after a couple of pints on a night out last week; his black eye as big as his self-impressed grin). I don’t want to be the Aussie associated with the phrase “oh here comes trouble” (though if used endearingly I will not object!), I came here to be la parisienne. To drink the wine, kiss les mecs and flâner along the Seine on a cool evening whilst the Eiffel Tower glitters flamboyantly every hour on the hour like an old town clock, forgotten but always there.
But there’s times you realise that the Aussie is also a great human, and great humans tend to stick together. Which is why my fellow Aussies and I always end up at 3 am on a street singing You’re The Voice and “borrowing” pint glasses from bars, leaving trails of gingersnap biscuits along the pavement and swapping the Nutella for Vegemite in the Germans’ rooms (may or may not be an accurate description of last weekend). And being little ratbags. And, if at the end of the day we’re having a great time in a great city, then I’ll learn to live with the name tag. Just don’t associate me with Corey Worthington.