Friday, January 2, 2015

Australian PC

Australia is much less PC than the US, which I love. It's just plain awkward when US TV shows have to hide jokes about groups of people in a layer of meta by, e.g., having an uncouth character make an uncouth comment so the joke is the character rather than the comment.

Shortly after I arrived in Brisbane, I was in a workshop and a chair collapsed underneath an Asian man. After it was clear he was ok and we all had a good laugh, someone asked "One too many dumplings, huh?" Imagine someone saying that in California!

That same week I was at a department event and introduced myself to someone as the new lecturer, and he said "Oh! I was wondering who you were, I thought maybe we had a new secretary." Even moreso, can you imagine someone saying that in California! Americans can't even call them secretaries anymore! I was certainly not offended* but had a hard time not losing my composure while I died from internal shocked laughter.

But the best one so far was a van Matt spotted earlier this week in Sydney. "You ling, we bling." We couldn't figure out what it was, maybe something involving chrome rims installation? Turned out to be a Chinese restaurant delivery van.

*I'll be offended the first time someone suggests, based on my gender, that I might be more suited to being a secretary, but nothing in my experience has come remotely close.