I didn’t give Australia much thought until around 1978 when my husband-to-be expressed an interest. We toyed around with the idea of going there for our honeymoon, but decided on Bora Bora instead.
Now I have to take a moment here to clarify a few things. First…I grew up in the Midwest amongst people who sprang from the Midwest, lived in the Midwest, died in the Midwest, and never ventured from the Midwest. My people were not rich, traveled, and though smart, weren’t educated beyond the minimal expectations. I was the only kid in my elementary classes with both parents who were college educated…and divorced. I didn’t even fly in a plane until I was 25 years old. So…Bora Bpra in 1978? Oh, yes!
Back to Australia, though…then, we ended up hosting an Australian exchange student. It was an education for all of us, and the beginning of a life-long, deep friendship that transcends words and explanations. I’ve written about us before, and you can scroll back through previous blogs to read for further clarification.
Which brings me to being an Aussieophile…I just, five minutes ago, realized that’s what I am. And how did I gain this insight? I’m watching Aussie TV. Yes, I can do that thanks to Acorn TV, which is British, but go figure. I have watched so much Aussie telly that I now recognize actors from other Aussie shows. (BTW, I watch more Aussie TV than my Aussies do. The irony.)
My first most-loved show was McLeod’s Daughters. It was about jillaroos who ran a station near Adelaide. Then, I watched Kath and Kim, which was about a modern day mother and daughter in Melbourne. That show was Americanized, but it failed to translate. I’ve watched others, including Miss Fisher’s Mysteries and A Place Called Home, and tonight, I began 800 Words. That was the face palm. I know these actors. I’ve seen them in other shows. I understand the accents. I know what is meant when they say things like “flat white” and “long black.”
Over time, I have incorporated Aussie words and expressions into my own everyday lingo, and have obnoxiously corrected pronouciations by other Americans…it’s Awzzie, not Ahssie. Sorry, friends, but if you’re going to share my dear ones, you need to honor their ways.
I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard of anyone being an “Aussieophile,” but I’m also sure they are out there. Meanwhile, I’ll just continue to enjoy my second favorite culture from the comfort of my home, and save and plan for my next visit. And if you want some really good telly, you now know where to look. Onya, if you do.