Thursday, December 21, 2006

don't believe your reviews - good or bad

Went to the football the other night with Marina, a lass I know from Adelaide. The free seats we got were pretty crap, but at 30 Pound for a regular ticket, I was happy with what I was given. During half time, I went to have a closer look at the pitch, with my cohort joining me after a bit. There we were standing at the edge of the pitch appreciating our new found proximity to the action, when people started flooding back into their seats and the players returned to the field. However, rather than returning to our seats in a galaxy far, far away, we followed the crowd into the more exclusive area where we found a couple of empty seats close to pitch and enjoyed the second half from there.

Afterwards, we went to a little pub in what looked to be a ritzy bit of town. The girl behind the bar was really friendly, saying they had just taken on the business two weeks earlier and that she liked Aussies. We got there about 5 minutes before the end of service and ended up seated at a table with a few of the locals and joined n on the conversation. A rather pissed 40 something guy arced up once he found out we were Australians.

Pissed guy: You fucks come ere on ya 2 year visas, take all the fucking jobs and think you fucking own the joint. Pack of maggots you fucking Australian cunts are.
Me: err.. I'm only here for three weeks, and then I'm off to Ireland.
Pissed guy: Three weeks? How the fuck are you supposed to see anything? Disrespectful cunt.

Can't win, can I?

A bit later, his mate (who really enjoyed the price of steak in Australia but not much else), reminded the pissed guy that he was Scottish and should mind his Ps and Qs. Not wanting to perpetuate the hostilities, I avoided the "My last name is Murphy and I'll be visiting family in Ireland" conversation with these UK lads.

I've been a little spoiled in Austria, Slovakia and Hungary where being an Australian is still a bit of a novelty. "Hey everyone, this guy's from Australian", "Whoa.. Australia.. Kangaroo, Cool". But in this London bar, I felt a bit weird getting an earful about being from Australian. True, they (we), are everywhere in London, but as I pointed out to the twat hurling abuse at me, the same goes for UK travellers in Australia. He had caught me by surprise and taking the bait, I allowed myself to get agitated by what could be at worst described as a bit of drunken shit stirring. Just today, I counted six Australians, plus a group of five Commonwealth Bank cash card toting girls in front of me in the ATM cue, complaining about health issues while bragging about their drinking accomplishments. No novelty there.

The fog here in London is crazy. Yesterday wasn't too bad, but today I couldn't see more than about 400 metres on street level, with the view out of my fifth storey window limited to the side of the neighbouring building. Jo and Craig's plane back from Paris last night was cancelled and BA put them up in a hotel for the evening, flying them out of France at the Butt Crack of 4am this morning. Today, we met up for lunch at Camden Markets and wandered around the shops until we froze. I found 20 Pounds on the footpath, which I used to buy a rather spiffy scarf with. I can't remember the last time I had a scarf (if at all), but it is a welcome addition to my wardrobe / backpack.


ElmoreGirl said...

I think that the nasty guy in the bar must have been a cricket fan !

sarah m said...

wow..i haven't been to london since i was 14..but i'm happy to say i got so excited when i saw yr pics of camden markets! my favourite place i saw over there.

your pictures make me so impatient to go back to england..not long now tho! the six months between now and then will go so fast! and then i can be one of the many aussies on a two year visa stealing the poms jobs :)