Brits Abroad

Trip Start Dec 03, 2004
Trip End Nov 31, 2005

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Flag of Australia  ,
Friday, December 10, 2004

The Brits have a concept they call "Brits Abroad," which basically signifies that Britons, once away from the prim and proper home country, become wild, partying beasts.

"Oh, yeah, they've cancelled the Bondi Christmas party because a few years back 200 Brits got really drunk and almost drowned," someone tells me at breakfast. Now that I room with Vanessa, a Brit, I've been adopted into this grand tradition. In reality they don't seem to get up to much in the way of trouble, but rather just enjoy a good time; but there are quite a lot of them in the city, so it's easy to see how their shenanigans are magnified.

Tuesday night I went out with Vanessa, her friend Louise and two blokes named Ian and Paul. It was the boys' last night in Sydney, and as they were on short holiday, not a long backpacking trip, they had money to burn. They took us to a nice restaurant in The Rocks with a view of the Opera House, very posh and very expensive and I was very glad someone else was paying the bill. Finally, my first glimpse of the Opera House; as we walked up the street towards the harbour, I saw it peeking out from under the edge of the elevated train line, and smiled. I'm here, in Australia. There's the proof, clad in white tile and spotlights.

After dinner we did a bar tour of Sydney. It seems that bouncers in Australia frown on people who wear "thongs" (flip-flops) to the bar, despite it being the uniform footwear of all Aussies, but a nice smile and an accented "please" seems to do the trick.

Now that I've "cracked the code," whatever it was, the hostel has turned very social, hitting us with a Beer and Bingo night, a Quiz night (my team came in third, and we would've won if I hadn't totally fudged the question about the color of the bottom stripe on the American flag), a wine and chees night, and plenty of outings to local bars. I think I feel a beer gut coming on.

My first souvenir of my trip is a whole swacket of Brit slang. "Fit" instead of "hot" for attractive men: "Oh, lord, take a look at that Aussie fittie!" And "pull" instead of "pick up:" "He's totally pulling her." And, best of all, "I can't be arsed."
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