Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Something about American females...

Tonight's photo. Part of my bush walk - explained below

In my final post last night, I explained that for a short while the blog will only be published every other day. However, it will be almost impossible to publish a full, "ten-post" blog either today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, here is a quick post to keep things up to date. I hope to do the same tomorrow.

There is something about American females that sets them apart from other nationalities of the species.

Now don't get the wrong idea, this is not going to be an, "anti-American Female" post. For one thing my fiancee, best friend and several dear friends are all American females. Come to think of it, all my friends seem to be American Females. It reminds me of the old comedy sketch by the great British comedian, Tony Hancock. Playing the part of an amateur radio enthusiast he boasts, "I have friends all over the world - none in this country but all over the world". As I have no desire to have my testicles made in to a pair of ear-rings, this is a mere observation not a criticism.

For starters, I love the way they talk. Not only do I love their accents but also their precise way of speaking. It makes a nice change not to hear females ending sentences in, "but" "you know" or "ok". Admittedly many do say, "Oh Absolutely" but that's a global condition usually found in coffee shops.

Another thing. American female tourists tend to think they are either (a) still in the USA or (b) in a far flung remote outpost of the globe.

I first noticed this several years ago when I was walking near the Sydney Opera House. A female in Bermuda shorts approached and very politely asked if I spoke English. When I said yes, she was relieved that I was, quote, "one of the natives". I should say that her ignorance had little to do with being American, she was just naturally thick.

At this time of year my suburb gets a lot of tourists. You can tell where they come from as each nationality has their own unique traits. If two people are walking side by side towards you on the footpath and refuse to get out of the way, you know they are British. If they are female and ask questions that seem odd to Australian ears - such as, "Where can I find down town Lane Cove?" when you are standing in what little there is of downtown Lane Cove, they are American.

During my late afternoon walk yesterday, I encountered another American female tourist. The path was narrow, so I stepped off the track to allow her room to pass. I may be old fashioned, but no female really wants to step off the track into the undergrowth and I would not expect them to.

She gave the sort of smile that usually precedes a question. "Wll this track take me to the highway?" she asked.

Definitely American. I didn't even need the accent to tell me that.

You see, America has highways - Sydney has long bits of tarmac with holes in them. Any Iraqi refugee landing in Sydney, would look at the pot-holed Pacific Highway, and think the city has been liberated by the Coalition of The Blackmail..I mean Willing.

She then asked - "This is called a bush-track right? Does this mean I am in a real Australian bush?"

Ten yards either side of the track are houses, and within 200 yards of where we were standing is the "highway". I explained that it was called "bush" because of the various trees and wildlife, but not exactly a real Australian bush. A real Australian bush is where tourists go for a quick stroll, and helicopters are still looking for them two days later.

I knew I shouldn't have used the word wildlife.

"Are there snakes here?" she asked. I could see she suddenly wished she were somewhere else.

Actually there are, and this summer there have been more snakes around than for years. A few people have been bitten and one boy died. But somehow it didn't seem a good idea to tell her, "If you see any of those deadly Eastern Brown snakes, just ignore them - they are more frightened of you, than you are of them."

However, it would have been reckless not to warn her of the possibility of coming across a snake, so I advised her to keep to the path, keep away from hollow logs and tree trunks, and not to go around poking her fingers into anything.

I told her I had never seen a snake on any of my walks, and between you and me, if I ever do, I'm sure not going to hang around long enough to take a photo!

She seemed a little more assured after that then explained she is, "renting a condo back there on the bay area".

Let me translate.

She is renting a small box divided into smaller boxes, badly made out of plywood and hastily erected by developers wanting to make a quick buck during boom periods. The developers are now somewhere in the Bahamas refusing to answer phone calls, while their lawyers are claiming it is all a misunderstanding. Whatever is in the "condo" either wont work, can be heard all over the building, or is in the wrong place.

The other day on another bush-track, I became aware of someone following me. I turned and saw a girl walking about ten yards behind. In her lovely American accent she explained she wasn't following me, "just seeing where you are going as you seem to know what you're doing".

After a while she realised that I was walking slower than I would normally. She called out to me to go ahead - which I did. A little later I clambered down some steps roughly cut into solid rock. To get where I was going, I then had to climb down another set of steps (partly pictured). Both are fairly precarious.

I stood admiring the view and again heard her voice. "Can you tell me how I get to where you are standing?" I explained what she had to do and advised her to hold on to a nearby tree as she made her way down.

"Isn't there an easier way?" she asked. "Some kind of steps?"

I resisted the urge to tell her that we haven't quite got round to putting escalators in the bush and explained that the only other way was the non-recommended method of falling. That's what I did the first time I walked that path! She decided the best option was to head back.

There is one thing though I do not like about America and females. To be specific - one American female.

They are too far away.

It wont always be like that, but for now it is. I don't care if we live in the US or Sydney, as long as we are in the same country.

Wherever you may be - be safe!