Saturday, May 06, 2006

Are all Aussies the same?

I started really late today (Friday night) as I had stayed in to watch the 1st leg of the Championship playoff between my team, Leeds United, and Preston North End. We were losing 1-0 when our American player Eddie Lewis scored an equaliser from a free kick. So it ended in a 1-1 draw and the 2nd leg will be played on Monday night. It will probably mean that I’ll be out late again but if we win and get through to the playoff final in Cardiff it will be worth it.

When I did manage to get out at 10.30 it was pretty busy out there. I made it all the way to Paddington before I got my first job, which was an Australian lady all the way to Stoke Newington. She never stopped complaining the whole way there about the cost and how it had never gone as much on the meter before etc. Now I’ve been doing this job for a while and a couple of things I’ve found with Australians are that they are tight with their money and also expect something for nothing. It may not be every Aussie but the vast majority will not part with one penny over the meter and in some cases ask for it to be rounded down. Why is that? On the “something for nothing” statement, I was flagged down by a group of Aussie guys wanting to go to a nightclub and after I’d stopped for them they asked me to wait while they went into a shop to stock up on gum and bottled water as do most clubbers. Naturally I put the meter on and when they came out and got in the meter had clicked up a few times. Well you should’ve heard them complain and kick up a fuss. I said to one guy “would you work for nothing?” It then developed in to a slagging match with me being called all the names under the sun and vice versa. So they ended up walking. But I’ve had similar sorts of run-ins with Aussies more than a couple of times and still ask the question “what makes them act like that?” Someone enlighten me please.

Traffic was light for the whole evening so I was able to whiz around everywhere. There was lot’s of police activity and I often had to pull over to allow them to pass by. One time they came through without sirens taking everyone by surprise and nearly caused a major accident.
After a burst of activity I ended up in Mayfair and decided to catch my breath by sitting on the rank at the London Hilton where I took a few snaps.

A couple came out and asked to be taken to Greenwich in southeast London. I haven’t been there for ages so it was a nice change to be motoring down the Old Kent Road. The couple were kissing and cuddling the whole way there and as we neared I had to interrupt them for final directions. The fare came to £27 and they gave me £30 in Scottish notes. To anyone planning to visit England, Scottish notes are legal tender so don’t think you’re being ripped off if given them in change. There are Bank of Scotland issue notes and also Clydesdale Bank notes both will have the word “Sterling” printed somewhere on them so that you can tell they are legal. The only reason I don’t like taking them is because if you try and give them back as change nobody wants them. I generally use them to pay for my diesel fuel because once the fuel is in the tank there’s not a lot they can do.

I worked until 3.30am. My final job started as two drops from Victoria Street to Paddington and then on to north London but one passenger convinced the other to get out at the first address which left me about 2 minutes from home. Considering I nearly never went out at all I had a decent night so was pleased I bothered.


Dogbait said...

Tipping isn't the norm in this country and a lot of Aussies arrive in the UK and don't realise how expensive it is and assume they are getting ripped off everywhere they go. However, that doesn't excuse bad behaviour, discourtesy, loudmouth or boorish behaviour when in someone else’s house, and that old saying, "When in Rome…" is a good philosophy to adopt when travelling overseas. If you think “the vast majority are like that” then hopefully your luck changes soon and you start getting a few of the minorities!

Ryan said...

Unfortunately, there are generally two types of Aussies over here - those who are here for a short time, to party hard and have a blast; generally speaking, these are the loud, obnoxious ones who you're unlikely to get a tip from, and are generally working from week to week, saving their money for partying and travelling. They'll generally only go to Aussie pubs and clubs, and hang around only with Antipodeans. They'll generally bitch a lot, about how "home" is so much better. Alternatively, there are those who are here for a quite a while, establishing a career and a life, who you'll find generally assimilate quite well, have friends from a range of groups and cultures, and are generally happy over here so won't moan and whinge (except about the weather of course, and that's justifiable :). You've got at least a decent chance of a tip from this type. Of course, you do get a few from each group who are the opposite - short-timers who try their best to fit in whilst here, and long-termers who you wonder why are still here, as they seem to hate it so much. As someone who's been here for 7 years and is seeing a lovely Devon girl, I apologise for the Aussies that you seem to keep meeting. Don't worry - a lot of us try to avoid them as well...

Keep up the good blogging - nice to see a constant flow coming through.


jo said...

I love your picture of the Hilton Hotel at night, it looks like some kind of spaceship.

I know loads of really nice Aussies that are teachers, there's good and bad in every race.

Love big sis xx

jo said...

ps. I loved your comment to gay banker.

Anonymous said...

We acutally kick all the tight arsed aussies out of the country so they stop pissing us off - sorry you have to deal with them, but we couldn't think of anywhere else to send them. Having said that, they are a minority and personally speaking they do drive fellow australians like myself 'round the bloody bend.