Being Australian we all know how many times people don't seem to understand what we are saying. So, I thought I would share with you all some of the funny things that have happened to me since I have been here. See if you can relate to some of these.
Being an Aussie in another country can be a real eye opener! What's even worse is when the native language of both countries is English, but you still don’t understand each other, lol! It sure makes for an interesting conversation, though.
Let me give you an example; I worked in Florida for three years as a Case Manager, helping people find jobs, placing them in training courses and conducting information sessions. Now, this is hard enough to do when you speak American English, can you imagine doing it with Australian English?
I thought I was going great during the information session, until one of the ladies in the back of the class said, "I really don’t think that’s a very good idea."
"What do you mean, it isn't a good idea?" I asked curiously.
She stood up and said,This “Well, you are talking about holding a 'sex session'!” The people drinking water spat it out over other clients and some giggled or fidgeted nervously. Somebody said she was hard of hearing.
I piped up louder and responded, "I said 'succession', not 'sex session', and while that might be an interesting idea, I don't think it would go down well in a work environment."
Another fond memory I have is when I went into Walmart to get a plant for my cubicle at work to make it more homely. Mac, my hubbie, went off to the hardware section to get something, and I wandered about the nursery/plant section, trying to decide what type of plant to buy. I turned to an elderly guy who worked there and asked, "Where can I find an indoor pot plant?"
He looked at me quite sternly, and replied, "Madam, we do not sell that type of plant here”.
"Hmmm," I thought to myself, "that is strange! I can see plants everywhere! This old chap needs to retire."
Once again, I looked at him and enquired, "Excuse me, in what section can I find pot plants for indoors?"
He glared at me, clearly frustrated and snapped, "Lady, I told you, we DON'T have THOSE plants here!"
By this time, I was ready to choke this old bugger, lol. Being Aussie, I don't give up easily, and I was just about to bother him again, when I spotted Mac walking into the plant section.
I ran up to my husband and complained, "That old guy is so rude! He needs to retire!” Mac asked what had happened and I explained that I was only trying to ask him where the indoor pot plants were, and what the old bugger had said.
To this day, I can still see the look on Mac's face and him bending down laughing so hard he thought he would pee himself!
"Mac! Now, this is not funny! I want a pot plant."
My hubbie stopped laughing long enough to inform me that the "old bugger" thought I was asking for a marijuana/dope or "pot" plant!
"You're supposed to for an indoor potted plant!" Ha, haha bloody ha! Oh my goodness.
Mac explained what I actually wanted to the befuddled employee, who turned to me laughing hard and said, “Lady, you have made my day!"
Oh, and then there's the episode at the bank. I wasn't able to have my name put onto our checking account until I received my Green Card and SSN. So, the day finally came when I received both of them in the mail. Mac suggestsed I go to the bank sort it out. The following day while he was at work, I went to the bank to fill out the paper work so my name can be added onto our account. I was waiting in line, just minding my own business, when this well-dressed lady walked up to me and asked me what kind of assistance I need, to so I explained that I needed to be added to our checking account. She led me into her office and introducesd herself as the Vice President of our bank.
Now, in Australia, if the Vce President of a bank takes you into their office, you are either; 1. Mega rich, or, 2. You are in Mega-trouble, lol! Once the paper work was completed, we sat talking and she said, “I really want to commend you on your command of the English language”.
I didn’t know whether to say, 'You are kidding me, right?' or, "OMG! Are you for real?'
She continued, “ Since you are bilingual, I would like to offer you a job as a teller at our bank.”
I replied, "Please don’t put me in charge of your money, I can’t even balance my check book!"
"Oh, you will be trained, and when we get Spanish speaking clients in, you can then translate for us." she said beaming.
By this time I was trying very hard not to laugh. "Would you like to hear me speak Australian?"
She smiled even wider and said, "Oh, I would love that!"
So I said, "G’day, Mate, how you this fine day?" Ha! She turned blood red as I stood up, waving as I walked away.