On Being Irish in Australia

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I will never get used to the harsh, guttural, nasal tones of the Australian accent. Even now, after all the years I have lived here, I occasionally have trouble understanding them. They love the Irish accent, or so they tell me. It’s somewhat softer. They seem to quite like the Irish too. It makes it easy for us to live here. We get a warm welcome when we arrive.

Any Irishman who comes here is lucky. Even if he looks like the back of a bus and is rough around the edges, he will get mobbed by the ladies. I have seen it with my own two eyes. A few years ago I knew such a man from Dublin. In Ireland we would have called him a “gurrier”. No woman in her right mind would have gone near him. However the Australian girls thought he was God’s gift. When I was nosey and asked them about it, they told me they loved his accent. It seemed to be the only reason for the attraction. He was no Prince Charming. He must have thought he was in heaven.

I had a similar experience myself once when an Australian chap who was chatting me up said that he would ask me on a date based on my accent alone. “Don’t,” I thought to myself, “I’m a fiery Irish woman. You might regret embarking on such an adventure. My accent may not take us too far.” 

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone mentions my Irishness. The Australians like us to begin with. They think all we do is drink, dance and tell each other jokes. Maybe they’re not far wrong. Our accent I suppose, is the icing on the cake. 

“You’re Irish.” they say and start laughing when they hear it. As if I didn’t know. I always feel like replying “I am and what’s so funny about that.” There would be no laughing if I said I was French. I tell them that though I might look Irish and sound Irish, I’m actually Chinese and that I was born and brought up there because my father was a diplomat.

They often believe me. 

I like living here. 

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