Enough with the old country

leaves

This guy rang up last week and said that he was sick and tired of people referring to England as “the old country” or “the mother country”.

It’s insulting, he said.  I’m 5th generation.  Australia has been it’s own entity for over 100 years.  

Isn’t it time, he wondered, that we stopped referring to England, that we cut those aged and fraying apron strings?

He has a point.

I imagine England doesn’t feel like a mother to Australia’s Indigenous population.

And the old country could be any number of countries from Europe, Asia, Africa or the Americas.

Sure a few hangovers of England’s colonisation remain.

We share a queen.

We are part of the Commonwealth – although I’m not too sure how common that wealth is.

We play cricket.

We get three months long service leave (well… if you’re a public servant.  The time was to allow you to go home “to the old country” by boat and spend two weeks with your family)

Still…

Do you ever hear citizens of the United States referring to the old country?

No.

I agree.  It’s time to move on peeps.

A taxi rant – it’s all about service people!

This is her problem not mine and yet… and yet…

Let me tell you the story.  I flew into Perth today from Geraldton where I’ve been the last couple of days – stories coming soon – I met so many interesting people – but anyway…

The queue for a taxi was exhaustingly long but I had my book and was quite happy to read it as I shoved my bag with my foot.  

As we waited a voice apologised over the PA system and said that taxis had been called.  

Fine, whatever… I’d got to a good bit.

Anyway eventually I’m at the front of the queue and I have a woman driver who looks friendly, she pops the boot and helps me load my small case and laptop.

“Where to love?”

“Please take me to work in the city.” I had to pick up my car.

Was it my imagination or did she sigh?

Anyway I settled back and read my book and sooner than I wanted – I’d got to another good bit – we were pulling up outside my workplace.

I hand over my cabcharge.

These days they are those little cards with a magnetic strip down the back – thinnish cardboard.

“Do you have another card?”

“Er yeah,” I say getting another out.

“Thanks, I hate these cards, they never work in my machine – even when I use two together.”  She swipes the cards repeatedly.

“Dammit I’m going to have to use a slip.”

So making conversation – as you do in the awkward silence while waiting to sign the slip – I say “Are you just starting your shift?”

“Yes just started.  And I came all the way down Dianella for this.”

As if it were my fault.

I was speechless.

“Can you get your own bag out of the boot?”

“Er yes… of course.” I say and scoot out of the cab.

And I’m SO angry.

Angry at her for making me feel bad because she didn’t get a big fare to, I don’t know, Bunbury or something and even more angry with myself for feeling bad!

And the ironic thing?  As she drives off I notice that she’s the driver of a Silver Service cab.

Yeah.  Right.

Knobs on it!

Warning: Rant ahead.
What is it with young people these days?  Do none of them learn to drive properly?

Twice this year so far I’ve come up against people – both in their early 20s – who can’t drive the work car because they don’t know how to drive a manual.

When I was a young lass everyone learned manual gear changes.  

In fact, I’ve never owned anything other than a manual car.

Now I don’t know whether manual 4WD’s are better than automatic ones – possibly it makes no difference – but that’s not the point… 

It’s just laziness!

And it’s soooo irritating.  

Honestly it’s not that hard to learn – my 13-year-old can drive a manual car – and it means that you can drive any car.

It’s like never learning to ride a bike when you were young. What’s up with that?!  I did in fact meet someone who had to hire an enormous tricycle on Rottnest Island because they couldn’t ride a bicycle.  

Yes.  They did look like a big knob.

I’m over it.

Get with the program people and spend the time to learn how to drive manually.  Do us ALL a favour.

Jeez Louise!

And I can tie a proper Windsor knot too, but don’t get me started.