One of my closest friends is an Englishman who is now an Australian citizen, living in Sydney. He used to live and work in Hong Kong, and visited Australia so many times on business that he decided to live there when he retired, aged about 50.
Talking to him about the Australian attitude to the UK is interesting. On the one hand he shares the view, held by many Australians, that we are a nation of 'glass half empty' people, forever moaning about pretty well everything, and dropping litter at every opportunity. On the other hand, having worked and lived in Australia for quite a few years, he says that Australians are largely uncultured and insular. They boast about being a rapidly developing nation, but their 'tall poppy' prejudice towards anyone who, like my friend, makes large amounts of money is a major drawback.
All in all he paints a picture of a nation that has a lot in common with us, here in the UK. They know that their future lies in trading with Asia, yet there are numerous rants about the way that South-East asian imports are 'forcing' Australian companies out of business.
I love Australia - it's a wonderful country, with glorious scenery and is full of opportunity. The Australians think their nation is the centre of the universe however, and although there are aspects of that mentality which are laudable it doesn't always make them easy dinner table companions, as I've learnt from personal experience.
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