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Natalie & Ken (Text)

Item metadata
Speaker:
participant,Natalie,27 participant,Ken,28
Description :
Participants were informed that the researcher was looking at the general differences between French and Australian English speakers’ conversational styles, and were not given any further specific information. The researcher's own participation in the conversation was limited to asking questions on certain topics to initiate the conversation between the two speakers, and to adding comments from time to time. The participants were asked to talk to each other rather than to the researcher, although she was often included in the conversation. An attempt was made to ensure that the conversations were as similar as possible in terms of set-up, length and topics discussed, (although not all of the topics were covered in every conversation). To this end the researcher had prepared a list of topics on which to ask the participants for their opinion; these included such issues as life in Australia, the difference between French and Australian English speakers, multiculturalism, the role of honesty in a relationship, the importance of expressing one’s opinion, and the difference between tu and vous (the familiar and polite forms of you in French) for the French speakers.
ns1:ParticipantRelation
co-students in a French class (for a total of twelve and a half hours prior to the recording)
Participants :
Natalie (female, 27, Australian, lawyer, no time spent in France), Ken (male, 28, Australian, IT Consultant, three weeks spent in France)
Audience :
Small Group
Communication Context :
Face to Face
Related Document :
Natalie & Ken (Text), Text Natalie & Ken (Raw), Raw Natalie & Ken (Original), Original http://ns.ausnc.org.au/corpora/latrobe/source/LaTrobeNatalie#Audio
Interactivity :
Dialogue
Word Count :
7583
Mode :
Spoken
Plaint Text :
http://ns.ausnc.org.au/corpora/latrobe/items/LaTrobeNatalie#Text
ns1:Setting
familiar to Natalie (her office)
ns1:lengthOfRecording
53 minutes 46 seconds
ns1:numberOfPeople
3
Creator
Kerry Mullan
Identifier
Natalie & Ken
Title
Natalie & Ken
Discourse Type :
Interactive Discourse
Recording Date :
21.01.2002
Document metadata
Custodian :
Kerry Mullan
Data Owner :
Kerry Mullan
Transcript format :
DOCX
File :
Transcrp - Natalie & Ken.docx
ID :
LaTrobeNatalie#Text
Name :
Natalie & Ken - Transcript
Creator
Kerry Mullan
Extent:
7583
Identifier
Transcrp - Natalie & Ken-text.txt
Title
Natalie & Ken - Transcript LaTrobeNatalie#Text
Type
Text

Transcrp - Natalie & Ken-text.txt — 40 KB

File contents

I might actually ask you what your idea of a typical Aussie is … so either of you just go

so you’re supposed to

for it  just

um  well … um

I think they have a  very balanced life that’s what I’ve  noticed  so  um it’s you know not only just work work
work  but also they love to have time out to do     you know sports … um you know any recreations or going to the movies
things like that so I think that’s what I’ve noticed  I don’t know about you

Yeah  um I guess when I think of the typical Aussie um … I usually think of somebody who’s not um  who’s pretty
laid back and

Yeah

although that’s probably more how we and the nation characterise Aussies rather than our day-to-day kind of um
experience with people I think we’re

mm

pretty laid back as people and  and pretty friendly I think Australians are fairly friendly

yeah that’s what I’ve noticed and um … yeah they don’t take things too seriously that’s what I find and um … they have this very … um sort of  what should I say … there’s this  they’ve got this typical humour which is
quite different to I think other parts of the world  yeah I don’t know how you characterise it um… it’s sort of like 
they love knocking people and and sort of 

yeah yeah

I don’t know how you characterise that but they love knocking   making fun of people you know being sarcastic
things like that so  yeah … so is that how you’d explain a typical Aussie to someone who had never met one

um no I’d



that’s how I would probably say you know as a nation we’ve tried to characterise ourselves  but in terms of actually
 you know what a typical Aussie is I’d probably really deny that there is any such thing  I mean …

true                  yeah

it’s such an eclectic society and you walk down the street and you can now hear um  and see that people are from
such different backgrounds 

 yeah

and most of us don’t  um aren’t English by origin any longer so

yeah

… um … and I think that we’re probably  incredibly diverse um … but in terms of how we like to see ourselves or our
national identity then I’d say that the that those statements were probably how we kind of still characterise ourselves like
beer ads and you know sort of national

yeah

celebrations of things yeah

I think you’re right day  by day I  you can’t really  I wouldn’t classify um an Aussie as being such and such um
‘cos you meet so many different people some plain rude um you know  some are really nice so  um i if someone was visiting
the country came up to me and said what’s a typical Aussie or  you know it’d be very hard

would you say you’re a typical Aussie 

um … I g I guess I am yeah yeah

why

… because … I like to live a sort of like a very balanced life and sort of enjoy it and  as well as working and
you know

yeah 

 at times you know there’s times when if one wants to be serious and there’s times when one one wants to
take time out and sort of you know socialise with friends or you know go to the um the bar or pub and have a drink so … yeah … I think in general if  or say what a typical Aussie is would be sort of like down to earth, laid-back and sort of
like cool  sort of 

yeah

yeah yeah

so do you think other nations can be more easily characterised than Aussies then  Do you think like the typical Aussie
doesn’t exist because we are such a  an eclectic mix  do you think other nations have a more stereotypical  sort of  I
suppose I’m just thinking of the French for example do you think there’s more of a typical French person  And if so, what do
you think it is

… I  I think that’s true …um not that I’ve spent a lot of time overseas but … like when one was growing up  you
know  it was  it was put into my mind that you know the French are quite sort of outspoken … I’m gonna get in trouble
here   outspoken

it’s all right, I’ll edit you out

 arrogant  um  and very demanding you know  if they wanted something they’ll get that and yeah they no I’ve
never  as I’ve got older I’ve sort of um never thought that was the case and when I went over to to France um  in general I
found that wasn’t the case and in fact most of them were quite hospitable and approachable  I can see where one … um
says that you know the  you know the French can be quite demanding and arrogant it’s just  I think it’s um … they  the
way they come across but you know they’re not trying to be demean as such

they’re just misunderstood

misunderstood

 

 but having said that I actually um  at first when I arrived in Charles de Gaulle I took a  a … a train all
the way down to Paris … and I had my luggage and it was a pretty empty train and I sort of got on there put my bag next to my 
the seat next to me and  I was  had my headphones on I was reading away and … and then we’re stopping next stop and then I
got this tap on my shoulder and er there was this French elderly French lady I think she was in sort of late um fifties and she
sort of like babbled on in French and said um and sort of pointed “I want that seat next to you” when there were plenty of seats
around me and I thought “oh no” don’t tell me this is the way French are  … but it’s  that was a very minor incident and um I
think you get that … to um to a certain extent here  um you know with the with that cross um multicultural sort of society

Yeah 

I even I’ve even confronted that sort of situation um here, but um it was quite interesting  I sort of  in one
mind I sort of  have this stereotypical image of the French  and another one that was more open yeah

yeah

but

it’s probably a massive stereotype but the French  the young French people that I’ve met I’ve found that um … they’ve
had like a more traditional education and so their sort of like approach to the world and knowledge and sort of way of
interacting is probably more um … I can’t really … I don’t know how quite to describe it but like I think we have a real
anti-intellectualism in this country so we sort of  you know  like we sort of knock things and we’re um you know we don’t
like to you know we don’t generally chat about literature amongst you know young people whatever whereas like  the French
young people I’ve met when I’ve been travelling have been kind of like “you know how  how can you have not read Camus” or you
know like they have that sort of

yeah

stronger sense of um … like  attachment to what we would consider to be high brow and um

both that yeah that is so true and and you know  yeah very true ‘cos um that’s a very good point because … yeah amongst
my colleagues f friends whatever you want to call them in Melbourne wi within Australia even um … I’ve found that the case
you know it’s like when it comes to talking to each or mingling  or socialising or sort of it’s more of a sort of …um how can
I put it … um s s social sort of level if you like you know

yeah

talking about one one’s day or f the f about the footy or about the cricket or

yep

um it’s not sort of  intellectual as you put it

yeah like social  I think we have all these sort of social levellers and  and maybe soccer is the same in France I
don’t know but certainly like football for example in this city is like

it’s mad

a social leveller so 

yeah

you’ve got you know people from all rungs  rungs and backgrounds and rungs of the sort of social spectrum engaging
in this sport and I think that we kind of celebrate that  that as a society we can engage in those activities and we don’t
really celebrate things that are divisive amongst whatever it  you might wanna call class or whatever um … like it’s
always it’s always fine to knock anything that’s sort of intellectual

yeah I th yeah I think that’s where the French dare dares you know to go it’s sort of like  like having a bit of a 
a a stoush er verbally p’haps

yeah

yeah 

 yep

I think they -- they probably consider it healthy yeah

yeah definitely

um … but in terms of … classifying the …a  French … um …yeah probably just um … more forceful if
you like um  whereas if you go er er to some Asian cultures right  um it’s more um …

Natalie :

saving face if you like

yeah

like it’s all part of their culture

definitely

it’s their um  culture religion is so much intertwined to their society and everything that they do can be
related back to to that and um you know I’ve I’ve sort of discovered that in the last you know few years  there’s um … that
saving face and … you know happens during work even  you know if you’re so if you’re if working with an A A Asian
culture glob you know in a global situation then you know … I’ve come across situations where you ask them to agree upon
something and they say ‘yea’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re  um all for it if you like

yeah

it’s ju all about saving face they don’t want to come across as being um disruptive if you like or um 

confrontational



confrontational exactly

yeah yeah definitely I mean even travelling in those countries you know you you sort of
find that you’ll say Can I do this and they will always say yes but in

yes

fact half the time they’re just 

yes

saying yes that

just

er yeah because they don’t want to deny you

disappoint

something or disappoint you but yeah so you’re cons you don’t know where you’re at Like 

exactly

but it’s

yeah

yeah it’s over-polite like well I guess we’ve  it’s a  yeah it’s a politeness that we we don’t have but in saying
that on a spectrum the French are       

:                  p’raps  p’raps on the other side I I don’t
know  how to 

yeah

but yeah that’s  so yeah definitely other areas around the world you know dif there’s distinctive …
cultures or characteristics amongst the the people who live in those regions

yeah

um yeah so … but it’s just yeah … yeah I don’t know about the pommies though

yeah don’t know let’s not go there



 I’m not supposed to be talking so that lets me off the hook  When you’re away from Australia what do you miss most
about it I think the um … the thing that I always miss about Australia is just the … the relaxed atmosphere if you like
sort of like re going back to the  what I said before the very low key relax laid back if you like and  um there’s there’s
no there’s not the hustle and bustle if you like compared to countries like um  um like Paris oh sorry France, Malaysia even
Hong Kong probably Hong Kong’s the worst amongst er everything is go go go and  and it’s so f… everyone’s so focused in what
they want to do and they’re not um … they don’t take time out but they’re not concerned about what’s around them or
immediately around them   they just want to get to their target  and … yeah whereas that’s what I like about Australia
everyone’s so um … s um polite if you like and … just the openness and and the greenness amongst that … throughout the um
country if you like

yeah  I think that’s a really hard thing for me to  um answer because I’ve pretty much really only travelled
through developing countries so um like the things that I’ve I mean Asia so  the things I miss you know when you are in
India or Cambodia it’s like

the food

a shower



and um … yeah probably things that are very distinct about like the first n worlds and um the developing world … um
whereas you know

like  yeah  travelling throughout Malaysia I just can’t  I know it sounds
um … pretty foul I just can’t get over the  how bad the toilets in general are over there

yeah

and so even just

mm

um ah  going to to a clean toilet’s just w you just crave 

a luxury 

a luxury 

yeah not having  you know

yeah   so…um

being ill 

 yeah so

yeah

um

What don’t you like about Australia oh I think 

 if anything

well I mean it’s incredibly isolated I think so  even though we have our like all different cultures here  um 
you just get this sense that we are just so far away from the rest of the world and you can really see why people that live in
Europe and go  to another country on the weekend or for you know 

 yeah

for a week or whatever we’re just …

stuck here

it’s a long way and um … yeah and I guess too like I am sort of personally embarrassed by the racism in this
country which I don’t think is necessarily  doesn’t exist everywhere else but I think that our sort of form of you know I’m
embarrassed that as a nation we can’t um recognise the rights for indigenous people
                                                                                   whereas a lot of

ye:::ah true

other countries have been able to do that better

that’s true to a certain extent  I’ve  I’ve actually found that that in fact we’re not as … racially
divisive or whatever you want to call it or racist in other parts of the world in fact I think um  most  I’m in trouble here
… for generalising but most … Asian  um countries … are quite racist

yeah

they have racist um … upbringing if you like  and even politically it’s it’s quite that way … um   I c I can
name a few in terms of like this … um … the stuff that’s happening in Indonesia

yeah exactly

and even Malaysia with 

yep 

 some of the politicians and 

yeah  East Timor  is t yeah  yeah that’s true

so I I think overall we’re th I don’t think that we are that racist and
that’s the great thing about it … the country’s so welcoming of um different races  race  yeah

yep

apart from the ones they sent to Nauru

yeah

sorry

apart from the ones they sent to Nauru

yeah   the fact that you can win an election on that is pretty disappointing

yeah that was my next question actually do you think Australia is really a multicultural country because that’s what
they always sort of advertise themselves as do you think it  it is

mm statistically I think yes like we are in truth but um in terms of … well I think  it’s probably really hard to
tell like  to some extent I’d say that there’s probably … like I grew up in the country and I’d say the country is i
is not multicultural and is incredibly sort of intolerant or pockets of it are incredibly intolerant and yet like inner city
Melbourne for example or you know you walk down Sydney Road for example and you can  you could be anywhere um

yep

so and there is  there is great tolerance in s in  parts of the community but um other parts not and  I think
you know the fact that we happen to have had an election which one of the most significant issues was ‘what do we do … with
asylum seekers’ was um … was incredible or that we had an election you know three years ago which was ‘how do we respond
to the claims of Aboriginal people in this culture’ so those issues are obviously really big issues for us as a society and
we’re just grappling with them whereas for example New Zealand I think you know has … probably had it laid down a bit better
from the outset that they got better mechanisms for dealing with that … um  but yeah  so yes we are multicultural and  and
 it’s  and no we’re not always tolerant yeah so 

yeah I would have to agree  um 

Do you think it works like do you think all these different cultures really get on with each other  Or do you
think that deep down we are all still racist well just to a certain degree because we always believe our culture’s better

… It’s getting better  I still think deep down … we are t to a certain extent … racist you know … um
unfortunately you know sort of it’s been brought through the generations if you like and even to our generation I think there’s
a certain extent of  racism amongst us

Yeah

Um I … I think it will take a few more generations um 

Yeah

But having said that you know that … um … there’s so many cultures out there and we just mingle  even on a social
level  you know work  after work and you know … we sort of get along well and we … tend to we tend to forget about that we 
you know  most of us fr are from different um backgrounds … um  BUT there are situations when you actual when you
joke around with people the there’s  that sort of element of racism does get out  but it’s more on a sort of a  um light
hearted sort of … want to poke fun sort of level which is which typifies us you know an Australian … THEY DON’T mean it you know
… er if if you do c c come back one comes back as being offended then quite often the case they will they’ll say ‘oh sorry I
didn’t mean um be like that’ yeah

Yeah…so do you think that you’ve experienced racism in Australia

No I don’t … No I 

No

no … um … yeah no I  I  I think yeah all in all Australians are pretty good in terms of … you know

mm interesting um  the one of the women I worked with work with at the moment is um Aboriginal
and she act she looks quite um Arab and so it’s interesting like um she was saying when the there was the height of the One
Nation sort of um force in Australia  um she had partners of her family who didn’t live in Melbourne necessarily but lived up
in Queensland North Queensland  um were actually kind of quite afraid to be out because there was just like a collapse of 
the way she described it it was like a collapse of um  sort of  social um … appropriateness about how you might  you
know like suddenly it was OK to to um do things that you weren’t … wasn’t OK a while ago she said for example like members of
her family were spat at during the st on the street or this really

mm

bizarre thing and I’m sure that this happens like … has has h happened to people all over the world in different kind
of situations but she was saying now it’s really interesting because she actually  looks Arab that there’s this um a kind of
acceptance that um Arab people are s are sort of the um … um terrorists or something like there’s some segments of the
community that have a kind of … definite view about that at the moment and so she feels actually now that people

yeah

look at her with some  and I just thought well and it’s interesting now that you  I go into a shop with her and
I don’t notice but you know people will follow her around in the shop to make sure she’s not stealing something or you know st
bizarre stuff like that and I just think God like part of the privilege of like being white for example is the privilege of not
even noticing when somebody is being treated in a certain way and I mean I’m sure in France it’s the same with the Algerian
Algerians and the  yeah it’s just  it’s not an  Australian thing but it is   so I think things work in that they get
they’re getting better but I think that there’s waves as well and depends on  like if there’s a overt threat … whether or not
that threat is um exists in reality or whether we construct it as a society like One Nation was able to construct you know the
notion of a threat or you know the government was able to do that with the um asylum seekers and S11 kind of and September 11
occurring simultaneously gives this sort of sense of like a threat you know we have a bit of a moral panic and I and I think
that multiculturalism is often responsive

yep

to moral panics which you know may

yeah

or may not exist um …

So that s that situation occurred even just around here

Um yeah yeah she works here and like we’ll just go down to like down to Daimaru or whatever and I remember us going
into some you know a store and this woman following her around you know 

it’s bizarre

Yeah but I guess that’s … like … you know 

current times

yeah and she’s not an overly  like she’s not an angry person and she’s not an overly you know like kind of
politically motivated person but she’s just that’s her sort of experience so  kind of 

did you 

 yeah 

 did you notice it or she was just telling you

well I noticed that the woman was following Me and I thought like you know 

oh okay and she was saying “oh it’s because of
me”

yeah yeah

yeah 

 yeah so

oh okay

Yeah but I mean … that’s fine it’s interesting … yeah

No I’ve to be honest I’ve  haven’t noticed anything that’s sort er on a sort of a a daily or weekly basis
just just that you know yeah

yeah well that’s 

 racist

good 

Um 

a good thing

Yeah … I can understand there being elements extreme extremist sort of elements out there …

mm

… they’ve got nothing to do but just destroy you know this society that’s been established that’s you know … um you
know been enriched in different cultures but there’s always people out there who’ve … got this

Yeah

er vendetta to you know destroy everything that we’ve set up

yeah

mm I think like I said before as well if you go out to the country it’d be …



very different 

Yeah

mm

a couple of hundred kilometres outside the city

Even the outer suburbs of Melbourne I think probably …

Yeah

… quite … yeah

Yeah y… yeah t when they had the … um … September 11 um issue there were so pockets of of societies you
know around Melbourne that were really affected  you know

yep

…but fortunately the area that I’m living in or that I work in or spend most of my time in I’ve  I just haven’t noticed
 the only like times I’ve noticed is really … on TV

yeah right

and in the media  in the paper

Yep …yeah

… and er … and I have I don’t think they’ve identified those people that were causing havoc you know tearing
up mosques and …

Yeah

graffitiing places there … so …um … yeah … um

All right  change the subject

Yeah but yeah

go on

no that’s alright

I was going to say well they’re all bad people  what is a good person

er

Who would you consider a good person

… A good person

yeah what qualities do you think … make up a good person

Specifically to Australia or in general

oh in general

a good person …

I used to ask this question at the beginning of the interview and so there would just be silence for about five
minutes so I worked out that you have to ask it later when people are a bit more used to talking to each other

yeah yeah

it would just stun them

… I think that a good person … has time for people … that’s what I’ve noticed …I really click with
someone that um if they’ve got time for people I can be there just chatting away or … um you know finding out a lot more about
them

Yeah

um that’s my first thing the first thing that comes to my mind   … um …yeah

… yeah I was going to say

it’s very hard

a good person is somebody who’s able to … um suspend their own interests or … or  um to see when somebody else’s
interests need to come … above theirs so um … that doesn’t necessarily mean always but you  know there’s gonna be times when …
that is the case or that needs to occur in order to not cause harm to other people or to assist somebody that needs help so I
guess I’ve probably got some sort of biblical good Samaritan version



 of a good person

Mother Teresa

yeah  yeah um …but it’s not necessarily  it  it certainly wouldn’t be c er caught up in any in any
kind of formal religious doctrine like  um  but just a humane person I would say … um … yeah

Um …

… if you had to write down five qualities what would you write down

… Compassionate …er tolerant …um … would that be respectful or um …

Yeah

yeah come under that

yeah respectful  um … accepting Probably

okay

That’s the same as um … tolerant isn’t it or not

She’s just trying to get to five   So how many different ways   can you say it

Come on

Um dunno probably 

 You’re going well there

like  um … like light-hearted as well like there’re all kind of very deep the other things I’ve just said but
somebody who’s … you know can  can create a bit of fun or whatever …um … I think that’s about it    What about you

I think you’ve answered most of … um … what I would have picked up um

That’s an even quicker way to get to five

Yeah



it’s a strange question really I guess

it is

because um

it is

… because…

One of the joys of French

I don’t think many people are that bad you know  so it’s just degrees of whether or not … um … It’s interesting that neither of you said honest

… Yeah

… Yeah

It can’t be sort of a quality that you would consider essential in someone

Yeah

… or in a relationship with someone like colleagues or friends or whatever

Yeah 

Yeah

yeah

definitely

Yep

… I always use the word ‘cool’ that sort of encapsulates everything 

cool

cool  yeah it’s it’s a horrible thing but yeah … when you know when you say someone’s cool sort of they have these
qualities about them that you know you can see and you trust ‘em yeah … mm …

… Do you think it is more important to be honest than to be polite

… it depends … entirely contextual…no

Give me an example 

 um … well I think whilst honesty is … um it’s important to not be dishonest 
sometimes um  being polite is more important than being 

Oh definitely

honest

I think um  a:h … on a social level probably it’s more important than at wo if it’s like work there’s
ways of sort of like  if you disagree with something  a there’s ways of  what I’ve found in … working here … of
getting around um … the fact that you disagree with something or y y you might hate the way that one person’s
approaching it you know the there’s there’s a  a polite way of going about telling them that ‘that’s crap’ or it’s um …

yeah like there’s a 

there’s a way a better way of doing it … so it’s more sort of a  a roundabout way that um  and it’s
quite um … evident in  or I’ve found it at work and the things that you sort of pick up in a way ‘cos the only way to
ge to  work together … particularly at a professional level is to be able to um … maybe 

be smooth if you like

Yeah

yeah smooth or … um … because … I I work at BP and it’s a  a global organisation and I come
across … different cultures … um sorry … I interact with people … um outside of Australia and a classic case is … um …
Malaysia

uhuh

 um … I’m actually going to contradict myself here  I just said that um they’re  they’re about saving face … but actually to a certain extent within their communities um …um … at  I suppose at at  if  if um  it’s a very
hierarchical society so one respects the one above them … and so  so you  you save face so more  more than when you’re
interacting with people at your own level with people below you … um you tend to be a bit more forceful and um … sort of … you
don’t use tact if you like sort of more …

dogmatic

yeah if you yeah this is crap’ ‘this is crap’ … um … so … they don’t beat around the bush so to speak
 I don’t know whether that’s because … it’s a  cultural thing or er … mm

it  maybe the English language allows us to beat around the bush but um … um … yeah … um …

Just that you used the word dogmatic then

mm

What does that mean for you ‘dogmatic’

… um … oh god



you ask me to define something I mean you can look up a dictionary  um  … I s’pose it means like a lack of … oh
it yeah a con conviction like expressing a con something with considerable conviction without um … having much
diplomacy about that and um … and without really kind of um questioning … the legitimacy of it so it’s just a
commitment to … um … Is it a negative quality



Um  I’d say in the main yes it is although I could see that it could be really functional depending on … um …
what it’s being used … for yeah I guess it’s sort of like well … yes when I don’t like …and no and no  yeah

Is it the same does it have the same meaning as opinionated or is opinionated something else

I think it’s to totally different for me it is totally different

yeah 

um you can be opinionated but you can be polite as well um it’s just a way you you go approach it and  um
… the way you say things and it’s it’s also the way  your body language is as well and how  and you know how to
interact with um …

mm

I think

is opinionated good or bad  For you

… I think it’s healthy yeah … but it’s interesting  it’s it’s healthy let’s say I am going back to the work
environment it’s healthy in a work environment because you get you tend to get the best … result like if a team of players are
all opinionated um you might have situations where it’s it’s like a bit awkward but the upshot is … it’s the best result for the
team

Mmm

Um …yeah … it’s interesting wi … that’s probably the best way of getting the best result  but yet we
sort of like … have this way of … of um … being polite and not not saying just bluntly you know ‘I hate your point’ or
you know ‘it’s crap’ you know because of blah blah blah blah

Mmm

whereas we s we tend to sort of you know sort of fluff it up if you like

yeah

yeah

I think Australians are quite um … uncomfortable with disagreeing with each other   like openly arguing about
things

Yeah yeah

you know like I don’t know about Asian cultures whether or not that they say anything means that you don’t tend
to engage in that but I think Europeans um … there’s a l a lot less  it’s not personally offensive to say I disagree
with you about this issue  w whereas … I think we’re quite uncomfortable with conflict about issues

Yeah if someone came up to me and said that you know … I’ve just ah um … depends what  how they said it  if 
they said oh I just don’t think your approach or idea is the way to go then I would  I’d probably take it on the chin but if
someone says you know sort of forceful way of saying that’s you know that’s rubbish or …

Yeah

um … you know … I’d I’d feel uncomfortable …and I’d feel uncomfortable telling someone ‘that’s rubbish’
‘specially if they’d spent time sort of formulating through that idea or …

Yeah

Yeah

I just  um I went to this dinner party on Saturday night and there was two um people there who sort of had a  a
fairly kind of I s’pose hippyish kind of view of the world so they sort of thought that you know oh that’s just the way things
are things are a bit predetermined oh the universe will look after you like that was sort of … they tended to speak like this
and there were two neuri  um  neuroscientists there and one  one of the women

Someone had fun setting that up

It was a really odd bunch of people

was there a camera 

I dunno it was probably an experiment … but um it was really  and then there was a bunch of lawyers so yeah

You were the adjudicators 

 it was just very odd but um … a th this woman who for
simplicity I’ll call the the hippy um she said ‘Oh um ” she came out with this statement ‘Oh um  I love summer because I have
more de déjà vu because you have more déjà

sorry you 

have more déjà vu

Right

And um … she said because … déjà vu is um a recollection of past life … and I thought that’s a highly contentious
statement and  but like  there was like the neuroscientists they were like  and they just were bursting to to sort of
say that you know  that déjà vu was this mental like loop of synapsis in the brain or whatever and they had this completely
kind of um … phsy…

medical model view of what déjà

yeah

vu did and there was this um … this guy Mark there who was sort of saying “oh well you know I think we could probably
say that um there’s a whack of society that think this is déjà vu and there is a whack of society that says that and like really
there’s just no evidence you know  and in a way ‘cos …





don’t argue

typical lawyer and um but it was really fascinating because um … whilst these people were arguing about what déjà
vu was like  everyone else was really uncomfortable and were  were either kind of deflecting  like wanting to deflect the
conversation either make light of it in that Australian way and

Yeah

I think that’s a really common Australian sort of response to  kind of … a moment of conflict or um something
uncomf um like uncomfortable is to 

They want to change the topic yeah

yeah change it but make a bit of a joke about it and make it into something frivolous
‘cos

yeah

that’s a really good sort of

yeah yeah yeah

social tactic and um and I just thought well that’s really interesting ‘cos I don’t know whether this is my own
particular stereotype about Europeans but I think that you know in the main … you would  like people would probably f:eel a
little less uncomfortable and like compelled to move the topic on they might be a bit happier just for people to for it to be
okay that’s there’s conflict and to be okay that people have differing views and  and stuff  whereas I think you know part of
our kind of … our culture is … that we’re not particularly comfortable with that and I just thought it was hilarious
that these bunch of people who were t talking about this subject ‘cos it was really like somebody that believes in God and
someone that doesn’t believe in God debating whether or not God exists and it’s just

yeah

well you know you really you don’t believe and you do  and you’re really not going to come to any kind of  you’re
not gonna be able to convince each other



you’re really coming from different perspectives

Yeah

over something which is there is no truth in as well like you can’t prove in a way that’s you know  I thought that
was really fascinating 

 yeah

but um …

What makes you say that the Europeans would be … like what ex is that through experience or 

um



do you know someone or it’s just a general impression you have

Yeah I think it’s a bit of a bit of … like maybe it’s the way that Europeans get  po are portrayed through um …
through film or media or whatever partly it’s um … observing  observing like migrant Europeans like and I guess and …
like certainly my mother’s I dunno if it’s particular to my mother’s family … like my mother’s Dutch and I notice that her
family are much more kind of … well we would say probably less diplomatic but they would probably say more honest  
and I I mean I ‘d I guess it’s a bit of that stereotype too of like Italian men sitting in the park debating about you know I
always like to think they’re debating about philosophy but they’re probably talking about where the best coffee beans are to get
you know or something that that’s not quite as grand 

Yeah

and um yeah … but maybe they’re I mean maybe that really is a … um … a stereotype because I always think of
Europeans as being kind of more … um colourful in the way that they interact more intonation in their voice more kind of you
know physical gestures you know … but I dunno maybe …

are they more patient you think

more patient

Yeah than us

… Er um … I don’t know I never really think of it in that term … what do you think

what  um  tolerant if you like  they’re  um

um  actually … don’t know …yeah it’s sort of like
some I think like if it doesn’t matter then you know … that it doesn’t matter at all but you know if it does matter then it’s
okay to say so that’s how I sort of 

Yeah

that’s the way that I  I guess I categorise it but like literally it’s probably … um … such a stereotype yeah

Yeah

yep

… yeah I would I actually when I um … I I don’t know why that came to mind to my mind but when I was
travelling from … Singapore to Melbourne … um b right behind me was a French lady and her two kids … and … you
know … at … you know the best of times these sort of long haul trips are you know … are reasonably comfortable  and are
could be  quite often they’re just horrible and we just put up  well I put up with it partic well particularly if you’re
in economy class

Yeah

and this was in economy class and … there was this French lady and she was like … um … demanding this and that
‘take away my … um … tray when it’s finished’ and … um …whereas you know in economy there’s this sort of like orderliness
you know  y you get served … um … from the back and they come down to the front and they they pick up the trays … whereas she wanted to be um … served straight away her trays being cleaned up you know … um ‘help my kids’ you know … and I
thought … ah I don’t I don’t wanna say what I thought at the  but …

You have to now

You have to now

Ahhhhh  I just thought … I thought typical French



Um … I’ve just contradicted what all I said about them being very hospitable but  um …they’re hospitable … I could I could um  I make myself up don’t I um they’re hospitable when … it’s the right environment and um … but they
get really impatient I tend to find …

yeah

um I mean that’s the case for a lot of people even around here

do you think their standards of serving people are … better than ours

P’haps … but  sorry but … it’s not that they’re more impatient than us it’s just the way that she went about it I th
I s’pose … thinking more about it um  and then she was you know … what I thought was pretty rude towards this
stewardess … the s stewardess you know sort of took it on the chin and sort of apologised and … then another stewardess
… um … took over but then that stewardess came back about ten minutes later when the whole situation diffused and said I’m sorry
and then the French lady w to my surprise got up and said I’m so sorry … you know I’ve just I’ve just had a thirteen hour
flight and this is another sort of like … four more hours on this trip and it’s just I’m just tired and blah blah blah so she
explained it to her why 

yep

Yeah … which was to my surprise but yeah

yep … and the stewardess thought everyday  I’m on a flight  you’re the first person  to have a
thirteen hour flight mmm

It’s interesting that she obviously didn’t feel that that was normal behaviour … she apologised for it afterwards so
part of her realised like it wasn’t just that’s the way she always carried on because then she apologised for it so 

yeah  a:h

j at some level she must have realised … yeah yeah yup um… cos if that’s  if that’s how she always was like why would she apologise  she’d just be like that wouldn’t she

yea:h true

mm

I was gonna say it’s probably it’s more of an instinctive sort of … reaction

I’m just defending the French

I mean er  before m it would take  sorry

I’m just defending the French

as you do  But I love the French  love the country love the people … um … and you know it’s … whether they’re
this type or that type you know I’m s I’m happy to  embrace all of them  um  I’m sounding very corny there but um …

You know I better turn off this before you backtrack again because every time he says something he goes back on it …

I do  that’s the wishy-washyiness of us guys  um … I I was gonna say … yeah  that was instinctive
for her … um … maybe she’s got low tolerance or sort of a short wick … whereas for myself I don’t know  I mean maybe it’s just
the way I’ve been bought up … and … um I’m sure a lot of … Aus Australians that are that way … um  It’s also very hard to judge a whole culture based on one person because you don’t know how typical if you like that
person is or

true

True

representative or … it’s just a bad day or they’re always like that they’re just a rude shit and they would
be in any culture it’s just

yeah true

you don’t know it’s quite hard to … Yeah

just edit out that swearing at the end

http://ns.ausnc.org.au/corpora/latrobe/source/LaTrobeNatalie#Text