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Aussies in the Philippines
What do most Filipinas think of Australian foreigners in the Philippines?
The Philippines hosts thousands upon thousands of Australian visitors every year. There is also a very high population of Australian expats living in the Philippines. So, how does the Aussie man come across to the locals?
Well, the good news is that, courtesy of the still sprightly though now falling Australian dollar, more Aussies are traveling than any time in the history of Australia, so they have the ability to travel overseas, and in considerably more style than ever before.
The bad news is that with more and more Australians unleashed on the world the chances of the drongos, drunks and racists among the population disgracing themselves ourselves abroad must have, statistically, increased.
Here are some thoughts on how we’re perceived overseas.
Australians are dumb
Travel brings out the best and worst in people. Every country has its dumb and smart travellers, though the former are naturally more noticeable than the latter, especially when we gather en masse in places like Bali and Gallipoli.
As for Australians being dumb, it should be noted that we have produced, per capita, a greater number of Nobel Prize-winners than most other countries.
But try telling that to your Indian call-centre trainer.
Australians are fat, loud and drunk
Based on my own travels I’d say that this stereotype carries little some weight.
Australians are racist
Some Australians are racist, just as some people belonging to some other nationalities are racist.But then an incident comes along to confirm their deep-seated view, with overtones of the White Australia Policy, that we are a racist nation.
Australians are the world’s worst tippers
Tipping is not part of the egalitarian Australian ethos with our labour laws allowing for workers in the service industries to earn a relatively decent wage.
But there’s no doubt we have a reputation for being rotten tippers in countries where gratuities form the major part of a worker’s wage.
I was seated next to an American hotel owner the other day who said that waiters in her restaurant in the US recoil at serving at a table of Australians because they don’t tip.
Not to do so in societies where tipping is expected, like it or not, only gives Australians a bad reputation.
Australians are easy-going and don’t complain
At last, something positive to be said about Aussies! There’s no doubt, in my experience, that Australians tend to be more friendly and carefree than travellers from other parts of the world.
The French-born general manager of a luxury hotel in Asia once told me that Australians were his favourite guests because of their easy-going natures and the fact that they rarely, if ever, complained (not that complaining is necessarily a bad thing).
Australians are the world’s greatest travellers
It never fails to amuse me how often I hear an Australian accent wherever I go.
There’s no doubt, in my mind, that Australians are among the world’s best and most adventurous travellers.
Most of us explore the world with minds as open and inquisitive as any other race on the planet and rarely – if ever – complain about the long distances we must travel to get anywhere interesting, with our multicultural society preparing us for the vagaries of food and customs that can baffle travellers from other parts of the world.