Or, as I like to think of it, “laugh at the non-swimmers in the sea day”.
We’re onto our third Australia Day in Australia today and we’ve got over the fact that it’s not Independence Day AND that it’s not really about apologising for stealing all the land of the previous owners despite the fact that today is the day bleeding hearts columnists fill the newspapers with lengthy articles saying sorry for something that happened 5 generations ago.
No, we’ve been here long enough to know that for many Australians it’s all about going to the beach and hating your fellow man. Specifically the Asian and Middle Eastern ones. Especially the non-swimmers amongst them, which, according to received wisdom, is most of them.
I’m not one to pick on racial stereotypes as a source of subject matter for this blog, but this seems to be one that is borne out by some level of truth. If the weather stays fine today, I’m highly-confident that I will be witness to the phenomena of ferry-loads of Westies traipsing down the Corso to the beach and subsequently getting into difficulties in the water.
Of course, the amusing point is that one of the worst rips on the beach is opposite the main walking route from the ferry; a nice bit of town-planning there, good burghers of Manli ™ circa 1910.
However, beware of stereotypes; I’m on first name terms with a few of the local surfers now, one of whom is particularly skillful yet originally from a country in South East Asia and there’s also a Japanese girl who is significantly better at riding the waves than me (not hard, to be fair).
Independence Day Australia Day and swim between the flags, people.