When is an Aussie not an Aussie?
So here is the scene on the first truly hot day of the year, when grey and grungy London is transformed into a Mediterranean idle. This van, perhaps encouraged by the Australian-esque heat of the morning, pulls outside our shop and there stays for most of the day.
No big deal you may be thinking, as did I at first, but as the morning trickled by and several cappuccinos later, that quiet, mumbling voice in my head was a little bemused.
A man with a van, makes sense, I thought. It must be nicer to have a man drive and help shift all your stuff when moving. Since moving house is my least favourite thing to do ever, and I’ve somehow managed to do it 7 times in the last three years (yes 7!), it seemed like a better idea by the second.
But why….I pondered, an Aussie man & van? What is it about an Aussie man that makes him a preferable man to have a van than any other man, a Welsh man for example, a Japanese man?
Perhaps it is that new world muscle. I must admit, Antipodeans do seem to have more than their fair share of beefy looking blokes, most of whom look as though they only narrowly missed out on a career in international rugby. But then, there are other nationalities who can boast physical prowess, Canadians for example.
mmmm…..well… Aussie’s are a fairly pleasant bunch, with their sunny dispositions and their ‘alright mate’ charm. They also have that way of saying “ahhh yeah” that is simply impossible not to try to mimic.
That must be it. You are just about to ask an Aussie man with a van to shift your second grand piano up four flights of stairs, and in your best Hugh Grant you apologise, “Oh I’m so sorry, it does look terribly heavy, but you did a marvelous job with the last one”. The best response must surely be a cheery, “ah yeah……she’ll be right’.
That’s it, I resolved, the combination of muscle and charm found readily available in London’s platoon of Aussie males must recommend them above all other people as the perfect man with a van for all your moving needs. Perhaps people have known this for years and I was just the last to catch on.
Then, just as I was enjoying the comfort of my new found appreciation for the Aussie man with a van, that very man came into the shop, perhaps a little smaller than I was expecting and wearing a t-shirt to prove his status. Viewing this as a serendipitous moment to test my new theories I asked the Aussie man with a van the question I had been pondering all morning,
“So why is an Aussie man with a van any better that any other sort of man with a van?”
His nervous and stuttering reply…”erm….My English….not perfect I’m sorry”, in an unmistakably Eastern European brogue.
“oh”, I say a little deflated
My Polish colleague confirms what already seems plain, “That man was very Polish”.
“Yes, yes he was”
So…..as it turns out an Aussie man with a van might just be a Polish man with a van. Now I don’t have any problem with a Polish man with a van, but unless I’m missing a trick here, a Polish man with a van is not an Aussie man with a van, and I’m back to feeling confused again.
Perhaps I should just stick to making cappuccinos.