Whilst in Port Hedland, my friends son in law insisted on taking me for
a 'Lads night out' one evening.
Having not experienced a good 'beer up' since arriving in Oz, I reluctantly (not)
The place he took me to was a very large beer hall, and from first appearances
seemed to be occupied almost entirely by males. Virtually the only women to be
seen were barmaids pouring pints, or the dodgier looking ones cruising the tables
touting for custom. (if you get my drift)
I don't suppose this was entirely surprising considering the huge volume of single
guys who worked at the iron ore plant in the town. But coming from England, it
is a little bit intimidating to see so many drunken guys so early in the evening.
Then the strippers arrived on stage...one can only imagine how the highly charged
atmosphere of hundreds of pickled males who haven't looked at, let alone touched
a women for months descended into chaos. The crowd of Aussies at the table I was
sitting at thought it a real gas to try and convince the strippers on stage it
was my birthday, and I should be dragged up there with them. Much to my very audible
protests to the contrary. I've seen what happens to blokes when they end up on
stage with strippers, and I didn't want anything to do with that...thank you!
Then one fellow who had by now had more than his tolerable alcohol limit suddenly
started getting very spiteful. Up till now he'd been fine, and we were having
quite a sensible chat. However he had a complete character change within minutes
of his last pint. Suddenly, all the English were a bunch of blood sucking scum,
and since I was the only 'dyed in the wool' Englishman in the vicinity, all of
his venom was addressed at me. Now by now I'd had a good few pints as well, and
I wasn't going to let this slur on my character go completely unchallenged. I
leaned across the table towards him and asked in a quiet voice (or at least to
me it SEEMED to be quiet) exactly where his unique claim to Australian citizenship
came from. I pointed out to him that probably more than 95% of the people in this
room had either parents, or grandparents originating from England, and I thought
it was rather a sweeping statement to claim they all were fathered by the aforementioned
That was it!!! Up he got, knocking several glasses over in the process, and made
a wild swing towards me. Thankfully, he was very promptly escorted out and given
a ‘talking to’ by some of his mates who hadn’t quite reached
his level of hostility towards us pommes. But it brought home to me how much the
English fraternity are loathed by many of those who consider themselves to be
well and truly Australian. Whether it is due to the alleged 'holier than thou'
English attitude, or simply because the exchange rate is very favorable to the
English Pound and we can go over there and live like Kings, I don't know.
Certainly in the suburbs of Perth, the English immigrants have created almost
‘ghettos’ of typical UK type houses. Their affluence no doubt, influencing
the rise in property values, and putting many homes out of reach of the relatively
less affluent locals.