I am getting excited about going home to Australia. I have not been back for about six months - so it has been a while. The first thing that strikes me when I go back is the number of bogans that are there. They are everywhere.
The spell check on my Mac doesn't recognize the word bogan. It first tried to change it to 'brogan'. I don't know what that is. The second time it endeavored to auto correct to 'began'. It is now trying to change it to 'organ'.
A bogan is an Australian slob type person. This is probably a bit too harsh. They are friendly and simple folk. They are a bit nasal in their speech. I can speak bogan if I choose to.
"Too fuckin right I can".
All Australians can if they want to.
Bogans are fairly casual and laid back people but they are generally fairly ignorant about the world. The Bogan will likely argue against this alleged lack of worldly wisdom. Many will declare with great pride that they have been to Indonesia. They will say that they have been to Kuta in Bali.
The bogan may also announce triumphantly that they go back annually. The bogan will also likely go to Thailand. They will go to the village of Patong in Phuket. The Bogans get package tours to 3 star hotels and they love it there. They really do.
The bogan always returns to their roost after a week in exotic Asia for home is where they like the best. The bogan’s home is in their local pub. When returning from their trips to Bali or Phuket the bogan's hair will likely be braided and beaded. Be they male or female. Their skin will be burnt fire-truck red and it will also be peeling. They are happy though. The bogans are mostly quite content.
Bogans are not particularly bright nor are they gender specific. The great majority of bogans will be tattooed. They like ink. Dental hygiene is not a priority amongst the bogan clan and they may have a few teeth missing. The bogan's dress code is basic. Tracksuit pants are preferred. There is often a big gut on the bogan. They love beer.
When I was last back in June I recall pulling my car into a petrol station to fill up. We call it petrol in Australia. The Americans and Singaporeans refer to it as gas. All petrol stations in Australia are self-service. We pump our own and then we pay inside. We Australians also have drive-through bottle shops. The English with whom I work often talk about these drive-throughs with amazement and admiration. They love them. At the drive-throughs you stay in your car and the attendant loads up your car with slabs of beer, wine or spirits and smokes too. Whatever you want. We Australians take these drive-through’s for granted. They are everywhere.
Like the bogans.
So when I arrived back in Australia in June and was filling my car with petrol a bogan pulled up at the pump opposite me. He was driving a ute. This is the bogan's car of choice. As he commenced pumping he started a conversation. I like this aspect of home. Stranger talks to stranger. We mostly chat about nothing of any significance but it is what we do. From what I recall the conversation went something like this:
"Owzitgoin mate" he initiated.
The bogan was wearing baggy tracksuit pants and a tattered T shirt. I think it had an ACDC picture on it although it could have been Guns'N'Roses. He was wearing a beanie on his head. For you non-Australians types this is a woolen hat. It was pulled down over his ears. He was scratching his balls with one hand and pumping gas with the other.
"Good mate" I replied.
"Owzitgoin with you?"
I slip easily into the bogan dialect when I return home. It is natural and instinctive. The "Owzitgoin" is a pretty much a standard reply when dealing with the bogans. Keep it friendly. They can be dangerous.
"Yeah alright". he responded.
"Strewth it's a fuckin cold one en it?"
He was referring to the weather. It was a bit nippy out.
"Fucking oath" I said.
"Freezin the nuts off of me".
I gave my own balls a bit of a scratch when I said this. It was an almost instinctive and sympathetic physical response. It is the way bogans relate to each other for bogans are a brotherhood.
"Didja watch the pies game last night? the Bogan enquired.
The Pies are the Collingwood football club. Australian Rules Football. You either love or hate the Pies. My team is Geelong and I hate the Pies.
"Shit yeah" I replied.
"Fuckin umpires" moaned the Bogan.
"We woz fuckin robbed".
The Collingwood supporter is not a good loser. They always blame the referees when they lose.
"Cunts" I sympathised.
I didn't actually care and I hadn't watched the game. I was just enjoying the conversation.
"Fuckin petrol prices" the bogan complained.
Like myself, the bogan was watching the dollars flow into his ute. Petrol is expensive in Australia. This is despite the fact that we have enormous natural reserves of petroleum in Australia. We export most of it and our Fucker politicians heavily tax the little that we are allowed to consume ourselves. We pay way more than we should and the government is doing the wrong thing by us.
"Bastard fuckin government is trying to rob us" the Bogan added
The Bogan doesn't like Authority. They always vote for the Labour Party. The Labour Party are currently in Government in Australia and they are bastards. Our Prime Minister Julia Gillard is a bogan herself. She is an uber bogan in fact. The Labour Party is full of bogans.
Bogans complain about everything. It is the bogan way.
"Fuckers" I agreed.
I finished pumping my petrol and went inside to pay.
"Avagood one mate" said the bogan when I returned and got back into my car.
"You too mate" I nodded.
If I mentioned to a Bogan in a pub situation that I lived in Singapore they would ask me if it was a part of China. This has happened before. Many times in fact. They would also ask me if there is McDonalds in Singapore. The bogans love their Big Macs - with fries. They also upsized. Every time.
The bogans will enquire whether I am able to watch the footy over in Singapore. I tell them I can and I do. I tell the bogans that the football is telecast live on the Australian TV Channel. This seems to delight them. It certainly delights me. I love my footy and I watch it every week.
I will often ask the Bogans I encounter at my local pub if they know what Chinese food is called in China. They never know and ask me 'what'? I tell them it is just called 'food'. They think this is hysterical. The Bogans are easily amused. I think that I entertain them as much as they entertain me.
Bogans are the salt of the earth. Fair dinkum. They are Australians through and through and I love them.
I really do.