We live near the beach now, in Australia, and it was Sunday so naturally we went to the pier and got fish’n chips. It was a very Australian thing to do and there were lots of Australians down there doing Australian things such as sitting on the pier eating fish and chips and calling out numbers in fish’n chip shops like this:
“Fiffty faww. NUMMA FIFFTY FAWW!”
The fish’n chips weren’t good, but they weren’t bad either, so effectively they were good. I dipped my fish in a lot of tartare sauce. That makes anything good. Plus I like the way the words fish’n chips sounds so much it always makes the fish’n chips taste better. Fish’n chips. Fish’n chips. Fish’n chips. Fish’n chips. In Victoria by the way if you ask for fish’n chips the default fish is flake which is actually shark which freaks people from other states and countries out. The Love and I smiled at this as we ate our fish’n chips dipped in tartare sauce. I think the fact that we eat shark in Victoria makes us feel quite tough.
So we sat there and ate the shark and wondered about Australia and being Australian as we sat amongst our fellow Australians doing an Australian Sunday thing.
It was fun. It was Australian. But I felt this funny feeling I couldn't name. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was because, though I'm Australian and love doing Australian things, I've never quite felt True Blue.
I think it started when I was four or five and we were staying at our cousins' house in the country. One cousin had a nightie with a koala on it waving an Australian flag and the words:
I’M A TRUE BLUE AUSSIE
I asked my auntie Rozzy,
“What’s a true blue Aussie?”
Auntie Rozzy considered this for a moment. Then she said:
“I guess a true blue Aussie is somebody who is born in the country.”
And at the time by country I thought she meant country as in, not the city, and as I was born in the city I thought to myself “I’m not True Blue.”
And as I grew up I never did feel quite True Blue. And whenever a question arose about my nationality I would say,
“I’m Aussie. But not True Blue.”
Perhaps that’s why I always felt a bit on the outer.
I still don’t know if I’m true blue, I don’t think so, though I know I’m Australian. I look at friends like the Angel from the North – so true blue Irish it’s not funny. True green. French friends, so true bleu. And for some weird reason today as I sat and ate shark on the pier in the sun even though I smiled wide I still felt a bit like an imposter.