“No worries, mate” must be the most used phrase in Australia. In Australia and abroad, this sentence epitomises the essence of the Australian laid back culture. Just uttering this phrase magically seems to take away any concern, no matter how disastrous it is. “Did my house burn down? No worries.”
Yes, it seems like a country full of masters of zen. A society that is mentally very feng shui. It almost seems idyllic, a society that has no worries. Hakuna Matata. This must be as close to heaven as it gets on Earth. In truth, most Australians would not disagree with that.
However, when you peel a layer of this utopia by using a bit of reverse psychology it paints a different picture. It appears that Australians are subconsciously actually very worried. Admirably, they just do not want to give in to this ever present anxiety and therefore keep telling themselves not to worry about it. It might surprise you, but Australians have mortgages (very high ones) and bills to pay (also very high ones), just like everyone else, and just like everyone else this worries them (very much so). They complain about these things more than everyone else.
As for the laid back culture that Australia is perceived to have you might think this is a very liberal country. In fact, it is not. Is has rules, a lot of rules. It is the ultimate nanny state. In the absence of any global or national threats, natural disasters or economic woes, the Australian government pro-actively finds new threats to every Australian that need to be eliminated. The result is a myriad of rules everywhere you go. This has almost reached the tipping point where it would be easier to list what actually is allowed than what is prohibited.
Here is just an example of 5 dumb laws in Australia you might break:
- It is illegal to be drunk in a pub and may result in a $500 fine.
- It is illegal to change a light bulb unless you are a licenced electrician.
- It is illegal to leave your car keys in an unattended vehicle.
- It is illegal to ride a bike without a helmet.
- It is illegal to wear hot pink pants after midday Sunday.
With common sense being legislated out of every corner of society, the government is not using the average sensible Australian as a benchmark but rather the lowest common denominator. Apparently, this a drunk unlicenced electrician wearing hot pink pants, riding his bike on Sunday to change a light bulb, as he left his car keys in his vehicle.
Historically, Australians do not like authority so it remains a mystery why they have not yet stormed Parliament demanding freedom to do stupid things. Maybe it is because it is in Canberra and Australians historically dislike Canberra even more.
Come to Australia. You might accidentally get fined.
(Language warning for the video. I bet you definitely want to watch it now.)