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The migraine of a migrant

By: viratbond Posted Jul 10, 2011 Current affairs 662 Views
(Updated Jul 10, 2011 10:00 PM)

I would not consider myself a great thinker. It’s not that I’m not capable of thought, no, no. I have been known to have some reasonably profound insights, although they invariably involve the Swedish bikini team and a pair of handcuffs and I’ve been alerted to the fact that thatform of insight is not particularly desirable in the insight market.

But recently, I’ve started having ‘new’ insights. Barring the ones surrounding that blonde stewardess on Virgin Airlines, Lara Bingle on Dancing with the Starsand Pippa’s derriere, this one is quite traditional in its subject matter and I’m sure it can get a ‘PG’ rating from the insight classification board.

You see I’m a petty little migrant myself and after hearing all this talk about boat people (people arriving on boats who are not classified as refugees/asylum seekers), I started thinking.

I keep hearing these whispers and rumours going around that we migrants have a secret western domination policy; that we want to take over the western world. I hear that “we must hold on to the white folks because soon, they’re going to be sold in collector’s edition boxes”, that “we must cherish every last white person left in the ‘west’ because they are on limited release”. I get it. I get it that the western world used to be the factory that produced white people but look at it this way, you’ve just run out of raw material and so you are outsourcing for a while.

I guess the problem is with media perception. You keep seeing these hungry, mal nutritioned, ugly and poverty stricken people on your television screens and you start feeling guilty about how much you get to stuff down your throat. I was so genuinely grief stricken after watching the images of the Haiti earthquake that I couldn’t finish my second helping of waffles. I want to help those dying children in Africa too, but I don’t want to give up my daily coffee doing it. The world has donated so much money to eradicate poverty you’d think some poor old fart would come along and say, “Look, I’ve had enough of that raspberry tart. Now I’ve to go to Biggest Loser because of you guys because I and my family have an obesity crisis”. But it never seems enough.

But its not that we migrants don’t have problems. I’ve got a huge problem with the word ‘mate’. I mean, it’s such an Aussie word. In fact, it’s so Aussie, Australians even pronounce it in a completely different way – ‘maaaaaaaaate’. And that does my head in. You see, I’ve grown up on the Oxford dictionary, not the Macquarie dictionary so when I think of mate, I think of mate: a sexual partner. And all these guys come up to me and say ‘Hey mate’ and my head starts doing the math – Guy, blonde, 6’2, mate, sexual partner… no! That’s another thing. It’s such a ‘guy’ word. No chick ever comes up to me and says ‘mate’. My mind would do a double cartwheel if a chick was my ‘mate’. Errr.. I’m digressing to that othertype of insight again…

On a good day, I can easily pass off as a white person if I don’t open my mouth and let rip my Indian accent – I have bad grammar, I love drinking and money and invariably screw up relationships. I have a suggestion – you want to solve the boat people issue? Just ask them to pronounce ‘mate’…

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