All of the above events have made me reflect on this so called “busy attitude”. I have never heard this word used so much as it has here in Melbourne “Sorry, I’m busy”, “I’m crazy busy”, “Would love to…. But I am busy, man” – What?
I even met a Mr Busy once who could not answer my text messages because he was so busy. Pftt!
I attempted to understand – who returns them if busy these Aussies??? What exactly transpires in this city to make so many so busy? Hmmmmm…
So I said myself; these people work a lot. OK it is true that they work hard which is more than us French (that stays between us by the way!). Despite the hours, the “busy” people stay very cool and are clearly under less stress than the French people.
But at the same time all the same, that cannot be that! No, there is other thing… After all, I see them being lying about far too often in bars and restaurants between friends.
“Sorry, I’m busy”, “I’m crazy busy”, “Would love to…. But I am busy, man”
Naturally, being a newcomer to Australia and the Australian way of life – I knew no one when I landed in St Kilda. Here I was, in the epicenter of Melbournian nightlife… with me, myself and I – my social life was DEAD.
So I roamed from bar to bar, restaurant to restaurant, club to club – in the pursuit of social relief, some companionship… and to learn about this new culture in Melbourne.
I came to understand very quickly that Australians have an extraordinary capacity to mix their professional, personal and social lives with a 200% result!
In France, we divide everything, sometimes we have difficulty mixing work and friends. Surely we can organize a drink after work, but let us not forget the allure of a comfortable couch and a good American TV series.
It would appear that the sharing of “good times” coupled with a highly evolved “mateship attitude” contributes to the average Australian looking forward to the weekend.
Monday to Friday is dedicated to work, whereas the weekends provide for drinks between friends, breakfast turns into brunch, brunch into lunch and lunch into drinkies followed by choose your own adventure! Exhibitions to see, museums to explore, children to entertain, sporting events to attend and of course – recovery from the inevitable hangover – all between the hours of 5pm Friday and 6pm Sunday evening! I am beginning to understand the word… busy!
In fact, this simple 4 letters word best sums up how Australians manage everything in life: social or professional, family, friends, loves and problems. (That rings a bell – French song – Charles Aznavour).
Melbourne is such an energizing, active and extended city and as such. There will always be that friend who calls up to have a drink when it’s the night you have chosen to go to bed early, always a party, another bar to go to, a special event and naturally always a new challenge to be tackled. Here, everything seems possible if you give yourself the time, means and motivation.
The people here choose to live with a permanent need to be in action and to seize any opportunities that appear. Encounters are more easily made and communication is simpler (yes, yes – even with my English!) and thus obviously the importance of a social life, is paramount.
Maybe there can be a replacement of this simple 4 letter word – instead of “busy”, maybe it could be “Full” – because really, life is full … full of challenges, full of friendship, full of fun, full of beers, full of meetings, full of parties, full of memories that we build for ourselves. I understand now…clearly…that life can be busy – just as long as its full!
So next time, instead of being confused or offended when I hear someone say “Sorry, I was too busy” – I believe it is perfectly acceptable for me to respond “Ah yes, me too!”.