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Aussie, Actually
Aussie, Actually
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Powell's Books Powell's Books

Lois gives an overview of the book:

Pregnant and with husband and clingy toddler in tow, Lois sets off from Durban to a sweltering Brisbane, arriving on Australia Day 1997. She is not prepared for the sheer magnitude of the move but battles on in a fog of homesickness using humour to get by. Aussie, Actually is a warts and all account of Lois’s eleven year sojourn as a migrant wife and mother living in Brisbane, Australia. Illustrated with cartoons by her 10 year old daughter, Lara, the book's 24 chapters capture her humorous and honest life experiences living as a new Australian. Aussie, Actually will allow South Africans a glimpse of an immigrant’s impression of living Down Under. For those contemplating a permanent move to Australia, Aussie, Actually will reveal the everyday experiences not covered in the emigration manual!
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Pregnant and with husband and clingy toddler in tow, Lois sets off from Durban to a sweltering Brisbane, arriving on Australia Day 1997. She is not prepared for the sheer magnitude of the move but battles on in a fog of homesickness using humour to get by.

Aussie, Actually is a warts and all account of Lois’s eleven year sojourn as a migrant wife and mother living in Brisbane, Australia. Illustrated with cartoons by her 10 year old daughter, Lara, the book's 24 chapters capture her humorous and honest life experiences living as a new Australian. Aussie, Actually will allow South Africans a glimpse of an immigrant’s impression of living Down Under.

For those contemplating a permanent move to Australia, Aussie, Actually will reveal the everyday experiences not covered in the emigration manual!

Read an excerpt »

There's a whole dictionary allocated to Aussie slang which most Aussies don't even know or ever use. Mostly, it's the everyday language that has me befuddled. And just when I feel I've mastered everything, and am fully integrated, I'm misunderstood again. I'm in the supermarket looking for nuts. I cannot find them and ask an aisle attendant where the ‘nuts' are.

‘Nats?' he repeats, clearly confused.

‘No, nuts,' I answer slowly, thinking he is perhaps hearing impaired. I amuse myself with the thought that I will kick him in the ‘nats' if he doesn't catch on soon.

‘Nats?' he says again.

‘No, N ... U ... T ... S' I patiently spell out.

‘Oh, nuts! Aisle three.'

I bump into a South African vet who tells me she too has pronunciation problems. She relays a story about how she was about to inoculate a puppy in her surgery and asked the owners to ‘place their hands over the puppy's eyes'. The request seemed to baffle them. They looked at her in horror for a while, and then finally asked, ‘Do you mean you want us to put our hands over his arse?'

Over the years, some other phrases have crept into my vocabulary. My children say, ‘Yeah right!' which roughly means ‘as if you're serious' and the musically delivered ‘hell-o' meaning ‘wake up to the truth, dummy'.

My favourite Aussie word is ‘dibberdobber' which sounds infinitely more delicious than telltale. I can ‘dob' on my neighbour for cutting down a gum tree or using sprinklers during the drought - not that I would. ‘Dibberdobber' is not a label to be proud of.

And nor, it seems, is the label ‘un-Austraaaalian'. My understanding is that it applies to anyone not showing the Aussie characteristic of ‘mateship'. For example, looting homes during a flood or binge-drinking youths causing a disturbance on Australia Day. On such an occasion, there is always a reporter who will hone in on a disgusted onlooker and triumphantly extract the comment they are looking for, namely, ‘It's very un-Austraaalian'.

Every Aussie also deserves what is termed ‘a fair go'. In other words, opportunities and fairness to succeed in life. An attitude, I believe, should be embraced by the whole world in general.

Fair dinkum!

lois-k-nicholls's picture

Hi, 

I'm delighted to let you know that as of February 1, 2012, Aussie, Actually is available in Kindle format on Amazon!

 

About Lois

I was born in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. I grew up in Howick, a little country town which has auspiciously positioned itself as ‘The Hub of the Midlands’. I went to the same school with the same class from Year 1 to Year 12 and was hopelessly unprepared...

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Author's Publishing Notes

As of February 1, 2012, Aussie, Actually is available in Kindle format on Amazon!