Australians have a reputation around the world for being relaxed and easy going. 'G'day mate', 'Throw another shrimp on the barbie', 'That's not a knife' and all those other cliches that people think we say. However, after coming home, I can't help that Australians are really uptight and rude.
We seem to have no patience at all. Just look at the number of road rage cases we have. A survey done in Australia found that 74% of drivers had road rage. If you are stopped at a red light and you don't start accelerating within the first second of it being green, guaranteed the person behind you will be on the horn. Just yesterday I saw a lady in a car merge slightly into the lane beside her to get around a cyclist and another car had to slow slightly to let her in. He then felt it his duty to accelerate up beside her and make sure she knew that he had to slow down by beeping his horn and making gestures at her. Its almost at the point where you cannot trust cars to stop for you at pedestrian crossings!
Do we really not have a few seconds to spare? Are we in that much of a hurry that we cannot show a fellow human being some courteosy? Or are we really just a bunch of uptight prudes that refuse to give any leeway?
The way we drive is just a reflection of our attitude in society and with people juggling work, families, traffic, etc, we are becomming busy, impatient and rude. Soon, the only thing that will keep people thinking we are easy going is the way we talk.