Friday, July 8, 2011

Observations From My Clogging Class

I'm a very confused person sometimes. I grew up here but I also grew up in Malaysia. I can see how life works both here in Australia and Malaysia but I'm not an exact fit into the cogs of either country. Yet, I don't feel out of place either. If I want to fit in with a bunch of Malaysians, I just need to start talking about food.

Fitting in with the Australian's is what I'm blogging about today. This is definitely not how all Australians are and I don't want anybody out there getting offended or taking this as the absolute picture of what life with Australians is like. I'm going to limit this to the context of my clogging class.

Each Thursday, I meet a wonderful group of older ladies at both my clogging class. By older I mean waaaaaaay older than me but they are are all energetic, witty and positive. Positive is the key word here when you start chatting with them. Everything is wonderful, beautiful, fantastic, great - POSITIVE.

It reminds me of a satirical book that I bought for Richard when he first started living in Australia. The book was titled "How to be Normal in Australia" and there is a specific chapter on how no Australian will ever admit to life being in the dumps. Their house could have burnt down and they might have broken all the bones in their body but if you ask them "How are you?" the answer is inevitably going to be "GREAT!".

So back to those ladies. I don't know if it starts off as half-baked positive attitudes that infect each other and then work to generate genuine positive energy that feeds back in to the system or what but they are always upbeat. And, talking to them always seems to make me feel more upbeat too.

This is all good right?

Now here comes the strange bit. They are never that upbeat about their clogging. Even when they can do it! Maybe this is what makes them so likable. There is never any boasting or any remote showing off going on. If anything, there is effort put into projecting an image afterwards that the are unable to do the dance.

Most of the time, I just go with the flow and be one of the crowd.

Every so often, I just can't do it. Now comes the part about me not fitting in with the group. It happened last night. We were doing a hard dance, everyone was struggling but we were making progress. They were there complaining and whinging, being very negative. I didn't join in and was having a drink at the side but you can see that they really wanted to do it and its within their capabilities but there was all this "I can't do it.", "There is no way I'll every remember that." and "This is torture."

I wonder why all that upbeat and positive energy doesn't carry through in situations like this? Why isn't there a "Let make it happen" attitude? Wouldn't that be more fun?

I don't worry about being excluded because my age does that naturally for me. If I get a step and don't complain about it, they come up to me and say "I wish I was your age again." And then its my turn to become all upbeat for them!

So thats my observation of a small snippet of the Australian attitude.


Mike said...

I need to find one of those 'normal' books for the USA.

And here's a video like we're waiting for from you.

Amanda said...

Mike - I hope you have a lot of patience :)

Bilbo said...

@ Mike ... there IS no "normal" in the USA any more!

Amanda - clogging is all well and good, but you really need to start doing ballroom ...