SCOTLAND'S tourism bigwigs want more Australians and New Zealanders to come to Scotland.
They want their dollars. I mean, obviously, they altruistically and proudly want to show off the very best Scotland has to offer. But mostly they want their dollars.
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and VisitScotland are sending staff south to set out Scotland's stall. Being Aussie-ish I feel I can help with the campaign.
The main thing to realise is that Scotland and Australia are basically the same. The most common examples cited of un-Australian behaviour are "serving warm beer" and "charging for sauce with a meat pie." I could rest my case there.
We're both heavily swearing cultures. Swearing's a way of life there, as here. There's an engine oil you can buy at reputable garages called Start Ya Bastard. A safe driving campaign implored motorists not to be reckless on the roads by showing a poster featuring a large letter W placed next to a picture of an anchor.
In Australia, "bastard" is a term of endearment. Visiting Australians should be prepared to be surprised by particular Glaswegian terms of endearment. But, unlike our Continental cousins, Australians are hardy enough to remain unshocked by the coarse tongues they may encounter on Sauchiehall Street.
Australians'll kid you they have a young country. What they mean is it's 225 years since the English arrived. Actually, the country has an extensive and fascinating history. So does Scotland. It's also trying to establish itself as a creative, independent force as a product of Britain and yet separate from it too.
We both have a cultural cringe we're trying hard to shake. We both have a strong larrikin spirit. Not to mention a love of spirits; we both have a hard-wired drinking culture, ditto with the shaking.
You can access Vegemite here, though it's called Marmite and it's made of sterner stuff.
We have two nice bridges, the Harbour and the Forth. I'd gloss over the beaches.
The only real difference is that an Aussie ordering chips will expect them to arrive in salt n' vinegar or ready salted flavours. Oh, and there, potato cakes are deep fried. The irony.
Basically, we should be marketing Scotland as a home from home but colder and a lot more damp.
I hope that's a help. And I'd be happy to tag along. Just let me know.
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