Here is something that I hope somehow, someday, preferably soon, will prove to be a misconception:
People from Australia, although deeply fond and proud of their home country, fall strangely silent on an internet forum designed as a place for people to share stories and pictures about travel and home.
Here is an interesting misconception about Oz; despite having the reputation for being funloving and laidback, always having barbecues at the beach, several recent studies have found Australians work some of the longest hours in the Western world:
Article in Melbourne paper this weekend about Australians flocking to New York to open coffee shops, which until now, have been poor quality:
MOST Australian visitors to New York will understand the difficulty in finding a decent cup of coffee in the city that never sleeps.
While some would argue that Americans don't need more caffeine, a growing band of Aussie baristas are taking Melbourne-style cafes to Manhattan and taking on the big franchises such as Starbucks.
The trend was dubbed the ''Australian coffee diaspora'' by The New York Times, and even the humble flat white has made it big in the Big Apple.
Melburnian Alexander Hall who previously managed St Kilda's Cafe Racer and
Il Fornaio, reckons New Yorkers still have plenty to learn.
''The New York coffee scene is similar to Melbourne in 1985. When I moved here about six years ago, there was virtually nowhere that served quality espresso coffee. I originally planned to pick up an idea here and then move back to Melbourne to cash in.
''But I realised there was a huge opportunity here because nothing in New York compared to our cafes,'' Mr Hall says.
He opened The Milk Bar in Brooklyn last year and is looking for another site in Manhattan.
''The concept is straightforward. We serve lattes in glasses, flat whites in ceramic cups and offer basic Melbourne hospitality; remember what people drink, pat the dog outside and give customers a smile.''
Fellow Melburnian Francesco Agoftino says Americans only recently discovered the pleasures of an espresso or cafe latte, after weaning themselves off cloying Frappuccinos in enormous cups.
''Americans love to have 100 options and they also like sweet, syrupy coffee. That's the influence of Starbucks, but we're a straight-up Melbourne [style] cafe. I refuse to use skim milk, we don't do shots of caramel or vanilla, we do cappuccinos and lattes in Duralex glasses,'' Mr Agoftino says.
And he says he has been flooded with requests for flat whites, which are treated with disdain by Melbourne's coffee aristocracy.
''I know they're considered uncool back home, but I've made hundreds of them in the past two months.''
After honing his barista skills at the Federal Coffee Palace in the GPO complex on Elizabeth Street, Mr Agoftino opened the Glass Shop in Brooklyn last year.
His venue was runner-up in last week's Time magazine award for best new cafe and was recently nominated by The New York Times as one of the city's best.
Two venues associated with Sydney barista Adam Craig also made the list, including Culture Espresso Bar near Broadway in the heart of Manhattan. Mr Craig says US coffee drinkers are becoming far more discerning about their morning brew.
''Only until a few years ago, people in New York would pay $2 for a crap coffee and come back the next day and do it again. I get a lot of Americans coming in and saying, 'I recently went to Australia and the coffee was amazing and it's made me realise how bad our coffee is'.''
I can fair appreciate this whole misconceptions thing since I hail from Texas. I used to get asked in chat rooms all the time about my cowboy boots, did I have a horse in the back yard, did I have a bunch of cattle, was there an oil derrick in my back yard. My Pièce de résistance was always to talk about having dined at JR's home, which indeed I have done ....sort of. The home used for the filming of "Dallas" is available for party rentals and a company I worked for in the 90's had their year's end dinner there for several years. ;D
Why would anyone work for someone else more than 35 hours a week except in cases of dire necessity? Really its not like it'll make a whole lot of difference from working 40 either in the pay or the work output. Life's short.
The law in France sets the work week at 35 hours. Right wing governments have been trying to undo it for the past several years, but they quickly discover that public opinion is against them. This is not to say that most people really work only 35 hours, but they very much appreciate being paid overtime when they work longer hours.
Most people working in shops in Oz would be working part time or on casual wages. But agreed - shops close here way too early (by Asian standards). Although apparently parts of Europe are worse - my husband is in Switzerland and says everything shuts at 6pm, and all day on Sunday!!! How archaic!
I know; its actually highly impractical to serve coffee in glasses. They get hot! Australia - and I guess particularly Melbourne - had lots of Italian immigrants, yeah as well as many from lots of other European countries. Melbourne is famously the third largest Greek-speaking city in the world; Athens, Thessaloniki, Melbourne. I had to learn it at school (and I have no Greek ties).
One of the things that surprised me the most in Melbourne were all of the trilingual signs in English, Italian and Greek.
I also noticed in Sydney that the municipal art museum had a sign in eight languages and that French was not one of them. Of course, this was not too long after the Rainbow Warrior days, so it might have been a political statement.
Wikipedia gives the number of native French speakers in Australia at 94,000 but no mention of where they are from; France, or Vanuatu or New Caledonia perhaps ...
Its also worth considering that the whole of Australia was very nearly French. The French fleet of La Perouse landed at Botany Bay (in Sydney today) just six days after the first English settlers, in 1788.