I read a post the other day on the SMH Backpacker Blog about perceptions of tourists that come to Australia. I'm sure in the past there has been a post about perceptions about Australians travelling overseas and I was reminded of this while in the souk in Aleppo. Now, usually in a busy market, people will call out things to foreigners, trying to guess their nationality or inviting them into their shop. I mentioned that there were a lot of Australians in Aleppo so the hawkers are pretty savvy. I heard a lot of "G'day mate"s (which was pronounced as g'day mite) and the like, which is fine.
What disturbed me, and still disturbed me is what one seller called out as I walked past.
"Australia? G'day mite. Come on sheila, come have a look," and as I got further away, "Pauline Hanson! One Nation Party! REDNECK!!!!"
I couldn't believe that this was what one guy knew about Australia. About a racist right wing political party and its red headed, rednecked instigator. Shocking.