1. Why did you pick a rat as your animal?
I answered this question before in the three questions meme, and all I can do is repeat what I said there:
Although it sounds hopelessly pretentious, I honestly feel as if I didn't pick the rat as a totem animal, the rat chose me. This would explain why I sometimes have a deeply ambivalent relationship with the species. I love them, I adore them, but sometimes I fear them. I will admit I probably did watch The Secret of NIMH or read Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien at a critical point in my development. I'm told that I have a lot of rat-like attributes, most of which are not affectations. It is a question that interests me, but it interests precisely because I can't answer it.
2. What's the stupidest/most inaccurate/most laughable stereotype that Americans hold about Australians?
Gosh. That's really hard for me to say. I suppose I could point to a few stereotypes that irk me.
(a) There are kangaroos hopping down the streets of our cities. If this were true, would I be retreating to Lone Pine periodically? Kangaroos are visually extinct in the urban and suburban environment.
(b) That Australians have, erm, relations with sheep. We Australians blame that on New Zealanders.
(c) That Australians are somehow 'backward' or red-necks. This is the one that really upsets me. Australians, like everyone else, are different. Every year, Sydney hosts the Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras. Does that sound like a red-necked nation to you? It's true I am embarassed at our Prime Minister, who has done so much to reclaim the red neck vote he was once in danger of losing, but I am hopeful he will be deservedly swept out of office at the next election.
3. What would be a relationship deal-breaker for you? (Can be a friend relationship, a love relationship, or both.)
That would have to be abuse, either physical or verbal. I understand that sometimes, in the heat of the moment, voices may be raised, but it should never go further than that. I'm fortunate enough that I've never been in an abusive relationship, but I would hope that I wouldn't end up feeling 'trapped'. I know I'll never have to worry about that with ristin; if anything, he is sometimes not assertive enough.
4. A political one: what do you think about the UK's decision to make all immigrants prove take an English proficency test, refusing to accept "I'm from Canada/Australia/New Zealand" as proof of English fluency?
Strewth! Fair crack o' the whip, darlin'! If it were a matter of having an informal talk with an immigration official, I would think that fair enough, but needing proof from an English-language school for those without secondary or tertiary qualifications is a bit rich. I don't mind admitting that I'm offended. Surely you Brits can make exceptions for your friends in the Commonwealth?
5. What's one thing (hobby- or sports- wise, I hasten to clarify) that you like to do but not many people know about?
That's a tough one. I'm not sure I can think of anything I like that I don't either have websites celebrating or have mentioned in my LiveJournal. I like reading, which should be no secret, but in particular I enjoy reading classical literature from time to time. I also find walking helps me to clear my head.
This is the part of the meme that I'm most uncomfortable with. Not only will I be perpetuating a meme, but I'll have to think of five questions to ask which is a lot harder than answering them. Only you can stop this travesty! I challenge you not to ask me to interview you!
1 -- Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 -- I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 -- You'll update YOUR journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 -- You'll include this explanation.