Tag Archives: ANZFW

Ethereal Bogan

Even though I’ve lived outside New Zealand for several years now, there are still times when I unwittingly fall into a crack in the common language. How could “chuffed” be gibberish outside of the Antipodes? Why do Americans refuse the services of a great word like “bludge”? And why can’t a green pepper be a “capsicum” always? It’s mystifying, really.

Hence: Necessary informational preface, courtesy of Wikipedia:

The term bogan (pronounced /ˈboʊgən/, rhyming with slogan) is Australian and New Zealand English slang, usually pejorative, for a person who is, or is perceived to be, of a lower-class background. According to the stereotype, the speech and mannerisms of “bogans” indicate, poor education, cheap clothing and uncultured upbringing. ‘Bogans’ usually reside in economically disadvantaged suburbs (often outer metropolitan) or rural areas[1].

The term is a close regional equivalent to the English term Chav or Pikey, Scottish term Ned, Irish term Scanger and the North American term White Trash. However the term ‘bogan’ is occasionally used with some affection in Australia/NZ, whereas those corresponding terms are not. (Emphasis added.)

For example:

“Cricketer Shane Warne receives regular ribbings from the Australian media for his bogan persona. His struggles with weight loss and cigarettes, the unsophisticated dietary habits, are all fodder for commentators who recoil at his uncouth habits. But Warney is the ultimate Aussie bloke: all brawn and few brains when it comes to controlling his appetites, plus a blinding addiction to blondes who are typically clones of his attractive wife.” (Emma-Kate Symons, “Spinning out of control,” The Weekend Australian (2-3 July 2005), p 19

Inspirational runway collage for a show. The clothes were plaid, the music was the kind of Courtney Love I used to scowl angrily along to in fifth form, and there were leather jackets in every second look. In fitting with the moto cross theme, half of the models wore knee pads or head gear. We were hard rock listening, Holden-fiddling, beer-drinking, stubbie-wearing, singleted boganettes and I for one had a pretty rad time at it.

Not a message you really need to give to a room of models, but hey. I tried my best to walk strong-but-not-angry, as if I were on my way to my fave drag racing spot to catch the weekend action. Or something.

(Runway photos from Zimbio.com)

In my revisionist dream closet, I bought that Eisenhower jacket I said I was going to a year ago already.

In related wardrobe plotting: I’ve decided I want this dress. I love the plaid on the bodice — it reminds me of a bush shirt — and, let’s face it, the one advantage of having a microscopically endowed chest is that you can wear low-cut scoop-necks and not look cheap. Dresses like these are practically my birth right. Or at least the reward of years of teenage curve envy. I’ll use this post as a memory jogger for next April, when the frock should be available.

In friends meeting

Sideshow Bob, is that you?

Ignore my outrageous man hands, please, and concentrate instead on the lovely ring I’m sporting. My dear friend Sophie gave it to me my first night here: It’s three rings in one, and it bears an inscription related to my 21st. (It’s not my birthday. Sophie and I fell shamelessly out of regular gift-giving habits during our respective travels these recent years.) It’s perfect because through high school, I was lucky enough to have two best friends — and not in the usual in-case-one-breaks-down catty girl sense, either.

Bec, Sophie and I were a stable, close triad from ages 13-18. We were a debating team (two of us went to nationals in sixth form), a fashion design clearinghouse, a Young Enterprise business of massive success, a trio of upwardly mobile academics who did two or three subjects apiece one or two years ahead, and a tea drinkers anonymous group with a rolling series of daily scheduled meetings. (We each take it strong with milk and 1.5 sugars, thanks.)

They were always eminently sensible friends, encouraging of good judgment, independent-spirited, and loving without peer. They generally tried with all their hearts to talk me out of all the bad decisions I made as a teenager, but never failed to understand why I made them anyway. Sophie taught me taste in music and new ways to imagine pants and how to cultivate older friends. Bec taught me to hold my own in English and that real life isn’t all seriousness. Many women remember adolescence as a period of drastic friendship instability, of fortunes that rose and fell with a hair flick and a knowing look. I don’t: I remember knowing only that while I didn’t have many friends, I had precisely as many as I needed, and that furthermore they seemed to need me back. The last New Year’s I particularly enjoyed was the one five years ago we spent just the three of us on Sumner beach with a bottle of champagne.

In some ways you miss your friends more than you miss your family, when you spend a lot of time away from home, because the family bond is definite and settled. There is the certainty of dates like Christmas, and the formality of their names on “in case of emergency please contact” forms. Family relationships, for all their potential for strife, are never at risk of simple attrition. But friends lose touch all the time.

It gives me great satisfaction to know that, having survived through years of half-written letters (upon my arrival, I gave Sophie a bundle of aborted missives dating back to one I’d started the Northern summer of 2004), birthday phonecalls only when we remembered, and silent lapses that swallowed whole seasons, ours are bonds that seem likely to endure for life. A ring with three bands seems like a perfect synecdoche for us.

Now if only we could tempt Bec back from her current Canadian moonbeam-spotting adventure, then we’d really be set.


Finished first show of the day. Three hours until next call time: Oh whatever shall I do?

I know: Find a demo laptop in the main lounge and shamelessly blog pictures of myself. Hi Mum!

Thanks, Vaio. That accomplished, allow me to go in search of food. And cell phone credit. Tootles!