Eurotrashed Aussies almost as bad as plastered Poms
It was the incident that gave flaming sambuca a whole new meaning, turned a young Greek woman into a national heroine and shone an embarrassing spotlight on Britain’s yob culture.
Stuart Feltham, a 20-year-old from outside London, had his genitals set on fire after allegedly dropping his trousers during a boozy night out at a bar in Crete.
Marina Fanouraki, a 26-year-old Greek tourist, admits having soaked Feltham with sambuca in retaliation for having her legs and breasts “forcefully fondled” by him, but denies that she purposely set him alight.
As he waits for his eye-watering injuries to heal, an upcoming trial will try to determine whose cigarette lighter – hers or his - actually sent Feltham’s crotch up in flames.
Whatever the outcome of the case, the incident has ignited a bonfire of resentment in Europe where Fanouraki is being hailed by some as a martyr for striking back at the lager louts.
Locals at popular holiday destinations appear to have finally had a gut full of drunken holidaymakers – particularly the British but as I’ll point out below, increasingly Australians - using their neighbourhoods as vomitoriums.
This summer a British man narrowly escaped being lynched on a Turkish island after mooning a boatload of local women. A group of 17 men who dressed as nuns for a buck’s party were chucked out of Crete for exposing themselves to locals.
The mayor of Riga has created a special police unit to crack down on groups of British men “pissing about” in the Latvian capital. Apparently it has become a trend among the brainless to climb up and urinate on Riga’s Freedom Monument, a memorial to the men and women who died fighting for Latvia’s independence.
Some of the latest idiots to be plucked from the monument include a Scotsman determined to show the locals what he wasn’t wearing under his kilt and a Kiwi in a Borat-style lime-green ‘mankini’.
One of the mayor’s staff appears to have been unaware he was stating the bleeding obvious when he observed that “the British don’t appear to be interested in Latvian culture at all”.
But before getting carried away with the Pommy-bashing – as fun as it is - I would point out that Australia is gaining a similar shameful reputation.
The only noticeable difference between young Australians in Europe and young Brits is that the Aussies are fascinated by cultural events – in so much as they provide a stage to turn up in droves and get drunk and obnoxious.
Over the past few years the Contiki Tour set and the yellow tshirt-wearing Fanatics, along with the work-a-year Aussies from London, have become a major force at Europe’s big cultural events like the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Valencia’s La Tomatina and the Palio di Siena horse race in Italy.
There was a time when you’d do a double take at the TV if an Australian had been gored by a bull in Pamplona. Now I look out for the guys running in boardshorts and no top – often a pair of sunnies on the head – and see if I can recognise them.
They are part of the same crowd whose beer-soaked revelry in 2005 ruined the dawn service at Gallipoli, which is another must on the drinker’s itinerary of Europe. My mate Chris Davitt, an Australian who took his visiting sisters to two events and returned to London shaking his head in disbelief at the behaviour of his countrymen both times, thinks the same.
I got him to write down a bit of what he saw at last week’s Palio di Siena:
A group of five Aussies pushed past and basically fell down between a bunch of Italian schoolgirls and a French family with three kids, splitting the family in two for the rest of the day. They’d had a skinfull and were nauseatingly earbashing a Californian couple about what it’s like ‘In Australia …’ using broken English (even after it was pointed out that they do actually speak English in the United States).
An Australian girl who’d been watching from nearby came over, politely introduced herself and pointed out that it’s highly disrespectful to be wearing the scarves of the contrade as bandanas and that they were attracting a lot of unfriendly attention from the locals who take the race seriously.
She was dismissed for not drinking and when they later noticed she was actually enjoying a quiet drop of red, for not getting any sex.
After the third time the schoolgirls were spilled with beer, some of the less pissed members of the group finally took notice of the frowns that were being directed their way and whispered that perhaps they should move. ‘Calm down, I’ve been to festivals before, it’s what happens’, one bloke said.
Yeah but what he didn’t get was that this might not have been Carols by Candle Light but it wasn’t the Big Day Out either .
A warning, perhaps, that we don’t need to take up every British pursuit and try to perfect it.
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