Australians are renowned for being plain talking and getting straight to the point. As an example, here are some of the classic questions that were asked of the Sydney Olympic Committee via their web site, and answers supplied where appropriate.

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: Upwards, out of the ground, like the person who asked this question, who themselves will need watering if their IQ drops any lower...

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends on how much beer you've consumed...

Q: Which direction should I drive - Perth to Darwin or Darwin to Perth - to avoid driving with the sun in my eyes? (Germany)
A: Excellent question, considering that the Olympics are being held in Sydney.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, so you'll need to have started about a year ago to get there in time for this October...

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: And accomplish what?

Q: It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of places to contact for a stuffed porpoise. (Italy)
A: I'm not touching this one...

Q: My client wants to take a steel pooper-scooper into Australia. Will you let her in? (South Africa)
A: Why? We do have toilet paper here...

Q: Are there any ATMs in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: This HAS to have been asked by a blonde...

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: What's this guy smoking, and where do I get some?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round?
A: Another blonde?

Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face North and you should be about right.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Americans have long had considerable trouble distinguishing between Austria and Australia.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)

Q: Are there places in Australia where you can make love outdoors? (Italy)
A: Yes. Outdoors.

I found a few additions to make to the aforementioned:

  • Will I be able to speak English in Australia? Sure, but you'd need to learn to speak it first.
  • I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
  • Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter gatherers. Milk is illegal.
  • What direction is north in Australia? Face south and turn 180 degrees.
  • Can I pick up my camper van in Auckland and drop it off in Darwin? Sure, take a ferry, change the registration plates from New Zealand to Australian, and find a way to calm down the people you rented it from when they hear where their vehicle has ended up.
  • I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
  • Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. Rattlesnakes live in A-ME-RI-CA which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
  • Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? Yes, gay nightclubs.
  • Can I bring cutlery into Australia? Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
  • Do you have perfume in Australia? No, we DON'T stink.
  • I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? Yes. You still have to pay her by the hour.
  • Can you give me some information on hippo racing in Australia? A-FRI-CA is the big triangle-shaped continent south of Europe. AU-STRA-LI-A is that big island in the middle of the Pacific, which does NOT have... oh, forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
  • Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? AU-STRI-A is that quaint little country bordering GER-MA-NY which is... oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys' Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Straight after the hippo racing.

  • Come naked.

    Edit 6 Sep 08: It isn't often you see kangaroos down the street in the majority of Australian cities and large towns (but it's true, we do occasionally get some hopping around here and there, usually just after dark), and it's even less often that you see another Australian symbol waddling around on the road, as nonchalant as you can get. The other day, I saw an echidna waddle across the road near where I was walking my dog. I hastily pulled Penny across the road to avoid it (didn't stop her straining to get a better look at that thing with the spikes), and watched it as it waddled up to the gutter, walked along it for a bit, then waddled up onto the nature strip. In fascination, I watched, but it didn't do anything else of interest, so I turned the corner and left the echidna to its business. Whatever it was.

    It was probably going to the hippo races, come to think of it.

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