Here is an absolute gem from my archives... enjoy!
On my recent trip to the US, I had some problems paying by credit card at a Budget Rent-A-Car office when the lady behind the counter tried to record Australia as somewhere near California - or was it Canada? And in Philadelphia we were accosted by some really friendly ladies in the street who wanted to know about Crocodile Dundee, Steve Irvin and kept shouting "Throw another shrimp on the barbie."
Whilst everyone "had always wanted to go to Australia" they wondered things like "was it far" and "could I drive". Remarkably in New York many people from the Caribbean wanted to talk about cricket - this was before the Poms gave us a belting.
So it was with great interest that I read this great article about what people want to know before they come to Australia.With all the problems associated with getting Visa's into the US - people like Russell Crowe are having some problems since they started throwing phones at poor hotel clerks, I thought it might be a good time to have a look at the type of people trying to get into Australia.
Apparently the questions below about Australia are from potential visitors. They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a sense of humour.
Q. Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.
Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger -man-y, which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? ( UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?
Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.
Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
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)
A: 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.
Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.
Q: 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? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour. Come naked.
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.
So there you go... Australia is the place to visit!!
- Wayne Mansfield