Here's a collection of questions that have been asked and some answers for them:
Do they speak English in Australia ? Ke, no comprendi, apa kabar!
Yes, certainly they/we do. It is the main language and the reason is due to the fact that the first Europeans to settle the continent were the British.
We are a rather diverse culture and now there are many languages spoken within Australia, however English is still the main one, although there is no guarantee anyone can speak it well.
Some people will even speak American, Canadian and New Zealandian.
Now this one is for the people we see on Border Security;
Can you get food in Australia? Yes, you can pretty much buy anything you like to eat and drink in Australia. We have many thriving communities of other cultures and you do not need to pack the entire contents of your pantry and aunty's almost cooked pork bellies. It is illegal to bring these foods into Australia. You can get it here and it will just make your luggage smell if it leaks.
How do you find Australia?
Take a left hand turn when you get to New Zealand.
Here are some of the really funny questions asked of the Sydney Olympic Committee via their website, and my answers to them (humour intended)
From the USA: Which direction is north in Australia?
Pretty much the same direction north would be anywhere in the world.
From Sweden: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia?
Apart from watching out for snakes, spiders and cane toads, why are you wanting to run around the bushes?
From Germany: Do tents exist in Australia?
They are not naturally occurring in the bushlands, however you can buy them and they may be found in camping grounds Australia wide. They can also be purchased from camping stores.
From France: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia?
We certainly do, generally on December 25th, like most countries around the world.
From Italy: Are there places in Australia where you can make love outdoors?
Pretty much, yes. However there are laws against being naked in public and the Australian sun can be fierce, you had better watch out which bits of you get sunburnt.
From The USA: Will I be able to speak English most places I go?
Yes, but you may need to practice as we do not all speak American.
From Italy: I hear that all Australian women are beautiful. Is that true and if so, can you send me pictures of the available ones?
Absolutely, I've never seen an unattractive Aussie woman yet, of course this is subjective to your tastes and style.
From Germany: I want to go swimming at Bondi Beach on October 20th. Will I turn blue?
It depends if the larrikins have been playing with the condy crystals again.
From The UK: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow?
Most of our TVs are indoors and do not get wet. We have the plants all specially trucked in with a water compound planted at the base. (*sigh*)
From The USA: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street?
It depends where you are located. If you are in the streets of the sanctuaries, the zoos and the outback and way beyond known civilisation, it is possible. In the main cities, probably not likely.
From Germany: I plan to take some day trips during the Olympics. Which direction should I drive – Perth to Darwin or Darwin to Perth – to avoid driving with the sun in my eyes?
These distances are huge, however travelling by night only should solve the problem. As you mention day trips, this would comprise around 7 of them to get to each location.
From The UK: Are there any ATMs in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay?
Sure, we'll get someone on to that. Due to the number involved we should have the list completed in around a year or two.
From Portugal: Where can I learn underwater welding in Australia?
I'm stuck on this one, any suggestions, someone must do it?
From The UK: Can I bring cutlery into Australia?
We have plenty, as well as straws, chopsticks and skewers.
If you are an Australian - I hope this made you smile. If you are visiting from overseas, we are a first world country, much of what we have is the same as many other countries. Although, our land is huge; look at a map in comparison to other countries to get an idea of the size. Take plenty of water and get your car checked well before embarking on any long road trips over distant areas.
We do have some deadly animals, so make sure you learn about what to do if anything should happen, as a simple bottle of vinegar can save your life in some places. Relax and enjoy your trip.
Great article Lesley, reminded me of my days when I worked in a fruit shop in Sydney that hired a lot of overseas back packers. We were always messing with their heads. One of the more naive girls once asked me why I didn't ride my kangaroo to work? With as straight a face as I could manage I responded with yeah I did, it's parked round the back with the rest of the 'roos, then burst out laughing. Thank god our boss was a great man who didn't mind the occasional hysterical laughter on the checkout. Fair dinkum mate!