Worldwide Q & A

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: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why bother? Use your fingers like the rest of us...

Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No. Everybody stinks.

Q: Do tents exist in Australia? (Germany)
A: Yes, but only in sporting supply stores, peoples' garages, and most national parks...

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

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: Yes. At Christmas.

Q: Can I drive to the Great Barrier Reef? (Germany)
A: Sure, if your vehicle is amphibious.

Q: Are there killer bees in Australia? (Germany)
A: Not yet, but we'll see what we can do when you get here.

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? (Germany)
A: Another blonde?

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: I love this one...there are no rattlesnakes in Australia.

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 developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: From Liz Taylor, perhaps?

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

Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

Olympic Advice for Visitors to Sydney

When in the water at Bondi, always be sure to wave enthusiastically to the lifeguard, so he'll know exactly where you are The tolls on the harbour bridge are voluntary. You should only contribute if the toll officer sings for you, or at the very least plays an instrument.

When visiting the top restaurant Rockpool, be sure to joke with Neil Perry about how he lost his Good Food Guide hats last year. Neil is very relaxed about it, and finds the jokes "hilarious".

It is traditional to bargain with Sydney taxi drivers over the fare.On no account pay what is on the meter, as this will be sure to cause offence.

Before attempting the traditional climb of the Opera House sails, always remove your shoes.

Money lost at the Star City Casino is refundable at the end of the night. Just have a word to one of the kindly security guards.

You'll find Kerry Packer's luxury yacht, Arctic P, moored in the harbour. Just clamber aboard, as Kerry loves surprises.

The Olympic "Clearway" lanes are kept completely clear of traffic so as to provide cheap parking.

The monorail is no longer in service. The metal track, though, is now available to American visitors for rollerblading, or simple sunbaking.

When surfing at Bondi, do not be surprised if a hooter sounds and the swimmers around you head for the shore. This is a local custom to allow our visitors to have uncrowded enjoyment of the waves.....and if you happen to have a shark appear - they are very tame and love to be patted on the nose.

Sydneysiders love to hear constructive feedback especially if given with our favourite accent: British. If you can think of any way to improve our city - perhaps in your country you've found a better way to do something - tell the Sydneysiders you meet in as much detail as you can. They'll thank you for it.

Tourists crossing the Harbour Bridge will be pleased to know that Bureau de Change offices are installed in all lanes, where you can change your home currency for Australian dollars. Feel free to haggle to get the best exchange rate.

Sydney has vibrant drinking houses and a lively tradition to match. Join in the fun by following a local custom - after every third drink, catch the eye of as many people as possible and call out loudly, "It's my shout!".

Parliament House is open to the public .....From the Public Gallery it is possible to see one of Australia's finest actors, Robert Carr, perform in the role of Abraham Lincoln.

If sunburnt while in Sydney. A good remedy is to sleep naked between fresh bed sheets, which have had a hand full of Bondi sand sprinkled liberally between them.

While bathing in the Harbour remember that any Jelly Blubbers you may swim into can be used to beef up your bra or sluggo size. These do-it-yourself beauty enhancements come in many different sizes and colours and are GST free.

Keep an eye out for one of the hundreds of delightful creatures that decorate our beautiful beaches, The Blue Bottle. You'll have hours of fun picking these creatures up by the tail and swinging overhead.

Visitors to Sydney will notice a unique road service provided to assist tourists: special sightseer lanes on the Harbour Bridge and elsewhere, marked B-U-S, which stands for Banned Unless Sightseeing.

Don't worry about getting to the station early - Sydney trains always run on time.

The 'T" lane means Tourist Lane, so that Tourists can stop on the Harbour Bridge to look at the Opera House.

Small silver scooters are ubiquitous throughout the city and are provided free by the State Transit Authority....just approach someone riding one and ask them firmly to give up the scooter...they may protest...but don't be put off. You may need to physically wrestle the scooter from the other rider.

Unless you have 'top cover' travel insurance, do not attempt to drive across the Harbour Bridge as the trip up and over the arch is extremely hazardous.

Should any visitors have any problems when travelling please call 9333 1000 where the large number of helpful staff will offer all advice and assistance.

Vegemite is a very mild flavoured chocolate for putting on bread. To fully appreciate it you should spread it at least 1 inch thick.

Most Australian families leave all their clothes at the front door (a bit like the Japanese do with their shoes). If you are invited to an Aussie's home, disrobe as soon as you enter the front door.

When a local says he's going to "shoot through" take it literally and run for your life.

If you want to see kangaroos, stand on George Street at 5.05 pm and yell "cooee" five times - reminding them to come out of their burrows under the Queen Victoria Building.

When visiting the Opera House - rows A to K are best for mobile phone reception and for flash photography....

The viewing windows from the Sydney Harbour Tunnel are open to the public outside peak hour. The best access is via the southbound tunnel: parking is provided at intervals along the tunnel.

Due to the huge number of international tourists visiting our city and touring around the countryside, the government has decided to temporarily amend the road rules. All tourists will be allowed to drive on the right side of the road until the end of the Olympics.

The locals at Bondi Beach have invented their own competition. So far Mark from Ireland has managed to consecutively hit 4 tennis balls directly onto the volleyball court from the beach. Anyone who beats this record will have their name recorded in the local newspaper's special Olympic edition......