As Australia is so remote, plenty of people from overseas have never visited our great big island in the south.
And as such the continent is a bit of a mystery to them — as shown by these legitimate questions asked of the Sydney Olympics committee on their website in the lead up to the event in 2000.
‘How long does it take to drive from Sydney to Singapore?’
Well, that depends how long you can hold your breath …
‘Which direction is north in Australia?’
Hoo boy. Where to begin.
‘Do they have tents in Australia?’
Alas, no. Us rugged, hard-as-nails types down under just sleep under the stars in the unforgiving climate. Harden up.
‘Can you run around in the bushes in Australia?’
This is actually kind of adorable. To think that you’d travel all that way to visit, and then just run around in some bushes. Really hope this question came from a toddler.
‘Do they have Christmas in Australia?’
No. Not usually. Because we are very badly behaved in Australia and Santa usually strikes us off his list.
‘Are there places in Australia where you can make love outdoors?’
This question came from an Italian – a fact that comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody. The answer is yes. A whopping 40 per cent of Australia is officially uninhabited. Go nuts.
‘I hear that all Australian women are beautiful. Is that true and if so, can you send me pictures of the available ones?’
Again, this came from an Italian. Full respect to him for getting on the front foot. Also charming that he thought somebody from the Sydney Olympic comms team would have nothing better to do than pull this database together for him.
‘Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow?’
Go and stand in the Docklands in Melbourne on any given day and have that question literally blown out of your mouth.
‘Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street?’
It’s bloody unlikely.
‘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?’
A day trip! Between Perth and Darwin! Oh that *is* cute. The sun in your eyes is the least of your problems.
‘Are there any ATMs in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay?’
You really do get the sense that everyone overseas thinks Australia is so quiet and slow that nobody has anything else to do but drop everything and do some rigorous research on these questions, as soon as they arrive on the bush telegraph.
‘Do you have cutlery in Australia, or should we bring our own?’
We still eat with our hands. BYO cutlery.
‘I want to go swimming at Bondi Beach on October 20th. Will I turn blue?’
This question came from a Brit. In answer to the question, you won’t turn blue … but you will most likely end up drunk and on Bondi Rescue. So wear your best board shorts.
This article originally appeared on Escape and was reproduced with permission