Welcome to Australia!

UnknownAustralians are a hospitable lot.

Provided you have entered the country legally, and did bring your own money. Australians do not like taxpayer-funded illegal tourists anymore than they like paying tax itself. But if you are a self-funded tourist: Welcome to Australia!

Upon arrival, Australians will – with a sense of smugness – quite happily warn their guests of all possible dangers present, like sharks. And then in the same breath, add “You’ll be ‘right. No worries. There has not been a deadly shark attack in these waters in 5 years”. As if the knowledge that one is due any moment somehow lessens your morbid fear of being eaten alive. You almost instantly feel your limbs urge you to ask: And what about non-deadly attacks?

In Australia even the most seasoned traveller is often caught out. This is simply because they might have been to many places, but not Australia. Things are different here. However, Australian advice is not always followed. And so they find out the hard way.

Tourists freeze their backsides off while visiting the Australian Outback. They think a desert equals hot, therefore no warm clothes or blankets are necessary. Unfortunately, they missed the paragraph in the Lonely Planet where it says the temperature can drop from a hot 40 degrees in the day to freezing at night. Being hospitalised with hypothermia is not a cool story to tell your mates back home over a beer.

Another classic is to underestimate the sun “because I have been to hot sunny countries before and never use sunscreen”. Well mate, your choice to look like a lobster on the second day of your holiday. And they all do.

Each year many tourists almost drown (and some actually do) because they underestimate the power of the oceans, which are as unforgiving as the land they surround. With a free (or final) lesson they quickly learn that the Pacific or Indian Ocean is not the Mediterranean. It actually has currents and freak waves. Watching a tourist trying not to drown has become so popular, they made a TV program about it: Bondi Rescue.

Also, when you have a sign saying: “Danger, Crocodiles inhabit this area. Do not swim.” is not meant in any ambiguous way. It actually means: “Danger, Crocodiles inhabit this area. Do not swim.” Still every year, people ignore these signs and get eaten. Mostly German tourists for some reason. Unlike some people, crocs for some inexplicable reason love Germans. So much so that in the tropical North they had to put up signs with the German word for warning, “Achtung!” Just in case the German tourist would have trouble understanding the picture of a crocodile and a swimmer with a big cross through it. Ignoring this last piece of advice will probably leave you with no story to tell at the pub at all.

So if an Australian offers you advice, take it.

Except when he advises you to go jump into a lake. That is Aussie slang for you to get lost.

Not every Australian is hospitable. And not everyone is that welcome.

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7 responses to “Welcome to Australia!

  1. Your posts about the beautiful Australia makes me so eager to visit.l have couple friends live in Australia . Taxes what separate the developed countries and the 3rd.world.Thank you for liking my post ( Who is your God…) Sincerely jalal Michael

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