Myths about Australia: 10 stories – true or false?
It’s probably time to dispel a few myths about Australia, so that you are all prepared when you arrive here.
1. Drop bears don’t exist. They are merely a joke at the expense tourists, especially Americans.
2. If you’re American, don’t be offended by the above. Australians only like to play a joke on friends. That includes Americans. Feel honoured that you’ve been noticed!
3. Yes, a large proportion of the non-human population does try to eat you in Australia. But 25 million Australians (at last count) manage to survive OK, most without teeth marks.
4. Kangaroos don’t jump down the main street of cities. However, some water buffalo were encountered in the inner suburbs of Sydney this year.
5. Unfortunately the distance between Sydney and Melbourne is more than a short bus trip. It’s 876km. That’s more than the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Luckily you can fly between the two cities in about an hour, in the third busiest air corridor in the world by aircraft movements.
6. Similarly with The Outback. It’s at least a day’s drive from coastal cities. Further for the ‘real’ Outback. If you ever do get there (we can organise it), you can do things like see where films such as ‘Mad Max II’ and ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ were shot.
7. Vegemite is tasty. But you won’t think so if you smother it on your toast like peanut butter. It is meant to be enjoyed in small quantities, so a very light, gossamer film of the spread is quite sufficient.
8. We don’t throw shrimps on the barbie. We throw prawns, which is what we call shrimps. Paul Hogan used the word ‘shrimp’ so the American market would understand what he was talking about, if they could understand him at all!
9. On the subject of seafood, that’s what Moreton Bay Bugs and Balmain Bugs are. Crustaceans. Tasty crustaceans, like lobsters. They’re not bugs. So definitely try them when you visit.
10. Generally, Australian’s don’t drink Fosters. We manage to export most of it so we don’t have to drink it. We keep the nice stuff for ourselves. One of our favourites at the moment is Little Creatures Pale Ale.
11. Yes, many Australians are descended from criminals. The first European settlements consisted mainly of convicts sent out here to relieve the chronic prison overcrowding in Britian. The famous actor Jack Thomson, himself a descendent from convicts, calls them “Australian royalty”.
I hope this clears a few things up for you, and that you’ll now be up-to-speed for your arrival.