Why is Sydney disappointing to tourists

Sydney: Don't ever come out as a tourist in Australia!

“Loadoffroooodwöörk!” Shouts the gray-haired Australian, gesticulating wildly on the campsite. Next to my husband is an elderly Australian pensioner, barely teeth, wearing an undershirt and shorts. He talks to him. “Loadoffroooodwöörk!” He repeats, and laughs out loud. My husband grins crookedly - and doesn't understand a word.

You never stay alone for long in Australia. Even if the travel portals of this world claim that you can experience glowing red sunsets in complete solitude Down Under, and only the jumping noises of the kangaroos would break the epic silence - then they keep one thing silent: there is always a chattering Australian somewhere.

Really, I'm not exaggerating. Australians love to talk. Whether the saleswoman in the surf shop, the man on the train whose umbrella I just kept from falling over, or the fitness trainer, in front of whom I stand red-hot and gasping for breath - everyone just wants to chat all the time. There is also no stopping at tourists.

Don't come out as a tourist!

It usually starts harmlessly, a polite "Hello" is followed by a flowing "How are you?" But in contrast to the Americans, who often only ask the question as an empty phrase, the Australians ask for an answer. How many times have I tried a little nod or a smile! Nothing. The question is not whether the other person answers, but how. If you answer with “not bad” or “good”, you signal to the Australian: buddy, I'm one of the people here.

On the other hand, if you answer “fine”, you reveal yourself. Because “fine” is what only tourists say. And it triggers a storm of questions: Where are you from? Hhow long are you staying? Why are you here? Do you like it? Why don't you stay forever

This chatter drove me crazy, especially in the first few days. Not only did I have to keep praying my biography when buying a bikini, eating sushi and even in the ladies' bathroom. No, I often just didn't understand the hearty Australian English of my counterpart.

Smile, nod, sweat

It was particularly bad with an Australian work colleague. A man in his mid-fifties, huge, a little plump, gray hair, glasses. He had a really nasty dialect. Something rural, or outback. Because he reported on horse auctions, I always called him the "horse man". Because I didn't even understand his name. None of the Europeans in my office had that.

Every day when he came to work he would greet me personally (which I took from my name at the end of the sentence) and probably ask how I was doing. It got really bad when he got into a chatty mood. Even if it repeated itself three times, I could not follow it. So I always nodded politely. After a few minutes of smiling, nodding and sweating, he usually let me go again. In three months we never got beyond three nick dialogues.

Over time, I got used to the Australians' chattering addiction. After a few weeks, I was up to it: Suddenly, I was the one who was preventing others in the office kitchen from working. How was your Sunday? Haven't you been to New Zealand? What is the family doing?