The All-Around-The-F1-World Guide to...
...with Mark Webber (and a lot of cliches)
Melbourne: Capital of Victoria
Population: 3.2 million (ex. 'Roos)
Area: 7,280 square kilometres
Main language: Strine
Many Australians are republicans but most still swear allegiance to their queen, Kylie Minogue.
The National Anthem (composed by Men At Work) is a tune called A Land Down Under which includes cultural references to 'chundering', (the Australian skill of getting rid of all that poisonous beer by being violently sick) and 'Vegemite' (a vegetable spread that is illegal on the grounds of bad taste in most civilized countries). Australian rock has recently seen a resurgence with the likes of Jet, The Vines and Wolfmother -- but Queen Kylie still reigns supreme.
Mark's tip for Seb: "Try listening to Kylie mate -- she's better than stars popular in Germany, like Scorpions or David Hasselhoff."
Sport and Leisure
Important Note: In Melbourne sport is not a leisure pursuit it's a serious job, even if you're just a spectator. Pulling a sickie if you've got your hands on tickets for the grand prix, the Australian Open or the Melbourne Cup is a right written into the Constitution. An additional day off to recover from a hangover is a given. Leisure often involves paddling out into treacherous seas before trying to get back to shore by standing on a narrow piece of fibreglass, hoping not to fall into shark-infested waters.
Mark's tip for Seb: "Surfing mate. Give it a try. Nothing can go wrong... and, if you've got a spare year, I'll explain the rules of cricket to you."
Barbecuing is very popular, as the Australian male believes that cooking food outdoors on hot coal is a valuable contribution to housework, which is otherwise left to the wife. Aussie men are obsessed with barbecues; it's a male bonding thing -- all men stay down one end of the garden and the women at the other. Line you are most likely to hear men say: "I'm bloody good at barbecuing, but don't ask me for any recipes, as that's the woman's job." Line you are least likely to hear men say: "I think those sausages need a touch more sage, don't you?"
Mark's tip for Seb: "It's very important to grill food at a barbecue. No-one will ever come round to your place if you say: 'Let's go and boil sausages and cabbage in a big pan in the garden'."
Australia has given the world strange stuff to put on its head and on its feet. The police hats look as though they've been flattened against a wall, which is handy if they ever want to sleep on-duty, while the all-time Aussie favourite, the hat-with-corks-hanging-off-the-brim-on-some-string are an endanged species after the Aussies invented the screwtop wine bottle. If the locals are bothered by flies, they just use what they call 'The Aussie Wave', which involves flapping your hand in front of your face.
Mark's tip for Seb: "Thongs mate, you Europeans are crazy - you wear them on your feet, not on your bum."
Mark Webber's Awesome Aussie Days Out:
* Walk The Sydney Harbour Bridge
* Go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef
* Visit Tasmania
* Watch a Test match (that's international cricket...) at the MGC (that's Melbourne Cricket Ground...)
Aussie medical care is great if you need treatment for snake bites, sand fly rash, shark bites, funnel web spider attack wounds, heat stroke or have crashed into a kangaroo on the Great Ocean Road. The average life expectancy for men is 79 years and for women it's 84 years, providing, of course you never go into the Great Outdoors... or hit a kangaroo on the Great Ocean Road.
Mark's tip for Seb: "This is a great city to have a broken leg fixed mate."
Culture, Education, Religion and Philosophy
In Australia, these concepts are best summed up in this joke:
Sheila walked into the kitchen to find Bruce walking around with a fly
"What are you doing?"
"Yep, three males, two females,"
"How can you tell them apart?"
"Three were on a beer can, two were on the phone."
Mark Webber's Awesome Aussie Fact:
Mark knows a few Australian Bruces but no Aussie Sheilas!
-credit: red bull