1. For foreigners, Don’t Tip! In Australia it’s not regular practice to tip, and that’s due to our generous wages. No doubt many tourists would have discovered this already, but please don’t waste your money tipping, as I and all of Australia would hate to see an expensive trend start.
2. Be in Brisbane for the weekend of January 16th-18th. On Friday you can see Japan take on Iraq, and the following night witness Australia vs Korea Republic. This is as good as the Asian Cup will offer in the Group Stage.
3. Buy tickets to another Asian Cup game. They’re so cheap, FFA is almost giving them away. If the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar had a depressing off field theme, it was the excess of empty seats. It’s hoped Australia can delete those scenes from Asian Cup memories.
4. Don’t catch the train from Sydney Airport to Sydney itself. It’s outrageously expensive. If possible catch a taxi with friends to your accommodation. Taxis are also expensive but you can split the cost among friends or fellow travellers.
5. When in Sydney visit the Queen Victoria Building. To do this you can take a train to Town Hall station, and the majority of exits from the station place you right there in the building. There’s shopping, coffee, sushi and more. Oh, and it’s a really cool old building with a unique timber constructed elevator.
6. Hire a car. If you arrive in Sydney and want to catch the Japan vs Palestine match in Newcastle, I recommend this option over the train trip. We don’t have Shinkansen or fast trains, and the Country Link train ride from Strathfield Station to Newcastle is certainly not cosy.
By hiring a car you’ll have the chance to stop off at Gosford on the way to Newcastle. And despite my constant niggling of the Central Coast Mariners and Gosford in general, it’s actually a great little holiday town.
7. Please don’t be offended when customer service staff in shops throughout the country ignore you. This happens to everyone, local or visitor. Unfortunately in Australia the customer is only a distraction to store staff’s conversations and social media activity.
8. Take in the Western Sydney Wanderers home game at Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium on January 6th. There is no other team that can match Wanderers for whole crowd participation. You can take a train to Parramatta station and the ground is just a ten minute walk from there. Mind you, you’ll probably have to buy tickets at the away supporters end.
9. Once again,when in Sydney (excuse me but I’m local) be sure to take a train to Circular Quay Station. Yes, I am biased, but there is no better ‘get off’ location in the world for a train station. I know this will spark debate, so please feel free to send all correspondence to my twitter account lewdub@NaoetsuCafe.
10. If you visit any Australian beaches, please take care. Unfortunately many locals and tourists have lost their lives in the surf. Our beaches are beautiful, but they’re also Dangerous.
10.5 If you’re going to bet on the Asian Cup, don’t bet on Australia. The Asian Cup could not have arrived at a more ill timed period in Australian soccer history. A spate of big name retirements, injuries to key youngsters, and a poorly timed systemic overhaul have all but scuppered the chances of the home team.
Good luck, and enjoy the lucky country.