Young Asian tourists checking a map

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It may not be obvious but this is quite a humorous sight. A couple of young Asian tourists are spreading their own map on a bottom of a metal poster board at Martin Place and searching intensely for some location. The humour here is the fact that that poster board contains a map of Sydney, which they could clearly see if they just stood up.

Admittedly Sydney is not all that tourist friendly.  We had a number of overseas visitors staying with us over the years. On many occasions our guests would venture by themselves to explore Sydney and returned very frustrated. Most of them complained about poor street signage. Also Australian road signs do not conform to the international ones and relay heavily on written words instead of symbols.

Since not every tourist speaks English this actually is quite a problem and may represent serious road risk. Just compare Australian no standing and no parking signs to European ones, or better yet “no through road” sign. Not convinced? Try the words “School zone” it means nothing to a foreigner – it should be accompanied by a school zone symbol.

Back to our couple, after squatting there for 10 minutes or so they finally found what they were looking for … Martin Place fountain, which was in their view all the time.