Say ‘Australia’ to me and I think not of great swathes of golden beaches, fascinating flora and fauna and modern infrastructure and an economy the leaders of most nations west of New Delhi would give their high teeth for. My mind is instantly drawn to a once fearsome sporting enemy, Donk from Crocodile Dundee and that classic Simpsons episode from where this blog’s title derives. This mildly xenophobic pastiche of Oz culture, among other things, gave rise to one of the most popular soliloquies quoted among peer groups in pubs across the land….

The Simpsons, Bart vs Australia

Souvenir Shop Owner: [sweeping a bunch of toads out] Get out, get out! Shoo, shoo. Get out of here, yuck! These bloody things are everywhere. They’re in the lift, in the lorry, in the bond wizard, and all over the malonga gilderchuck.

Clerk: They’re like kangaroos, but they’re reptiles, they is.

Marge: We have them in America. They’re called bullfrogs.

Clerk: What? That’s an odd name. I’d have called them “chazzwazzers”.*

I’ve always been dead scared of frogs. For ever since I can remember, these ungainly amphibians have always struck the same fear in me that spiders, stupid little dogs or cherry tomatoes do in others. The purpose of this blog isn’t a “Man Conquers Phobia, Read All About It: An Inspirational Story for Our Times” type effort. I’ve absolutely no intention at all in going anywhere near the slippery little beasts, let alone accompanying in them in a quick corroboree. I just needed a distinctive title for my travel blog….

Anyway, the self-styled Lucky Country is where the mainstay of my travelling is taking place. I’ve never been there before, save for a couple of short stops at Sydney and Brisbane airports, and am looking forward to seeing for myself this remarkable land. Prior to Australia I’ll be touring India for five weeks, then after an extended festive season in Oz, I’ll be heading over the water to New Zealand to complete my Antipodean Adventure. India and New Zealand I’ve had the privilege of visiting before. However due to my second early midlife crisis and the overwhelming yearning to sit on my arse all day in the sun following the fortunes of my country’s cricket team, I’m going to visit them again.

Please feel free to join me on an epic journey that, in all honesty, promises not to include any kind of real cultural insight, spiritual enlightenment or, heaven forbid, anything remotely froggy. It will, however, keep you up to date with the irreverent ramblings of a wide-eyed yet worldweary thirty-something in a global quest to regain the lust for life and confidence a decade in the banking industry knocks out of you. It should be, could be, almost epic. Welcome aboard.

*Script courtesy of simpsons.wikia.com and, by implication, Matt Groening and the team. Keep up the good work chaps.

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