Lost in Translation

This week Victor came back from his annual trip to Japan.  This is a picture he took there.  I’ve added a caption that is much less rude than what his response was.  You are welcome.

And in vaguely-related news, I’m off to Australia tonight because I’m bad at saying no to things, and because you’re not supposed to turn down trips to Australia simply because you have a terrifying fear of travel, and of change, and of death, and getting chlamydia from koalas.  That’s a real thing, you know.  Koalas have chlamydia.  They’re just dripping with it apparently.  Or possibly it’s the fear talking.  All I know is that some koalas have chlamydia and I drunkenly told Australia that I wanted to hold one while dressed as one.  And then the park that lets you hold koalas told me that I had to submit a picture of me in my koala costume first because they have to protect the koalas from being distressed, so now I’m being judged by a bunch of koalas who probably have VD.  I think I might have hit a new low and I haven’t even left the country.

PS. I’ll still be posting stuff while I’m gone, but if you want to keep up with my Australian VD adventures you can go here.

PPS.  I assume Australia is regretting this already.  Sorry, Australia.  Sorry, koalas.  Not your fault.  You can’t take me anywhere.

193 thoughts on “Lost in Translation

Read comments below or add one.

  1. step away from the ledge, you are going to be fine, it will be a fantastic trip and you will have bags of fun! all the best in your travels.

  2. Koalas are the least of your worries. CROCODILES. They’re all over the place. I wouldn’t be surprised if while you’re taking a photo with a koala, its crocodile friend will photobomb you. And then sit down for a snack!

  3. So jealous, although I didn’t know about the koala VD thing. I wrote a romance novel set in Australia, even though I’ve never been. Maybe no one will notice. I figure, hey, I’ve been to Outback Steakhouse, I got this. Put that jumbuck in your tucker bag! And stuff…

  4. Don’t worry. The only koalas with chlamydia are the ones who are into hot soup from behind. The less kinky ones are rather harmless, or so I’ve heard.

  5. So you’ll share this picture of you dressed as a koala with AUSTRALIA, but not with us? So not cool, Jenny.

    Have fun!

  6. Australia is very excited to have you coming to visit. Or it’s just me. One of those.

  7. Ooo, just THINK of all the cool creatures you’ll encounter in Australia! Koalas, platypus, kangaroos, echidna, sugar gliders….

  8. “I think I might have hit a new low”

    ^^I think you spelled “new high” incorrectly up there.

    You’ll be fine. Well, first you’ll be absolutely terrified, but then you’ll get there and have tons of fun and tell us all about how you were worried for nothing and it was the best trip ever.

  9. Chlamydia from a koala is the cutest way to get chlamydia, IMO. I’d say it’s better than Deep Vein Thrombosis from a didgeridoo. I could be wrong.

  10. I bet Paul Hogan has more STD’s than all of the Koalas in Australia. I don’t know this for sure, but don’t have sex with Paul Hogan.

  11. That sounds awesome. And terrifying. And chlamydia-ish.

    Good luck! I hope you don’t come back with any new diseases!

  12. When you go to hold the koala, ask for a female. The male has a scent pad in his chest, and you’ll be very attractive to female koalas after holding him. (Yes, I speak from experience.)

    Have a wonderful time!

  13. I am glad I have no hot soup in my behind. Just fat. Envious of Australia. I have a friend there and she says as long as you don’t do anything stupid, you won’t get hurt. Watch out for the black widows.

  14. It’s almost tomorrow in Australia already, so don’t worry, the catastrophes you were worried about, already didn’t happen.


  15. I was also just in Japan and meant to take a photo of a Lawson’s convenience store and send it to you and somehow never got around to it, but I guess if Victor takes an annual trip to Japan, you already know all about it.

    Hug a wombat for me. The heck with those koalas, koalas get all the publicity.

  16. Maybe you can wear rubber gloves while dressed as a koala and holding a koala? It’s only a teeny bit stranger after all.

    Have fun!

  17. Well you’re just lucky you’re not going to Florida. They have feral herpes-infested monkeys there now. Very bitey one. So YAY for chlamydia koalas, I say.

  18. You’ll love Australia! Best country in the world. I know because I’m from there and I’m not biased at all!

    The only koalas with chlamydia are the drop bears. Watch out for drop bears.

  19. Where oh where is the picture of you in your koala suit? I am hoping that your trip is as wonderful as you are.

  20. If you find yourself in Brisbane make sure you go to Black Milk Cothing’s shop and/or HQ! They make the most awesome clothing, including Dr.Who, Star Wars, LOTR, and Harry Potter themed goods…with and Adventure Time and Game if Thrones release in the future! It’s one if my favorite clothing companies ever!

  21. Australia is AWESOME! I have claustrophobia and I will admit the flight is hard. Just hunker down and bring plenty of movies and books on your iPad. BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT!! You end up in AUSTRALIA! You’re going to love it!

  22. I’m jealous. I just have one question about your to do list: are you going to be dressed as Priscilla, or are the camels? 😉

  23. The Land Down Under will never be the same….
    I bet Victor enjoyed his hot…. soup after being away.
    Hot soup keeps a marriage alive.

  24. Sounds like that would be uncomfortable. The Behind Soup, that is, although cute, cuddly koala chlamydia can’t be comfortable either. But now that you worried, smile. You are awesome, Australia will be lucky to have you around. Also, I hear rumors of a restaurant that has the southern hemisphere’s second largest playable guitar.

  25. I should have known better than to read this while drinking coffee – nothing like snorting hot coffee to start your morning! Safe travels & don’t let those judgy VD -laden koalas get you down. I’m sure any dirty looks they give you are just because they wish they looked as good in koala fur as you do!

  26. You can go scuba diving to find Nemo.
    Visit museums to see how they stuff em down under.
    Talk a 115 year old aboriginal shaman into teaching you how to moon walk in a dream walk.
    Oh, the blonds you’ll meet!

  27. Skip the koalas and visit the wombats. They’re totally a thing and cute and VD-free! Wins for everyone.

    Have a great trip, and if you partake in Soup from Behind somewhere along the way, please give us a review.

  28. i’m not going to tell you what i know about australia. but koalas are so damn cute. just wear, you know. gloves and maybe a dental dam when holding them.

  29. The thing you really have to avoid in Australia is chasing kangaroos. We know a guy whose student visa was revoked and he was deported from Australia because he was behaving inappropriately towards the wildlife.

  30. The VD shows your age. They are called STD, at least that’s what they are called when the koalas give them to you.
    What a great trip! Be sure to ask for the oldest, most impotent koala.
    If you get soup from behind, that would be a huge YouTube hit!

  31. Being a Phineas and Ferb fan (umm… I mean since my KIDS are Phineas and Ferb fans… yeah…), I’d ask to take a picture of a platypus in a fedora. Of course, that leaves it open as to whether I wanted to wear a fedora or whether I wanted the platypus to wear one. Either one is good. Fedoras are cool (just like fezes).

  32. Do a google image search of quokkas, which are native to Australia. They are practically guaranteed to make you feel less anxious. You’re welcome.

  33. You know you you refer to a certain part of the female anatomy as the lady garden? Well, I don’t know why but the “hot soup in behind” makes me think of calling the whole area soup & salad.

  34. Remember in sixth grade when koalas were all the rage? All the girls loved them? They were on Lisa Frank folders and people wore little clip-on koalas on their jean jackets? Who knew they were dripping with disease???

  35. I hear the soup in the front has more protein, but that’s just a rumor.

    Have fun in Australia. Bring home some stuffed dead animals and blog about it.

  36. Between Koalas with the clap and face cancer Tasmanian devils, the Australia of my childhood imagination is slowly turning into a horror show.

  37. The VD Koalas will make for more thrilling adventure.

    I’m wondering, how are you going to find a camel who’s dressed as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, to stalk? That seems a little like a needle in a haystack. Or, maybe, all of the camels dress in drag, so it wont be that hard? Australia is truly a strange place.

  38. I want to see the pic of you in a koala suit holding a koala! Did you ask if you could wear your wolf suit while holding a koala? I figure you will probably have it on the plane as a snuggie anyway. Have a great trip!

  39. Just promise yourself that even if you happen to have one anxiety attack or anything like that, you will push through it, accept that it happened, and do not let it ruin your trip. This is advice I haven’t seemed to apply to my regular life, but can do on trips. I spent most of a month in Indonesia unable to breathe properly, thinking it was asthma on a level I had never experienced (it was actually my malaria medicine trying to kill me, but I didn’t find that out until 3 weeks after I got back). The trip was still AMAZING, and the only activities I missed out on was a hike to a leech-laden waterfall, hanging out at the beach, and maybe a few dinners out. On a trip to Greece- my suitcase was destroyed on the way there (contents were fine, just had a GIANT hole ripped in it and I got a free one from the airline-sometimes it pays to complain), the US Embassy was bombed a few blocks from where I was staying while we were in Athens, I got left by group one day and had to wander around Athens by myself to catch up, and my wallet was stolen on a bus- it was the funnest trip I’ve ever been on. I do not wish to create more reasons for you to freak out, just know that yes, shit can happen, but that doesn’t mean it will be a shitty trip. Just try your hardest to have as many good experiences as you can, enjoy your travel companions, do silly things, and use your sense of humor to deal with anything less than pleasant. Also, maybe you should bring me along since I seem to absorb all the bad luck on group trips 😉 Have a great trip and come back with amazing stories!

  40. Sushi bars really shouldn’t be giving any sort of enemas. That’s my vote.

    Try not to get overwhelmed by the hot accents in Australia. 😉 Last time my friend from Melbourne visited here (MN) all my friends swooned. Seriously.

  41. I was really hoping for a “The dingo ayte my BAYBEE!” before you left, but maybe you could send us a vlog with that while you’re there? Holding a dingo while you say it? They all wear condoms, so no chlamydia-infested dingos that I’m aware of.
    Have a riot! Or, maybe cause one?

  42. Nevermind the koalas, if you’re in Australia you must find a platypus! They can only be found in their native country, nowhere else evidently, and they are a bunch of random leftover parts in one animal! Plus, I think they’re VD-free.
    Safe travels!

  43. Hey I held a koala once…luckily I made it out of there chlamydia free!
    have fun!!!!!

  44. I don’t suppose you’ll be able to find a stuffed koala wearing a bush hat???? you might have to settle for the toy version.

    Lucky you! I’d say yes to Australia, if Australia asked…

  45. I was going to direct you to
    Gopher Hole Museum?
    208 1 St S
    Torrington, AB T0M 2B0, Canada
    +1 403-631-2133

    But Eric beat me to it. Curse you, Eric!

  46. What are you planning on DOING with the koalas?? They’re called VENEREAL diseases for a reason. So, keep the contact to sitting-room-polite and I think you’re good.

  47. You’ll be fine, I lived my whole life (29 years) up until this year in Australia and I hardly died at all. I’m living in Germany now which is probably a good thing for you, as I’d be tempted to dress up as a koala wearing a “VD-Free” t-shirt and try to get in a photo with you… Have fun!
    P.S. Koalas sound weird, just a heads-up.

  48. Good rule of thumb to never drunkenly promise anyone ANYTHING. 😉

    I don’t speak Australian except for the thing where you say “raise up lights”…and that translates to “razor blades” in Australia, and everyone has a laugh. But I’m not sure why you’d need to know that, unless you’re shaving koalas while you’re there?

    Have a safe trip, and tell yourself what I tell myself whenever I fly. This pilot does this for a living. Every damn day. It’s like driving a FREAKING BUS for him. Then I read a book that requires my full attention, straight-through until we land, and mentally say “BRAVO” to him when we touch down. Vodka helps, too…

  49. Did you know that your Neil Gaiman Amazon book review just made it to Least Helpful (http://leasthelpful.com/)? I read Least Helpful every day after I read thebloggess, so it was weird to hear from you twice in one day. Stop doing that. Have fun down under. In Australia, I mean.

  50. I hope you are also visiting their wine countries and not just get a disease. Unless it’s liver disease and that’s okay

  51. C’mon, Koalas? I was BORN here, lived here my WHOLE FUCKING life, never even seen a Koala in the wild! Only ones I’ve seen are in a wildlife park, off their faces on eucalypt leaves! I’d be more worried about possible Wolf Creek scenarios myself…..

  52. Dear Jenny – about Australia: Australia took my aunt. Sort of. She went to New Guinea as a missionary in 1950 and fell in love with another missionary and they got married and had babies. When the babies got old enough to need schools, they returned Australia, my uncle’s home. They visited the US in 1962, but missionaries don’t make much money so they never came here again. About 1995 my father finally returned the visit. My mom had Alzheimer’s Disease and needed a lot of care and special accommodation. Everywhere they went the Australians were kind, understanding and hospitable. One of my treasured possessions is a photograph of my mother holding a Koala. We never got my father’s sister back (she’s still there) but Australia gave my parents their last vacation together. And they’re taking good care of my aunt.
    So go to Australia. Let them welcome you. Hug a Koala (pictures, or it never happened). You could do worse.

  53. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia and New Zeland, but now that I’ve seen the

  54. Oops! Some random keystroke posted that before I was done typing…

    I’ve always wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand, but now that I’ve seen the GIGANTIC BUG you posted, I am no longer interested in checking out New Zealand at all. No Sir, no way! Nope! Thank you for the warning!

    Have a safe trip!

  55. You realize you can fell 4 goals with one trip Down Under? They have camels there. Although you may not have packed your Priscilla costume AND your koala costume.

  56. The Australians are going to LOVE you Jenny! You are totally their kind of person.

    I hope that the travel discomfort is minimal and you have fun! I think the Australian accent might actually be the sexiest so Victor had better save his Stormtrooper costume for wooing you when you get back.

    And I’ll give you a buck if you can find a better sign than he found in Japan.

  57. take a few copies of your book, and spread the awesomeness to Australia, or they may have copies of your book in stores, either way, your book will explain everything to everyone that you meet.

  58. Aaaahhhhhhh– I’ve spent a lot of time in China & SE Asia and the place is covered in these kinds of signs. You just walk around giggling and it makes up for the lack of personal space you must suffer.

  59. I’m with Laurie ? ^^ I’ll donate to the “Find a better sign than Victor” club. Who can have anxiety when they are on a scavenger hunt? I hope you have fun.

    One dollar if you find a better sign than Victor.

  60. On a side note, I was scanning through ICANHAZCHEEZBUGER and saw Hailey and one of your cats in a GIF. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to seeing some one I know on that site.
    Have fun in Australia!!

  61. You’ll be protected in your suit – it’s like a massive condom, but furry. Watch out for the huntsman spiders that can carry a small child away. Maybe they will carry the koala away for you.

  62. I’ve been in Aus my whole life – never caught VD from a koala yet … though, I have caught a rash from a blue tongue lizard, but that’s a whole other story. You’ll be fine – we already love you & unless you like, luuuurrrvvvee the koala, you should return home disease free! 🙂

  63. I hope that little thing in LAX didn’t affect your travel plans. My two trips to PNG via Australia included the LAX->Sydney flight which took off Friday evening from LA and got to Sydney at sunrise on Sunday. Saturday disappeared in transit. On the way back, I got to relive it on airplanes and in airports. Pleasant trip.

  64. I hope you have a wonderful time, Jenny!!! From what little I know, Australians seem like awesomely fun people to be around—so you should fit right in.

    Can’t wait to hear what adventures you get into!!!

  65. You already have one up on me. I have always stuck with the idea that everything in Australia will kill you. Which I know is silly, just most things can and that doesn’t mean they will. Regardless of that invented silliness I couldn’t force myself to sit in a plane that long. I can’t sit and read for class more that an hour or so at a time. Then there’s the anxiety. I know the limits of pushing past my comfort zone and well I might as well sign up at NASA cuz the likleyhood of me doing either is about the same. I know its good th test your boundaries but it’s also good to know your limits.

    It’s good that you are going you can tell us all about it and we or I can marvel at your bravery.

  66. EVERYTHING in Australia will kill you. You will be lucky if you leave only with chlamydia from a koala. (side note: why is it spelled like that? Have I been saying it wrong all these years? Should I being pronouncing it Ch-la-my-dia?)

  67. It’s the Drop Bears you have to look out for…..and if you visit the Sunshine Coast feel free to call in, hideout in my bathroom for awhile 🙂
    Just keep an eye out for the Drop Bears….mmmmkay….

  68. They have really big spiders there, which may not be an issue for you but is literally terrifying to me. So beware the large spiders, you have been warned.

    Enjoy your trip!

  69. You’ll be here but – aside from investigating worthwhile curiosities – will you be talking, doing book-things or what?

  70. You’re coming to my neck of the woods!! Have a great time while you’re here. Can’t wait to hear your take on it. Hope you get to cross some of those things off your list!!

  71. We’ll be delighted to welcome you and Laura to Australia, which may as well be New Zealand because we have a tendency to adopt their Kiwi achievements as our own, eg Crowded House, Sam Neill, pavlova, Outrageous Fortune etc. Come around to my place for some prawns on the barbie but watch out for all those drop bears.

  72. Yuk – you are doing the mighty trip/ You don’t need to do that to keep people listening to you. I see your Houston blog friends did this trip so there you go.

  73. Welcome to Australia, Jenny! I’m so glad that you’ve decided to come here and I hope you have a great time.

  74. I think it should be illegal to use ‘dripping’ and ‘chlamydia’ in the same sentence. That being said – have an awesome time.

  75. Just looking at your goals, you may have trouble with the toilet one. The toilets here don’t really swirl around like the ones in the US, they just go straight out. You’ll see what I mean.

  76. I am NOT a koala expert but I am a genuine chlamydia expert (yes, such people do exist for the betterment of humanity and the preservation of your cervix, endometrium and Fallopian tubes- we love it because science and rauchy double entendre jokes at lab meeting brighten our research days) and I can promise you that it’s not the same species of chlamydia although it has the same effect. I will prove my expertise right now by letting you know that the chlamydia infecting the koalas results in a syndrome known as “wet bottom” (garglng/gacking sound)! However, everything will be TOTALLY FINE with frequent efficient handwashing with soap (actually everthing is ALWAYs better with soap and water).

    I hope that you have a wonderful time!

  77. Cats get chlamydia too, as I discovered when I took my cousin’s cat to the vet. He was the sweetest, most mellow cat ever, until you walked into the door of the vet. Then he transformed into a monster. Seriously, to examine him they had to wrap him in a towel and wear huge leather gloves/gauntlets. He had an eye infection and the vet said “Oh, it’s chlamydia, here’s some medicine” and I said, “great, thanks” because all I could think about was getting the devil cat (growling and hissing and snapping) out of the vet’s office. When I was driving home and he had calmed down I started replaying what the vet had said and immediately called the vet back, since I had recently started dating someone and all I could think about was having to call him and have THAT conversation: “Um, hi, I just wanted to let you know you might need to get tested. Um, yeah, I have the clap. No, no, I haven’t been sleeping with someone else…no, I got it from my cousin’s cat…dial tone”. Anyway, it is strictly an upper respiratory infection in cats and also NOT CONTAGIOUS to humans. I bet it is the same for Koalas. If not, at least you are married, and Victor knows you well enough to know that if you tell him you caught the clap from a Koala, you are telling the truth. Have a great time!

  78. Just be careful not to get into any boxing matches with the kangaroos — apparently they are bad-asses who love to kick ass (and I mean that literally). Have a great trip!

  79. There is beer there. Good beer, not like American pee-water. Drink beer and hug kangaroos. Purple eyes are all the rage, no?

  80. We welcome you to Australia Jenny, I have lived here all my 34 years and have not been killed yet or contracted chlamydia from a koala or anything else. I hope you have a nice time in my country

  81. Hug a koala, feed a few kangaroos but whatever you do DON’T touch a platypus or a Tassie Devil. Tassie Devil one’s pretty self explanatory but the male platypus has big arsed spurs which will leave you in agonising pain. There is no antidote. AND never ever touch any of our wildlife UNLESS it is in a zoo and the zookeepers have said you can touch them. Their cute furry exteriors are just a decoy. Our wildlife is not friendly. They will rip you to shreds. But welcome to Australia!! You’ll love it here:)

  82. Welcome to Australia! Whereabouts are you going while you’re over here?
    If you make it to South Australia, I’ve some local recommendations for you:
    – Farmers Union Iced Coffee (this stuff outsells any soft drink here)
    – Frog cakes
    – The Big Rocking Horse
    – Coopers Pale Ale
    – Cleland Wildlife Park (they let you cuddle the koalas!)

  83. Forget all they say about that everything in Australia is trying to kill you. My mother dreamed of going to Australia, and never got to go, but her best friend did — Australia is like dying and going to heaven. Part of it is beaches and surfing and part of it makes west Texas look crowded and wet. It’s the land of Crocodile Dundee and The Tasmanian Devil and The Great Barrier Reef and “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney” and “A Town Like Alice” and also a honking huge mesa / butte thing that rises out of the the flat plain called Ayers Rock that looks like this: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/060/cache/australia-ayers-rock_6009_600x450.jpg, though you’ll probably get it without the lightning if you are lucky enough to see it. Go, take tranquilizers on the plane, and have fun holding koalas!

    I won’t tell you not to be scared, because to do that would be silly. Instead I’ll tell you to take a talisman, hook it to your purse, and look at it every time you are. Mine, when I took a two day trip by Amtrak between Denver and Boston with a switch over at Chicago during which I had to make sure my husband, my 8 year old, and I didn’t get separated, was a plastic keychain attachment dangly thing of Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh! — don’t laugh. He’s sort of the antihero, as opposed to the antagonist, and he has loads of both arrogance and self-confidence. Every time I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, I’d look at it and think “Kaiba could do this, he’d just breeze through it and bitch out anyone who got in his way” — and then everything was better somehow.

    For you, I’d recommend someone from Dr. Who; either the Doctor himself, or one of the companions. Find a keychain or a sticker or something, put it somewhere you can see it ALL THE TIME WHENEVER YOU NEED TO, and whenever you are panicky, look at it and think Rose, or Amy, or The Doctor, or whoever, could handle this. I don’t know why this helps, but it does.

    At least it’s not Daleks.

  84. I.think.I’m.going.to.die. JENNY LAWSON IN THE SAME COUNTRY AS ME. This is what dreams are made of, I don’t even need to see you and I’m living a dream. But fucking hell, I’d love to see you. Is there a slim chance you are heading Gold Coast or Brisbane way? I’m hyperventilating, but also trying to play it cool at the same time, I don’t think it’s working.

  85. You are going to have a wonderful time, because you are sweet, kind, funny, and people genuinely like you. The proof is in this comments’ section, which is filled with fans who want to welcome you. You will be better than fine.

    I am looking forward to your posts.

  86. You can also get chlamydia from birds (Chlamydia psittaci – also referred to as Psittacosis, Parrot Fever or chlamydiosis). So if the koalas don’t infect you, the birds will. But in reality you could get it from birds in the US, so its not something special for Australian birds. Unless you get attacked by a Cassowary that has chlamydia. Then you’re probably dead anyways.

  87. Naturally after reading this, I had to google “Koalas Chlamydia” and one of google’s auto-suggestions was “Koalas Chlamydia One Direction” . So maybe ESPECIALLY watch out for koala boy bands while you’re in the outback.

  88. TAKE PICTURES if you see wild bearded dragons because I HAVE BEARDED DRAGONS!!!!! 8D LIZARDS. I want to see all the wild beardies that I assume will be crawling EVERYWHERE.

  89. Very happy you are coming to Australia! Someone needs to bring the sexual health of koalas to the forefront…… Have never meet you obviously, but if you find yourself in Tasmania and need someone to have a coffee with or act as interpreter pick me!!

  90. Awesome! You should look at the stars while you’re there. (the ones in the sky, not Australian movie stars.) The constellations are different in the southern hemisphere. 🙂 I didn’t get a chance to do that while I was in Australia, and I regret it.

  91. I’d be less worried about Chlamadya-Koalas than EVERY OTHER ANIMAL IN AUSTRALIA because everything is dangerous or poisonous or creepy or all of the above. But have fun.


  92. You’ll have a lovely time in Australia! We’re all very nice and quite a few of us are crazy enough for you to feel right at home.

  93. OHHH I bet they have kick ass taxiderm art.
    Think of the possibilities.

    And you’ll be great!

  94. I am ok with STD carrying Koala’s, but the spiders… I have seen the videos I have seen the meme’s. Their spiders are legendary. And I am not a spider fearing girl. If they are the size a quarter or less I am the Zena of Spider killers. But anything above that I am running and screaming like a little little girl.


  95. Already? yay! Australia is totally your home away from home. In nearly 40 years I have never been even slightly poisoned by any wildlife and I spent 17 of those years in Darwin, the capital of the NT which actually does have crocodiles turn up in suburbia, palm sized spiders and ginormous goannas.
    Also – note to Starwefter – that “mesa/ butte thing” is a monolith – a ginormous rock (well technically an inselberg but I’m not a geologist), thus “Ayers Rock”, which is officially (and these days mostly unofficially called Uluru. It is amazing and beautiful and sacred should be visited but never climbed. Anyone going that way should also go to Kata Tjuta. Jenny, go there. It’s indescribably wonderful and if you don’t take a baby you will be safe from the dingoes.

  96. Please tell us what Victor captioned the photo. Please… for some reason I’ve become
    fixated on this and I’m desperate to know.

  97. Have a fun and safe trip!!!!

    Be sure the knock the koala out before taking a picture with him…then you can make it smile…..


  98. Oh, have a wonderful visit! I’ve wanted to go there since I was a child. A lot of my breast cancer support group friends live there and they are lovely fun ladies. Koalas are cool even if the do get the clap. Safe travels dear! <3

  99. Regarding the picture, I really find myself more concerned with the blurry hand apparently holding a cat poop than with the ‘behind soup’ aspect.

  100. Hello Bloggess,
    I Live in Gunnedah (north west NSW) the Koala Capital of Australia. We boost we have Koala’s without chylamydia, please come here!!! True story. XX

  101. Dang, it sounds like no enterprising tourism bod has managed to snag you and drag you over the New Zealand while you’re in the area. Seems a bit of a waste to go so far and not just take another few hours to see a totally different (much nicer!) country.

    Biased much? Well, yes…

    Anyway, have a lovely trip and I hope you have good flights with quiet people, smooth flying and lots of lovely sleep to help you adjust to the time change.

  102. Thanks so much for writing your blog. When my day is such that I need a pick me up, a laugh either lightly or a full belly laugh that makes my co-workers look over at me, well, I turn to your blog. I just wanted to say thank you. And becareful of those Koalas, even if they are darn cute.

  103. Don’t hold a platypus! The males are venomous. No animal/bird/fish/invertebrate will hurt you in Australia unless you are trying to kill it or catch it.
    Also, you don’t have to worry about rabies. We banned it.
    Check out some of these little guys, if you get the chance:
    Video — Sugar Gliders — National Geographic
    Hand-raising Baby Numbats at Perth Zoo – YouTube
    Images for pygmy possum
    Melba Gully glow worms, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
    Red-legged Pademelon – Rainforest Australia (Pronounced “Paddy-melon”)
    Brush-tailed phascogale on a rock – ARKive
    Amazing! Bird sounds from the lyre bird – David Attenborough – BBC …
    Meet the antechinus, a mouse-like Aussie marsupial that kills itself …
    Eastern Tube-nosed Bat – Australian Museum
    Common spotted cuscus – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Tree kangaroos: best photos ever taken – Australian Geographic
    ! Striped Possum ! Tropical Rainforest, North Queensland Australia
    The Flying Duck Orchid – Australia’s Other Amazing Anatine …

    And amazing (Not crowded!) places to visit…
    The Pinnacles (Western Australia) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Lake Mungo – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Remarkable Rocks, Flinders Chase National Park – South Australia
    Wave Rock Hyden Western Australia
    Bungle Bungle Range – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve – Parks and …
    Parks Victoria – Great Otway National Park
    Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia – VisitVictoria.com

    Have fun, and let people know if you need some personal space. We totally respect that, we’re a sparsely distributed population.

  104. Dammit! I was expecting all of those to automatically create links! Sorry about that.

  105. You must tell us all in Australia where you’ll be, as it would be great to say hi and I have xanax if you run out :p

    I’m based in Melbourne, so if you’d like a chauffeur/minion whose car has the number plate I <3 GIN (seriously) feel free to get in touch! Melbourne is near The Great Ocean Road and the Otways national park on one side and the Dandenong Ranges and Healevsille Native Animal Sanctuary on the other. Melbourne itself is pretty kickarse too, lots of great food and artsy weird things.

  106. I don’t usually comment, but just wanted to say welcome to Australia!
    You’ll be fine! I’ve survived 30 years here without being bitten by anything poisonous… my Grandma was 60 years old before she got bitten by a Redback spider and lived to tell the tale… she is now 89 and has forgotten about the tale.

  107. Starwefter’s talisman idea is genius. Something that reminds you of safety and strength.

    I think your trip will be full of awesome – after all *you* will be there! You may want to plan to rest your inherent awesomeness, like pauses, naps and sleeping. They help me keep my moods from wobbling out of control. Just a thought.

    Exciting is scary, sometimes. Enjoy!

    Safe and memorable travels.

  108. I’m an Aussie, don’t worry too much….. the majority of us live in cities and normally see our gorgeous wildlife on camping trips or at the zoo. The scariest things are the huntsman spiders, that live in our houses but are completely harmless. Us girls are total wusses when it comes to spiders but we’ve all survived. I think I’d be scared to go to America cos of the expensive health care and how everyone has a gun :op

    And you must go to the beach. Not just any old beach, though they’re all amazing. I’m from Queensland and we have the Great Barrier Reef, turtles, dolphins, rainforest that goes right up to the ocean. Total paradise.

  109. for some reason, I thought of you

    this has nothing to do with the above post.

    I love Cuttle FISH!!

  110. from a local – don’t have sex with the Koalas and you won’t get the clap.

    Seriously though, good on you for making the journey. You’ll love it here. I know I do 🙂

  111. I don’t think it’s asking too much to request that the koalas wear protection — at least until you’re in a loving and mutually respectful relationship and have both been tested.

    Stay safe down there.

  112. Oh, oh, oh….any public vets in Australia? Specifically Sydney? You will love it here!

  113. 1) Take a puzzle book on the plane. If you can’t sleep and you’re too freaked out to focus on a book or a movie than try just a question at a time.
    2) If the previous poster is right about the toilet, try switching to a bathtub.
    3) I think the giant koala looks cooler than the banana.

  114. So where in Aus are you going to be? If you’re coming down here to tasmania, Launceston has monkeys in the city park. Plus baby monkeys since they all had sex a while ago. Not sure about chlamydia though.

    Wombats can be assholes. But still better than those koalas. Too closely related to drop bears, imo.

    The daintree rainforest, if you go north, is awesome as well. 😀

  115. It’s true. Koalas are apparently riddled with VD. They also feed their babies their own poop. So good luck holding a koala while dressed as one. If you come home with chlamydia and a stomach full of koala poop, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  116. Burn the koala costume after you hold the koala. But not in view of the koalas. That might upset them and then no telling what could happen. But do burn the costume. No need to keep a chlamydia infested garment.

  117. Judging by your goal page thingy, you haven’t yet gone to the bathroom. Should we worry? I’ll worry just in case we should be worried.

  118. Just dropped in ..and oh my gosh you are going to OZ. You have so many comments that I hardly need to add to the list..but here’s the thing you really reall really need to know. It is not possible in New South Wales (NSW) to hold a koala. I do know for a fact that you can do this at the Lone Pine Sanctuary in Brisbane, I know this because I take my kids every time we go home, most recently in August. There you may even come across a busload of Japanese tourists causing you to have all kinds of wacky internal dialogs about soup. Brisbane is at it’s finest this time of year with glorious purple jacaranda trees heralding the end of year exams for those in school and university. And…if by chance you are travelling QANTAS, have some of the delicious passionfruit shortbread cookies that they keep in the snack rack at the back ofthe plane. Oh, and mango.. mud crab and macadamias.

  119. Oh good lord- I had a quick scroll through a bunch of the comments..and no one mentioned to be careful of the DROP BEARS. Am I the only one concerned about your safety? Unreal!!! Give trees a large berth…and you might be oK. Might.

  120. I’ve been to Australia and held a koala and I don’t remember it, but I have a fantastic picture of it. I hope you have a great trip and I’m looking forward to the picture of you with a koala.

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