Just the other day, I received an invitation from a friend in Melbourne, Australia. She told me that, should I ever want to come for a visit, she has a spare bedroom in her house.
The first thing I did was Google Melbourne. I admit, I don’t know much about Australia. I know the Opera House in Sidney and the outback where one can go for a walkabout, but other than that, the land down under is pretty much a mystery to me.
The second thing I did was look up flights from Toronto to Melbourne and, well, the chances of me going to Australia are slim to none. Toronto to Los Angeles – 5 hours, Los Angeles to Melbourne – 15 hours … can you imagine, being cooped up in a plane for 20 hours!
And then there’s another little problem with Australia … apparently it is home to some of the biggest spiders.
Some of you may know that I spent fifteen years in Africa, which also houses some large spiders, but in all my time there I never saw one. Correction, I did see some large spiders, but they were dead ones, framed behind glass.
According to my friend, in Australia they are very much alive. In fact, she keeps a can of fast kill insect spray (also lethal for spiders) in every room of her house.
That’s all I needed to hear. The chance of encountering a spider in any room at any given time; the chance of such a creep walking over my bed at night; or worse, a spider taking a stroll along the ceiling and losing its footing … no, thank you.
It’s a shame really because I wouldn’t mind seeing Australia. In particular the many kangaroos, wallabies, koala bears, parrots and all the places I read about in books.
Speaking of which … in the latest book I read, it took the main character three months to get from England to New Zealand. Compared to that, what I am moaning about having to fly 20 hours from Toronto to Australia.