Should I take a year in Australia?

dear we are scientists

i decided to take a year off before i start college next fall and i was wondering whether or not if going to australia was a good way to put a year in. there are some problems though, 1) all my money will probably be all gone after this year, 2) my mom thinks i’m going to die, 3) a guy told me he loves me just as i want to go away. however there are clearly some benefits ie. it will be a pretty banterful year and i can’t get a job here at the moment which means being a bum right now. i don’t know what i should do for the year so i’d appreciate if you could help me since you probably know what australia is like and what not.

many thanks, gemma

You’re goddamn right we know what Australia is like, and it’s pretty damn good! It’s the land of milk and honey! Yes, many people hate it there, but nine times out of ten, if you pry a little, you’ll find that during his trip to Australia the dissenter was either mugged (could happen anywhere), beaten in a tennis match (increased likelihood in Australia), or killed by a saltwater crocodile (can also happen near the Nile). Who are you going to listen to, We Are Scientists or a dead person? If you’re like most thinking individuals, you couldn’t care less what a man-size pile of crocodile crap thinks about your life.

Anyway, your mother’s assertion that Australia will be fatal looks like a knee-jerk reaction to all the anecdotal stories, pictures, videos, and news coverage devoted to killer croc gangs, which yes, *are* a thing, but not as big a thing as your mom thinks. (It is absolutely not accurate to say that 100% of people who visit Australia stumble into a croc’s jaws — the real number is closer to 35%.) But there are a couple of other things giving you pause, aren’t there? One is that all of your money will “probably be gone after this year.” Well, welcome to the club. Everybody’s money supply is always on the wane, it seems! That’s how it feels, anyway. “Where’s the heck does all my money go? Where, O mighty God, where??” But the fact is, everybody’s money supply is *actually increasing.* This is a statistical fact, Gemma. So not only will your money not be disappearing anytime soon, but more of it will be appearing. Not bad, eh?

And there’s also a young man in the picture — isn’t that right? A fella who has gone so far as to tell you he “loves” you! Well, love is no small thing. It might actually be *the* thing, so doesn’t that mean you should stay put? That you shouldn’t budge from the Arctic research station you’ve called “home” these last 21 years? That you should spend a 22nd winter within the (470 square foot) confines of DS-214A with your parents and Roger, the brilliant 46-year-old climatologist who lately has been looking at you a little differently, and who, when you announced plans finally to set foot out into the wider world, shrieked and sobbed and described in excruciating detail both his love for you and a series of intense, repeating dreams he’s been having about a “mirror outpost” that exists on the northern pole of a planet in a neighboring galaxy?

Well, yes, that is what it means: you should stay. Crocodiles can be damned, and money has a way of taking care of itself, but if you give up what you’ve got with this Roger person — or, specifically, what he has with you — you may never forgive yourself. More importantly, what if Roger ends up being able to communicate with the inhabitants of that mirror station in the other galaxy, maybe through his dreams? Imagine all the fucked up shit he’ll tell them about you, how you broke his heart and stuff! Being the reviled by an entire alien race, just so you can go have a banterful year down under? Not worth it. Simply not worth it.

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