You’ve won first prize with the InterGalacticTours raffle you bought at that cocktail party where you had a little too much sauvignon blanc and completely forgot all about the 10 tickets you bought. Now you have received an email telling you first prize is an all-expenses paid trip to five countries, one in each continent. You will spend a week in each country but you have two years to redeem your prize, so plenty of time for that. The hardest part for you is deciding which country to choose in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America. You already live in the best country in the world, so no worries about Australia not being included, but where would you choose to go? Let me grab an atlas and a nice glass of sauvignon blanc and I will tell you mine, because that’s our Top Five this week:
Number 1: Asia offers so much choice yet most of us go to Thailand, but I would choose India because of its history, culture, mystics and the Taj Mahal. But most of all I would choose India because any country where cricket is the nation national sport must be OK. China, time to get a billion cricket bats and balls out and start practicing.
Number 2: Africa is next and it is another tough choice; Egypt and the incredible pyramids and the Nile, South Africa to see if they really are the closest thing to us Aussies in lifestyle, or Morocco with its mix of cultures and religions? Yes, it is Morocco by a whisker, and the reason is to check out where Humphrey Bogart hung out when shooting one of the greatest films ever made, Casablanca in the biggest city of the country (pictured).
Number 3: Next we’re off to Europe, but which country do you choose? Rome in Italy, the city of light, Paris in France, Moscow in Russia, windmills in Holland, chocolates and watches in Switzerland, the UK, boy, how hard is this. In the end our flight will be landing in Scotland so we can check out the place where my wife’s family came from, go to the highlands to drink a few single malt whiskies and of course go and say g’day to the Loch Ness monster. It doesn’t sound too bad at all.
Number 4: Across the Atlantic now and to North America and a much easier choice than our previous three: US of A, Canada or Mexico? New York, the city that never sleeps, the Statue of Liberty, Chicago the windy city, San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge, the Grand Canyon, a lot of temptations. But I’d choose Canada, only because I feel I have already been to the USA since most of the TV we watch is about it. And I like the fact that Canada is about the same population as us and that quite a few of their citizens speak fluent French as well as English. How odd.
Number 5: The final leg means we get to choose a country in South America and again the choice becomes hard; Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, so much to choose from, but I will opt for Argentina, because I am interested in its history. Did you know that about 100 years ago this South American country was an economic powerhouse, whose standard of living rivalled Australia’s. It was tipped to be the next big thing but something went wrong and the wheels fell off, and they still haven’t really put them back. But they still love a big steak and can play a bit of football, too, so don’t cry for me, Argentina.