I offer blase and ungenuine apologies for my several months absence. There are quite a few posts in the queue, waiting for finalization, but many more pressing and important things absorbed the time needed to complete them. One of those “pressing and important things” was planning a vacation to temporarily escape Winter.
I am currently visiting sunny Melbourne, Australia where Summer has been a tad unpredictable. When I first arrived, it was rather cool for the season, however that didn’t last long. I’m not sure why I’m taking the time to write while on holiday, but presumably it is to give my eyes a break from all the reading I’ve been catching up on. (What grand irony.)
So, here I am — absolutely roasting in a tiny $500,000 house with neither air conditioning (they don’t believe in it here) nor a dishwasher (the same) and wondering (quite pointlessly) how the “average” Australian can afford to live in this city. Dude, I am not employing hyperbole when I state that every-frickin-thing here costs between two and three times what a similar/same item might run in the States. I know, I know — cost does not always equate to much and the All American drive to have cheaper goods and services is destroying the globe at large.
That is all well and good for a nice, academic discussion about Third World labor issues and economies of scale, but it still doesn’t do shit for those earning a basic wage trying to cover simple cost of living expenses. I guess I can ponder the same thing for the States, but at least they’ve got a Wal*Mart on every corner to defray the costs of shampoo and underwear.
Anyway, enough of my cultural comparisons and economic inequality screed. Heh. I can’t even honestly call it a screed, seeing how it was so half-hearted. More of an observation, really. Or perhaps a casual aside. Quite possibly a slight to people who make such issues their life’s work. But at least I’m thinking about it.
Okay, back to my Fall 2005 edition of the Griffith Review — my new favorite publication and truly one of the most well-written and fascinating things I’ve ever picked up in my life. (More on that later). Until then, why don’t you entertain yourself with the photos from my Aussie trip last Fall…