‘AUSTERITY’ is a word I’d never heard before coming to the UK. I had to look it up. Coming from the land of milk and honey, ‘prosperity’ was the word of choice, especially in WA.
Anyway, I have been staring at this pizza that I just had delivered and thinking that it has just cost me a week’s wages in Aussie money. How can I justify spending so much on a bloody pizza? Don’t convert, don’t convert, I hear you scream! Too late. I still can’t get around that problem even after five years here.
With my ridiculously priced pizza staring me in the face my mind jogs to when one of the guys from work made a beeline for me earlier today. He had just returned from Oz on his dream family holiday, and as the Poms like to do, shared the full experience with me. Of course, we are the ‘best of mates’ now, and I have to admit it feels mighty good. But one thing has been bothering me. And, as I stare at my pizza, it all comes flooding back. He told me the holiday was great but Australia is so damn expensive…
I am really confused. How is this possible? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was sitting at the WACA and the Barmy Army were chanting ‘3 dollars to the pound’ over and over all afternoon long and the colour of their sun burnt heads was the only thing we were smiling about.
You know, I can remember back to when the first thing my Pommy father in-law did when he got off the plane in God’s country was to grab two cartons of Crownies from the drive through, and laugh like a banshee at his new found wealth. So what has changed?
Well, according to my brother back in Melbourne, everything has changed. ‘Bullsh*t’, is my first reply, however he quickly asks me to name the current Australian Cricket team…mmm I’m starting to see his point.
So has Australia changed that much over the past five years? Am I becoming a stranger or am I just on pause like an unopened room full of Aussie relics? Which leads me to my next question — the question of how I feel about going home. Is it possible that I am scared to go back… Will I recognise the places, the faces, the price of pizza….
I don’t know what any of this means and I’m here for the duration so I guess only time will tell. Or at least time will stand still until I arrive back home. So, for now, ignorance is definitely bliss and this bloody expensive pizza is good but not as good as my local in Perth (if it’s still even there…).