Tuesday, January 23, 2007

a few observations

Scale – immediately, I recognized that most ordinary things around me here are to scale from the U.S., that is, everything is smaller by at least a third. The bins or trashcans are wee and modest, the aisles in the shops are narrow, the snacks modest, the toilet paper roll small, even the $2 shop was tiny.

Schedule – yesterday we were down at the neighborhood shops (a very small version of an indoor mall – grocery, chemist, butcher, fruit stand, post office, news agency) picking up things we needed and right on 5:00 p.m. the roll-down doors to the shops started closing. strange phenomenon coming from a 24-hour a day culture. Shopping hours were limited so people could actually close up and go home. I felt like I was back in the 70s (yes I’m that old).

Shopping – the entry and exit to all the shops, especially the big ones like Coles and Woolworths, are restricted to the point of being maddening. Multiple times now I have been frustrated and trapped by this design – unless you pass through a narrow check-out passage, you can’t leave. Poor Geoff, while struggling to get out, I asked him sarcastically “are these the lengths they must go to because you are a thieving people?” We even had our backpack searched at Woolworths.



Ben said...

Guys, great to see you've made it safely. I'm enjoying your blog very much and in particularly Sherry's observations of my home culture.

One thing to perhaps add to the book pile would be a couple of books by Les Carlyon (former editor of the Age): "Gallipoli" and more recently "The Great War" on Australia's involvement in WWI and some recent and interesting reflections on what that has meant for 'the nation'.

Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts, particularly to seeing how quickly Geoff jumps on (or off) the Magpie band-wagon, once the Crows start to dominate! :):):):)

geoff and sherry said...

thanks ben,
i have reserved mr carlyon's books at the local library and look forward to reading them. and as for the pies...i can tell you i am so excited to see them play again i might just be alright if they fail to win. look forward to catching up in person...we'll be over to adelaide at some point.