I go to my club’s gym in the city (Sydney) three times a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Set off between 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm. My bus is supposed to come each ten minutes. Whether it does or doesn’t, it is always crowded. I always have to stand and often complain to the driver urging him to inform his superiors that more buses are needed. Last Friday, the first bus to arrive took no one even though a couple of people got off. Too full, the driver explains. Don’t want to be awful or anything but it seems to me that most passengers are not that long off the boat.
Fine, I know we had a recent plebiscite and overwhelming agreed that we need another 200,000 migrants per year; but where are the extra buses is what I want to know. We didn’t have a plebiscite you say. Hmm? Well, anyway, we have to put our trust in the government and federal treasury who know what’s best for us.
Call into the supermarket when returning home. Want just three oranges to make three screwdrivers. One orange per drink means that you can taste each double vodka. Sadly, and forlornly, now living alone, I fend for myself. Do the shopping and such. Mind you, still wouldn’t be able to answer the gotcha question reporters ask of budding prime ministers; to wit, what’s the price of a bottle of milk, or loaf of bread, or a dozen eggs. Usually buy a number of items and take no notice.
This time, however, it takes me by surprise; $6.55 for three oranges. That’s steep, I think, forgetting about the ravages of inflation, and query the charge. The Indian girl at the checkout is very nice but I can’t understand a word she says. I apologise to those who I’m holding up. One chap agrees with me that the price seems high. Another impatiently looks for another checkout. Good luck, self service is the go these days. Finally, I shrug, and agree to pay the “exorbitant” price, while yet again voicing my surprise. A woman says, sympathetically, “welcome to Australia.” Maybe my Liverpool – England accent fools her into thinking I’m a recent arrival; though judging by her likely age (early forties?), I’ve lived here much longer than she has.
Each orange cost me $2.18. Checked on the price in the U.S., you can check on anything these days. Came to about $1.15; nevertheless, I bet they complain about that.