I’ve been back from Malaysia a week, and Perth has cast its usual amnesic spell – feels already as if I haven’t been away. It had been so long since I had been overseas that friends were actually congratulating me on taking the plunge and getting away!
In fact, I am probably more widely travelled than anyone I know, having spent two years on the road backpacking and doing it rough back in my late 20s, hitchhiking around the UK and Europe, sleeping in youth hostels and cheap hotels, on the beach in Crete for a grubby feral week and even in parks in France – a miserable experience that permanently dispelled the romantic notions of the bum life that Orwell had nurtured in me in his compelling work, Down and Out In Paris and London. Continue reading Malaysia! Why Malaysia?
The standard of Perth journalism can be pretty shabby, with the gong for consistently tacky reporting and poop writing awarded without hesitation to independent community paper, The Vincent Voice – no competition comes close in my spasmodic local newspaper reading experience. However, this weekend’s Weekend Extra (the features liftout supplement that comes in Saturday’s West Australian newspaper) served up some crud that is worthy of special remark. Continue reading Perth Boy Conquers Freezing Melbourne in PJs
On returning to my hometown of Perth in 1985 after two years overseas, I decided to flee to Sydney. For me there is an amnesic quality about Perth (although perhaps it’s the same with any place you’ve grown up in) such that time spent away – even years – seems to assume an unreal, dream-like state very soon after returning; I was determined not to forfeit to the encroaching mists the fertile experiences of my time away. Nothing much seemed to have changed back in Perth, but I was not the same person who had left. I had developed a dread of family, and sensed (or maybe just anticipated) an agenda to absorb me back into the fold, where I would soon return to ‘normal’ as part of an homogenous blobby structure that rejected change as some potentially lethal threat to its existence and like white blood cells attacking bacteria, sought automatically to eradicate it. I felt that I would concede some hard-won independence of spirit if I hung around longer than a few days, so before the week was out off to a new life in Sydney I went.
It surprised me just how different Sydney was from Perth. Continue reading Perth 2007 – More Brass Than Class