Seasonal Almanac

Cold dew: Chrysanthemums are tinged yellow (2 of 5)

April 17th, 2009

Cold dew 12 of 15Perth is the second most isolated city in the world by defintion. The closest neighbouring city is Adelaide over 2000 km East. It has a population of 1.5 million. In Perth, one of the things people complain about most is that people in Perth complain too much.

Despite the fine weather, the beautiful beaches, the unique bush, the (until recently) low cost of living, and the laid-back lifestyle, there always seems to be something to complain about. A common complaint is: Perth is boring. In 2000, a travel website ( dubbed Perth ‘Dullsville’. The then Premiere, Richard Court, and Perth Mayor, Peter Natrass, were genuiely shocked. They countered the claim by offering what they thought were great about the city.

The common rhetoric is that the city offers a great life-style for its inhabitants. The once West Australian-owned BankWest (previoulsy R&I) used Pet Shop Boys‘ cover of The Village People’s Go West to promote this idea in a short-lived advertising campaign. In the media, Perth is always on the verge of becoming a ‘real’ city; the unit of measurement varies from an increase in crime rate, convention centres, traffic, to housing prices. This continuous conflict is what I find the most interesting thing about Perth (see Konvolut K).

I moved to Perth in December 1991 and left in June 2007. Since having moved away, I find myself listing the virtues of the city. During our visit, we sang praises of things that we might have once taken for granted. In some cultures, the practice of visiting hometown or ancestral village is still very much alive. Perhaps this may help one complain less.

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