Thursday, February 22, 2018

Oh Perth!

When people ask me why we chose Perth as our home, I tell them that we didn’t. Perth chose us. Not once. But twice.

Like many immigrants, we aspired (and even tried) to move to the eastern states, in our early years here. After all, Australia is known for the Opera House (not the Bell Tower). But every time we tried, a better opportunity came up from Perth. It’s as if the city didn’t want us to leave. So, we stayed back. And slowly, it cast its spell on us.

That spell is by no means the hustle-bustle, glitz, glamour, illuminated billboards, corporate hubs, busy skyline, power-packed morning commute or late-night eateries that most big cities boast of.  Take all of that and play it in slow motion….and cast a sepia tone on it. Perth emits that laid-back vibe. Friends and family from the eastern states call it the retirement city….the pensioner’s paradise (euphemisms for “boring” or “slow”). But if you ask me, I think Perth is way ahead of its times. Don’t people take years to realise that it’s the small things that are actually the big things in life? That this rat race ultimately takes us nowhere? That nothing is more important than time with your family…of watching your kids grow and your garden bloom? That when the time really comes, one doesn’t remember the projects they have completed or the contracts they have signed? What is left is the fuzzy, warm blend of memories – a random school assembly… or the time your child was able to cycle without the training wheels…or how they collected shells from their favourite beach. Well, Perth gets that.

One can do a hard day’s work and still get back home by 5.30pm to take the kid for soccer or piano. One can get to work, beach or a friend’s house in around 30 minutes (and still stop for coffee at the local café, whose owners one has known for years). One can live the Aussie dream of a BBQ in the backyard, while the kids splash in the pool. None of this is easy or cheap. Nor is it the same for everyone. Perth isn't even as small a city as I am probably making it sound (it is still a capital city with a population of about 2.14 million). And of course we still complain about the traffic, the roads, the rising expenses and the stagnant wages. But Perth has space. And it gives space…for dreams to be born and achieved.  

One of the most remote cities of the world has surprisingly got the concept of “closeness” rather well. Yes, Perth is a small city with a big heart. Wise and mellow, it gets life’s priorities.

And here are some surprising facts about this city, as per (I am not sure if they are correct):
  •          Perth is not just one the most isolated capital cities in the globe but also the sunniest. The city enjoys around 8 hours of sunshine on an average per day.
  •          Medium age of Perth is 32, compared to the nation’s medium of 37.
  •         It boasts over 12,500 km of coastline, which means, you’re never going to be stepping on anyone’s towel at the beach.
  •         The jetty at Busselton is the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere.
  •         Perth is the only city in the world where you could fly your own airplane and land it smack dab in the middle of the central business district.
  •         King’s Park is the biggest city park in the world.


aritra said...

and the Perth cricket ground. a real test for all batsmen around the world!

Scribbler :) said...

For sure. When accepting his work offer, one of the main reasons my husband had was that he could see the grounds from his desk.