Melbourne’s alcohol problem

There is something wrong in a society which demands that you explain why you don’t drink alcohol. This is the case in Australia, unfortunately.

It has been the case ever since we came to Australia in 1951. If you didn’t drink then you had better explain yourself. Are you ill, or are you an alcoholic, perhaps? Do you follow some strange religion which forbids you from touching a drop?

You were made to feel uncomfortable and unsociable if you said, “I don’t drink.”

Every occasion was accompanied by drinking alcohol. In fact, if you weren’t allowed to drink then you wouldn’t be able to enjoy watching sport or weddings or graduations or births or even wakes. Shades of Ireland really.

It was and still is the Aussie way of life. Friday night is for “getting pissed” as it is called and a hangover is proof that you had a good time, even if you hardly remember it yourself.

What has struck me since arriving in Melbourne is the number of liquor outlets in every suburb here. There are people drinking in the morning by themselves in many coffee lounges. The solitary drinkers ore often lonely women of a certain age.

What exacerbates the problem is that many of these people are driving after they drink. And to make matters worse, we have a big drug problem in Melbourne. It is cause for concern when you don’t know who is driving in front of you. We have been advised not to look at drivers if we drive alongside them on the road. Who knows what they are on?

The drivers here are very aggressive, competitive and rather frightening. They are obsessed with playing with their phones as they drive and even women have been caught under the influence when they try to park outside a school to pick up their children.

I did comment once in a previous blog that the most polite drivers I have ever encountered are Texans.

I really cannot understand why Melbourne is supposed to be “the most livable city in the world”. For druggies and alcoholics, maybe…


Bagelicious Melbourne-be sure to read the fine print

I like to get good value for money, no matter what I buy. It’s not pleasant when you feel you have been taken for a ride and that’s how we felt when we went to Bagelicious this morning.

We only went for a snack, a bagel and coffee, and I was pleased that they were advertising in large letters a morning special of coffee and a bagel for $5.

This sounded pretty reasonable since many eateries have morning specials. These special offers usually end around 11 am so we assumed this place was doing the same. To our surprise we were charged an exorbitant price for a bagel and coffee. Apparently, the special offer ended at 10 am and we were there about 11 am.

So I asked the staff why we were not warned about the time the special ended. “It’s there” they said. I peered at the picture of a bagel and coffee and the special offer of $5. “There” they repeated as they pointed to a tiny disclaimer-size line at the very bottom of the ad. It was almost invisible and was obviously in need of magnification.

We paid quite a lot for our measly snack. The seats are uncomfortable and there is no atmosphere in the place, but I could see that when we entered. After all, we only wanted a quick snack and that would have been okay if we didn’t feel so cheated.

So be careful if you go to Bagelicious and please read the very fine print before ordering.

Melbourne Australia’s solution to insufficent public transport

It is hard to believe that the public servants in charge of Melbourne’s transport system are allowed to run free to ruin our lives.

Since The Intergenerational Report has been released by our government we have been informed that our population is aging.

This is an important report because it will help provide for the needs of a changing demographic.

One assumes, therefore, that the Victorian government is going to encourage the use of public transport which will inevitably be more in demand as the population ages.

So what have the brightsparks announced to ease the overcrowding on our trains and trams?

Those who run “the world’s most livable city” are going to remove seats from our trains and trams so that there will be more standing room. In other words, the result will be “cattle trucks”.

How that should prepare the city for an aging population who already find it hard enough to locate an empty seat in one of those contraptions is a mystery to me.