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.

Lesley Gore made me cry today

Lesley Gore died today. Her song “You don’t own me” (1963) meant a lot to me and to my generation. It was a cry for independence and in a way it was one of the earliest declarations of feminism. “I am woman”(1975) came a long time after Gore’s beautiful plea not to be treated as a silly little thing.

Who can forget Bette Midler, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn performing the song at the end of the film, “The First Wives Club”?

It was a tour de force!

RIP Leslie, you sang for us young women in the Sixties.

Thank you, Australia

Today is Australia Day, a day which will not be celebrated by demonstrations of military might. Tanks, missiles etc will not be shown off as they are in the rest of the world. There will be no messages declaring “We are the greatest, so watch out!”

Instead, friends and families will gather to enjoy a picnic and barbeque or watch the Aussie Open Tennis or the soccer. In other words, they will celebrate what is wonderful about this country of ours.

You see, Aussies don’t need to boast to make themselves feel better about living here. They know in their hearts that Australia is a fair-minded and decent country which has no delusions of grandeur.

Believe me, I should know. I have lived in the Soviet Union, in Siberia, in Poland, in a Displaced Persons’ Camp in Germany as well as several years in France.

I came here as a Displaced Person following World War II.

After the war, my family decided that they wanted to get away from Europe, the further away the better. We were told about a country at the other end of the world, where sheep wandered in the streets. It was called Australia and we knew absolutely nothing about it.

So we applied for visas to come either to Australia or South America. The visa for Australia arrived first and so we accepted it gratefully.

How lucky is that!

Life is mainly about luck and chance. I used to think that it was about hard work and perseverance, but honestly, without luck there is nothing. I know of people who have been extremely hard-working but have had bad luck through no fault of their own, so as I have grown older I have realised that life is mostly about good luck and bad luck.

And it was good luck that the visa to Australia turned up first.

Yes, it was hard to come to a country without a penny in the world, without being able to speak English, but Australia has been kind to us. If one is prepared to study and work hard then one can have a wonderful life here. And with a dose of good luck one can celebrate Australia Day with deep gratitude.

So I wish you all a very Happy Australia Day and Thank You for giving us a chance at life once more.

Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city, my foot!

I have resisted expressing my disappointment in “the world’s most liveable city” but today was the catalyst for writing the truth about how I honestly feel about Melbourne.

First of all, let me emphasise that I came to Melbourne full of hope and I have no intention of leaving it, but I am sadly disillusioned about the place.

Let me tell you why. Continue reading

What would Emile Zola write about the attack on the Paris Kosher Supermarket?

During World War II my Auntie Olga who was living in Paris had to change her name to “Simone” and pretend to be Christian instead of Jewish.

Why?

Because she was terrified of the French handing her over to the Nazis. There were many collaborators in France who were not friends of the Jews. These Jews had been loyal Frenchmen and women who discovered that, alas, France was not the country of liberty, equality and fraternity.

This sentiment accounts for the many attacks on French Jews prior to the latest murders yesterday.

The problem lies in the fact that France has been prepared to appease Muslim terrorism until the Charlie Hebdo atrocity. Whether it is out of fear of its 10% Muslim population or whether previously it was only a problem for the Jewish community, it is only when the Media itself was attacked that France began to protest against the monstrous attack perpetrated by three or four of its own Muslims.

Freedom of expression was at stake here and this is one of the treasured values of democracy.

But I am sure that Emile Zola would also ask about the freedom to live in safety without being murdered for being a Jew.

Disregard for the safety of the Jewish population and even anti-Semitism are not new concepts in France. My Auntie Olga learned this tragic fact a long time ago.

I am outraged at the executions by the Muslim terrorists. I weep for the staff at Charlie Hebdo, but I am not surprised. Neither is the long-suffering Jewish community in France.

The four Jews who were assassinated in the Kosher store are most likely to be buried in Israel where I am sure they will receive a kinder welcome.

A Fond Farewell to Costco in Melbourne, Australia

It is with much regret that we have decided to stop shopping at Costco.

You see, the products currently sold at Costco in Melbourne, Australia, have gone downmarket and no longer tempt us to buy them.

I am not questioning Costco’s marketing ability. They cater to the demographic which will buy their products. Consequently, there are many huge bags of rice, lots of sweets and potato chips, cans of spaghetti and baked beans, alcohol, and foods with an Asian appeal such as frozen wontons etc.

Gone are the American imports which attracted us and the Continental delicacies which we enjoyed buying.

The change in products has been a gradual one. The original Caesar dressing disappeared, dill pickles were hard to find and even a well-known American jar of mixed bean salad is now unavailable.

Apparently, these kind of foods were not attracting enough buyers and so they were replaced with very mundane products that were obviously better sellers.

I was a fan of Kirkland’s own brand of products but they seem to have been replaced as well. This is unfortunate because many of the Costco offerings can now be purchased in our local Australian supermarkets.

I find that Aldi sells quite a few of the continental products that were originally in Costco when it first opened.

Such is the way of the world. My husband enjoyed the arancini he used to buy at Costco but they also went missing the last two times we trekked to the city to buy them.

What a pity this has happened! It was great while it lasted and we used to look forward to our regular visits there. But the selection no longer attracts us and we hope that another supermarket chain will provide the tasty titbits that we can no longer find at Costco.