Friday, April 15, 2011

Spot the difference

This is the logo of the state tourism authority, which they've been using for a while now.
This was the view from the airport departure lounge in 2009.
And this was the view a week ago.

It's a long way from Manhattan - in both senses, haha. (It's a hell of a long way from anywhere, in fact - 2000km by air from Adelaide, closer to Jakarta than Sydney.) But Perth is growing, as the skyline shows, and as we saw from all the other development going on there, the architectural flight of fancy that's their new stadium not the least of it.

Although the east coast scoffs at Perth for being so far away and hence, obviously, backward and unsophisticated, I know at least three young people who have recently headed off from here to work there, which just goes to show that Kiwis know better than Sydneysiders and banana-benders. It's actually a lovely city, just the right size, with a lively centre where the pavements are full in the evenings of workers stopping off for a civilised drink before going home. It's on the edge of a wide curve of the Swan River where black swans swim, Kings Park is big and green and close by, there are ferries and a free bus circuit and electric trains to the suburbs.

The sunshine is reliable, there are vineyards absolutely everywhere, and excellent beaches (which do have plenty sharks swimming alongside them, though that doesn't seem to put anyone off). From a tourist's perspective, it's a great place to visit, and I've enjoyed my three trips there; and after the '09 one, which involved so much eating of so much good food, it was kind of comforting to get on the scales at the Mint and see my undoubtedly increased weight in not kilograms, but dollars: in gold, I was worth $2,275,896. Even more now, of course. (Because of the rise in the price of gold, naturally. What were you thinking?)

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