Life

Bernard Salt: Liv­ing it up on bor­rowed time. Su­san Kuro­sawa: Let­ting loose the mon­grel. Mys­tic Me­dusa

The Weekend Australian - Life - - FOOD & WINE - BERNARD SALT saltb@theaus­tralian.com.au I @bernard­salt

Scorpio: Un­til June you’ll spend time rewrit­ing as­sump­tions and pos­si­bly awak­en­ing dor­mant love/lust.

I know brag­ging doesn’t come nat­u­rally to Aus­tralians so I won’t put you in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion by ask­ing you to ex­plain ex­actly how well-off you are, so I’m go­ing to say what you can­not.

If you look at the way we as a na­tion once lived and com­pare that with the way we live to­day then clearly we Aussies have done pretty well for our­selves.

Hous­ing was once three bed­rooms, one bath­room, whereas to­day it is four bed­rooms, two bath­rooms. Hol­i­days were once car-and-car­a­van road trips to Coolan­gatta whereas to­day there are over­seas jaunts to Bali, for fam­i­lies. Fam­i­lies! And that’s just for Easter.

And while we are lolling about the pool in Bali or Phuket or Fiji on a bit of a rest — be­cause we’ve worked so hard and de­serve it — we might have a mas­sage or bet­ter still a won­der­fully heal­ing aro­matic spa treat­ment. A bit of pam­per­ing never goes astray, don’t you think?

And it’s not like we are self­ish and un­car­ing; we are more than happy to up­load (edited) pic­tures to Face­book for all our friends to share in the ex­pe­ri­ence. Here’s me at the pool. And here’s me hav­ing a spa. Here we are hav­ing din­ner. Got a bit dolled up for that one. Weather’s di­vine. Don’t want to come home (sad face emoti­con).

I’m sorry, Aus­tralia, but the cat is out of the bag. Poor peo­ple do not do this or at least not in the num­bers we seem to man­age. Then there’s the way we dress. Branded cloth­ing is all the go, not just for adults but also for kids.

Hello, gen­er­a­tion Y. Do you re­alise that back in the dark ages kids in big fam­i­lies wore hand-me-downs? Do you know what a hand-me-down is? It’s when an older brother or sis­ter grows out of an item of cloth­ing and it’s passed on to a younger sib­ling. Yes, to wear. Some­times hand-me-downs came from cousins. Cousins!

Then there’s the way we eat: clearly ev­i­dence of a suc­cess­ful peo­ple. There are side­walk cafes and swish restau­rants filled with care­free peo­ple laugh­ing and drink­ing and eat­ing meals that can range from $20 for a ba­sic smashed av­o­cado with crum­bled feta on five-grain toast (with a chilli jam side) to more than $40 for a main course in a fan­cy­pants restau­rant.

So many life­style places, so much branded cloth­ing, so many over­seas jaunts can­not be sup­ported by just a few re­ally, re­ally rich peo­ple. This is mid­dle-class pros­per­ity writ large. Ev­ery­one is do­ing it. Ev­ery­one!

And that is why we Aussies should be proud of our suc­cess; so many peo­ple liv­ing such a lav­ish life­style can only mean we are bet­ter off to­day than we once were. Well done, Aus­tralia! I’m sorry what’s that you say? You’re feel­ing a bit guilty? Re­ally? Why? Be­cause you’re not re­ally rich at all but you quite like liv­ing a rich life­style? I’m sorry but how does that work? If you don’t have the money then how can you …? Oh, I see. Credit. No mort­gage. Liv­ing from week to week. You mean to tell me that the Aus­tralian na­tion is full of rich fak­ers? Fak­ers! Time to re­turn to base, Aus­tralia. Time to live within our means. Hello ev­ery­one, do you know what is meant by the term “to live within your means”? Be­cause I sus­pect this old-fash­ioned and dated con­cept may need to be dusted off, given a bit of a makeover and re­vived.

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