Picture: Jon Hewson
If you've ever heard me say that life in this part of the world is always interesting and wondered what I mean by that, well an article that appeared in a local newspaper this week about sums it up. The article titled "Cashed up bogan from Mandurah sparks debate in Wall Street Journal" was written by Vanessa Schmitt of the the Mandurah Coastal Times and you can read it here. In case you were wondering, this isn't a hoax.
You may have thought that the "two-speed economy" and the "cashed up bogan" were just media constructs, but let me assure you they are not. Mandurah is a prime example of Australia's so-called two-speed economy as in this small city we have people with enormous wealth living right alongside people living in serious poverty. And cashed-up bogans are not only real but they make up a large part of this community along with doing-it-tough bogans, FIFO (fly in fly out) workers and their families, grey nomads, living-the-dream-lifestylers, and recent migrants (mostly from the UK and South Africa but lots of New Zealanders too).
So read the article and see if you can work out why I with my handmade, slow-living, permaculture, make-do-and-mend, let's-not-bust-our-one-planet, there-are-dozens-of-things-I-value-more-than-money, buy-once-buy-well style found Mandurah extremely challenging when I first moved here. It really is another world here and some bits of it sure as heck aren't pretty. Is this what those deluded NZ politicians mean when they bang on about NZ needing to "catch up with Australia"?