Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The State of Oz

I am in my third week visiting Brisbane, Australia. I have always loved living here and this trip has been no exception. We are in our old house, our tenants having vacated just before we arrived. There was a lot of work to be done on the place, mostly due to the climate. Overgrown gardens needed trimming, mold grows fast when plumbing leaks, termites in a section of a retaining wall (but not the house!). Nothing unexpected for Brisbane. All of it is now repaired, along with much new paint. The house is feeling like the top property it is again.

Food has become quite expensive here. We were shocked at the prices! A simple sandwich and coffee is well over the ten dollar mark. Lunch at the tourist restaurant on top of Mount Coot-Tha for the four of us neared A$60! Even groceries for the month have been exorbitant.

Paul tells me that it is no longer reasonable to expect to rent a house here for a price which would cover a mortgage payment. That agrees with our experience. The combination of food prices and rental prices points to a real problem with the economy here. The weather is still beautiful, though!

We have had a wonderful time bush walking Mount Coot-Tha, Mount Warning and South Stradbroke Island. The Eumundi Markets are as good as always. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and the Australia Zoo were big hits with the kids.

Brisbane remains a truly livable city, with its excellent bus service, walking trails and superb entertainment. It is a concern, though, that it may be becoming too expensive to live here.

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