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You Get What You Pay For

By alyte on January 20, 2013 in Other

Photo: Rupert Truscott-Hughes

Photo: Rupert Truscott-Hughes

I’ve noticed a lot of people whingeing about how expensive it is to live in the Eastern Suburbs of late. Ask most people and they’ll tell you that rents are too expensive, housing is too expensive, food is too expensive, parking is too expensive, rates are too expensive, tolls are too expensive, beer is too expensive – everything is too expensive.

Well people, Rupert is here to enlighten you and hopefully cheer you up along the way, for despite the costly nature of calling the Eastern Suburbs home, things could certainly be a hell of a lot worse.

Last week I had to drive to Liverpool. Yes, Liverpool. A former housekeeper and close friend of my mother (god bless her soul) is in poor health and her days are most certainly numbered. While I’m not known for being the caring type, Rose was always good to me as a child and tucked me into bed and read to me on many more occasions than either of my parents.

As she lay on her deathbed she turned to me with her trademark squint and said: “Rupert dear, you are truly blessed. While I worked hard for your parents, I was happy to do so as it meant that I got to spend my days in Point Piper. It was worth the drive from out here. For me, work was like an escape from all the troubles out west. I could go to the beach in my breaks and the people always seemed so friendly. I really wish I could’ve afforded to live there.”

Rose was right. I have been truly blessed. I have rarely ventured west of Anzac Parade and certainly haven’t had to go through the struggles that many working class families face on a daily basis.

But there is a reason it’s expensive around here. Gun-related crime? Minimal. Ethnic unrest? Virtually non-existent. Traffic jams? Apart from school pick-up time and special events the most time you’ll spend stationary in your car is at the traffic lights.

What I am trying to say is that the reason things are so expensive in our little corner of the world is because it’s a great place to live. Not only are the Eastern Suburbs surrounded by the natural beauty of the harbour and the ocean, the high cost of living keeps the plebs out. Imagine the types you’d see around here if it were affordable. As if it’s not already bad enough that we have the former owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs residing in Rose Bay, if it were any cheaper to live here he’d probably be joined by some of his fellow supporters. Thankfully it’s a long way from Long Bay, where most Rabbitohs supporters can afford to reside (many of them in the clink, no doubt).

Normally when people throw around the phrase “if you don’t like it, live somewhere else” they do so as a thinly veiled form of racism. On this occasion it’s nothing quite so sinister. Simply put, if you’re not happy with the cost of living here in the Eastern Suburbs, why not venture west for a while and see how you like it?

Yes, Eastern Suburbs living can be a burden on the bank account at times but, as they say, you get what you pay for.

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