Living in a student flat. Tell tale signs: a full cupboard of booze, a refridgerator that smells bad, posters sticky-puttied to walls, an over abundance of cheap and mostly empty hygiene products in the bathroom, clutter, noise, and phones ringing in the middle of the night. Back home my life looks suburban housewife in comparison; I\’m not sure which I like better. Home is comfortable. I don\’t live well with most other people, and the two other girls here are no exception. I get the feeling that if anyone else other than Jam was home right now, I\’d have a lot of explaining to do, what with my 1960s era reggae filling the room and my naked body spread in plain sight of the kitchen. Don\’t like wearing clothes.
The conversion rate is so entirely kicking my ass. It\’s gone up more than I had realized over the years. What started out as a few hundred dollars became less than one hundred pounds at the Travelex counter. I broke my bank account yesterday while splurging on some great UK urban planning books that I can\’t get in the US. Guess I won\’t be hitting up Armstrong\’s for a new coat now, after all. No exporting whisky this time, either. Tomato Ketchup flavored crisps and some Irn-Bru will have to do. Am I getting more thrifty over the years, or simply more poor? I recently came across my old receipts from the mania of 2000, where I managed to spend a little over $500 at two record stores in one afternoon. I had the money then. But then, my rent was also a hell of a lot cheaper, and gas for my moped went much slower than for my guzzling Neon.
The culture of material acquisition has had me as a slave for years, and no matter how many times I give away my belongings in protest, it takes only a glance in a High Street window for the desire of pointless and expensive items to rewire my brain to buy. What the hell am I going to do with the eight pairs of high heeled shoes in Schuh\’s windows that go for $65 a pair? (No, I haven\’t purchased any of them, but resistance has been painful.) I can\’t even wear heels for more than a few minutes without ending up in a great deal of pain, and yet I covet. I wish it made no sense, but the fact is, it does. When I was in the Highlands this past weekend, I had no desire to acquire anything except perhaps a warmer coat and warmer boots. As soon as I get back to the city and its very large proliferation of shops of all sorts, its billboards and bus ads, its fashionable people on the streets, its various gourmet grocery stores stocked with five kinds of organic cookies… as soon as I saw, I wanted to shop. It\’s BAD. Things I don\’t need, things I only momentarily want, things I will never use but acknowledge that it sure looks good in the shops… FUCK.
At Waterstone\’s yesterday we saw a wonderful coffee table book (enter pointless coveting) called \’Cities.\’ The book said that Australians view Brisbane as the redneck sister city that they are a bit embarrassed about, even as it is slowly gaining a larger variety of shi-shi culture. It\’s not really an acceptable place to live if you want to be, well, young and with-it. Jamie says it sounds like my kind of place. I\’m getting more nervous every week. Three more months to go.
By the way, upon my entry into Glasgow, customs interrogated me. Heil the Bush/Blair war time reign.