These photos don’t actually reflect the time and place when I’m writing this, but were taken several days earlier in the English city of Bath. At the time of writing, I am sitting just outside a café in Merseyside, also in the United Kingdom, reflecting on the differences between the culture I live in, and the cultures here. It is odd that there are so many differences, on one level, because my family is a Canadian reflection of the culture here, being offshoots of families that still live in England, Wales and Ireland. Yet the way we approach life in my corner of Canada is different, and largely driven by climate, population density and a cost-of-living discordance. For a product, beverage or confection that I pay a loonie/dollar for in Canada, I am paying a pound for in the UK. That sounds okay on the surface, but when you note that the exchange rate is approximately 1.9 to 1, almost a 2 to 1 ratio, it makes very little sense. With this model a one dollar chocolate bar becomes a two dollars indulgence, so very quickly. You can quickly get confused if you try to compare the currencies using anything like an apples-to-oranges comparison or measure. But the other harmonic in this is that the monies being earned here are equivalent and there is the balance point. Huh? Basically what I mean is that the Brits earn in pounds and spend in pounds. If I worked here I would earn in pounds and spend in pounds. The dissonance goes away…. it is only when you are working to match apples to apples does the apparent inequity show up. Don’t do it; its a tough one to try to balance when you’re on vacation.
Did I mention that I am somewhat surprised by the number of middle agers (50 something’s to mid sixties) who are just wandering about, doing errands, looking after toddlers, and generally going about their business of living outside of ‘business’. For instance, a fifty-something man just strolled by with a loaf of bread under his arm, an older woman just wheeled a toddler by on her way to visit friends over a coffee. This little village with a road running through it that feels like a fairly major artery is idyllic on the surface, but teeming with activity underneath the surface.
Sorry; this post is a bit of a ramble. I needed to write something, but couldn’t focus on my book or on the technical blog posts…