David Cook (davidcook) wrote,
David Cook

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Things ...

First, some thoughts expanding on something I mentioned during a phone call with halfflat last night (he's enjoying Barcelona so far, lucky devil).

People from Australia often complain that living in the UK is very expensive (even people from the UK have been known to do so).
The reality, so far at least, is that it's not as bad as people say it is. Partly this could be because we're in Glasgow rather than London, where rents are much higher. This could also be because we normally view UK prices through the UKP / AUD exchange rate, which has undervalued the Aussie dollar for at least the last 10 years or so (based on purchasing power parity surveys, at least).
But, if you go about daily life and forget about converting your supply of dollars into a much smaller number of pounds, prices for most things seem to make sense. Looking at our budget so far, with only one of us working, it looks like we'll have a reasonable amount of money available to do things with (like travelling around all the cool places that are now within a few hours driving or flying time).

Some things actually are more expensive of course - fresh foods, particularly meat, and petrol (currently around UKP 0.80 here, which is about AUD 2). Cursory searching suggests that the UK has about the most expensive petrol in the EU (in most countries the price is equivalent to around UKP 0.65 - 0.75, the US price is around 0.25-0.30, and the Australian price would be around 0.40).

Meanwhile, rwrylsin wondered aloud if there were any castles for sale so we could run out and buy one and renovate it. I shouldn't have been surprised when castles-for-sale.com was among the first search results I got (there are quite a few sites selling or renting out castles, and a similar number for islands).

Finally, we saw Shrek 2 on Saturday night, and it was a lot of fun and very amusing (although the previews and ads for this give away some bits which would ideally have been be a surprise during the movie; oh well). We walked home, along Sauchiehall St, which is apparently the nightclub district in Glasgow (or part of it, at least), and saw quite a few people staggering around, who had obviously been enjoying themselves for quite a while already (it was about half past midnight at the time). Thinking about this reminded me of something I saw ... somewhere, possibly New Scientist , possibly elsewhere - a study which looked at the way people behave when intoxicated. The study found that, while alcohol removes inhibitions to some extent, much of the behaviour shown is culturally determined - that is, part of your drunken behaviour will reflect how you expect drunken people to behave. I wonder what this means for cultures where drunken people (I'm thinking particularly of young males here) routinely show violent or aggressive or just plain dumb behaviour ? Can we change this expectation and reduce the impact of alcohol on society ?

Finally2, I seem to have caught rwrylsin's cold, but I guess that's not a huge surprise.

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