Patience is a necessary virtue


They say that the ‘WA’ in Western Australia stands for Wait Awhile. And this I have to say is most definitely true. Life simply goes at a much slower pace here, and whether you are sitting at the traffic lights (which incidentally have to be the slowest I have ever sat at) waiting for a coffee or at the checkout in Coles, there simply seems to be no urgency to get stuff done in anything that resembles a hurry.

Depending on what side of the bed you got out of that morning or whether you actually have anything important to get achieved that day before sunset, this can either be quite a calming experience, in a laid back living kind of way, or just downright bloody annoying.

On my first outing to a supermarket I stood in line with my trolley load of shopping and waited to pay. I picked up one of those conveniently placed magasine’s to skim (not to be confused with read, as that involves actually paying for it) and by the time I had read that Britney had done a Britney, Nicole was too thin and Misha too fat, the line still hadn’t moved on. Starting to feel slightly pissy at the very idea of having to reload, move and re-stack in another lane, should the till roll be empty, I looked to see what was taking so long. That, I was to find out, would be the methodical teller, placing each tin, bottle and packet into a bag, one at a time and with all the urgancy of a cat sleeping in the sun.

When I eventually dusted down the cobwebs and moved forward in the line, I offered to pack my own things, hoping that I might make it home before the food went past it’s ‘Best Before’ date. Not an unrealistic proposition you might think, considering that packing your own bags is a legal requirement in Tescos. But not here and not a chance. Don’t worry I was told, they were in no rush, they would do it for me. So very friendly and helpful, but oh my God, so painfully slow to observe. I have since learned that there is nothing to do in a situation such as this, but watch and wait… and eat your way through the packet of Tim Tams you have yet to buy.

Another example of this snails way of life came about yesterday, while trying to order something to eat in Dome. 40 minutes it took before the piece of cake made the long trip from the chiller to the plate to the table. Another 10 minutes before the hot chocolate followed suit – unfortunately 9 minutes too late to wash the cake down with. Now, though I am admittedly an impatient person to say the least, I’m not totally unreasonable. Had the place been heaving with a load of starving people all clamouring for service, or had the coco beans just been freshly ground by a singing Umpa Lumpa out the back, then I probably wouldn’t have cared about the wait. However, there were only 6 other people in Dome, all with a drink in hand. The bean in question was more Cadbury than Wonka and I had just over 5 minutes to drink up and be somewhere else.

Of course I suppose it was really my fault and I should have known better. I was afterall redeeming my drink with a voucher previously given to me as an apology for bad service. Once bitten and all. On that occasion, when ordering a ‘fresh’ risotto in Subiaco, it took 40 minutes to turn up and then closely resembled something that would be used to plaster a wall, only with slightly less flavour. When asked if it were meant to look like festering gruel, the insulted chef informed me that it had only just been removed from it’s packet and freshly microwaved before it came out to me, and that is how risotto was meant to look.

Hmmmmm, what can I say, you just can’t beat that fresh, home cooked taste…


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2 thoughts on “Patience is a necessary virtue

  1. hahaha, where in perth are you?

    i’m an expat as well, just been here almost two weeks. it’s beautiful but a bit disconcerting – and you are right about the check out lines. i was at mcdonald’s for lunch today, and i think i spent longer at the line than i did eating my big mac meal. 🙂

    people are so friendly and accomodating though, so the transition is not as hard as it could be.

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