SPUG: Many thanks for advice on living in Seattle

Jacinta Richardson jarich at perltraining.com.au
Wed Aug 10 17:13:14 PDT 2005

G'day everyone,

I have been absolutely swamped with feedback to my questions about living in
Seattle (don't let this stop you from sending anything else you're writing
though).  I apologise for not thanking each of your individually.

I've really appreciated the diversity of answers I've received and feel
confident that Seattle sounds very much like most other cities, although better
situated with respect to outdoor activities.

Of course, I haven't lived in a city which is like "most other cities".
Melbourne sprawls for 100km in most directions, maybe more in some.  But for all
that, the CBD is contained in an area of 10 x 10 city blocks.  The CBD has 5
train stations pseudo-surrounding it and couldn't fit any more in.  Congestion
is bad if it delays you for more than 20 minutes on your way to work (including
most accidents), this level of congestion is also rare.  A few CBD streets are
closed to traffic except late at night.

There are other business districts out in the suburbs, but nothing bigger than 2
x 5 city blocks.  There are only 3 or 4  footpaths in the Melbourne CBD which
get and stay sufficiently busy throughout the day, that I can't walk and read
from my book at the same time.  There are multiple shopping strips, scattered
through the suburbs, which also get that busy but not every one, and not all the
time.  Retail outlets in Melbourne shut down at 5 - 6pm all nights excepting
Thursday, Friday and Saturday when they close at 7 or 8pm.  Restaurants close
their kitchens at 10pm, excepting some which stay open "'til late" on Fridays
and Saturdays.  On the other hand many supermarkets stay open 24 hours a day.

Sydney is more like "most other cities".  It also sprawls forever in most
directions, but it has a huge CBD wrapped around and across its central bay.  It
has up to 20 inner city train stops and manages a great deal of traffic.
Congestion in Sydney is bad if you're delayed by more than 30 minutes.  Delays
of an hour or more are very rare even though Sydney also, only has a handful of
bridges.  Sydney shuts down at 6pm all nights excepting Thursday, and possibly
Saturday.  Of course some restaurants and cinemas stay open, but the inner city
becomes a ghost town amazingly fast unless you know where to look.   I haven't
lived in Sydney, I've just visited it a lot.

We're still considering this job offer, but on the balance of things I don't
think Paul will be accepting.  We're 4 -7 cushy years away from being able to
give up work entirely and retire with a comfortable lifestyle.  Assuming things
continue as they have, these 4 - 7 years of work will now require only 30 hours
a week from us while still giving us 20 - 30 days off each year.  We've finally
gotten the business to the place we want it, and we're not convinced giving that
up would be worthwhile.

It is nice to know that Paul is so well known and popular that some certain big
companies would be happy to import him all the way from over here.  It means
that if something terrible happens to our business we might still have a clean
evacuation plan.

Thanks again for all of your help and particularly all of the urls you gave me.
 I feel much more confident about the idea of leaving all the known behind and
heading off to explore the unknown, even if I might not be doing it this time

All the best,


   ("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._          |  Jacinta Richardson         |
    `6_ 6  )   `-.  (     ).`-.__.`)  |  Perl Training Australia    |
    (_Y_.)'  ._   )  `._ `. ``-..-'   |      +61 3 9354 6001        |
  _..`--'_..-_/  /--'_.' ,'           | contact at perltraining.com.au |
 (il),-''  (li),'  ((!.-'             |   www.perltraining.com.au   |

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