Posts Tagged ‘Myers’

The Hike back to Central Station from the State Library.

January 21, 2017

photoThe geranium

The sapping heat, a dreadful massacre in Melbourne plus the Inauguration of a new US President took its toll. Tweeting and Face Bookings took over. Some wondered if the US is now on the very precipice of a catastrophe. However, calm and serenity seems to have returned. . A sigh of relief washed over the entire US when Trump restrained himself enough not to grab anyone by the pussy during the inauguration. It was a moving performance!

We both also enjoyed a restorative sleep. It is odd how keen I used to be on sleeping in as a young man. Now that I can, it lost its appeal. Nothing worse than tossing around sleepless. They say, that the elderly often suffer from sleeplessness. Are we haunted by memories? Could we have done things differently? Many people, especially those that claim to be balanced, say that looking back is not for them. They bounce about and are forever jolly and welcoming what is yet to come. They never worry about events of the past and try and do things even better.

To me, it is irritating how some have this ability to for always show this abject positivity. They often lay claims and accept a non questioning and passive vision of a rosy world. The positivity is at times hard to swallow and it alarms me. Is it my age? According to Helvi it is not. “You have always been a complainer and an incurable Jeremiah. A prophet of doom. You have to cheer up and make the best of it.”

It is food for thought!

As was mentioned previously, after noticing a prostrate sleeping man in front of the State Library, I went inside to present my ten books. The man behind the desk wore a uniform with a cap on which ‘State Library’ was written. He was surprised and I informed him of the two Literary awards. He accepted my books and assured me they would be presented to the right people. The State Library is a huge institution and is about far more than lending books. A photographic exhibition was on show. I noticed a huge portrait of our PM, Malcolm Turnbull which made me feel a bit uneasy. He had just managed to cut our pension and those of thousands of others, thousands had their whole pension cut. So much for those that saved up for ‘a rainy day.’

We both strolled around this lovely building. A man with a Coke in one hand and some food in the other, mumbled something while pointing somewhere. He looked normal but wasn’t. A security guard came and took him  gently by the hand ushering him outside. The man tried to come back inside but the guard prevented him. The man was clearly disturbed  mumbling while looking sane. But I wondered what would happen to this man next?

We both were having pangs of hunger and after the walk decided to slowly make our way to a very nice and air-conditioned shop ‘Myers’. Helvi felt her shoes were pinching her feet. Myers  has a very good shoe section. “It’s on the second floor.” Helvi stated firmly yet also optimistically.

We glided up the escalator and I soon found myself seated watching hordes of women trying on shoes. It was a wonderful and uplifting experience. I watched women looking at themselves while trying on new shoes. It was as if the shoe would transform them into stars again. They turned this way and that way. There is something very endearing about women enjoying themselves. Is it something that I could perhaps learn from?

But, the hunger only grew keener.

To be continued!

Surviving an economic Depression

May 18, 2012

Surviving an economic depression.

As a survivor from the last turmoil between 1940- 1945, I wonder what one could do in case of another downturn. How would people react when there is an economic collapse whereby the norms of a working society go askew?

The banks have gone broke. The rush to withdraw all savings turned into a stampede. The next day there were chains and padlocks on all the banks doors. There was a curt little notice that the bank would be closed till further notice. People queued up and small groups formed outside staring at the bank’s doors as if by magic they would somehow open up again. It was a strange and discomforting diversion from the norm.

The housing investment market started to wobble a few years earlier. Houses took a long time to sell and soon they reverted to dwellings that people lived in. With the banks closed, mortgage payments became superfluous. Roofs over one’s head became again what houses were originally, it kept the rain out. Keeping the rain out became what the homeless now needed more than ever. The government or what was left of it tried to arrange public buildings for sheltering the homeless.

The huge Ernest & Young multi storey building now housed seventeen thousand homeless spread out over all the floors. People did not mind climbing the emergency fire-escape stairs. The generators just supplied emergency power for some lights but excluded the lifts. The toilets still flushed but for how much longer? Rumours were going around that the Myer’s store were distributing food brought in by the Salvation Army and so far no reports of looting were heard about.

Neighbours, who previously kept themselves apart and much to themselves, very private, now introduced themselves and offered help. People started to be drawn together with sharing common needs. Fear and instinct for survival made for instant communication. “Have you got enough food” was a common question and concern for sharing became necessary. “One can get ten kilo bags of flour from the Town-Hall” someone told the neighbourhood.  Another one offered to pick up tins of powdered milk from somewhere else. It became a scramble to just see the next few days out. The closure of banks meant that money was scarce and bartering became the norm.

During cold weather fires were soon lit in public areas. People were seen huddling together talking and sharing the latest news. Some suburbs had no electricity and generators were hard pushed to find fuel for. The little fuel that was available was being kept for emergency driving only. Hospitals were still going on with caring for the sick and the government was issuing warnings that people ought to stay away from rioting youth and street fighting which had broken out in front of the Center-Link offices which had closed down as well. The police was kept busy.

Of course, the above is just one scenario that could happen. With the sort of survival methods that became necessary during the last war in Europe I can’t remember too much detail. I know more from what my parents told me than from memories. I do remember hunger though. That is something that doesn’t easily go away.

So, in short; food is the most essential part for survival. Shortage of food is still the norm amongst hundreds of millions of people around many parts of the world to-day. They experience economic depression as something that seems to last forever during their entire lives. How would we cope?