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Julie2022member
145 posts
Location: Little Rock, AR


Posted:
Discussion about hurricane Katrina has made me wonder just what I do and don't know about people and how they live in other countries, and in other areas of the United States.

Just how different am I, if at all, from everyone else because I've been raised the way I've been raised.

Well, let me start.
My father is a minister, so I was raised with well-rounded morals and high expectations as to how I should live and what I should do with my life. I wouldn't all my father being a minister as having a priveledged life. We never had new clothes, we shopped at second-hand stores all the time. We took advantage of food banks and coupons. We lived on beans, rice and pasta - very simple, very basic.
Years later, I am now 25 with three children and am married to a military man. He's been in the service for 13 years, now. and just recently he was promoted to a higher status. This higher status has allowed us to, finally, get a dependable vehicle and let go of our two, old 1992 dodge blazers that we kept alive for years.
We live in a rental home that is not in the greatest neighborhood. It's small, barely big enough for a family of 5. But it has a decent yard where the kids can play, and it's fairly close to my son's school. However, it's 30 minutes away from where my husband works. So, there goes gas and other expenses.

A few months ago we began saving and planning on buying a house in a town that's closer to my husbands work. However - with gas prices getting higher, we decided to forgo buying a home and stay put where we are. Possibly we will ask to be moved on post so we can spare his travel time to and from work.

In one years time he will be sent to Iraq, at least that's the plan for him, things might change. Then what? I don't know.

So, how do I live compared to everyone else? We put money into our savings account to cover vehicle issues and health care expenses. I spend a budgeted amount on food each week, I wash clothes twice a week, I do yard work and all the good around-the-house stuff there is to do. I don't work - daycare for my daughter (she just turned one) is expensive and the idea of someone else taking care of her isn't really what I'm comfortable with. My two sons are in school and doing well.

We don't go out to eat very much, either sit-down or drive-through. We, really, don't spend much on things other than the bills and the basics.
What are my bills? We have cell phones instead of a house-phone because it's cheaper. We have cable and high-speed internet connections. We pay for electric, gas, water, vehicle insurance, monthly rent and we make payments on a few, old school loans from when my husband was being schooled for aircraft maintenance.

All of our expenses total around $1,600/mth - which I consider to be average (is it? I don't know, what's average?) that also includes our budgeted allowance for gasoline, which is getting higher and higher.
Now, I did live years on an income 1/2 of my current expenses. I know that living that was wouldn't have been possible for me if gasoline was $3.50/gallon. Back then - gas, at most, was $1.25. Incredible was a few years can bring.
I've lived on government handouts, before. I received a welfare allowance and food stamps, which I detested. However, I can see how some people can live on government assistance and be ok with it and not try to let go of it.
Where you live makes a big difference. I live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Arkansas being on the lower-end of the average income chart. New York and places of the such being on the high end. One of my sisters lived in New York for years - her monthly apartment rental was in excess of what my husband earns in one month. I thought that was rediculous - but that's the way things go.


When my daughter turns 4 she will go into pre-k, and then I'll be able to continue with college. My plan is to get my degree in business management in order to work for or begin my own business that's based on consignment. (Consignment is when someone makes their product and sells it through a store. I would consign jewelry and clothing, things of that nature.) I am big on home-made this and that. I sew clothes, I make jewelery (just for fun: corset )
( and: simple necklace )

However, with less and less people having extra money to spend on such things - I'm beginning to wonder if planning a business based on the sale of such things is even an option anymore.

Anyway - that's my life. And I'm posting all of this because I am wondering where I stand compared to everyone else. I know where I stand compared to the people around me. There are the poor, the middle-class, the upper-middle-class and the rich. We're at the bottom: between the poor and the middle class.

"I'm your Huckleberry."

The muse spake her thought and then there was silence. Thy spiked tongue had melted, only a bitter heart remained.


bluecatgeek, level 1
5,300 posts
Location: everywhere


Posted:
just for comparison on one note, no others;

in the uk we now pay $7.75/gallon on diesel, and about $6.90 on petrol(gas)

for anyone interested, and a little offtopic(sorry julie)the reason(so i have heard from several reputable sources, and one or two not so reputable) we pay so mch more for diesel than for petrol(unlike in ANY other country) is that the UK army is stockpiling diesel for the inevitable moment in the future when there is none - all 'our' tanks and army trucks run on diesel

sorry for instant hijack; i think this could and should be a fascinating thread :applause:

R

Holistic Spinner (I hope)


thelostSILVER Member
mmm...i feel all warm and fuzzy... 'no dude, that's your hair on fire'
355 posts
Location: Birmingham, Australia


Posted:
ok, i never really cared for other country's petrol prices before (because US do petrol in gallons, we do litres and i can't be bothered to convert the units) but the UK prices are insane compared to the US.

Now i know why people really wanted the US to buy into this pollution policy frown

Take cheap fuel, multiply by number of citizens with drivers licenses in the US...Not saying the UK isn't bad either, but I drive less cos i'm a student and i got a tight budget (i.e. no money) frown

It's better to burn out than to fade away


SethisBRONZE Member
Pooh-Bah
1,762 posts
Location: York University, United Kingdom


Posted:
Are people other than adults supposed to comment on this thread? Cos I can't really comment about so much of your life, having never experienced anything other than part-time jobs and school.

After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.


Julie2022member
145 posts
Location: Little Rock, AR


Posted:
Anything goes, I write long posts sometimes, but that doesn't mean that if you write less than you're less important.



I'm so blind to how other people live in other places that I thought this would be an interesting way to find out what someone else's life is like. I've only lived my life and I've only seen other lives from the outside.



I have a few internet friends from other countries, and through them I've come to appreciate more of what I do and don't have.



Where's Cumbria? What are you studying?



Over $7.00/ gallon! Wow, I can't imagine that. That is more money than I was paid by the hour working in certain places. That, here, would nullify the reason for working all together. so I presume that in the UK the average income is considerably higher than the average income in the US?



Yeah, I know it's hard to convert this, litres, gallons, etc ... supposedly I took a class in highschool that taught me everything I need to know, lol!.




EDITED_BY: Julie2022 (1125696695)

"I'm your Huckleberry."

The muse spake her thought and then there was silence. Thy spiked tongue had melted, only a bitter heart remained.


bluecatgeek, level 1
5,300 posts
Location: everywhere


Posted:
m.

i know the average incom is higher here, but not by an enormous amount. certainly not double., and probably not more than about 20%

we have a few things that make it not matter so much:
much less reliance on cars - in fact a LOT of people in this country don't own a car, again i don't have figures, but i only have one or two friends who own cars + a few hippies who own vans...
we live really close to each other - the UK is the size of NY state(can somebody check that for me please?)
much as everybody maligns it, we have much, much better public transport than you. there is no social stigma to taking long distance buses!



as for life....
i live a very, very unconventional life as an executive hippy: i get paid to juggle, spin fire, dress up, go to festivals....
i have no children - i find it hard to imagine my life being so different. i am 25 and have spent much of my life in different countries - france(total nearly 18 months) italy(7) NZ(4) Brazil (2) and have visited for less than a month spain, germany, austria, canada, denmark, finland, fiji, belgium...
i love seeeing how different people live.
i have never visited the US out of principle(staunch anti bush) but have many american friends.

i work more than i care to admit, because i love my job, tho i get paid less than minimum wage out of choice. I learnt how to live cheaply and hope i always will.

i have many, many hobbies.

and for a random unknown fact:
i was captain of my university badminton team.

biggrin
R

Holistic Spinner (I hope)


Julie2022member
145 posts
Location: Little Rock, AR


Posted:
I imagine that living without a vehicle is no problem if you're close to what you need: work, grocery stores, etc. I live in a 15 minute walk from a small store that sells a few grocery basics, but everything else is so far-away, it's not quite possible. Now, when I move in a few weeks - that will change. I'll be able to walk to wherever I need to and then we can save on gas$ and other stuff.

You've avoided coming to the US because of our president? Awe, well - don't worry, he'll be out in 3 years and I'm sure that our next elected president will be a democrat - I think everyone's tired of Bush's republican stances and we'll be happy to avoid it again.

I have traveled no where outside the US. I've lived in quite a few different states, but those were all the same types of communities - so nothing much has changed move to move.

I would like to visit other places like Cairo, Egypt to see the pyramids, Greece, England, Scottland, Germany, Austrailia, Italy, France, and India. But I won't be able to for years to come.

Curious, what type of shows you do watch on tv? If any. I've met some international internet friends who don't own a tv. In fact, their view of Americans is that we watch too much tv and sit around getting fat. It's not true for me, but a lot of people can't deny it. smile

As I've mentioned, I make maille and am currently exploring ways of doing this as a part-time job of sorts. I also keep myself busy with yardwork and childcare this and thats.

University - as in a college or is that how you refer to highschool?

"I'm your Huckleberry."

The muse spake her thought and then there was silence. Thy spiked tongue had melted, only a bitter heart remained.


thelostSILVER Member
mmm...i feel all warm and fuzzy... 'no dude, that's your hair on fire'
355 posts
Location: Birmingham, Australia


Posted:
University is higher education, for people who just finish high school i'm guessing (17/18 years old). Not too clear on the US school systems (Grades etc just confuse me)

It's better to burn out than to fade away


_Clare_BRONZE Member
Still wiggling
5,967 posts
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)


Posted:
"i was captain of my university badminton team."

You learn a new thing every day biggrin

(Rob - you're only 25?!!!!!)

biggrin

Julie... tis great that you're asking these questions. hug

Getting to the other side smile


georgia-kBRONZE Member
Member
22 posts
Location: out to lunch, United Kingdom


Posted:
university is what americans call college. what we call college is the last 2 years of high school.

the minimum wage here works out at $8.25 an hour ( i think ive got that right- a dollar is about 60p isn't it?) so probably poor people here are a bit less poor than over there even though petrol is so expensive. and we get housing benefit, so if you're relly poor you don't have to pay all your rent.

round where i live in west wales everyone wants a car, it's like what you were describing julie. petrol has always been really expensive so me and my mates try to share lifts as much as possible. quite a few of us don't have cars and it's a huge pain in the arse. i can borrow my mum's car sometimes but oterwise i cycle. i'm a bit of a cycling freak though most people wouldnt even consider cycling as far as i do.

Julie2022member
145 posts
Location: Little Rock, AR


Posted:
(In America) If you're really really poor the gov't covers your cost for food, housing, childcare so you can work, etc...I was in a bind like that when I had to leave my first husband (he was very abusive) and the gov't helped me until I was able to float on my own, which I never did very smoothly - I deffinately couldn't do it now with the prices of things going higher and salaries and hourly wages staying the same.

The government standard for minimun wage in Arkansas is closer to the 6.00/hr range (my father took a minimun wage job last year when he was away from the ministry for a bit) It wasn't worth it for him to drive - he walked to work all the time.

Anyway, the reason I asked about University/College is that I had a friend from Prague (that's the capital of the Czech Republic) that called our high-school a university. I, now, think he was trying to use the English term and was confused a bit as to which term was proper.

hug Firepoise, thank you, I'm finding it to be very interesting.

Hmm - so, for those who don't need vehicles. How close do you live to your grocery store and places like that? How far do you have to walk or ride a bike?

Does anyone ever do this?...google maps just to see the world? here's a start - www.maps.google.com - Most of the world is photographed in satelite/hybrid view - you can zoom in using the +/- on the left of the screen, use your mouse to navigate...I find this to be fascinating, most highly populated areas you can zoom in to see individual buildings and streets.
In the US the streets are labeled. I've looked at the pyramids in Egypt, the Grand Canyon, the only thing I haven't found yet is Stonehenge. I've looked for crop circles that might have been around at the time the images were captured.
This is as close to other countries I'm going to get - it's very fascinating.

here's a quick link to Little Rock, AR - I live in the southern around - around the I-630/I-430 area... https://maps.google.com/maps?oi=map&q=Little+Rock,+AR
if you're interested.

Here's New Orleans before Katrina... https://maps.google.com/maps?oi=map&q=New+Orleans,+LA
and click on the red Katrina link to see it after, for those who are interested, perhaps that should be in a different thread?

Ok - How often do you vacation away from your town/city? I haven't left Little Rock for anything in years. The last trip I took anywhere was to the Ozark mountains to go camping (that's in west Arkansas.)

"I'm your Huckleberry."

The muse spake her thought and then there was silence. Thy spiked tongue had melted, only a bitter heart remained.


pricklyleafSILVER Member
with added berries
1,365 posts
Location: Manchester, England (UK)


Posted:
Where I live in West Yorkshire most people want cars, as things are fairly far apart, although you can get by on buses and trains.

However in Glasgow, hardly anyone has a car due to the high student population and everything being within walking distance, also there is an excellent puiblic transport system. It's just te culture up there, everyone walks. (plus there aren't enough places to park a car!).

And me? well...

I'm 21 and currently a student studying ceramics at the art school in Glasgow, I fill my free time spinning poi, juggling etc, we've got a really good juggling club up here, and I met a lot of friends there. I go to uni every weekday 9.30 to 4.30, but often stay a lot longer than that, doing art takes up a lot of time. I rarely go out on the town. Well, I wanted to do something different!

I live in a small rented flat in Glasgow, with two others. I don't have room for a TV, or very good reception in my room anyway, so I mainly listen to the radio, read, do whatever else. I actually really enjoy not having a TV, it leaves you with so much free time, and now I have a laptop I can watch dvds on if I just want to chill.

I live with my parents in the uni holidays in Yorkshire where I have full use of a car and a TV etc. My Mum is disabled, she has MS, and can't do much for herself now, which is sometimes hard to deal with but you just have to get on with it, and we try to make sure we go for days out, to restaurants etc as much as possible and make the most of things.

My parents have recently move to a nice bungalow which is much better for Mum (before she had to sleep in the lounge). Although money is tight, with my Dad being self-employed and my Mum unable to work, we get by OK and have everything we need and more.

Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


thelostSILVER Member
mmm...i feel all warm and fuzzy... 'no dude, that's your hair on fire'
355 posts
Location: Birmingham, Australia


Posted:
Here in Birmingham there's absolutely no place to park without paying, so I don't have my car here, plus a lot of the roads around the city centre wind around etc and it isn't a grid system like a lot/most of US cities I've been to, so it's hard to navigate for me, so I end up walking everywhere, even if it takes like 30-45 mins. The upside is that I'm only about 3-4 minutes walk from my campus and about 10-15 minutes walk from the city shopping centres.



It's exercise after all and if I'm not in a rush, I don't mind.

It's better to burn out than to fade away


sayamember
30 posts
Location: the Netherlands


Posted:
We live 10/15 minutes walking from the shopping centre so I always walk there, or sometimes take my bike. My sister likes to lend my moms scooter whenever she goes there and I still don't understand what problem she has with walking/cycling. My dad always does the saterday shopping with his car, but thats only because it is a bit to much to take on a bike. The high school of my town is 15 minutes by bike from here but I went to another town so I always had to cycle 45/60 minutes, but I didn't care, I enjoyed it so much that sometimes I wook the bike when it was raining. (while I could take the bus) I really miss the cycling at the moment, but the university is to far away to cycle. So I take the train and the bus. I travel with the bus/train for free from monday-friday (but have to pay it back if I don't finish my study or something like that), so I don't even bother about a car. With a bit of luck I will be living near the university before next year so I can cycle again.:D



At home we always went on vacation twice a year. A week in May (mostly Germany)with the family and three/four weeks during the summer with just the four of us (netherlands/france/germany), and when I was still with the scouts I also went on summercamp for a week. Because I have different holidays now I am going to university we didn't went away in May this year but I did go on fieldwork in France for my study. They say it is not a vacation but it almost feels like one;D
EDITED_BY: saya (1125856616)

thelostSILVER Member
mmm...i feel all warm and fuzzy... 'no dude, that's your hair on fire'
355 posts
Location: Birmingham, Australia


Posted:
Written by: saya

I travel with the bus/train for free from monday-friday (but have to pay it back if I don't finish my study or something like that)




That's actually a pretty cool incentive to get people into public transport for schools (since I used to take the bus to school before I could drive). I worked out that for some strange reason, driving to school was more economical than my bus pass...
If students were encouraged to take public transport from a younger age, then you wouldn't get as many 'school-run mums and dads' which were crazy at my school.

It's better to burn out than to fade away


sayamember
30 posts
Location: the Netherlands


Posted:
As far as I know you only get it when you have finished highschool and go to the university or another form of higher education so its still useless to encourage public transport from a younger age. (I assumed you were not talking about 17/18/19 year olds when talking about younger age)
Most younger people I know go to school by bike (with or without parents), but that is just because where I live most people live close to a pre/high school (whatever you call those in English). So they don't need public transport to go to school. But when people live further away from school is sounds like a good idea:D

pricklyleafSILVER Member
with added berries
1,365 posts
Location: Manchester, England (UK)


Posted:
Most unis and higher education places in Britain will give students transport bursarys, so if you live in Britain and have to use public transport to get to college, youshould qualify for free transport in.

Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


AntMikemember
37 posts
Location: Spain,Britain


Posted:
cudos to julie2022, it's my first time in any forum in HOP (newbie!) and seriously enjoyed the topic. I'm from Liverpool in England(yup, where the Beatles are from), an industrial city coming to grips with the changeover to urban and cultural tourism. When i'm there (i'm currently staying at my folks house in Spain) i tend to struggle to do things i enjoy as the city is growing so expensive that i have to work more and more to afford to live there (hence being in spain). Like most citys, we have our share of social problems and class inequity.
It seems to me that nothing fun is free or nothing free is fun in Liverpool. The only thing keeping me sane when there is, the thing that binds us all on this site: Poi and other juggling arts. Fortunatly, Liverpool has more acres of parkland and the highest count of trees in any city in England(so i've been told), So there's pleanty of space to swing when skint. My personal fave is the docks on the banks of the River Mersey, Out-front of the LiverBuildings.(prominent Riverside bulding). I consider myself lucky as i don't have children, so my time is mine. Maybe a selfish attitude but thats why i choose not to have kids. As much as like the little buggers.
Me being in spain is a different string to my life. I grew up here, and was educated here. My family are by no means wealthy, they worked very hard to show me and my 2 brothers there is life outside Liverpool and England. It worked and i consider that the best education i've had.
If i may ask a side question to this forum? What do people think is their most educational aspect from life, outside of school? i'm particually interested in Julie's and Bluecat's response to this, as they've a similar age(and as i'm currently suffering an existentialist mid-twenties crisis,age is a topic with me at the moment), but all opinions are welcome.

I think we've established that KaKaw KaKaw and Tookie Tookie ain't workin'..


thelostSILVER Member
mmm...i feel all warm and fuzzy... 'no dude, that's your hair on fire'
355 posts
Location: Birmingham, Australia


Posted:
Written by: pricklyleaf


Most unis and higher education places in Britain will give students transport bursarys, so if you live in Britain and have to use public transport to get to college, youshould qualify for free transport in.




Ours don't... frown

Written by: saya

As far as I know you only get it when you have finished highschool and go to the university or another form of higher education so its still useless to encourage public transport from a younger age. (I assumed you were not talking about 17/18/19 year olds when talking about younger age)




I meant IF there was a system where school provided passes (but that's up to government funding, which frankly, for the UK is pretty poor). It'd be great if they got younger students like aged 12+ who take buses and trains to school instead of relying on their parents to take them to school.

It's better to burn out than to fade away


Julie2022member
145 posts
Location: Little Rock, AR


Posted:
Woot - Most educational aspect of life?
Hmm, that must be me having children. I dropped out of highschool because I was a stupid teenager and got pregnant, so my story goes. I wasn't ready to be a parent, I am still figuring it out all these years later smile

I've taken advantage of public transportation just a few times - and that was a long time ago. That was, in fact, in 1992 when I lived near Washington DC. We would metro (subway) into DC and walk around now and again - and that was it. I've never rode the bus, the most of these past few years I haven't worked much, so I really don't get out at all other than the grocery store, post office and the bank.

Curious - for those who do own vehicles do you pay for insurance to cover the cost of accidents and such? For my two vehicles (a chevy and a nova) we pay just over $80.00/mth for insurance - that covers damages that are from an accident, things like that.

I was watching a program on tv the other night about London city taxi (cab) and bus drivers. Just how much they have to go through to become one. I didn't realize how big London was - over 5,000 streets that they have to memorize! That's incredible. (I just thought that was an interesting fact to squeeze into this topic.)

"I'm your Huckleberry."

The muse spake her thought and then there was silence. Thy spiked tongue had melted, only a bitter heart remained.


AntMikemember
37 posts
Location: Spain,Britain


Posted:
Funny you mention that test(called the 'Knowlage'.Sorry i can't spell) I drove a black cab in my home city for 6 months...Man was that ever depressing.
Because of liverpools high vechicle crime rate i have to pay around....erm...$2000 for a 1.5 litre engine'd car (per year that is).
Sorry i'm new to this, what toys do you play with?

I think we've established that KaKaw KaKaw and Tookie Tookie ain't workin'..


roarfireSILVER Member
comfortably numb
2,676 posts
Location: The countryside, Australia


Posted:
I guess, with my family, you could say that I live in a slightly abnormal sort of family, not that it's a bad thing, just not the 'norm' for this generation.



I'm from a good family, never had any childhood troubles. My parents aren't divorced like a lot of my friends parents are. We're quite well off, but I'm not saying I'm spoilt so don't think that. I don't drive, I'm not 18 yet (in a couple of weeks!) I never got to meet my grandparents which is a bit of a shame, I would have liked to.



Bare in mind that I'm still young, in my final year of school, still at home with parents etc. I've never had to worry about bills, weddings, children. (yet)



I am the youngest of 3. I have two older brothers, Andrew & Chris. Andrew is 21, he's a medical student, deferring doing honours and masters and all this other stuff (I've lost track!). In high school, he had a near perfect score, dux of the school and the our region, being on the news, going to Belgium for a Biology Oympiad. You could imagine that there was a lot of pressure on me, which caused me to go through some stupid rebellious teenage stage, but let's not get into that. (This was a few years ago) So anyway, he's off at Uni in Melbourne (a couple of hours away) and comes back to visit every few weeks.



The second oldest brother, Chris, was born with Cerebral Palsy. He's nearly 20, he's wheelchair bound, but he can talk thankfully. We are incredibly lucky with him. I don't know exactly how he thinks or what he's capable of thinking. Sure he's a little slow and gets a few sentences mucked up, but it could be much worse. There's been times when he's fallen into sudden seizures, particularly when I was younger and didn't understand. I've seen him have seizures and I've never been so scared in my life. Anyway.



Chris has a godmother, Ruth. Those who know me well have most likely had to put up with my occasional rants about Ruth. Ruth is in her early 60s, she's half deaf. She's not married and as far as I know, has never been in any serious relationships. She is a life long friend who has been amazing with Chris. Chris adores her, and she adores him. The trouble is, is that the rest of us dislike her. We are like her adopted family. She is around at our house everyday (she has a key) and it's been like that for years. She is mostly quite abrupt and rude, not to mention loud because of her deafness. There has been times when she has critised mum (years ago) for not raising me properly or not diciplining me enough. Her and I have gotten into arguments because she doesn't think I'm capable of minding Chris and assumes the right over him more than me. Even though I can feed him and toilet him. It's because I can't lift him and she can (just). We have a contraption that helps us all take him to the toilet etc. This has caused me a lot of disappointment and frustration within myself for not being strong enough. She has the TV blaring and comes over here, brings her newspapers and does all the crosswords. She spoils Chris by giving him chocolate all the time, against how much we tell her not to and she also baby's him too much which annoys me a bit. I have never, in my 18 years, had the house completely to myself. And it's rare that I get to look after Chris by myself when people are away because she always comes and takes over. I could make the hugest list of things she does that annoy us but I'm not here to bitch.



If it wasn't for Chris, we would have told her leave us alone years ago. He loves her. She minds him when we're all busy, she takes me places when I can't get a lift. I know it sounds horrible but she does come in handy.



Everyday I come around the corner from school and her silver car is there. Sometimes I cringe, sigh and roll my eyes. Everyday I have to yell to speak to her. I guess I'm just very sick of it all. There is an overall vibe of frustration from all of us when she's present. There have been times when she's been really horrible to all of us. I don't mean to sound rude, but I can't wait to move out and go to uni somewhere, travel. The only hesitation I have with moving away is leaving Chris behind, because I love him so much. He brings a smile to my face everyday...He's just such a special gift and to be honest, being away from him I think that I would worry about something happening. After all, he does have a shorter life expectancy. We just don't know how short. I shouldn't worry. I never know, he might end up out living me!



Of course I'm not going to be a medical student. I can't predict what my score will be, definitely not dux of the school or anything like that! My parents, relatives and family friends learnt to accept that I'm different to Andrew and I'm not going to turn out like him years ago, and to just love me for who I am.



Boy that was a long post...

.All things are beautiful if we take the time to look.


MiGGOLD Member
Self-Flagellation Expert
3,415 posts
Location: Bogged at CG, Australia


Posted:
Written by: roar

Those who know me well have most likely had to put up with my occasional rants about Ruth.




I've only met you once, and i know this ubblol

When i was growing up, we were pretty well off. Not rich, but i don't think we were far off. My dad was a telecomms technician, and was running a business that covered a fair section of the state. Mum did a few things, ran a distribution for a bakery (balfour's, for those that know what i'm talking about), she ran a shop for a while, helped dad with the business. They put my sister through uni (around AUD $15k for three years, which is about USD $11k and about GBP 6.2k), doing nursing. We grew up in a smallish town, i think it had between thirteen and twenty thousand people. You could ride from one side to the other in about an hour, though most stuff (major shopping etc) was in the middle. Back then, though, petrol was cheap, and we'd drive most places.

Unfortunately, mum and dad broke up as i was finishing school, so when i finished, i was off to uni on my own, in the state's capital city. I could have moved in with family, but decided i wanted to try making it on my own, which i couldn't quite do.

I'd get AUD 330 per fortnight from the gov't for being a student. I was doing a degree in applied science (civil aviation). I defferred paying my HECS (the uni payment scheme thing), which i start paying back when i earn over a certain amount. ANyhoo, out of the $330 (USD253/GBP136) i got every two weeks, i paid:
$100 for rent
$60-100 food
$50ish for cigarettes
$20ish for pub. transport
about $50 per month put away for bills

Which left me with anywhere between $40 and nothing left over. And they wonder why there's a skill shortage umm The big thing was, i was supposed to be doing flying lessons at the same time as uni, but there was no way i could afford that.

So, i dropped out of uni, have now got a $5000 debt over me (i was 17 when i started uni, now 19). I worked for a while, part time stuff to get the bills paid and food on the table. I heard about a pre-trade course in a town near where i grew up, so i went for that.

Now, i'm living in the uni village, where i only have to pay for phone bills and rent, i get some rent assistance, and still around $330 per fortnight.

I drive, more than i really should, and i still smoke, again more than i should, but it's not too bad. I've become used to living the way i do, and i can save enough to buy some stuff i like. Not very often, mind you, but i still get it eventually.

I'm likely to be getting around $240 per week next year, as a first year apprentice, which still isn't heaps, but its a fair chunk more than what i get now. I think i can still get some goverment assistance, but i don't know if it'll be worth the hassle.

I still want to try and stay as independant from my family as i can, though my grandparents still send up some money every now and then. usually, that goes into a savings fund for buying/doing cool stuff. The main reason i want to try to make it own my own is to prove to myself that i can do it.

One thing that's really funny is the native members of our population (not meaning to be racist here, but i've not once been approached by a non-indigenous person) wanting smokes and/or money. I get just as much (probably less, cos i don't get a sporting allowance, which translates into expensive clothes and shoes) as they do, and while i can afford to support my addiction, they can't umm That's more of a personal issue though...

All in all, australia's a great place to live. Even if you're not working, you can survive somewhat comfortably, get free (or heavily subsidised) healthcare, and discounts for essentials (sometimes). Plenty of people (myself included) gripe about the system, but i guess it's not too bad.

"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie


thelostSILVER Member
mmm...i feel all warm and fuzzy... 'no dude, that's your hair on fire'
355 posts
Location: Birmingham, Australia


Posted:
Written by: MiG

$50ish for cigarettes
$20ish for pub. transport




Wow...just looking at them two figures side by side really shows how bad a drain smoking can be for cash frown

It's better to burn out than to fade away


MiGGOLD Member
Self-Flagellation Expert
3,415 posts
Location: Bogged at CG, Australia


Posted:
you're telling me...

"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie


Julie2022member
145 posts
Location: Little Rock, AR


Posted:
Ok - does anyone have a website that converts money into other monetary units? I feel like I'm sluffing off - others somewhat know a conversion from theirs to US, but I haven't a clue.

I use to smoke, when I was 17,18,19 (not while I was pregnant, btw) I smoked a box of cigars a week - that would have been about $40.00/mth for cigars (Cigars - a more disgusting habit than cigarettes) When I stopped smoking it was amazing to see how much it saved me...and when I stopped hitting the coffee shop every day for a cup o joe, it was amazing to see how much more I was spending on coffee than on cigars!

As for you, roarfire, and Ruth - Everyone has an old bat that they can't get rid of - They're a dime a dozen in America. My cousin Frank is in a similar situation. He is disabled, in a nursing home for disabled individuals. He was valadictorian of his highschool (dux, I believe is what you called it). One month after his graduation he was crossing the street at an intersection and someone, drunk, hit him with their car. Very tragic, he was in a coma for 4 months, and all these years later he is now at a 2nd grade education level.
He never lost his sense of humor - he plays pranks all the time and fights with his brother - beats him on the head with his walking cane.
Don't worry about what you can and cannot do for your brother - you're not superman. Whatever you do, do it with love. Whatever you can't do, be thankful someone can and is willing to do it.
My aunt had to pay a rediculous amount of money for a nurse to care for my cousin - and that was just business, that nurse wasn't involved in any way, she just did her job and went home.
She might be annoying, but she's old - your brother might outlive you but Ruth probably won't smile
If you're really really concerned about lack of strength, don't be - but if it bothers you that much, exercise and work out to gain some muscle.
I'm a bit more built that most guys want their women - I'm always the one called on to do some heavy lifting. I've had to hoist my older sisters around when they've been sick - my mother was never able to lift them. When we all lived together, we moved every 3 or 4 years - I always had to help unload and load the moving truck, rearrange furniture, things like that. Being strong can have serious setbacks - for me, it kept me from having fun on family vacations. When a tent needed to be set it was always my uncle going, "Ask Julie, she'll get it done quick." or my sisters saying, "Julie, can you carry my suitcase? I can't lift it." To them I always wanted to say, "If you didn't pack so much crap you'd be able to lift it just fine."
See - being "strong" has its drawbacks, suddenly you're asked to do everything for everyone. It didn't help me that I was so sweet. (laugh)

There are just over 3.5 litres in one gallon, btw.

Written by:

Even if you're not working, you can survive somewhat comfortably, get free (or heavily subsidised) healthcare, and discounts for essentials (sometimes). Plenty of people (myself included) gripe about the system, but i guess it's not too bad


It's the same way here.

What's the weather like?

"I'm your Huckleberry."

The muse spake her thought and then there was silence. Thy spiked tongue had melted, only a bitter heart remained.


MiGGOLD Member
Self-Flagellation Expert
3,415 posts
Location: Bogged at CG, Australia


Posted:
pretty nice, though its rather warm outside during the day. i've just not adjusted from winter yet tongue

I use www.xe.com for workings out of money. I think there's a few for unit conversions around (mph-km/h, gallons-litres etc)

"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie


MynciBRONZE Member
Macaque of all trades
8,738 posts
Location: wombling free..., United Kingdom


Posted:
I manage to live by being too gutless to walk off somewhere very high..... ([censored], I must be having a REALLY bad day to write this) ....

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


SNOOPoiCarpal \'Tunnel
3,380 posts
Location: At the bottom of the garden with the fairies...


Posted:
At only 16 many people may think I haven't had much life experience, but I can tell you, I have...



My parents split up before I was born, and my Dad never really showed much interest... My Mum looked after me mostly by herself... My Mommah and Granddad (Mums Parents) took me on holidays and my Auntie (Mums big Sister) was always taking me on days out so i never really missed out... I even used to call my Granddad 'Dad'.



When I was about 8 or 9 my mum met a nice guy, and he showed us a new way to live... On the road... We used to travel every Summer and only stay put because i was in school... I went to site parties, free parties, festivals and raves. This was all very fun but I saw many people on drugs and off their heads...



Then I started seeing my real Dad... Which was nice because he was in a well paid job and he used to buy me nice stuff so I never really thought that he hadn't given up his young life for me like my Mum had (thanks mum)...



I went through senior school for the first two years like a dream... Then in year 9 (when I was 13) I hit a really rocky spot and I skived about 3 months off school, hanging around on a local park with my mates drinking, I even when to someone else's school once...



Then I started my GCSE's and I tried to buckle down but it was harder than I originally expected... So for my first GCSE year I still messed about and hardly did any work... A year ago I started the final 8 months of my GCSE's and I really buckled down... I hardly went out, worked really hard, and was progressing well (although a little late)...



Then in December I moved out of home due to problems... I was very down, Kept getting really ill... In February my best friend died, then my boyfriend dumped me on the day of her funeral... Then 7 weeks after Su died my Nan died...



Many people may be thinking I should not have been exposed to drugs at such a young age, but from my point of view it was the right thing to do... me and my cousin are around the same age... he was sheltered from drugs... I was not... He has experimented greatly with drugs... at one point taking 10 ecstasy tablets a day... However I wouldn't like to have anything to do with drugs... I have the odd bit of 'wacky backy' but other than that it is a big NO NO!!



Hope my life has interested you, it has certainly been interesting writing it all down biggrin



hugkissubblove

THWACK!!!!
Liz_Ard: Ouch!
SNOOPoi: Thats just not the sound of someone doing it right!


Julie2022member
145 posts
Location: Little Rock, AR


Posted:
Very interesting. You lived on the road like in an RV (a camper on wheels) (A lot of people do that around America, though I don't know why)? Or do you mean house-to-house hotel-to-hotel type of living?

That does sound rough, especially your boyfriend dumping you on theday of your best friends funeral - that's just mean. *hugs* I've gone through rough breakups and a nasty divorce - but I wouldn't paste any of it over to be blantly cruel like that.

GCSE? What's that. College of some type? Anything that's hard work it worth it smile Stick with it, work hard.

I'm attending Pulaski Tech -though I'm off this semester (which is why I'm at the house so much) Pulaski Tech (PT) is a small community college that offers 2 year degree programs. I'm getting my degree in business management, hoping that one day I'll be able to open my own resale/consignment shop - hoping to have some international people who are willing to have their items sold there, as well. I think it would add a much-needed flare to the whole idea.
--------------
Thanks, MIG, for the site - quite helpful smile
curious, for those who were affected by the Euro taking over different forms of currency - what's your opinion on it? Useful, helpful, a pain in the butt?
--------------
What kind of food does everyone eat?

There aren't many dishes that are truely American: the hamburger, the hot dog, the corn dog. I don't think apple pie is, neither is pizza smile
So, what do I eat? I eat a lot of rice, meat stew, potatos, chili, steak and chicken (I'm a huge meat-person, sorry for those who are vegetarian) But I'm also addicted to spaetzle - a german dish that's boiled bread. I use it in all sorts of ways - like a pastsa or like beef, etc, love it more than I love spagetti.
I'm a fruit freak - apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi, watermelon, grapefruit, you name it I love it. I'll die for some pomegrante when it's in season.

That can also lead to: what do you drink? I'm a big coffee fan (gotta blame the good old Boston Tea Party for this one!) though I love tea, too! Coffee is a time of the day drink (it's too hot around here in the mid-day of summer for it) I don't drink it all day long, but I do drink tea morning noon and night.
I love meade, it's delicious. I'm a big vodka drinker, too. Vodka and Grenadine biggrin delicious. Irish Cream, yum - in my coffee in the evenings, of course! I don't care for beer, though - I'd rather have gin.

Ok - so I asked about everyone's opinion on the Euro.
Food that everyone eats.
And what everyone likes to drink.

"I'm your Huckleberry."

The muse spake her thought and then there was silence. Thy spiked tongue had melted, only a bitter heart remained.


BirgitBRONZE Member
had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
4,145 posts
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)


Posted:
Juuuuliiiiie! A fellow Sptzlefresser!!!!! I can't believe it bounce

(Sptzlefresser is the name people give to Swabians (people from my part of Germany), because we eat Sptzle all the time!) I wouldn't call them boiled bread though cause they contain eggs, but no yeast, it's more a type of egg pasta, but what the hell, the important thing is someone knows about them biggrin

I eat lots of soups, usually with some type or other of traditional German mini-dumplings made of semolina or breadcrumbs. My fav at the moment is chicken soup (chicken broth with chicken pieces) with grated parmesan, a bit of tomato passata and some chili sauce. Drinking... hmmm... for non-alcoholic definitely fizzy drinks, am currently hooked on Sainsbury's Peach-and-orange-and-somethingelse-I-keep-forgetting fizz. With alcohol, probably ales and ciders, but I won't say no to cocktails or a nice single malt.

About the Euro, I like the fact that I don't have to buy currency for lots of countries anymore, and I can use my German bank and credit cards abroad (though not where I live, unfortunately) without extra charges. It makes life easier. I'm not sure it was that good for the economy though, given that some countries with a stable currency had to provide stability for other, not-so-stable ones. It came at a bad time for Germany because our economy was weakened after the reunification already. Also, a strong Euro means we get foreign stuff cheaper, but they'll import less from us, whereas if it's weak, we have to pay loads for foreign products but sell a lot. Whichever way you turn it, it's got good and bad sides smile

I might tell you my life at some point, but it's either going to be boring or quite personal, so I'm not sure smile

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


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