Thursday, December 09, 2004

Heat (redux)

The window is now open. It's still too hot. One of the reasons why I'm happy to come to work every day, rather than grimly resigned to it, is the climate controlled buildings. Take that away, and the whole package starts to look a lot less attractive.

Occasionally a lick of breeze will slide through my office, caressing me as if it were a femme fatale and I were a government minister, or a high-ranking KGB agent (or both!). Otherwise, it's just a dull haze of heat from wall to wall, the atmospheric equivalent of burnt orange shagpile carpeting.

JC and I went out for coffee last night, and got turned away from the Merchant because it was, shock horror, 8.50pm. And on a school night, too. Honestly, who's running these cafes? Fat Cat*? Are they entirely staffed by eight year olds who need to be in bed by 9pm?

So we went to McDonalds McCafe instead, which is open 24 hours a day and ironically enough far more likely to be entirely staffed by eight year olds. On the way I had a bit of an epiphany. There are 1.3 million people in this city, hundreds of thousands of whom live within a ten kilometre radius of my house. How is it that of these hundreds of thousands, there are apparently not enough to keep one decent cafe open past nine o'clock on a weeknight? I mean you'd need less than one in a thousand to visit each night to make a profit. The McCafe was certainly doing a roaring trade at 10pm, and it's a crudhole.

Or, to put it another way, how can it be that I have to travel into the very centre of the city if I want to get a damn cup of coffee at nine o'clock on a Wednesday?In fact, where can you get a mid-evening cup of coffee in this city? There's the King Street Cafe in Perth city, Oriel out in Subiaco, Cafe Bo in Leederville, maybe one or two places in Mt Lawley, perhaps a couple more on the Strip in Fremantle. Then there are the McDonalds, and I think the petrol station across the street has a coffee machine. Bravo, Perth, you somnambulate closeted waste of coastal plain.

*television station mascot who reminds kids when to go to bed, ie at 7.30pm


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