Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Spain, Dubai, and Australia
I am now in Spain, where I arrived yesterday. I have never been here before but it feels very familiar as an amalgam of places I have been. It almost feels strange that I can't speak the language. Reading it is a lot easier of course. I know French quite well and am generally good at languages, especially reading them. Unemployment is 25% in Spain right now and supposedly it is a country in financial crisis. There are a few closed stores in town but generally you wouldn't know about the crisis. Maybe one sign was when I got on the Iberian flight at Madrid airport the plane felt very old, rundown, and cramped. Well, after flying on Emirates, the first leg of which was on an A380. My first flight on Emirates or an A380. But Madrid airport was huge and grandiose. Dubai airport at 5am is totally packed with crowds of people from all over the world buying duty free goods and scurrying around. It was a long trip around 33 hours door to door and 4 flights to the coast of the far west of Europe from inland south east Australia. Following up from a comment I just made on my last post in response to Financial Independence's comment that an income of $4,000 a month is sufficient. As, I said in Australia that is less than the average wage. A couple each earning the average wage will make $11,000 per month or $130k per year. The median price of a house in the major cities in Australia is around $500k which is about 4 times their annual income. So we are making about twice the average and looking at houses that cost 50% more than average which would be 3 times our annual income. This hopefully, gives some perspective on average numbers for Australia and our relative position. In much of the world these numbers will seem enormous, but you aren't facing Australian prices. Here in Spain, a beer from the mini-bar in the hotel room is about half the price of a beer in a typical pub or restaurant in Australia, for example.