There is a much hackneyed phrase that refers to seeing a place before one dies.
Unfortunately in the case of Perth it had died before I got there. I have just returned from what can be termed a bleak experience in all senses of the word. Heading to Western Australia in winter was probably not a good idea in the first place. But the holiday package was reasonable and so we went.
My wife had visited Perth thirty years ago and dryly recorded that little had changed in the intervening time.
Not that it didn't start promisingly enough. We made the main supermarket in the city our first port of call on the evening of our arrival. It was packed with people, all jostling their way to the check out. We soon found out why - the supermarket in question closed at 5:30 in the evening. Having been spoilt with Singaporean shopping times and options it was quite flashback in terms of customer focus.
The weather throughout our stay was drizzly and cold which did not improve my mood.
On the second day of our holiday we joined Out and About Tours for a tour of the Swan Valley wine trail. This was enjoyable and a few good vintages were sampled. With the new anti-terrorist regulations in place it is no longer possible to carry wine into aircraft cabins as we once did. This meant that we bought just two bottles and took the risk of breakage by packing them into our suitcases.
The Bursewood casino had just three varieties of pokie machines, in several graphic manifestations. According to one of our fellow wine trail participants it should be bulldozed and a new one built. Having visited the resort I can but agree and maybe Mr Packer Junior will do just that when he completes his Macau fantasy.
Winter Winetrail Photo - Roger Smith
I have made my first and last visit to Perth and can state that I much prefer the eastern seaboard of Australia, especially the tropical climes.
A brief shopping trip in Johor Bahru, Malaysia this weekend seems the perfect antidote to what we have just experienced this past week.