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JS Mill

Educate me.

I've been thinking about little differences between countries, and even between cities within the same country (like smalltown Launceston and big city Melbourne).  I have people on my f-list from all over the place, and it strikes me that it would interesting for everyone to explain a little about where they're from. 

Things like: What's the average income in your city? How does that match up with other cities in your country? What's it cost to buy a house/rent a house/apartment/etc in your city/country? Is it hard to buy certain things in your area? (I've finally found somewhere to buy Bretzels - something I've been looking for for a couple of years, now.) How much does milk cost? Bread? Petrol? Is it easy to get your hands on fresh (and good-quality) fruit & veg? What kinds of things do people eat in your area? What kinds of snacks? What's the crime rate like? What are the media like? What's the education system like? The healthcare system? What's your favourite spot in your town?

I'd really be interested to know, so please - if you can spare the time, comment with some answers!


Brace yourself for some statistics

A big list of questions! The answers to which I would love to know myself...

The census bureau says the average household income in my county is $35,000. Most people who work for the university - especially if they mop floors or work in the cafeteria - live across the county line, where it's $10,000/year less. In the county my parents live in (middle of the state, somewhat affluent) the median income is more like $45,000/year, which, intriguingly, is almost the same as New York City. (It may be because New Yorkers retire to North Carolina *g*) I don't know how much this tells you much, though. The average cost of a house in my county is $139,000. My roommate and I pay $525/month for a two-bedroom apartment - it's old, and a little crappy. This is some of the cheapest two-bedroom rent in town.

I don't know what it's hard to buy here - maybe clothes? An Old Navy (do you have those? Cheap khaki-and-tshirt retailer, basically The Gap's ugly little sister) opened in the mall last year, and lo there was great rejoicing. We don't have a lot of chain restaurants and shops, which I like, but there are people who are really upset that they can't get a Frappachino.

We finally got a thai place, but still no indian food.
I have no idea how much milk costs ::looks guilty:: You can get bread for 99 cents a loaf if you aren't picky - what is Australian bread like? Is it square and squishy like ours? Petrol runs about $2.50 a gallon.

Fruits and vegetables - well, it's the most expensive thing I buy (since I don't buy meat), and unless I can make it to the farmer's market between 7 and 11 a.m. on Saturday it's all from California, Mexico, or New Zealand. I'm not very good about buying produce.

People eat - what do people eat? Lots of stirfry, among the students. The cafeteria serves pretty standard 'southern cuisine' - pork, corn bread, cooked greens, potatoes, fried okra. Lots of pig, lots of corn. Despite this, if you eat all your greens, you will both live to be a hundred and go to straight to heaven when you die. This is a fact.

I mostly eat various kinds of beans on various kinds of bread. My roommate mostly eats bagels and gummi snacks.

Big snacks = skittles, cheez-its, m&ms. I wish I could say "bountiful bowls of steamed vegetables" here, but that would totally be a lie. Again, I mostly eat beans on tortillas. And drink lattes. Lots of lattes. Also, right now I'm eating a pomegranate a day, which is not a cheap habit.

We don't really lock our door, but bicycle theft is big.
I suppose there are a couple of broadcast tv stations, and cable, and a few stations that play public radio news in between lengthy jam band albums. I've started consuming almost all of my media online, though.

The health care system is good if you have good insurance - I'm insured through my parents', but it cuts off when I graduate. I like our care providers here better - my parents have to go to a clinic attached to a big research hospital, and if something's actually wrong they see a specialist for literally three minutes. I hate that hospital. For people with no insurance, if they qualify for medicaid, they have to find a provider that accepts it (medium-easy for general problems, but hard for dentists, orthopedists, etc) and then sit in a very long line for a very long time.

My town is in a river valley, and on the big hill that overlooks downtown there is a saddle between two peaks with a cow pasture and a little old clapboard house with broken windows and linoleum on the floor that's faded from the rain. It's about an hour and a half walk, but I try to go up there at least once when it snows.
Gee, it's a little too much info, but I'll tell you what I know without the help of statitics, okay?

An apartment in Rome in a good (I'm not saying 'excellent') neighborhood is about 6000 euros per square meter. It goes from maybe 5000 to 8000. In the center it is even more expensive. If you go to a town a hundred kilometers from here it's about 2000 Euros if the aprtment is brand new, or 1500 if it's not.

Let's say that if an apartment here has got one bedroom, one living-room, plus a kitchen and a bathroom, in Rome it may cost from 350000 to 500000. In some towns in the center of Italy it'd cost about 110000, in villages it'd cost less, in more important cities it would be something in between. The incomes don't differ so much. They differ from North to South, but I live in the capital, and it is different from any other city.

We complain a lot about modified food and cultivations, but I still think that in Italy we have the hope to find fresh and healthy food, not to mention our cheese, our pasta and the way we prepare food.

Of course, living in a very big city means that I can find almost everything I want to buy.

Gas is our Achilles' heal (sp?). It's about 1.336 euros per liter (if I remember well *g*)

Snacks? Mostly coffee and cappuccino, with or without a cornetto (brioche? Pastry?) for clerks going to a bar for a wrok-break and snacks for children. We also use a lot of yoghurt and low fat snacks.

Healthcare system: public system allows you to spend about 26 euros for a specific doctor visit in hospital (Where the hell is my english? please try to understand even among my senseless words!), I can't remember the prices for an ultraosund and other exams cus I don't pay anything. I'll explain this: people who had some kind of serious diseases or cronical problems, like tyroid troubles of cancer or everything in between, can ask to be canceled from any health expense. Also, very old people, under a certain income, have the same option.
ER are free for everybody, but they want to introduce a small payment for very light problems for which you might go to your doctor instead. People are rebelling against this measure, though.

My favorite spot in my city is... uhm... I have more than one! Okay: St. Peter's. It's impressive and warming at the same time, and it reminds me of one of my favorite historical periods, the times of Michelangelo and all the great Italian sculptors and architects and painters.

Well, I didn't answer on everything, and I replied in one of my worst English eloquence ever, but I hope I was in some way useful to your research.
Lots of typos... the main one is this: tyroid troubles OR cancer.