Sunday, September 22, 2013

Small Town

[Michele]  I used to think of Amherst, Massachusetts as a small town.  With a population of 34,000 it is smaller than many towns in the northeastern US and smaller than all the towns I've ever lived in, except Martinsville, NJ (11,000).  Why did I consider Amherst small? When out and about in Amherst, it is rare for me not to see someone I know.

Ok, so how small is Mission Beach?  It is small!  Population 2,700!
Yes, I often see people I know even though I haven't been here that long.
photo stolen from the internet

One aspect of small town life that I still chuckle over every time I see it is our postal vehicle. At right is a picture of a typical Australia post delivery van.  It is similar in size to a US postal truck.  Well, with Mission Beach (and Wongaling Beach and South Mission Beach) only having a total of 2,700 people we don't really need a van of this size.

So our post is delivered on motor bike.  This works really well for the postie as he can zip right up onto the grass to get to the postboxes.  Dave is fast too.  In trying to get a photo I tailed him for a while and couldn't get any closer than this pic below, which is zoomed in quite a bit.

Dave the postie. Mail is carried in the box on the back
of the motorbike.
Recently I learned another aspect of small town life - service providers have to be good.  This was not the assumption that I had made.  I had wrongly thought that in a small town you would be stuck with whatever dentist set up shop whether they were good or not.  Since it is a small town, I thought that there wouldn't be competition among dentists (or other services providers) to do a good job.  But a long-time local told me that this isn't how it works at all. In a small town, if you don't do a good job every will quickly know about it and there goes your clientele.  People will drive 45 minutes to another town if the service in here is bad.

Judging from the number of people who heard about us before they had even met us, I suspect that goss about bad service gets around quick.

In a couple days we will get a break from small town life when we go on holiday to Melbourne.  We are really looking forward to museums and parks and lots of food choices.  Melbourne isn't Amherst, but it will be a nice change of pace.

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