The things that stay the same

I discovered a bag containing receipts, tickets and other documents that I had gathered during my three years in Canberra attending the ANU. I found receipts for 2 biros (79 cents each) and a 6 litre tub of ice cream ($5.99) from Coles supermarket, clothes bought from Venture, a chain which no longer exists. The receipt said “under administration”. My first modem, my first pocket computer, the first desktop I bought with my own money, the amounts paid still printed on the scraps of paper. I just finished re-reading Greg Bear’s Anvil of Stars today. A printout from Belconnen Library shows that the first time I read it, the book was due back on the December 2nd, 1992.

What was even more remarkable was how little inflation of prices has occurred over the past decade for many items. My Austudy paid 7 times less than what I currently earn, but train tickets were also half price. The amount I paid for my bottom of the line 386sx33 PC would buy me a reasonable system today. My movie soundtracks (I found a lot of receipts for those!) – no change. Computer games, about the same, maybe a bit more expensive for the latest packages. I could have done with today’s cheap long distance calls back in the early 90’s – I hardly make any now.

So many memories triggered by such tiny scraps of paper. Those were the longest, probably the most exciting, years of my life.

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