A trip to Obee City

I took a trip out to Sydney’s wild west the other day. The journey  came as a breath of fresh air mixed with sadness for the over-aspirational families caught up in a nightmare of high mortgage repayments, two-hour commutes and total household disruption.

No doubt about it – western Sydney is, or could be, BEAUTIFUL. But
what happens when you pair a team of rapacious developers with a bunch of molly-coddled young couples? Take a chunk of pristine farmland and woodland forest, let the developers run riot and then market the result as the Great Australian Dream?

At midday, Leppington station is deserted, except for the squadrons of cars parked higgledy-piggledy by the side of the road – on the grass, to presumably evade the no stopping signs. The phalanx of cars stretches what must be a km or more from the station. Clearly, Leppington is little more than a hub, servicing what would be called dormitory suburbs if the commuters had any time to actually get any sleep.

A short bus ride from Leppington Station, Oran Park and Harrington Grove  are impressive, except for the usual conglomerate of Woolworths, the Reject Shop and Anytime Fitness. Make that “Anytime Fatness”:  Oran Park could better be described as Obesity Park, or simply Obee City. A TV-stoked diet of Coca-Cola, fast “food” and supersaturated fat has made the residents of Obee City some of the most grossly-girthed specimens on this or any other planet.

Superb public landscaping is a feature of Oran Park. It has to be publicly funded because of the vegetatation-aversion of the developers. Indeed, there are very few trees on the picket-fenced blocks covered with obesely sized houses. I couldn’t help wondering which came first – the super amply sized houses or the super amply sized inhabitants?

At a time when family sizes and marriage durations are both shrinking, unscrupulous marketing is pushing people to buy properties they can neither afford nor properly maintain. So the house stretches right up to the fenceline. But there’s still room for a tree – so long as it doesn’t have any branches or leaves.

I took the train from Leppington back to Burwood Station and was immediately struck by the scarcity of obese people in Burwood. With a sizable Chinese population, the people of Burwood eat PROPERLY: plenty of fresh vegetables; meals stir-fried instead of overcooked; and not a fast food store in sight. Maybe a visit to Burwood should be made compulsory for the citizens of Obee City.

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