Most of the homes are either in country clubs or 'gated communities' and everything is landscaped to within an inch of its life. It is beautiful, if not a little strange. Yesterday I was driven through a country club which has condominiums (which apparently are flats you own, whereas apartments are flats you rent...), houses of average size and mansions, all set in quiet streets where there is never a child's bicycle or toy to be seen. The fountains and the postie truck make the most noise and there is virtually nobody to be seen. Very strange, and strangely beautiful at the same time. The club house was the picture of elegance and the salad I ate had to be the best I have ever had.
And, naturally, the car was driven away by a valet, with instructions that it had to be parked in the shade so we wouldn't burn our butts when we came back.
(It was a bright red, Mercedes convertible sports car - you understand).
There is a golf course behind my hotel and at about 5.30 the workers come to mow and to roll the greens, and then taller men come in funny checked trousers to play golf, just as the sun comes up.
My friend took me to Saks and for the first time I saw shoes that were raved about in Sex and the City - Jimmy Choo and Blahniks. For fun we tried to find the most expensive shoe in the department and gave up when we found shoes, bright pink and very high-heeled, for $995. (Of course I bought two pairs - not!) And we enjoyed looking for the most expensive item of clothing and found a beautiful, soft leather jacket for $12,000. (I bought two of them too). In one street in Rancho Mirage, the shops offer valet parking so one doesn't have to walk down the street, which one might find a little fatiguing after all that shopping. Actually, yesterday at 2pm it was over 100 degrees which is about 35 degrees in our language (I think) and it's still only Spring here, so walking from a carpark to a shop might indeed be fatiguing.
It is so odd - in Mexico, I felt like the rich one because the restaurant workers there earn $6 a day and here in Palm Springs I am definitely not. It was great fun looking though, as much at the women buying as at the things they were buying. Isn't it wonderful that there are wealthy people in the world because they can spread that money far and wide. A person buys a $995 pair of shoes and that puts food on the table of all those involved in their manufacture, distribution and sales. A rich person goes on a cruise and helps to pay the mortgage of the 650 members of the crew on the ship. All hail to rich people, I say. They created this oasis out of a desert and it's amazing. All is really well.