I just got done watching 'Cinderella Man', a small glimpse into the Great Depression. Both my parents grew up during that time. I can only imagine what it was like, but I remember my mother telling me how when my great-grandfather, who was a country doctor, died my grandfather set out to clear out the accounts. Many accounts were settled by trade, a pig for a delivery, etc. One one visit to a family my grandfather saw there was barely food on the table. He marked the account 'Paid in Full'.
Here I am without having to worry about how to pay the bills or when my next meal will be. My dorm room is better than my college lodging. I have a sink, cable TV, a refrigerator, and telephone. The only drawback is I have to walk outside to go to the dining hall, and I share a bathroom with another room. "It's a harsh continent!"
As for life back home, it's amazing how things have become. I spoke with a pal today who told me gasoline was over $3.00/gallon. For the past 18 months I put maybe 1000 miles on my vehicle. Now on the off chance I need to fuel a vehicle here I don't have to pull out my credit card to pay. In addition it's probably the cheapest, coming directly off a tanker, no middleman. I'm sure I'll have major 'sticker shock' when I get home.