It’s been three weeks since we arrived in Melbourne. Almost everything is new… and good. So far, so good mate. Here are some new things, new places, and new experiences for us:
Unpredictable weather in Melbourne
If you know Melbourne, you’ve probably heard of it being called a state with four seasons in a day. Technically, it is summer now. But we have experienced 16 to 30 degrees celsius temperature, strong wind, rain, drizzle, sunburning heat, and some cold nights. Surprisingly, you can adjust to it… as long as you have a reliable lightweight sweater you can pick up anytime the weather gets chilly! And perhaps it’s best for us too… at least we don’t experience long summer heat for three straight months. Well, let’s see what winter brings!
New timezone, new timetable
Compared to SG and PH, AU is 3 hours advance in time. Also, the sun rises at around 7 AM and sets at 8 PM. So sleepyheads may find it hard to rise early. Argh as if! Having dinner at 6 PM while the sun is still at most peak might be a new thing for yah.
Roses and pretty bushes at every house’s garden
Flowers, bushes, trees are in a wide variety and they can grow right in your own garden. And I adore the roses! They bloom so flawlessly and generously at this country. I can’t wait to try gardening myself!
Sustainable and locally grown produce
Most products are Aussie-made, labeled as such, and seem proud to be so. If it isn’t, it could be New Zealand made too. And organic and healthy food are pretty big around here. If you’re into healthy eating, you’d be a happy kid here.
Raw music vibrating throughout the metro
Going to the CBD is another experience if living in the quiet suburbs. In the CBD, you’d be hearing some music being played almost everywhere. It’s like having a radio turned on all over the metro. It seems at every corner of this lane-filled city, a local talent is singing is his heart out or flawlessly playing an instrument. I love that!
Friendly, polite locals
Be sure to bring a smile anywhere as locals do. Hello, how you doing, or have a good one are some typical expressions here. Better pack in some response too.
Typical of Australia, you’d see cafes everywhere. It’s somewhat your typical version of kopitiam (SG) or carenderia (PH).
Expensive food dining out
Yeah, food can be expensive. A bowl of katsu-don can cost you $8, chicken rice also $8 or $9, a cup of coffee at least $4, and a bottle of water at vending machines a whopping $3.50. Better cook at home.
In a big city like Melbourne, having your own car is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Some places you can easily reach by bus or train, but some places are far to be easily accessible. And trains and buses have schedules, so that’s another thing to consider. Better start looking for an affordable car outta there.
If you know Melbourne, you’d know to associate it as the cultural capital of OZ, the world’s most liveable city, and free ride around CBD via trams! Yeah, some routes have free tram rides.
Shops close at 5, whaaat?
So this one is a bummer. If you are a mall person, you gotta schedule well. However, not all shops do close at 5. Some stay open until 8 PM or midnight, especially mega retail or supermarket stores like K-mart, Coles, Woolworths, and the like.
Shops that are mostly owned by one person/entity close early. As they say, Australian culture view family time as very important and everyone should spend time more with their family. Nice. Some say it’s also because of higher cost of wage at night shifts or low sales after 5 PM. Not sure though.
New start in Melbourne
So far, that’s it for our first few weeks in the land down under. Are we loving it? Yes definitely. It is a fruition of our dreams, especially the hub’s. Though it is inevitable to get homesick of our families, hometowns, stuff, noise, and the brou-ha-hah back in the PH. The suburbs can be quite… quiet.. and the malls/stores/shops are not few blocks away and they close early. I miss being able to buy banana-Q right next to your doorstep. Waaaaah!
The Lil One seems to be fine with anything here. She seems fine with the weather, with the suburb, with the CBD. After all, it’s gonna be her place of childhood…and her future. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!