Getting On With It: Life in the City
I’ve been in Melbourne for a little over two weeks now. I think I’ve already made it pretty clear that I’m very happy with my decision to come and live here for a while.
Last week saw my first week at work. I’m currently employed by a telecommunications company to contact existing customers of one of Australia’s leading utilities supplier to try and persuade them to enter a contract. Not a bad job and it pays well enough for me to enjoy a reasonable life here.
Working a little outside of the city centre has given me good reason to begin learning about Melbourne’s public transport systems. After a few weeks I’m inclined to say it’s pretty good. They have a selection of trams, trains and busses and the everything seems to run fairly smoothly. Everything is paid for with a Myki card which, as you can imagine, is almost identical to London’s Oyster card. You load it, you tap on, you tap out. Happy days.
I’m slowly getting to know the area around my office. It’s in what I guess you would call the Vietnamese quarter of North Richmond. There are endless restaurants and grocery stores which I’ve started to explore.
I picked up a bottle of Sriracha sauce, I can’t describe how happy this makes me. Alongside baked beans, you can add this stuff to anything to make a meal. I’ve frequented a couple of the restaurants for lunch. Vietnamese food is alright. A couple of us found a reasonable lunch deal for $9 and a huge plate of food which is ideal.
For the time being I’m still stuck in a hostel, I’ve started looking for flat shares with little success so far. Seeing as how I had so much luck when it came to the job I guess it’s only fair that I struggle with something else. Whilst I am a big fan of hostels, after two weeks, a cramped, almost unusable kitchen and no real sense of privacy I’m ready to get out. I’m hopeful that something will turn up in the next few days!
Life in the City
I can only really build on my previous posts about how awesome living in the city is. Unlike my other trips which have been very much orientated around tourist attractions, Melbourne is not really like that at all. There are certainly things to see in the city that are a must; like wandering the arcades, visiting the MCG and people tell me the museum is worth the trip. This city has got much more depth to it than I had previously imagined. I have so far been largely limited in my explorations, keeping within walking distance of the CBD.
Visisting friends and hanging out with room mates at the hostel have allowed me to start to really understand the city and it’s people. If there’s one thing that’s truly important to Melbournians, it’s coffee. I think I’ve seen one Starbucks since I’ve been here and yet the number of independent cafes is phenomenal. I’m yet to have a bad coffee and when it’s this good, it’s easy for “going out for a coffee” to become a part of your daily routine.
Drinking in Melbourne, and from what I’ve heard the rest of Australia too, isn’t cheap. A beer will set you back around $8 so it’s easy to see why backpackers tuck in to the local delicacy: goon. Before I got here, someone once told me that everyone has a goon story. I don’t have mine yet but it’s easy to see why. Not only is the stuff the cheapest alcohol on the market, it’s filthy. It’s a type of box wine mixed with plenty of chemicals and preservatives. I’ve had a few good nights on it and an equal number of almost unbearable hangovers.
The clubs and bars are pretty good, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I haven’t paid to get in anywhere and I’ve been able to walk in wearing trainers, jeans and a t-shirt. Basingstoke Rhu-bar, take note; remember where you are. The places I’ve been to so far have been a lot of fun, packed at weekends and very welcoming. Australians are helpful and friendly, especially after a few beers and you’ve explained to them you have no idea where’s good to go.
I’m hoping over the coming weeks I can start to explore further away from the city getting into the suburbs. If I manage to find a place to live (I’m hoping to find somewhere in the inner suburbs or to the North/North East of the CBD) then I think I will find it easier to get to know certain areas of the city better. I’m still enjoying it here a lot, and am very excited about the fact that I’ve still got a lot of time left to make the most of!