When you move to a new city, all your friends and well-wishers ask you how are you finding it. Same has been happening with me for the past few weeks since I’ve moved to Melbourne.
My original answer has been ‘I don’t know much yet’. But I realised this is not the answer the person asking me is looking for. So here is a different answer:
6 Uncommon Observations For 6 Weeks In Melbourne
1. Most people in Australia don’t look Australians
For every 10 people you will see on a street, bus or train, at least 6 will be non-Australians (Chinese, Indians, Africans, Middle-eastern, etc)
2. Contrary to popular belief that Australians are racist, they are the most helpful and friendly people
In addition to general ‘Good Day Mate’ greetings around the street, they will even go out of their way, sometimes at a loss of their work, to help you.
For example, Vodafone salesman from whom I bought my contract phone gave me directions to a different shop across the street to buy back cover and screen guard for iPhone 7 even though his own Vodafone outlet sells these accessories, but at a higher price.
Another example is when a bus driver left his steering wheel and stepped outside the bus to help me figure out the way to airport when he saw that I’m wearing a backpack and reading directions at a bus stop. He asked me if I’m looking to get to airport. I replied, ‘yes’. He asked me to hop on (without fare) so he can drop me at another stop from where I’ll get the bus to airport.
3. The city of Melbourne is a perfect example of ‘keeping people first’ mindset
For example, you will find that filtered water taps and clean washrooms are built all across the city for public to use when roaming around.
Libraries are present in every region with 200mpbs+ free WiFi and hundreds of desks to just sit and work.
And table tennis tables and chess boards are put in public places. Bring your rackets, balls or chess pieces and just play.
4. It is impossible to figure out who is a natural blonde in Australia and who has dyed her hair golden
7 out of 10 women have some form of golden hair. Only 1 of them is a natural blonde.
5. Melbourne is both ridiculously expensive and delightfully cheap at the same time
When cooking at home, your entire day’s meals will cost $10 max, while eating outside you can’t get a decent meal from McDonald’s at less than $11. Any local restaurant and we are talking about $15-20 per meal.
Public transport each day’s journey will cost you $8 even if you are going 2 stations away, while you can buy a car for about $1000 bucks.
And house? $600-700 per month rent will get you a better lifestyle than $1500-2000 in cities like Singapore or London. Here I pay 2/3rd of what I was paying in Singapore and I live in a room in a landed property house where my private terrace is bigger than my apartment in Singapore.
6. People are not working but living life in Melbourne
From graffiti artists breaking laws by cutting bar wires just to paint streets and walls with beautiful art, to social dance classes from every region on the planet full of happy people, to street performers, tattooed chicks and dudes, to runners running on tracks with river flowing by their side, there is too much happiness in the city.
Everyday you breathe air, you feel fresh…. and expressive.
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