Well, I’ve made it! I’ve managed to endure a 100 degree temperature swing moving from -40 and into +40 weather, and I have to say despite a mild sunburn and a few reactions to the heat I’m liking it on this end of the spectrum!
I’ve been in Melbourne (‘Mel-bin’ to sound like a local) for four days now, and I’ve actually covered a lot of ground so far. Yes, I’ve been sleeping a lot as well to burn off the jetlag, but I’ve adjusted pretty quickly and can now share my top findings on what I’ve discovered so far:
- Driving on the opposite side of the road is a complete mind-trip. If I don’t die by snake or spider bite while I’m here, I might ultimately get wiped out by looking the wrong way before crossing the street. These are very real fears of mine, ha.
- Coffee is LIFE and Cafes are King. Every time you sit down at a resto or cafe, they’ll bring a menu and ask if you’d like a cup of coffee to start, in the same way you’d be asked if you’d like flat or sparkling water. This coffee/cafe culture is definitely my favourite part about the city, and I have a feeling it will maintain no matter what State I make my way to, fingers crossed anyways.
- The language is English, but like, also it’s not – let me explain:
– Stubby = bottle of beer
– Hot Chips = French Fries
– Avo = Afternoon (but also does mean avocado, go figure!?)
– Eski = Camping Cooler
– As = AF (as in, hot AF, but here they’ll just say “hot as”)
There are so many more and basically everything has a short-form, so most of the time when people say things I pick up about 80% and just roll with that. I’ll share more as I figure it out.
- “Cheeky,” “Reckon,” and “Heaps” are the most used words in the Aussie dialect. This is absolutely not a scientific fact, but I’m quite sure I’m not far off, haha.
As a comparison point, Melbourne itself is not too far a departure from the flow and function of Toronto, the main difference I’d say, being the landscape. High rises aren’t permitted outside of the downtown core, so you feel a bit less closed in that way.
The city boasts an amazing restaurant scene, shopping district, cafe culture and feels overall fairly laid-back for such a metropolitan place. I’ll post a separate listing with all of my fave places and recommendations after this!
The adventure begins tomorrow when we start our drive down the Great Ocean Road, and I can’t wait to get out of city and see all that is still in store.