and I decided to pay Melbourne, a city I spent 3 years undergoing my tertiary studies in, a visit.
I was there for 5 full days and in so many occasions during my trip I had attempted to blog; but they were all unfinished and left as drafts instead. This post will be published I assure you 🙂
Particularly, this extract was saved in my drafts on my 2nd day into the trip (at 10 48 pm to be exact): “I’m on my 2nd day in Melbourne and OH, the weather just did a roller coaster turn today (what else is new with this city?). It was blazing hot yesterday when I landed yesterday and today, it was 12 degrees chilly at night. Pardon me for starting this post with the weather – thought I should do Melbourne city justice for it’s reknown for the ever-changing weather within the day and within days, and a common conversation starter among people.” Yes I got that first para going, until I had to get ready for clubbing on my 2nd night.
On my 1st day I remember, I was still very much in the swing of adapting to things. The accents. Oh, if they were American accents I could perhaps still, you know, try it, since I watch American TV shows. But the Aussie accents were just… let’s just say after 3 years I still find it hard to blend. Also, Aussies are generally of a larger size than Asians and amongst the crowd of many: like say crossing the road, in the tram, or in the departmental store for instance; I definitely felt… small. And at times, a midget.
People here are generally more friendly too, often greeting you with a “Hello (-oy), how you doing?” without waiting for an answer, ironically. There was this particular incident on my first day I remember – I was on the tram asking the tram driver on routes to get to this place. A young chap (perhaps only about 20 years old and of a mixed heritage look) overheard and offered directions, and even got down the tram with me to inter-change trams. He said he was heading to the same place too and he could accompany me en route. At the tram stop, he told me his name and asked me for mine in return. On the outset he doesn’t look dangerous, but guess my inner gut made me act more ‘cool’ than my usual friendly self as firstly from first impression the trust and comfortable factor wasn’t there, and secondly I was on my own. I did thank him in the end though but rushed off quickly after.
And then there’s the walking bit. On the first day, I came out of my accommodation with heels on (but I also took note of keeping a pair of sandals in my bag just in case). After a few steps out, true enough I took my heels off and replaced it with my sandals. Practicality over looking good. Am still not used to walking everywhere despite having studied here for 3 years. Guess I’ve been too spoilt in KL for always driving from point A to point B (right to the doorstep, even, hehe). But then I thought, is it the mindset of certain societies being brought up in a mediocre public transport system; Or the all-year round humid weather back home that does not encourage walking?
Anyway it’s so easy to get about the CBD in Melbourne seeing it’s all gridded into a square. Given that on my 1st day I was still kinda blurry, but hey, 2nd day onwards I got my game on! The weather did a turn and became so cooling on my 2nd day and it was perfect for walking about. Through walks here you actually get to see and feel the “laid-backness” of this city. People of all ages walk, hang out in parks. The older ones would sit on wooden benches, and the younger ones would be seen sitting on the grass soaking in the sun or cool breeze.
Of all cities I’ve traveled to thus far, I’d say Melbourne is pretty damn international. There’s the Koreans, Chinese, Hong Kees, Indonesians, Vietnamese… whoa it’s like a minor Asian invasion! And not forgetting us Malaysians and Singaporeans. Want french food? Got. Italian food? Got. Authentic Hanoi food? Got. And these cuisines are all of quality one, don’t play play!
It was a nice, chilled holiday. Partly also because I was off internet, data plan, wifi for 5 days… and hence no whatsapp, twitter, instagram, facebook. That’s truly living in the moment I tell you.
Till my next post about what I’ve been up to during my trip 😉 Pictures to follow if I’m not lazy!