It has been three weeks since I’ve been in a Melbourne which is a big city for this small Scottish woman.
I can still remember the buzz I felt coming off the plane, in fact I don’t think I’ll ever forget. The typical mixture of excitement and nervousness consumed me as if I was playing the girl moving to a new city in a young adult novel. With my faux sense of I-know-what-I’m doing I somehow effortlessly managed the commute from the airport to my great Aunt and Uncle’s house on the other side of the city. Plane. Bus. Train. Find the right street. Walk. Done.
I stewed in the sleepy suburb of Mount Waverley for a week and maybe I took too much comfort in the fact I have family in Oz – free food yo. Nevertheless, I excused myself because obviously I was just finding my feet and battling the demonic jet lag. (At first I thought I had some amazing gene that left me immune but one night at 5pm, two days after my arrival, I felt an urge to sleep as if a light had been switched off in my brain)
I had to deal with the weird time zones in Oz too, for example someone should tell Mount Waverley they are still stuck in the 1960’s. Its graffiti coated decadence is a blemish on the dowdy village shopping square to where shoppers take their rusting Chevrolets.
At the same time, I wish I’d grown up here. I envied the schoolchildren as they leisurely walked to school in their canvas shorts among eucalyptus trees and musical birds.
During my week in Mt Waverley I organised my bank account, sorted out my healthcare and by the weekend I had made a trip into the city to pass a Responsible Service of Alcohol course and spot a flat-share.
Quite the busy bee, I hear you remark. Don’t get me wrong, I loved meeting and spending time with my family and I could still get wanderlust getting on a train to the next town over, Glen Waverley. That being said, I was itching to become a city regular. For my second week I had two volunteering stints lined up and a hostel room booked slap bang in the centre and I couldn’t wait.