I thought it was about time that I put together a long overdue piece of waffle about what the hell Soph and I have been up to since leaving the sweltering heat and humidity of Malaysia, and landing in our new home from home, Melbourne.
For the previous 4 – 5 months we have been drifting in relative peace from country to country, with the only real responsibilities lying in where we go next and what fiendish method of Asian transport will get us there. Landing in Australia on a so-called “Working Holiday” when you’re running low on funds is a whole different ball game I’m afraid. Back to the real world…
First mission – get to our Airbnb accommodation located somewhere in Melbourne. Don’t worry only $18 each for a 30min bus ride to the city centre… sorry, how much – just 10 hours before this that amount of money would buy me food for the day, and a knock off pair of Nike trainers. The reverse culture shock had begun. Next, from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne city centre we had to decipher Melbourne’s tram system, and the confusing Myki card and it’s many “zones”, to reach our destination in Brunswick. After a conversation with a local guy – who seemed to know little more than us about how the Myki system worked, we managed to make it to our pokey, yet cosy apartment, shared with a fairly invisible male host with the not-so-male name; Lindsay.
Now the fun could begin – find a house, find a job, and find some friends. Haha, easy, I am on a Working Holiday, nothing can be hard when you are on holiday… Right? Wrong. Being an impatient person, I fucking hate job hunting, house hunting, or any form of hunting really. So I resigned myself to the fact that I was probably going to be a grumpy shit until these issues had been resolved.
After extending our stay in our Airbnb apartment up to an expensive 10 nights in total, we thankfully found a nice, not-quite-your-ordinary Aussie guy called Mike who was willing for us to move into his newly acquired house in another (actually much better) area of Brunswick, and occupy his spare bedroom – fucking result… Nice house (although still a little under construction, so a bit “bare bones” so to speak), in a great area with shops, cafes, restaurants, and most importantly good pubs!
So now to the important bit; poor travelling folk in an expensive country; a house is not going to put food on the table, is it!?
The next issue to resolve was the lack of income and for both of us to find jobs. After a couple of weeks of both of us sending off more CVs that I care to recall, Soph was doing well with trial shifts and had multiple possibilities on the horizon. The best / only thing I got was an email from a company (without even saying what the company was called in the email – I smelt a rat instantly) offering me a job. After some research, it turned out this company sends poor naïve backpackers door-to-door selling people solar panels, and from the online comments I discovered that it was a little bit tricky to get them to actually pay their employees. Hmmm, thanks, but no thanks!
I was descending into deep depression about the whole situation – haha, no not really, but I was being a bit Eee Aww about the it, however after some wise words from some credible sources, and an apparent stroke of luck in the employment game, I manage to land myself a job working as a travel consultant for a backpacker travel company – oh how fitting… At the same time Soph was being offered a job working full time in a Crepe / Coffee shop at Melbourne Uni. Success – no more grumpy bollocks – although after 2 weeks of work I still haven’t been paid, but I have been assured that I will get my dues next week – I fucking better or I shall be having words!
Melbourne is in fact an awesome city; there is a reason why it has yet again been voted “The World’s Most Liveable City” – look it up, it’s a real thing! An eclectic mix of music and cultures, lots of free events, an incredible array of food from across the world, and some of the best beer I have had the pleasure of drinking – sorry England, but Victorian (Melbourne is in the state of Victoria) ale is fucking excellent! Maybe I just hadn’t had a good beer in a while, with Asia dishing up your standard piss water lager everywhere you go, so I shall reassess this beer related comment when I next return to England!
Although Melbourne is heading into winter, and I have been warned about the Antarctic chills heading our way – today was 27 degrees C, that’s better than summer in the UK – the future again looks bright, and after settling into working, I am sure the holiday will begin again soon.
Unfortunately I have been very lazy with my camera and I don’t think it has come out of my bag since arriving in Australia, so photos will have to follow at a later date!
Here’s one though – I met this fella down the park in Sydney during my training week for work… (photo quality is a bit shit, because iPhones are a bit shit)