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Published: January 18th 2015
Hello again, this time not from Asia but from down under. We have been in Melbourne for four nights now and it's like being back in reality after all the madness and adventures of South East Asia. There definitely hasn't been any mad stories or abnormal incidents as being here is very similar to being in any Western city.
After having one final big night out, where we both found the bottle to try and eat a scorpion, it was the day to leave for Australia, so we boarded our flight from Bangkok in the evening and after taking off at 9.30pm, we flew through the night and touched down here at 10.20am. The flight in total was roughly nine hours and was problem free. Going through customs was extremely easy and speedy and we were out of the airport by 11.30am. Luckily, we had and still have a free place to stay as my cousin, Michael, lives here and as he is in Vietnam until early February, very kindly has let us stay in his flat for free. His flat mate/keeper, Paige, who luckily is also English and our age, had arranged to meet us at around 2pm in the suburb they live in. So, as told, we took the eighteen dollar (such a shock after the luxury prices of Asia!) bus to the city centre and then after purchasing their version of an Oyster card (Myki card), hopped on a tram to St Kilda which is where the town the flat is located in.
After naturally getting a little lost and having no Wi-Fi, it took us a while to find Paige but we eventually did and the first thing we did was to get a key for the flat cut for us. Our first instincts of Melbourne was that it was far chillier than we had expected and also a lot smaller than London. In the flat, Yoni and I are sharing a room and double bed, Paige has her own room and in the lounge live two cats. Needless to say, the amount of times we have been in the lounge you could count on one finger! We chilled out that afternoon and decided to head out later for our first night in Australia. Paige was going out with work friends so we tagged along and had a good but not amazing night in a bar not too far away from the flat. The next day, after getting up late, we spent the day applying for jobs, getting an Aussie sim card and opened up an Australian bank account as we need one for when we work. We chilled out that night and went to bed relatively early. We finally experienced some Australian heat mixed in with the feeling of being back at home as we were up at 7.30am. The walk to the tram stop in the early morning reminded me of the routine walk I did everyday to Canons Park, expect this time I passed a beach! I had an interview with a recruitment company in the city centre at 9am so tried to look as smart as I could wearing Yoni's shirt, his black jeans and my Adidas trainers. Typically, the building was extremely corporate and I did look out of place but explained in advance why so. After the casual easy going interview, I headed to the shops to buy some work clothes and explore the city centre. After a few buys in H&M, I met Yoni in a place called Richmond where we viewed a potential flat to live in. Unfortunately, the flat which seemed perfect was always going to be too good to be true and was out our price range. Later, after getting some lunch, we walked around the 'Oxford Circus' of Melbourne just to see more of the city. It's very chilled out here, very simple and naturally doesn't have the same buzz of Central London but it's cool in its own way. By chance, we passed a music store and I found a decent priced guitar so picked it up and bought it.
Around 4pm, we had arranged to meet up with Yoni's mum friend, Gaby, who is from here and has two sons similar to our age. We took the train to her stop and Gaby picked us up and took her to her house. Thankfully, she fed us amazingly well with an abundance of fruit, nuts and sandwiches. That evening, her oldest son Ronn, agreed to take us out and show us around. First up, he took us to a place called 'Bounce'. When he first mentioned it, as we have one in London, where it's a huge bar with table tennis tables everywhere, I was excited for it. However, when he explained that it's a trampolining activity playroom, Yoni and I both glanced at each other and were thinking the same thing; unsure what to expect, apart from we knew we would be the oldest there by a long way! Anyway, although we were probably the oldest, it ended up being extremely fun and was like being a kid again. When our time was over at 8pm, we went out for an amazing burger before heading to a trendy pub for a few hours. By 11pm, after such a long and tiring day, we were both shattered and were ready to head back. After making it to the city centre, it was always going to happen (and I'm sure it will again), but we got on the tram in the complete wrong direction and ended up at the last stop on the wrong side of the city. Not what we needed as we were both so tired. We finally got back after midnight after a long but productive day.
We set no alarm the next morning and got up around lunchtime and didn't really do anything exciting in the day apart from a food shop at Safeways. We went out that night with a friend from back home who has been living here for nearly half a year which was cool. Again, the nightlife didn't seem unbelievable but it's early days so we are confident we'll find the best places to go all in good time. Again, today in the day we have just chilled out. It's just become Monday morning here now and the Arsenal-City game kicks off at 3am our time. So obviously, we will be watching that tonight! Tomorrow, we plan to be a bit more active and sort a few more things out. On Tuesday, we both have interviews so we're starting to settle down now and have also enquired about joining local football teams.
Like I say, nothing too crazy or exciting to happen yet as we are still finding our feet and coming to terms with being back in a 'normal' society.
That's about everything here so far.
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Very interesting reading x