Saturday 30 June 2018

Week 2 - Rooftop Drinks, Kangaroos, and Bottomless Brunch

I spent another week in Macleod, and although the jetlag is still wearing me down (probably not helped by the lack of routine and focus, namely any form of employment at present), I’m starting to feel more settled and at ease with being here. In fact, I’ve really enjoyed being in Macleod as it feels like such a nice, quiet, and safe area. The homesickness comes in waves, but for the most part I find that focusing on all of the new experiences I’ll be able to have here and the people I’ll be able to meet distracts me just enough. I am definitely missing home comforts, and it pains me that it’s Winter here whilst it’s in the high 20s in England!

The Yarra River at night
One evening I went into the city to meet an old school friend, Kyle, who I hadn’t seen for around eight years; it was really great to see a familiar face and to catch up with someone else from home. We went to a swanky little bar on the river next to Flinders Street Station, and had a few drinks. I’m yet to properly explore the city and what is around as I’m still finding my bearings, so it’s nice to discover places through the recommendations of others. Annoyingly, not everywhere serves drinks in pints and so I have to settle for a schooner, yet the price seems to be the same! It's certainly expensive drinking out in Melbourne. 

After a few drinks, we went to a rooftop bar which also functions as a roof-top cinema. We sat and had a few more drinks and ordered some food from the burger bar, which I was most impressed with - sometimes you can’t beat a simple burger and chips!

The next day I decided to jump on the train to go to a little town called Ivanhoe, which I had discovered last week and really liked. I went for some wood-fired pizza for dinner, and am finding that I am loving the opportunities to eat alone and spend time catching up on reading, something I used to do for a couple of hours a day at home, but haven't done much whilst I've been here.

I had intended most days on going for a run, as it's something I usually love doing at home. However, with my sleep completely topsy-turvy my motivation has been lacking, and I've not much wanted to get out running once it's dark. On Thursday morning however, I finally managed to wake up at a reasonable time and took myself out for a run. Thanks to the joys of GPS, I just decided to run without considering where I was going, then rely on the GPS to find my way back. It was a good way to explore the area, and I also discovered a walking track just ten minutes behind where I was staying. I had briefly considered whether there might be kangaroos lurking around, but then chastised myself for stereotyping Australia and forgot about it. However, on my way back two girls (who spoke little English) stopped me to ask where they could find the kangaroos. Cue my befuddlement and telling them that I did not know and I had not seen any. That evening I spoke to Suzi (owner of the Air BnB) about it, and she told me that there are indeed mother and baby kangaroos roaming around, most loitering on the boundaries. The male kangaroos are held behind a large fence because they are too dangerous to be roaming around! I was most disappointed that I had not managed to see any 'roos, but also most surprised that they can be found in such a suburban area.

I enjoyed having a nosy whilst running around the area, as there were some seriously swanky properties!

On Saturday morning I moved into my rental house in Brunswick with two Australian girls, Caitlin and Laura, who have already been living there for quite some time. I managed to get myself an Uber for about $3 for a 40-minute journey, thanks to an accumulation of discount codes! I was surprised to find how much stuff I had accumulated in just two weeks, due to having to buy all the items I hadn't had room to pack in my suitcases on the way over.

The girls had very kindly left me a 'Welcome to Melbourne' gift with essentials including wine and TimTams! 

Saturday lunchtime we went down the road to Laura and Caitlin's friends' house for a 'bottomless brunch'. We all took an item of food and contributed to the breakfast (which was absolutely delicious), and filled our boots with prosecco. It was really nice to meet a few other English people, and just to be around a group of girls. It's going to be hard to start a whole new social circle in a new country, so occasions like this I am so grateful for. I'm also very pleased that bottomless brunch is very much a thing here!

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