Sunday, August 9, 2015

Things I learned moving to Melbourne

I haven't posted for ages - I suppose that deserves an explanation. I've got a new job (woo!) which involved moving out of my house in Gawler to my parents' house in Adelaide then across to Melbourne, all in the space of two and a half weeks in mid-June. Then, a month later I realised I was going to have to move again. By the end of July I'd racked up my third move in two months. I really hope not to need to move again this year.

Time to share a few of the lessons I've learnt, though there will be more to share later and most could be expanded into posts of their own later.

So far, Melbourne weather has generally had higher lows and lower highs. I don't mind this at all, as it's the savagely cold mornings that I most dislike in winter. The rest I can deal with.

One of the single biggest adjustments has been to roads and traffic - not the size of the city or the volume of it, so far I've avoided problems with that, but just that it's different. So different that I'm going to write a future post about it. In the meantime, I'll just note that wet tram tracks are disconcerting to drive on as you slip all over the place.

The public transport is better than Adelaide's generally, though that you can't use Google Maps for journey planning or buy a single trip ticket is a little frustrating. Most of my trips have involved stringing multiple legs together so the app for the system has been a must have, used in combination with Google Maps as I have to work out the intersection or station I need to get to, not just the name of the final location. It's so far managed to get me where I go without serious event, though I did quickly learn that my station in the first house was not the one named for my suburb, and if I made that mistake I had a long walk ahead of me. I'm trying to walk or use public transport wherever realistically possible, but the newer house isn't so well placed for it. I'm looking forward to cycling more when my bicycle gets here.

Libraries here exist in a different environment and the user trends are also quite different to those I've encountered in the SA libraries I've worked in. There's plenty adjusting and learning to do, I think  making that adjustment offers a great opportunity for professional improvement. When I have some thoughts in order I'll see about posting them.

Free plastic shopping bags. They're still a thing here, and the first time I saw them I hardly believed my eyes. Just about every shop or take away place reflexively puts whatever you have, however small or easily carried, into a bag. Supermarkets often put very little in a bag, whereas in SA where the bags are purchased they are fully loaded. I've had a single lemon and a take away container with its own handle presented to me in a plastic bag. I'm doing my best to use as few as possible.

I'm living in a very small flat - not as small as a bedsit, but not much bigger. Easily the smallest place I've lived in for more than a week or two at a time. I also have very little of my stuff with me. I miss having access to some of my stuff, most notably my bicycle, comfy sofa and bookshelves, but it puts very little pressure on me. I like this very much. I didn't feel like my volume of stuff was excessive before, but next time I get to de-store it all I'll have to think hard on how I want to live in future.

Possibly as a result of two well-spoken parents and the focus on clear enunciation from singing and choral classes at a young age I've always fielded the occasional "where do you come from", but they've usually been months or years apart. Adelaide's accent is notably milder than Melbourne's, and now I'm getting this a few times a week, especially from library customers and random shop assistants who are surprised to learn that I'm Australian and have spent almost all of my life here. To a person from another country I sound Australian, to Australians, apparently not. I don't like the where-do-you-come-from-ing, but I'm resigned to it.

On the whole, I feel like I'm doing well at work and I'm certainly enjoying the chance to learn and do new things. Outside of work has been a little difficult for a while now but I think it's settled down and I like my new place.

I'm sure there's much, much more, but that will do for now.

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