After over 24 hours of films, unlimited drinks, reading, sleeping and being offered cheese by my next-door passenger, I arrived in Melbourne at 5am on Tuesday 23rd July. I made my way to the house and was introduced to those who were awake, so it was time to load up on coffee and start getting over the jet lag! On my first night, a carload of us went out to the pub for some pizza and socialising which was a lovely welcome to the city. We saw some possums on the way home and had to stop to take some pictures (Marco got bitten- so we scarpered!).
After a day of odd sleeping patterns, Wallace and I hit the town and spent Thursday on the free bus tour of the city, which was a great way to get my bearings and see some of the sights. The Melbourne Museum was the main attraction of the day, and I was able to take a look around the place where I would be working for the next 6 weeks. I couldn’t help but notice how innovative the museum is, with so many interactive displays and such a wide range of collections. From a living rainforest, to an experience of ‘Entering the Labyrinth’ of the mind, to a large exhibition containing 600 million years of evolution- it would be an understatement to say I was well and truly amazed! Once home, we then went next door to the Irish pub (where I was feeling right at home) to hear some Irish music; as it was the 25th of July and winter time, they were also celebrating “Christmas in July”. There was tinsel, Christmas crackers and it was all rather surreal- and then Father Christmas turned up! One of my housemates mentioned to him that it was my birthday the next day and so I was showered with pub-style gifts. It was such a fun day and I managed to experience how diverse, cultured, and busy the city is.
Although only knowing my housemates for 3 days- they made sure I had a great time on my birthday. We started off going to the cafe/cake shop, Brunetti’s, which had incredible cheesecakes, chocolate tortes and tarts. Then we took a detour on the way home through the University (for a Krispy Kreme lunch) on their open day- I also managed to find a new way to advertise studying history, the picture speaks for itself! I was then cooked an amazing meal of Thai noodles and, to finish the day, we went out to a lovely bar and played some pool, managing to ‘hold the table’ for well over an hour.
On Sunday, as part of The Writer’s Festival, the University was hosting a Rare Book Fair; I loved being able to see so many old books and only wished I had the $40,000 it would cost to buy some of them. Most items were out on display and so you were able to take your time and read through them, as well as chatting with the sellers to hear some of the more personal stories behind the pieces. After seeing so many old books, maps and pieces of art, I was well and truly ready to start my internship with the Museum the following day.
My first 6 days in Melbourne have been filled with such a range of experiences: cultural, literary, musical and social. It has been a great introduction to the city and the country and I have loved every minute!