Friday, 18 July 2008

Fri 18 July: Melbourne & job hunting

So it’s Friday afternoon right now and I’ve had a couple of good meetings today & yesterday, with more lined up for next week and another phone interview in Sydney on the horizon too. Feels like lots of opportunities around so fingers crossed one of them turns out to be the right thing for me.

Other than that, I’ve been settling into my ‘home from home’ here – a serviced apartment in South Yarra, which is a very nice part of Melbourne, around 10 mins on a tram or train from the city centre. It’s full of classy little boutiques and loads of gorgeous looking restaurants and cafes. Staying in an apartment like this is much better than being in a hotel – it’s cheaper, I have more space and it means I can cook for myself instead of having to eat out the whole time.

Melbourne as a whole is really lovely. 95% of people we’ve asked have said that Melbourne is better than Sydney and even after only a few days, I can completely understand why. Sydney is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but Melbourne feels much more like somewhere you can live and experience different kinds of life. Sydney’s more of a show city – it’s beautiful and has some stunning sights – but it seems a bit superficial. Melbourne seems to have a lot more character and history – just walking around it, you get a sense that it’s brimming with things to do, from sports to museums to culture. It’s also a very green city, with a huge abundance of parks and the wide Yarra river running through it. Living near the Thames in London has really made me appreciate the value of being near a river – don’t know what it is about them, but just walking along their banks is a peaceful way to unwind and relax, even in the middle of a big city (can’t say I ever had that feeling about the Clyde when I lived in Glasgow mind you!)

Other good things about Melbourne include an integrated public transport system of trains, trams and buses, which is not only efficient, comfortable, reliable and easy to navigate, but cheap - $28 (£14) for 1 week pass, which is really good value for what you get. It’s also good for cyclists with lots of designated cycle lanes.

It’s cold here mind you – not bone-chilling in a Scottish way, but cold enough to have the heating on in the apartment. It’s around 14 degrees I think. But given this is midwinter, if this is the worst it gets, it’s not too bad!

So, I’ve been invited out for dinner tonight and then tomorrow, I’ve been invited to join a group of Kevin’s future colleagues for an Aussie Rules Football match – excellent! I have no clue about the rules or what to expect, but I’m looking forward to finding out – might have to buy some more warm clothes though!

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