This is the thread to help Zev with his transition to our fair shores. As someone who's only lived in Melboure for 2 years, I've got the "newbie" perspective down pat. So without further ado:
1) Melbourne has the weirdest weather. It's well known as having four seasons in one day. It'll start warm and sunny, you'll get some rain on the way to work, a cold chill during the day and in the afternoon it'll be windy, cloudy, sunny and raining all at once. Until you've seen it, you have no idea.
2) Melbourne summer is NOT like the rest of Australia. The rest of Australia during summer is just hot. Plain and simple, easy. Melbourne is either REALLY hot or just kinda warmish. Sometimes you'll need your jacket, even in summer. Unless you come from a cold climate. For example we had a few 45 degree (celsius) days in a row with near-zero humidity, followed by a bunch of days in the high 20s.
3) We don't have central heating here. You can't just leave the doors and windows closed all winter and hope that'll be enough. For starters, the house'll just stink. I had smelly Canadian every winter while I flatted with this one guy who just refused to let some air through, and I've since found it's something peculiar to those who come from places that snow heavily and regularly during winter. You'll need to just rug up and deal since it's probably going to be too expensive to run heaters. Besides, it's not all that cold. Wuss.
4) Melbourne is regarded as one of the most liveable towns in the world. And they're right. The architecture is great, the food's sensational, the rent is reasonable and it can be really beautiful.
5) Melbournites are absolutely insane when it comes to art. Leave a block of concrete on the road and it'll be getting critical reviews by morning. We have "The National Gallery of Victoria" which is the best art gallery in the country. We also have Federation Square and a bunch of other great museums and art galleries.
6) Melbournites are INSANE about sport. For six months of the year they are totally and utterly obsessed with football, like the need for little leather balls lay like a canker within their soul. People become mortal enemies solely on the basis of their support of opposing football clubs. And there's at least three different codes of football - woe betide anyone who calls it "rugby" - that's what the backward Queenslanders play.
The next 2 months they are completely besotted with Horse Racing. When the Melbourne Cup rolls around, expect Melbourne to be awash with men and women dressed to the nines, ladies wearing the most outlandish hats imagineable. On the day itself, the entire country stops and you can see tumbleweeds rolling down the main street of town. It would be the perfect day for a heist, except you couldn't find a thief who'd work come 3pm.
After that it's tennis and flocks of sunburned Australians can be seen baking in Kooyong and the Melbourne Tennis Centre.
After that it's the Grand Prix. The event EVERYONE in Melbourne wants to go to. You can hear the cars EVERYWHERE throughout the entire city and surrounding suburbs, like a siren wail calling you onwards. The only people who hate the Grand Prix are there anyway - there's a year-round protest setup at Albert Park where it's held. The protesters want Albert Park to be left as a natural park and lake setting, seemingly unaware that the entire lake and park surrounds are completely manmade.
And then it's footy again.
7) Melbourne drivers are the WORST drivers in Australia. If you think driving on the left will confuse you, imagine this - and I'll translate it for right-hand drive. You approach an intersection that has trams as well as traffic - a common occurance in the centre of the city. There's a sign ahead saying "Left turn from the right lane only." that's right. You want to turn left, so you pull over as far as possible out of traffic, parrallel and nearly overlapping the pedestrian traffic on your RIGHT, all the while indicating LEFT. When the lights go orange, you make sure no-one's coming and complete your turn when the lights go red.
And this is a LAW.
For some reason Melbournites believe that just because they have one utterly inexplicable road rule, the rest don't apply either. And neither do consideration, politeness or karma.
8) We've got GREAT eating. Check out Lygon street, Acland St and Brunswick street, just to name a few.
9) Melbournites are nuts for live original music. You can't walk into a venue without hearing some soulful muso belting out a few of their own. Cover bands are almost unheard-of; a complete reversal of the rest of the country.
10) The trams are cool.
Well, that's my summary of Melbourne - the rest of the Aussie contingent feel free to add to info about both Melbourne and the rest of Australia!
Posts: 2244 | Registered: Nov 1998
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11) Melbourne does not have a beach. Melburnians will insist it does but they are just plain wrong. It's a bay. And a fairly pathetic one at that.
12) I second the good eating. While Italian and Vietnamese are a particular highlight it is all good. Oh, and breakfasts in St Kilda. Yummmm.
13) Melburnians are very intelligent, aware and political. Do not start an argument if you are not completely and totally informed on the given issue and all possible tangents because I guarentee everyone else will be.
14) The sport obsession is set to increase over the next two years because Melbourne has the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
15) Melbourne has an inferiority complex to Sydney. It started back when a national capital was being chosen (and we got Canberra, didn't that work out well) and continues to this day. The funny thing is that Sydney hasn't noticed yet. But just don't ever tell a Melburnian that any aspect of Sydney is better than (or even comparable to) Melbourne. Not worth your life to do so.
That's about it I think - you'll have a great time Zevlag. Melbourne is a wonderful city.
[Edit: Perthites, unlike Melburnians, evidently have no sense of tense]
There's some nice beach-ish places to the south of Melbourne, but for some reasons the Melbournites think that sand and water doth maketh a beach. It's a cold thin strip of sand with some water on the other side. It looks pretty, has nice bike & rollerblade paths, but it aint for swimming in.
16) Melbournites get out more. They really do. All weekend we've got cyclists all over the place, rollerbladers, joggers and kite-surfers. It's amazing. Plus EVERYONE spends sunday afternoon at the pub or coffee shop. Very social town.
Posts: 2244 | Registered: Nov 1998
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