After travelling in Queensland for 6 months, we decided to move to Victoria.
We were enthusiastic about the idea of seeing Melbourne and going back to an “urban” living style, but the metropolis had already swollen us when we realized that, in the meantime, we had get used to the countryside more than we thought. And it was not smoothly.
My first impression of Melbourne, actually, was that of a posh city: an endless series of little clubs, mixed with restaurants, shops and hairdressers. No dark corners, no crummy neighbourhoods, no secrets guarded by residents, no historical club.
I was so used to see barefoot people covered in dirt and children who run around shops with just their nappy on, that when I discovered that in the first block of Chapel Street (the main road close to our house) there are three hairdressers, and one of them is just for hipsters, I was shocked.
But, as any first impression, obviously, this one was not completely true or it was just a part of the truth.
Which are the pros and cons of living in Melbourne?
- In my opinion, it’s a “posh” city for real but, as often happens in Australia, nobody judges you for your appearance. So, if you want you can easily go to have an ice cream in your pyjama in the same street where the night before you was having a drink in your best dress and with your make-up on. In both situations, you won’t have many eye contacts.
- It’s full of Italians who live here. This means that you can have a dinner with a pizza and a Moretti beer but also that you can find the same dynamics that you were escaping by coming to Australia, especially as for work and socialization. It’s very easy to find work in the hospitality sector (restaurants, pizzerias, ice-cream parlours), but probably a part of the staff is Italian, so you can forget about the relaxed and educated atmosphere that Australians create in any context. It’s also very easy to find some Australian of Italian origin who still remember some words of the language their parents spoke.
- In Melbourne you can find everything, anything you can think of but, on the contrary, is a huge city, not at all human-sized (to give you an idea, is ten time-sized compared to a mid-big city as Turin). Public transport is efficient enough but it is not 24 hours a day as in Sidney.
- It’s on the sea and that compensates an anonymous architecture, but on winter it’s often windy (and going by bike becomes a challenge).
- It’s a multiethnic city and that’s why at a first contact it is difficult to understand its real identity.
- Looking for a job is much more difficult and lenghty compared to the works in farms but you have more opportunities to change sector.
- It’s one of the most appreciated city all over Australia. Almost all the travellers of this part of the hemisphere come back here, so it’s a place for re-encountering and meeting. And, obviously, this has no cons.