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My First Week in Melbourne: Learning to love the ‘big city’

Meld Magazine

Tue Oct 16 2012


HAVING just moved to Melbourne from Brisbane, Cherish Li expected ‘G’days’ and friendly smiles from people on the street here. Needless to say, it took her awhile to get used to this city.

I was both excited and nervous to leave high school in Brisbane for Melbourne.

It might seem cliché, but, yeah, I did lose my passport at the airport in the first minutes after I arrived in Brisbane from China. I was worried history would repeat itself in Melbourne.

In the end I didn’t lose anything, but I didn’t experience the sort of the smooth sailing I expected in Melbourne either.

I asked the school for a home stay that was near my campus. I was given one that was far away and removed from just about anywhere else. My first few weeks in Melbourne were therefore made up of endless running around trying to organise my life. Putting in the hard work to make sure everything gets done is extremely exhausting when you are doing it all by yourself.

I wouldn’t deny that it was both a stressful and frustrating time. I was always in a blue mood as I had no friends, and didn’t go anywhere because my accommodation was too far from both the city and my school. Instead of enjoying the city, I spent my time pacing my home and mulling over my miserable life in Melbourne.

Melbourne is way bigger than Brisbane, and I learnt that the hard way. Once I walked for an hour just to find a post office near my accommodation.I remember calling my mum crying and complaining about how big Melbourne was and how hard it was to find things. I couldn’t even catch the right train because I didn’t understand the confusing lines and limited expresses.

In Brisbane, my home stay parents were really caring and organised everything for me. I was treated like a child, which made the move to Melbourne even harder. For the first time, I was totally on my own in Melbourne. I had to think about accommodation, studies and transport, but also little annoying things like cooking.

To be honest, I found the people in Melbourne to be cooler than people in Brisbane. People don’t tend to say, “G’day” or smile when they bump into each other on the street over here.Luckily, things became a lot better after I made some friends at uni. Life became much more colourful and optimistic.

Thanks to my friends, I began enjoying my life in Melbourne.

Now, I’m always busy taking photos in the city like a tourist. It’s rather dazzling to see the trams, horse carriages, graffiti and cafes, as well as the amazingly exotic architecture.Lots of my friends say Melbourne feels more like a foreign country than Brisbane and Sydney. I personally agree.

I love everything in Melbourne – its unique multiculturalism, artistic atmosphere and delicious food.

It’s my last semester in uni and I’m going home in two months’ time. I have already begun to miss Melbourne even though I’m still here.