The great thing a out living in a city is that there is always something going on. On Monday this, like many of my favourite things in life, involved food – free food. The team at Oz harvest had put together a free lunch using reclaimed food, to highlight the amount of food waste in Australia and world wide.
Its pretty shocking to learn that around 1/3 of food produced for human consumption is thrown away every year. Especially when confronted with the fact that so many people live in poverty. It really challenges me to think about the best way to buy and create food – while simultaneously tucking into a yummy lunch.
It has already come to the attention of my new friends that I like food very much. Anyone following my blog probably already knows that as well. And because tradition is always a good thing, a second Sunday brunch occurred.
This time we went to Industry Beans. I thought it was a bit more expensive than last week but I’m still trying to work out what ‘decent’ prices are. It was an incredibly hipster cafe, right up to the fact that we the herbal teas were serves with artfully placed, but completely useless, herbs in a jar – both us and a pair of girls also at the cage had to double check what we were supposed to do with them…..
Anyway I had beans and quinoa with a poached egg, avocado and tomatoes. The real innovation of this dish though was that they had green and red chilli’s in it. The green chilli’s were a bit too spicy for my liking but the red chilli’s were beautifully sweet and perfect. Totally blew my mind as a food idea!
We then went off to explore a few if the venues of Open House Melbourne, which opened up many of the buildings so that one could see the architecture. We went and saw the living wall of the Medibank building.
The most interesting place however was the Docklands Community Library. It was beautifully designed with lots of wood cladding, photography exhibition etc. but it just had so much going on. A 3-d printer, games rooms, cafe and so on. I’ve already signed up for a free robotics class!
Pancakes at the Pancake parlour then completed the day – a lovely day to end the holidays as lectures start today.
This weekend I was able to explore one of the things that Melbourne is famous for – brunch! My roomie from the Melbourne Welcome Week had her birthday this Sunday so a group of us went out for brunch and then off to the beach. As a complete land lubber I am very excited to be living so near the sea and, although other Australians only have disdain for Melbourne’s beaches, it is quite the luxury for me.
We went to a very cute little cafe whose name I very helpfully can not remember. I enjoyed a very fancy pants looking mushroom ragu, which did in fact taste as good as it looks. We were then able to wonder around the Rose Street Market which had lots of cute little stalls.
We then wandered along to the beach and walked past all of the stalls. Terrarium’s seemed to be the order of the day, with several people selling them. I actually bought a very small one – I’m still trying to decide whether it is too big to wear as a necklace. When I’m sorted in a place of my own I’m planning to go back and buy a bigger one.
I hope you all had a good weekend, where ever you might be!
From Monday this week I have been enjoying the hospitality of Trinity College on the University of Melbourne campus for an international welcome week. As this was a paid event it was something that I uhmed and ahhed about signing up to, but I am really glad that I did. It was organised by local students who had previously gone on exchanges themselves and was a really wonderful opportunity to get to know the city and other students.
One of the highlights of the week was going on a day trip to Yarra Valley, which is about an hour drive from Melbourne. We went to Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and ice creamery, a winery and to Healesville Sanctuary to look at all the aussie animals. I actually hadn’t realised that the kangaroo was part of a specific subset of animals – the marsupials – that are pretty much only found in Australia and the Americas.
Another highlight was a guided tour of Melbourne’s laneways. These are small side lanes which have been devoted either to graffiti or to cafes and bars. They have an incredibly buzzy and distinctive feel and I can’t wait to explore them soon.
We also went up on the Eureka skydeck, ran around the city like lunatics on a scavenger hunt and had some awesome cake! Its been a great start in getting to know Melbourne and I can’t wait to explore some more.
I was lucky enough today to be driven out to Studley Park which is on the out skirts of Melbourne. One of the things that I am fast coming to recognise is how many large green spaces there are. There aren’t so many of the London Style small green spaces but there are some fairly central proper big parks.
Anyway this is one of them and has the added advantage of being where the fruit bat colony of Melbourne live. Apparently you can see them flying across the suburbs at night, although I have yet to catch sight of one. It was a truly amazing sight to see them dangling from the trees by the river as far as the eye can see. Although I have been reliably informed that they give off a right pong in the summer months. Sadly my phone camera is awful but its all I have so I hope you can at least spot some bat shaped blobs.
I also walked further down into the park admiring all the eucalyptus trees. The city is full of them and they smell really lush and add greenness everywhere.
And so it begins! After months of planning and second guessing I have arrived safe and sound in Melbourne ready to start my year abroad. I’m still feeling massively jet lagged and spent most of thursday -when I wrote this – in bed. Thrilling stuff! But I thought I might as well share my first thoughts.
First Impression: Reminds me more of the USA than Britain – like, weirdly flat buildings but with more high rises? And lots of super fancy iron work and stuff like that on buildings that aren’t old at all. First Purchase with AUD: Skybus ticket from the airport
First place I visited: I walked down to Fitzroy which is basically hipsterville. I have stars in my eyes guys, for real! SO MUCH FOOD. And independent book stores. And hippy places selling funky blankets. I will become a parody of myself and it will be wonderful.
Scariest Moment: Realising that I hadn’t written down my Australian address which I needed for my landing card. Cue panic messaging people (without the full story) on facebook in Manila airport as facebook was working and gmail wasn’t. I did manage to get it but I was pretty much the last person to get on the plane. Before the latecomers. Le sigh. Most needless panic: That the Australian immigration service would be hard. Like, it was a crammed madness to get through to the automatic passport gate but. I didn’t have to do anything else. I’m still confused about this. Border patrol lies people, it lies!
Weirdest Moment: Getting an Australian ad on youtube. And seeing two people (beard and clogs respectively) carrying a weird statue and plynth. I’m slightly worried that it was actually going to go into their garden.
Oddest thing in general: The weird season miss mash. It gets dark at 5.30 which just feels confusing. And there are trees with their leaves off but also palm trees. In the same park. Its very odd. Feeling: Slightly overwhelmed but also very excited.
Thinking: About the future
Looking forward to: Finding a house. Song of the Moment: Blow Your Mind – Jamiroquai