Five things I like about Melbourne

When we first announced to our friends that we’d be moving to Melbourne, most of them commented on the terrible weather in Melbourne. It always rain here apparently, and is constantly dreary and cold. There were also tales of Melbourne experiencing four seasons in one day. It would be sunny in the morning, hot by midday, windy and cold by afternoon and raining that same night. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?

Funny thing is, in my two years of living here, I could only remember a few days of really bad weather. I remember a day when it was really pouring rain and hubby commented that if the same thing happened in the Philippines, work and school would have been cancelled already. Then there were the odd days of crazy, howling winds and the occasional hailstorm. On the other hand, perhaps coming from a tropical country regularly visited by typhoons every year may have something to do with my higher tolerance for rain. After all, even the worst storm here didn’t even compare to the ones we get in the Philippines.

A little rain is always good for the flowers and the dams, what with the stricter water restrictions nowadays. Besides, as the photos I took during our lunch break today illustrate, Melbourne does get its fair share of good weather too!

Here’s a short list of what else I like about living here, in commemoration of Melbourne’s foundation day yesterday:

  1. Public transport – Buses, trains and trams all use a common ticket, called a MetCard, which is convenient and easy to understand. As long as you have the proper ticket for a zone, you could use just one ticket to transfer between the three different modes of transport available.
  2. CBD layout – When I first saw the layout for the city’s CBD, I knew that the possibility of me getting lost in some unfamiliar street is slim. It’s easy because it’s laid out in a grid! It may look unnatural but to people like me who are just hopeless with a map, it’s a dream to navigate!
  3. Cultural mix – People from all walks of life from different countries come here to work, live or play. Catering to all these people has made the city a venue for a truly eclectic mix of restaurants, cultural events and entertainment.
  4. Community size – Melbourne is the second-largest city in Australia, home to approximately 3.7 million people. It’s big enough to host big events but is still small enough to have affordable suburbs that aren’t too far from the city. I use the word ‘affordable’ here loosely – for the same amount of money, you could purchase a home in a suburb closer the city than in, say, Sydney.
  5. Proximity to the coast – I lived in a city near the bay in Manila and saw the coast everyday on my way to and from work. I didn’t realise I’ve missed seeing the coast until I moved to Melbourne, where I could visit the beach anytime and be reminded of the Philippines.
Published in: on August 31, 2006 at 12:20 pm  Comments (7)  

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. we’re very excited to go to melbourne…we’ll be staying there too…we’re leaving for aussie soon…:)

  2. Nice comments about Melbourne.

    I am into trekking, caving and other sports adventure,,

    hope to get a chance to do these things there…

    can’t wait to smell the Melbourne air…


  3. @ladybug: Although far from being perfect, Melbourne is indeed the place to be (at least for us atm).

    @Jennie: Sydney’s real estate prices are crazy. A friend of mine also had to buy a place an hour’s drive away from the city and still have to shell out 400k. Whoa, now that’s expensive.

    @JerseyGuy: Really? I thought The Age’s sections are tops but I didn’t know it ranks as one of the best. That’s great to know. 🙂

    @Alex: As a regular public transport user, I had to contend with my fair share of late trains, cancellations and other tales of woe. Petrol prices and the environment are a concern for us too and would like to see some improvements in the state of public transport.

  4. Unfortunately Melbourne’s public transport system leaves a lot to be desired for the two-thirds of Melbourne located beyond the train and tram network.

    People can only use public transport when it is readily available and until fast, frequent and readily available. Currently two thirds of Melbourne has infrequent, indirect and a very poor level of public transport – with rising petrol prices it is clear that public transport is quickly becoming a necessity.

    Alex Makin

  5. And I may add, it’s where you can find the best daily in the world. Though I’m now a New York transplant by way of Manila and Melbourne, I still have the habit of reading my favourite sections in TheAGE.

  6. Speaking of house prices, I actually had a conversation with a work colleague yesterday who is based in Sydney. Apparently, suburbs that are around an our from the city sell houses for approximately $450,000!!! 😮 Imagine that! Whereas here in Melbourne, we can get a 2-bedroom unit in the city fringe for $260,000! Unbelievable!

    Oh, I love Melbourne! 😡 I’m glad I decided to base myself here and not Sydney. :d

  7. Sounds like a lovely city to me. Nice scenery too. I’m glad you’re finding everything to your liking there. 🙂

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