1) Koalas and Kangaroos aren’t just hanging out everywhere, but the spiders are well, pretty big.
2) Work is basically the same, but ordering a sandwich was surprisingly hard.
As soon as I walked in last Tuesday, they had a problem for me to go fix and a project that needed my help, so that has allowed me to jump right in and learn a lot. Then I also learned last Tuesday that Melburnians have very different ideas of what goes on a sandwich. After the adventure of trying to figure out what kind of bread from the 3 I didn’t recognize (seeded, dark, turkish), figuring out what MaJAREEEN (butter that they spread on before any other spread) was and then just taking the risk on Tasty Cheese (its just white cheddar). I did manage to successfully order lunch and the poor lady that was making it was exceedingly glad that I did understand what $8 meant when I needed to pay.
3) They Merry Christmas all over the place. Even when many of the people don’t speak English as a native language and are a variety of religion, Merry Christmas is all over the place isn’t seen as offensive and is on government, public and all kinds of signage. Or maybe because holiday means vacation the concept of Happy Holidays makes no sense.
4) American coffee is crap. Not that I am a big coffee drinker in general, but I can tell you that a flat white at pretty much any place in Australia including the hospital cafeteria tastes better and is the right temperature. And a “JUMBO” here is basically a Tall at Starbucks.
5) Melbourne really does have 4 seasons in a day. We went from 41C on Sunday to a low of 10C on Monday night. So basically in 1 day it went from 105 to 50 in basically 36 hours. Also once you are here it is actually pretty easy to figure out the temperatures in C.
6) Don’t plan on starting a New Year’s resolution to exercise on Jan 1, because all the gyms/barre/yoga and other studios are closed. All those people are on holiday. And a lot of the restaurants are closed for almost a full 3 weeks.
7) Christmas “pudding” is boiled or steamed and looked disgusting in the package at the grocery store. The grocery store is interesting overall, since I recognize none of the brands of things that are sold.
8) Cell phone plans are much cheaper than the US and they basically let me walk out of the store with a new phone and cell phone plan without paying any money, with a bill coming in the mail in 2 weeks.
9) The graffiti on Hosier Lane changes daily, there is always a new set of graffiti where they have painted over the last one.
10) Even though they shorten and/or add y or ie to the end of lots of words (chocci, brekkie, avo, arvo), they always full pronounce beets as beetroot.
—- After spending about 3 weeks in Melbourne, I have learned quite a bit. Much of this is taken from an email that I sent to friends after being here for just a week with a few additional edits. Enjoy!