Not that long ago I announced here on the blog that Dean and I were moving to Melbourne, and we’ve done it. We arrived a few days ago, diving straight from the laid-back, slow-moving tropics into the cold, chaotic world of big city life. It was, to say the least, a shock.
In Darwin it sometimes feels that time just stops. The heat, combined with the humidity, slows everyone down to almost a standstill. Walking the streets can feel like going backwards, and the days stretch on in sunlight. By comparison Melbourne moves fast. People walk on the street, they run for trams and for fun. The air is cold and keeping warm is a must, however you choose to accomplish it. Cars speed by our window night and day, like an ever-present hum of vibration. We watch the headlights slide across our ceiling, and think about our little third-floor walkup. It feels like a lifetime ago.
As we’re working to get our bearings, we do a lot of walking. This is basically our solution for everything. Day and night, as the sun dips earlier and earlier below the horizon, our feet beat on the streets a steady rhythm. Sometimes we walk to geocache, sometimes to reach something in the distance, sometimes just because we’re freezing and walking is warmth. Whatever the reason, we cover a lot of miles our first week, and we start to see a little more.
It’s a colourful city Melbourne, there’s no doubt about that. We venture into the city one day, but it’s definitely not for us. Sound bounces off the high-rises in a way that makes both of us sick in a way we don’t understand. Introverted to a fault it seems. So we opt to stick for the suburbs and beyond, wandering past artwork and gardens and all these unfamiliar things like trams and tiny hole-in-the-wall businesses. Melbourne is full of new things, and all around us the autumn leaves fall thick and fast and winter is on the way.
We’ve realised by now that we don’t know what the future holds. Unexpected occurrences come out of nowhere and it’s hard to keep track. Even things we thought were solid, things we could count on, drop off. Less than a week in I’m somehow jobless and back into hunt for something creative and engaging. Life is full of unexpected turns, and we’re feeling particularly spun around of late.
Still, we find a car and make a few friends, and the streets call us of an afternoon to wander and wonder once again. Melbourne is a new place, a big place, and loud place, but we’ll carve out our little spot and settle for a while. The future is a foggy as a winter morning, but that’s ok for now.