For those of you who have no clue about the title, it translates as “Oh my, what a surprise, this lady’s honest”. Time has flown by since my last post, it’ll be Christmas before I know it. I believe that most of August and September has been spent integrating into Melbourne culture and adopting their customs but that doesn’t mean it comes easily. Here’s a few things that didn’t go so well with me and some further below that really did:
1) 50p: Australia why is your 50 pence coin so huge, you’ve got the same shape as the Brit one but why did you have to go super size it and make my hand look even smaller in comparison! It’s so chunky that you don’t need a knuckle duster next time you’re in trouble, put one of these between your fingers. (Disclaimer: I do not promote violence in any way or form)
2) Myki cards: These are Melbourne’s version of the Oyster cards used in London except there’s one massive glitch, the Myki card takes longer to scan at a terminal than an X-ray! I have lost precious minutes of my life waiting for it to let me pass, let alone getting hand cramp having to stick it to the screen the whole time that I need to top up, pay and collect my receipt. Come on guys, I don’t expect retinal scanning or fingerprint recognition, I am embracing the Myki but the world is my Oyster…card 😉
3) Babychino: So this is more of a misconception, are these chinos for babies? No, they’re cups of frothy posh milk for the lil ones, so much so that they’re on the kids’ menus (= snack menus), they start them young here!
4) Coffee: From Babychino to Adultchino or Coffee as they call it here. Melbourne has some of the best coffee houses in the world, so much so that they fiercely resisted the spread of the corporate coffee germ Starbucks which only has a handful of branches here. This is great but one small problem, I don’t drink coffee, yes I know, what a shocker, it’s because I will be bouncing off the walls if I drink even half a cup. And also because I used to drink Starbucks’ white chocolate mochas with caramel syrup and if I order that here, they will spit on me. I have now resigned myself to appreciate coffee simply by sniffing it.
5) Trams: And here’s me thinking this was only unique to Croydon in the Sauff of London, they are in fact a beloved treasure of Melbourne. I have been on a tram twice since coming to Melb, once to St Kilda beach and the other on the “colonial tram car” experience. Think of the Orient express train but a tram version for tourists with some yummy food and unlimited amount of alcohol, no you don’t get it with your Myki card! Both tram rides have been pleasant but you can guess which one I enjoyed more.
6) Footie: Now by footie I don’t mean soccer as they call it here, boo, hiss, soccer is not a real word, I’m talking about AFL footie! This is a vicious, fast paced but fun game combining proper football and rugby to create some crazy Australian sport. The players are as muscly as rugger buggers but have legs like football players and the height of basketball players. Imagine that! To prove that I’m all about integrating into the local community, I pledged my allegiance to the Richmond Tigers Footie team (no link to Tamil Tigers), got myself a beanie, guernsey and scarf and signed up for membership for 2014. The Tigers came very close this year so I’m sticking with them and Trent Cotchin, the Tigers’ poster boy and my new David Beckham, sorry David, I couldn’t handle the long distance anymore. The AFL grand final was last Saturday and the whole state tuned in to watch the Hawthorn “Hawks” win. Footie also has WAGs, I’ll leave it at that.
7) Wine: Massive perk about being in Melbourne is that they make and love their wine! We had some lovely friends over from London so we thought what better to do than go on a Yarra Valley Wine Tour and it was winetastic (cheesy I know but it goes well with wine ;-)) As long as you don’t get so drunk that you accidentally drink from the spit bucket, then you’re fine to learn about some posh tips about wine and champers like storing wine away from the cooker, stove, using a vinaerator which I am now a proud owner of. Fun fact, did you know that there’s a person called a Riddler who’s job is to turn champagne bottles all day to evenly distribute the yeast and get the fizz, you need to complete a 3 year apprenticeship to even do it! We also stocked up on various wines as if the world was going to end or something!