This is what I have been telling people when they ask, “How are you finding the transition from New Zealand to Melbourne?”
The differences were not quite enough to exactly shock me, but still enough to notice.
For example, the fact that nobody seems to know what ‘jandals’ are. I understand that ‘jandals’ is a bit of an odd word but ‘thongs’ is possibly the least plausible name to call them. Thongs are underwear; jandals are jandals. (FYI the word ‘jandals’ is an abbreviation for ‘Japanese sandals’ which, in my opinion, is so much more logical than calling them g-strings).
I have also never seen road rage so bad until I got here. I watched a woman just scream after being cut off – not like any words or anything, she literally just screamed for a good minute.
Oh, and why the fuck are toothbrushes more expensive than gas? When I discovered this, I was shook. I could not believe I was paying $5 for a toothbrush whilst gas sits at around only $1.20 per litre?! Just for comparison’s sake, a toothbrush back home would set you back $1.60 and gas is usually around $1.98 per litre.
Regardless of all these obscurities, there are so many great things to come from Australia – first and foremost: GOON. I gotta admit, a good old Kiwi Scrumpy is nothing compared to this stuff. It is probably my favourite part of Australian culture and I think I am now quite possibly 70% goon at this point.
What I love about Melbourne is that it is such an artistic city. New Zealand is artistic too, but our art comes in the form of nature. I had the opportunity to visit the Dandenong Mountains and view the entire city from above. If you know anything about New Zealand, you will know that I come from an extremely mountainous country, so I have seen many views from such height – but nothing like that.
Melbourne is beautiful – it is busy and buzzing. The twinkling lights encompassed my entire field of vision. In NZ, you will never ever be more than 128km from the sea, so every view from a mountain top will include a sea of blue, landscaped by the green fauna that makes up the place I call home, and to be quite honest, I am really missing being only a 5-minute walk away from the beach.
I truly encourage everyone to visit NZ at least once – especially considering how close we are! There are certain sights and experiences that could never be replicated in a busy city like Melbourne. There is so much beauty to be seen that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. Harae mai to my country.