Thursday, March 5, 2009

Settling in.

Adapted from a recent e-mail:

I'm sorry that it has taken me a bit to update, but I am alive and well! After baggage fees and a temporarily unrecognized visa (cue panic attack), I made it to Dubai and through to Melbourne. Two of my friends picked me up at the airport and I have never been happier to see anyone than I was after about 30-ish hours of travel. I'm writing this on my break from work. How crazy! I'm working in Melbourne less than two weeks after getting here. Crazier still, it's not a restaurant job, but a marketing position. I'm working in downtown Melbourne in an area called Southbank. It's right along the Yarra River and next to the Crown Casino. It's kind of the most perfect location I could ask for. My co-workers are great and I think I will learn a lot. Today (and probably the rest of the week) has been dedicated to learning about Root Cause Analysis and familiarizing myself with healthcare lingo... very draining. My eyes hurt - but it's nice to be using my head!

Part of the reason I haven't been able to update until now is because I am still without internet in my apartment (hopefully this week it will get set up). Luckily for me there's an internet cafe literally around the corner from my apartment. Stan (the owner) and I are fairly well acquainted thanks to my internet dependence. I live in a neighborhood called Brunswick right off of the main road, Sydney Road. Yes, if you follow it north you will get to Sydney. Mind you, that would take something like 9 hours to do. There was just a street party this past Sunday and about 50,000 people were estimated to traffic throughout the day. It was pretty neat - tons of music and crafts and food. The area has tons of kebab shops and fresh fruit and veggie stands. It's true what I heard before I moved: every area has a very distinct feel to it. Fitzroy, a town a little north of Brunswick, is full of hippies. I know this because they all showed up for the street fair. Hippies and people who like to wear ripped tights. There are some very funky trends here - my J. Crew self may be a little classic compared to the overt self-expression through fashion that is Melbourne. Although there are many different styles, the uniform dress-code for a night out is shorter and tighter (or so I've observed). Fairly universal.

Anyway, my roommate, Sharon, is a Kiwi (from New Zealand) and was great in finding our apartment. She moved out the week prior to my arrival and I'd say we have done pretty well for ourselves furnishing our apartment, securing jobs, and catching up with our friends from Europe. Side note: Did you know that apartments "down under" come standard without a refrigerator? Because I didn't. Hello, unforeseen cost! Anyway, we have an amazing couch and table and a fridge and all that good stuff. And I have a bed! With pillows! And a cell phone!

It has been really great catching up with the people I met while traveling throughout Europe. My "oldest friend" (meaning, from London, in August) Tom has been great about showing me around. He just moved from the west coast (Perth) about a month ago, so it's nice to have a few people who are also relatively new to the city to explore with. The girls from my tour have also been a great help. My friend Jo got me and my roommate tickets to the soccer grand final this past weekend: Melbourne v. Adelaide. Thankfully, Melbourne won. It was a good introduction to Aussie sports. Now I just have to research and select a footy team to barrack for (I'm using my favorite color, red, and the "quality" of the players as criteria). I am so fortunate to have met such kind people while abroad. They have helped to make the transition much easier and less painless.

I am happy, sheltered, employed, and most importantly, warm.

If anyone decides to quit their job or take a vacation my home is yours! We did purchase a pretty sweet couch.

Soon to come: the job, the city, the culture shock (and oh yes, there is culture shock).


Erin said...

Gosh reading that white text on your black background is killing my eyes, BUT I'm glad I did read it. What a wonderful post. I'm glad you are settling in! It sounds as though all the pieces are falling into place! Looking forward to future updates and photos(?) in due course!

Anonymous said...

I'm happy you're settling in! that's fantastic. I can't wait to hear more about how you're enjoying melbourne!

Lindsay McHugh said...

@Erin Usually there isn't so much text! I know that was a little hard to read. Once I get internet at my place (noticing a theme and some frustration?) I'm planning on working to re-do the look of my page. Thanks for hanging in there! Photos, again, once I get hooked-up to the world :)

@Daisy THANKS! I have to catch up on your blog, majorly. I'm also planning a trip up to Sydney in the near future - will keep you posted!

nicoleantoinette said...

Yes! I'm so excited to read about everything you're doing and would love, love, love to visit one day :)

MsPuddin said...

what an exciting transition.never been to australia, howd you get that gig?

Lindsay McHugh said...

@MsPuddin I didn't exactly land a gig... more like decided on a whim to apply for a visa, got a plane ticket, and here voila, here I am!

@Nicole I can't wait to be able to tell you about what it's like. Stupid internet!

Caz said...

AS long as you don't Barrack for Essendon we can be friends (I'm a Carlton girl myself...) St Kilda are pretty good (and red) if you choose them.

I think the Hawks though have the best looking team... but that's just me!