Should I write about the time I drove over the Great Ocean Road? The mountain hike I did in Geelong area, or walks near? The day trips in Geelong and Melbourne? Perhaps the alcohol fuelled foolery with my mates? Or simply a summary of the great times I experienced? To be frank, there are many stories I have for my time here, but none I could be bothered getting too deep into, or that qualify for a whole post. Unless anyone wants to hear more or I decide to do a post of multiple short stories and pick one or two, this is last of Australia as I don’t like to wring my experiences. Instead, I would like to shortly give my opinions on Victoria and Australians in general, before I initiate the travels that followed shortly after.
Victoria had been my place for nine whole months, of which majority was spend between Geelong and Melbourne. Both these towns have a highly present Dutch community, due to a Dutch refinery and an increase in migration in the wake of World War II. Despite this, not in the slightest, apart from some integrated foods, had I felt this. Instead, I experienced a lot of the Australian attitude. Their laid-back nature, interesting sense of humour and the way they talked. Incapable of not abbreviating words and phrases, in a matter of time you will pick up a complete new vocabulary here. I caught myself having early brekkie before riding my pushie to work.
As I said before, people from and outside of Corio had warned me for the locals there, however I found each of them approachable and easy-going. One cold evening I had stumbled upon a man granting himself the bed of grass beside the pedestrian path in a daze of alcohol. Upon waking him – come on, the nights get cold – he cheerfully wobbled and stammered away. No, the way I saw it, I encountered the Aussies as erratic, lively and humoured as well as great conversationalists. They know how to have a folly. Although I did find Victoria to be a bit of a “strict” state, or as it is called there a “nanny-state”. They have rules and laws for every simple and tiny thing and they work hard to implement them. But once you do a little research on the amount of DUI’s and alcohol-induced accidents, you start to wonder if a nanny-state is truly the worst downside.
Aside from the people, without a doubt you will find Melbourne worthy of praise when it comes to places to live. If my words are not credible enough, there are many other blogs and papers that place Melbourne high on the list. Coming near the liking of Vienna or Zurich, it is a beauty of a city with lots of grand parks and it is filled with happiness. Close to the Great Ocean Road, having national parks and many great dining places as well as pubs, Melbourne won’t leave you bored. Often I would be in the city solely for walking about – and admittedly getting a burger from either Betty’s or 8bit. Having done numerous of long hauls from far outside, as well as within Melbourne, I am also convinced that the public transport is both fair in price as well as punctuality, making the commute from anywhere possible. During one of these long rides, I have had a detailed conversation with two police officers manning the platform, and with the information and numbers given, I dare to say that it is also a safe and secure city. The “nanny-state”, annoying at times, has created an increase in the safety of its inhabitants.
So, with a town that holds creative street art, a culture that speaks to everyone and where you get served a beer during a haircut, filled with people you can’t help but love, I am not surprised that Melbourne claims the Aussie crown.