Our new home is the city of Melbourne. A city of more than 4 million people in the Southeast coast of Australia. It is as far as geography is concerned very far away from anywhere. The closest “big” city is Canberra although most Australians ignore that city, Adelaide and Sydney are about a day’s drive away and cities like Bangkok (8000km), Tokyo (10000km), Los Angeles (12000km), New York and Frankfurt (16000km) and the list goes on. So the isolation in terms of distance is without a doubt, a fact. In many other ways though Melbourne is so central in the big scheme of things and beyond that, as it is typical for Oz, there are so many events and festivals that keep one entertained and relaxed.
Let’s start with my favourite Australian sport, The Footy, it is one of the most exciting sports out there and while I do not claim to know all the rules or understand it completely I have my favourite team and I have been in quite a few games both here in Melbourne and in Adelaide to see Port Adelaide games. It is not the most powerful team but it is most certainly my team. The game itself, for those who have never seen it, is spectacular. It is fast paced and while it seems to be very hard it is still in a very Australian way easy going with everyone trading punches during the game and then taking it easy once the horn sounds. Other notable sports events cricket season, the Australian Open, the Grand Prix, the Races and so many more.
The other amazing thing that never ceases to amaze me is that loads of people are active anytime of the day and anywhere you look. I see people running to work, I had never seen that before. When I drive along Beach Rd in the mornings rushing to a meeting I see people in the water and the same goes for most afternoons. Obviously the mild weather and the proximity to water is a key driver for this behaviour but every weekend there seems to be some kind of athletic event or competition. Most people at work are active and regularly exercise at all times, I among few others are the exception rather than the rule. There are outdoor groups of people who get together to exercise in parks, the beach, anywhere where they can really.
There are so many festivals around from cultural ones like book or movie festivals to something a lot more interesting like a BBQ festival in St. Kilda. Multicultural events like the Greek Antipodes festival that took place in the city this last weekend draws thousands and then there are those regional ones like Jazz Festivals and River Festivals where artists from around the globe come and visit.
One thing that we really have taken advantage of is concerts and plays/theater in Melbourne. I have seen more concerts here in the past few months than the last few years back in Germany. I even got a chance to see Jimmy Buffett one of my favourite one, that was a very special night!
The list is really endless, there is something new and exciting to do every single day. It is an amazing place, we live so close to this metropolis and these opportunities to enjoy so many things… …it is an unbelievable place!
This does not change the fact that it is so far away from most places but it does make for an extraordinary place in its own right and one we are proud to call home!