So far, 2016 has been treating me very well! I feel very Melbourne official as I started working and finally found a place to live. So far, The Grand Trailer Park Taverna is a great fit for what I was looking for in a job. It’s a fast-paced, fun burger joint full of brightly lit caravans with booth seating inside and chandeliers hanging in between colored strings of lights. The burgers are always picture perfect and a proper American size and from what I’ve found in Melbourne, they just can’t be beat. We also serve spiked milkshakes. The salted caramel, bourbon and maple bacon is my favorite. I’m sure much of my family and friends are more than excited to hear that in spite of having a college diploma, I still decided to move on the other side of globe to work in an American style burger restaurant. But I’m happy here. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to interact with an Australian clientele on a daily basis and by employed internationally if I were still at home. Oh, and I can also tell you for a fact that I would not be making half as much money doing the same thing in America. I have the privilege of working with both local and foreign co-workers from places like Italy, the UK and New Zealand. It’s a positive team that I am happy to be a part of and am very much looking forward to my next 6 months of employment with them.
Unfortunately, flat hunting was not as easy as job hunting. Ironically, I found a job the day I started looking and didn’t wind up signing a lease until living here for close to 6 weeks. After disaster after disaster of inspections, I finally decided to ditch the (often smelly) house share idea and get a place by myself. This turned out to be ideal because I eventually found everything I was looking for and absolutely love my new place. I am currently living in a studio apartment on the 12th floor with a small balcony overlooking bits of Flagstaff Gardens and the Queen Victoria market. It’s been a bucket list thing for me to live in a high rise in the middle of downtown and here I finally am! I am a 20 minute walk to work and can easily access any part of the CBD as well as the surrounding suburbs in the matter of minutes.
Since moving out of the backpackers, I joined an amazing meetup group called (get this) Raiders of the Lost Bar. In the three years that the group has been together, they have “raided” a different bar every Thursday night. Having them as a social outlet has been more fun than I could have imagined! The first night I met them, we wound up going to a place called Bartronica which is a bar full of vintage arcade games. I catch up with them regularly for dinners, movie nights, beach days and about a dozen of them came over to help celebrate my flatwarming, which is pretty impressive considering my place is about the size of a hotel room.
Melbourne never ceases to amaze me with my finds. All in a day’s stroll you can find a mobile tram restaurant temporarily parked across the street, a scandalously dressed old man breaking it down on the street corner to Lady Gaga, a dude giving someone a haircut in the middle of the sidewalk, street art down a random alley complete with picture frames mounted on the brick and flying Barbie dolls chasing after rats with parachutes and some British guy sticking a chop stick through his nose. Oh wait, that last one was just my friend Yardy during happy hour. The summer festivities are plentiful and there’s always a creative way to cool down when the temperature gets up to 111 degrees Fahrenheit. Last week when I was at Fed Square, which is essentially the hub of the CBD, there was an inflatable water slide spanning over 75 meters. It was one of those pleasant unexpected afternoons where I got to wander around with a free ice cream, watch the kids splish-splash and listen to the David Bowie tribute over the speakers. Needless to say, I have continued to enjoy my time here in Melbourne.