As some of you might know (hah, like anyone is reading this anyway) I recently moved to Melbourne. Now, I was kind of worried, because everyone I talked to (apart from Martin, who is living here and can't have the kind of life he can have at home) told me I was going to love Melbourne, and always exactly like that, with the emphasis on the word love. Normally when something is talked up up to me like that, I find whatever it is a disappointment.
Well, today I realised how much I really, truly love this adopted city of mine. I walked out the door, and it was foggy, and I thought "oh hey, it's foggy. Cool!". Those of you who lived with me before, or indeed know anything about my previous home city will know that it is notorious for fog. Anyone who lived there with me will know that my reaction to the fog was anything but "Cool!". It's true. I love Melbourne so much, I even love the fog.
Loving Melbourne as much as I do has made me realise that I never really settled in to my previous home. I loved the people there, and I was in many ways loath to leave, but I was always disenchanted with the city itself. It was muddy in the winter, and humid in the summer. The winter fog often did not lift. The terminal rain in winter really slayed me. I lived in that town for ten years, and it was never really home -- there was no loyalty, and no love lost.
I've been in Melbourne six months. It really shouldn't be that different to where I was before. In some ways, relying on public transport, and living in rented accommodation, and having fewer friends, I should find it more difficult here. There are no mountains here. And yet... I love Melbourne, even on foggy days. Here there are concerts, and art galleries showing things that interest me, and local artist markets and loads of good cafes within walking distance of where I work and live and there is public transport, and it doesn't rain for days on end. Here I saw a band that I thought were cool back when I first heard their song while I was living at home, and who I never thought I would see (Eskimo Joe), and they were awesome. Here I saw a band I fell in love with on TV (INXS), again, and they were awesome, again, and I will never forget the concert (but that is a whole other story). Here I saw the guy from Black Books -- and if it weren't for my workmate I wouldn't even have known he was coming. Here, if I had a radio, I would hear Placebo played (and with a station like Triple J, we must do something about a radio). I will always associate Livin' by the Day by Dilana with getting used to here, and it is one of my favourite songs.
None of that would make a difference, though when my many of my friends and none of my family are here, if it weren't for one thing: Melbourne was a choice -- and a good one at that.