1. The “half-flush” option on toilets
Look, sometimes you don’t need a full flush. The half-flush saves water and that’s important. Even in Canada.
2. The wildlife and plants
Everything is different here. The bird calls are eerie and beautiful and constant, the trees seem heartier, there are flowers everywhere, roadkill is more often possum than squirrel (do they even have squirrels here?) and parrots just fly around. Fucking parrots are just hanging out everywhere. Guys. Parrots.
(Sidenote: I wrote this post yesterday and was going over it today at 6:30am because the fucking birds are constantly squawking from 5am onwards…so I’m not sure how much I’m loving birds right now.)
3. The coffee is good
In Australia, all coffee is espresso-based, and it’s damn good. Here’s how coffee works in Australia:
- Long Black – Americano
- Short Black – Espresso
- Flat White – Essentially a latte, but god forbid you say that to a coffee-loving Aussie (it’s still a fucking latte)
- Latte/Cappuccino – Latte/Cappuccino
- Drip Coffee: No. That’s it. No drip coffee. Fuck your drip coffee.
My only problem with the coffee is that it seems to be averaging $3.5o a cup, and, at the rate my addiction goes, I just can’t swing that. Everything is so expensive here! I went out and splurged on a french press travel mug so I could save a few bucks down the road and make coffee at home. It was way more than I wanted to spend ($35) but if I use it for the entire time I’m traveling (and when I get home!) it’ll be worth it. Also, it’s pretty fucking pimp. My friend said it was the Ferrari of french press travel mugs. *swagger*
4. All the new words there are to learn
Every day I’m learning new words. Aussies are known to shorten everything, but they also make up new words (afternoon is ‘arvo’ and comforter/duvet is ‘doona’). Yesterday my favourite phrase was “I’m gonna fuckin’ smash a parmie” (translation: I’m really hungry and am quite looking forward to eating some Chicken Parmesan)
5. Aussies really like their Chicken Parmesean
6. BYO everything
I don’t know if this is Melbourne-specific or not, but I love that many restaurants are BYO. You stop by a bottle shop, pick up a bottle (or as we did in Chinatown last night, a slab (2-4)) and enjoy your meal with your own alcohol. It’s great! A way to save money in an already expensive country, and you get exactly what you want.
7. Chinatown dumplings
Again, I don’t know if this is Melbourne-specific, but Chinatown is open late, caters to those who bring a little too much BYO, delicious, and the dumplings are cheap. The five of us last night got like six plates of dumplings, some rice, broccoli, noodles…and we each ended up paying only $15. It could have been less if we didn’t simply *have* to order those two extra plates of chicken and prawn.
The list goes on and I’ll write new posts as I find more to love, but right now the birds are increasing in volume outside my window and I’m taking it as a sign to actually do something with my day. Damn birds.