Arrived safely, minor run in with customs …



Well, what can I say? Chilly but fascinating, cosmopolitan city that looks pretty awesome from our high rise city apartment, whenever we can actually get in it. Being the first guests is great on the one hand, due to everything being shiny and brand new; not so good when that includes the keys that don’t work – still, we’ve got to know Sasha really, really, well as she has come to our rescue on many an occasion!

Joe took his time meeting up – he’s working night shifts so decided to go for a long run first and then cadge a shower at ours. By this point I was literally waiting on the twilight street at the corner of the block – who was this young man in the shorts, hoody, serious running shoes and gigantic headphones? When did my chubby dear son no. 1 get replaced with a chiselled featured urbanised young man?

The first night I walked to work with him across the city, catching up on some of his news. A couple of interesting facts – the same number of people live in Melbourne as in the whole of NZ (4.5 million); pay is higher here and the government automatically adds and retains 10% for your pension – but they refund this in full if you leave the country. So, Joe is able to live on a third of his take home wage; save a third and enjoy a social life on the rest – and when he decides to move on, his savings will be added to with a tidy lump sum. Can’t be bad!

I don’t want this blog to be a boring travelogue, but I do want it to be a record of this trip, so no doubt I will revisit and edit this as and when we get wifi. I will imagine I’m writing for my mother (“hello, mum”), which is totally bizarre given that she is the one person who has absolutely no idea how to access it! So far we’ve walked miles (and miles); collected our race packs and been physically checked out at the race EXPO, popped into the casino (the largest in Oz – Tim’s eyes were on stalks), taken a river cruise where the commentary was read by a young guy from Preston, visited and sampled a food hall and The Victoria Street Market, clamoured aboard the free of charge tram and had a swim in the Epic Apartment pool (very indulgent to be able to pop back to one’s own pad – providing the key fits …)

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