I have been in Australia for forty-four days. I have been in Melbourne for twenty-two. So far, I have seen half the people I intended to see, done almost none of the things I intended to do, and spent nearly all of my money which, ironically, is something I intended not to do.
I love my new home but I haven’t not explored it yet. Maybe, alone, out of my element, I am not feeling chic enough for this boutique city. That will change. I know it will. I will charm Chapel Street. My smile will kill St Kilda’s. I will saunter along Swanston.
For now though, I am a house-cat. To me, so far, Australia is long walks and soy cappuccinos. Cars stopping at zebra crossings. SUSHI. A glass of wine, a book and my journal at the family restaurant; talking to my godbrother when he’s not busy. The magic of riding the tram. My aunt trying to feed me as I’m washing up my lunch plates; me accusing her of trying to fatten me up. Leaving the room when they watch TV because they’re deaf and I’m not. Arguing with Greeks who have been here too long but tell me I’m too young to know what I’m talking about when it comes to Greece. Staying up until four in the morning discussing various social issues with my cousin. Hearing growling in the garden and realising it’s a fucking possum (they look so cute when they hop away! And they pee when they’re threatened). Coming home to find a vegan chocolate egg on my bed. Going out to buy summer clothes and ending up with two party dresses even though I don’t have a social life yet. Sitting in the gazebo, in the autumn afternoon sunlight, writing.
They say that when you know, you know. It’s true. I came to Melbourne for weekend trip last month and, within twenty-four hours, decided to move here. I belong here. And belonging is different to loving. Belonging begets loving but that it not the case vice versa. I haven’t been in love for a long time. So, Melbourne, if you will have me, I’m yours.