June 30, 2009 - Melbourne, Australia

 I arrived in melbourne and booked into a cheap hotel having left behind mos of the people I knew in australia back in sydney - It was a daunting feeling as I basically knew on one in the city.

But at least I had some work lined up with decent money to help me save a bit more for making my way around the country and home! The job was working on a government project - software for processing of grant applications. Plus I have to say i settled fairly quickly into the team - who are all really sound! It was a godd relaxed atmosphere in work but also very productive.

Within one week of arriving I was being treated as one of the locals - and I got invited (over a few pints) to play weekly 5 aside football in an indoor soccer league - something I had wanted to do in sydney for months! S first impressions of melbourne  - locals very friendly and life just goes at a more relaxed pace!

I moved into a nice house within my first week also - with other fellow travellers/ backpackers - 4 irish including a girl from ardee! (Cathal, Edwina, Mel and Carol) and 2 German girls (Maike and stephanie) who where erasmus students in the university and 2 Swedish girls who had moved on within a week or two after I moved in. Its a nice clean house really spacious house with big back garden/outdoor bbq and my own room - near the beach in St Kilda! (chilled out area with lots of busy cafes/ bars and restaurants - with a mix of backpackers/ street musicians/ trendy urbanites/ sporty and keep fit types and everything in between and a few crazies and bums. Melbourne itself kind a has the feel of an irish city (two of the main streets in the city centre are called Bourke st and Collins st) and it reminds me of Galway - it has a relaxed atmosphere, good food from all around the world ( I had my first taste of Yum Cha style restaurant feed - top notch!) and music scene to suit every taste.

Its hard to put a finger on exactly why but I just instantly liked Melbourne and was wondering why I had stayed in sydney so long! As Dylan Moran quite aptly put it (albeit to a sydney crowd) "Melbourne where they have real values...". Its less money orientated and flashy than Sydney (although sydney is more asthetically pleasing on the eye).

On my debut for the 5 aside team I scored a brace and we won 6-4 (woohoo I still have it! - well by it I mean I was able to run around after a ball in a game of the not the highest standard i've ever played and not make a show of myself - although I have let my fitness slip a little)

I had only been in melbourne a few weeks but I have to admit I liked it alot - I got invited to go skiing/snow boarding with some of the lads from work and also to go to a big farm house outside of the city for the bank holiday weekend (just two examples of how the locals are quite welcoming and friendly!!)

In victoria they have a law against jay walking similar to the states! And of course I got a fine within my first few days here - it being one of my biggest past times being from ireland! But I have to say I don't completely agree with this method of ensuring pedestrian safety as the very next day I saw the bad side of just obeying the little green man and not looking at the traffic that enevitably occurs with this system - when about 10 people nearly got run over by a ute(a pickup truck) that was coming late through the lights as they all stepped off the footpath as soon as the man flashed green! Anyways thats my rant over...


July 21, 2009
The jay walking debate is an interesting one... just remember to always use the safe cross code and you should be ok.

Any more pictures from your travels?
July 22, 2009
Yeah i'm going to put up a few more photos when I get a chance (hopefully this weekend)
Kevin Smith:
July 27, 2009
Well Brian, how ya keepin now..i see ur on the road again..i like the camper van, dat wud luk well around da city at home!
August 10, 2009
Well Kev,

Yeah back on the road tis good craic - yeah the camper is colourful alright! no the finest vehicle ever to grace the road either but its doing the job so far!!
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