Melbourne week two (and three, and four…)

I’ve been here a month now.. I really ought to have kept this more up-to-date. Seems every time I should be doing an entry, I’m just too tired out and ready for sleep…..

I started my new job on the 2nd of Jan.. I was pretty much launched right into the thick of things… they had me working on bugs in one of the main apps by the first day. I’m working right in town for a private contracting company, but located right in the offices of the state govt agency who are responsible for managing the wildfires across the state. There’s an emergency co-ordination centre right next to where we’re working (it’s all a bit mission-control) and quite exciting to look at πŸ™‚ They’ve recently had me working on Ruby on Rails apps, which has been quite a rapid learning experience, but it has been surprisingly quick to pick up. My impression has been that rails is cool, but still quite immature.. with time I expect it will improve.

Most lunchtimes we play card or board games. Bit different from previous gigs I’ve had, but it’s been quite enjoyable πŸ™‚

I was still staying at the backpackers when I started work.. I got a few odd looks when I’d leave in the morning all suited up, while everyone else were still nursing hangovers πŸ™‚
Clara arrived back in town a couple of days later, and I arranged to stay at her place for a few days while I continued to look for somewhere to live. She was still living at that stage way out in Clayton, which is about a 30 min train ride out from the city, plus probably 15 mins of walking thrown in as well. Meant I had to get up pretty early to get to work, which most of you will know is quite un-natural for me πŸ™‚
It was still very hot that week – and Clara’s place didn’t have any air-con, and no fan either, a couple of times I had to resort to wetting a towel and trying to sleep under that… it works remarkably well.. as long as you don’t mind being a bit damp..

Went to see some local metal bands at the Royal Melbourne Hotel.. it’s been fun trying to work out all the bars/clubs/venues etc. Many of them are down little side alleys and completely unmarked.

Went to Edithvale beach on one of the 40°C+ days with Clara’s workmate Jodi, who lives right next to the beach. Took forever to get out there by train though… it’s not one of the closer beaches πŸ™‚ It was 100% worth it once we got there though.. so good πŸ™‚

I had a fair amount of fun and games trying to find a place to live.. over Christmas/New Years is not a good time to be doing that I think πŸ™‚ I was looking for places near town, and eventually decided that the best thing was to actually just be done with it and find an apartment in town.
I was looking at a place on Southbank, and was about to head back to Clara’s, when I thought I’d check my email on my phone, and I had received a message via one of the flathunting websites. I called the guy right there and then and arranged to see the room. Looks like I’d got lucky, and by the next day, I’d arranged to take it.

My ViewSo I’m sharing a 22nd floor apartment with this friendly aussie guy right in the middle of town. I’m 10 mins walk from work, and close to heaps and heaps of stuff – there’s a food court, supermarket and a Big W (think Kmart) right underneath the building..

That’s the view from my bedroom. There are more pics of the place here.

Got taken to a couple of cool Fitzroy bars with Becca, for a birthday for some friends of hers. Turns out they’re from Palmerston North. It seems like it’s hard to actually find Australians here πŸ™‚ One place had a gypsy band, including a guy playing the tuba in a pink, floral rubber skirt, and the other place served amazing pizza and lychee vodkas.

There’s a Hoyts at Melbourne Central Station/Mall, which is right around the corner from my place. So far I’ve seen American Gangster (quite good, but very long) and Sweeny Todd, which was brilliant, and 100% classic Tim Burton.

Went to the work belated Christmas BBQ, which was good.. played boules and darts, as well as a strange Australian trivial-persuit like game.. which was funny cause most of the participants weren’t local (I work with a bunch of Scots), so everyone was equally hopeless at it. I felt quite young (for once), being one of the only people without small children πŸ™‚

Clara told me about Minotaur, which is a great big nerd store, with books, comics, figurines etc, etc.. I went in and walked out with a couple of books, a Shaun of the Dead figurine set and a figurine of The Dude from the Big Lebowski. That place is gonna make me poor..

I had the day off for my birthday, so I made good use of it and got my health insurance and medicare stuff all sorted out. (Whoo super exciting I know). I spent the rest of the afternoon by heading out to St Kilda beach, (pics here) and just hanging out for a bit. I found the Palais Theatre, which is where the Nightwish gig is next week. I have tickets to that and the Iron Maiden gig next month. I’m amped for them both πŸ™‚

Went out for a few drinks with Clara, Becca and Al that night.. went to a couple of neat kitchy bars, then Clara and I tried to find this other place, only to find that there was a dance thing on there that night… Quite a scary 1995 throwback type place complete with wide pants, glow sticks, big fluffy boots etc. Frighting.

Went to the Grindcore 2008 gig at the Corner Hotel last night. That was very cool – they had two stages, so it was very quick changes between bands, the 3 we managed to see were all very good. Went to DV8 in town afterwards – it’s a 3-level rock/goth club, and is pretty cool, I suspect it’s going to end up being a pretty regular hang-out πŸ™‚