Started a six month assignment in Melbourne, Australia – the assignment materialized pretty quickly and I’ll return back to my old position by the end of the year. Sharon will be joining me for a good portion for the time so it will be a good opportunity for both of us to see a part of the world that I haven’t been to before. One slight downside – leaving summer in the US (and the best time in the neighborhood) to winter in Melbourne….which is similar to Dallas or Atlanta. No snow – but everyone complains it is gray and sometimes rainy. In my one week here so far, as winter is approaching, it has been pretty nice.
The trip is long – the fastest trip to Seoul was a 14 hour trip from DC direct – but I usually connected through Tokyo or SF which added another 3-4 hours. The fastest way to Melbourne is to SF then 15.5 hours from SF to Melbourne. So 22 hours best case – but on my trip, my first transpacific flight from SF to Melbourne was cancelled the day before and I was re-routed through Sydney which added 2 more hours – but after we boarded that flight was cancelled (about 3 hrs sitting on the plane) and we deplaned and the masses had to wait in line to get a hotel. I luckily got quickly re-booked to leave on a flight to Melbourne the following night – so I arrived 24 hrs late and 53 hours total door to door. The glamour of international travel. My 24 hours in SF not terrible – just not time effective.
After arrival – straight to work and starting the onboarding process and getting emersed in the role, but the general impression of the city was very positive and started off in a hotel. It is a dense urban area and I won’t need a car (but may rent on weekends) and very walkable. My goal is 15,000 steps/day for the rest of June.
After a couple of days focused on getting acclimated at work and my body clock in the right time zone, on Friday afternoon I started exploring a bit (and trying to get my steps in) – walked a lot in the central business district (CBD) which is north of the River Yarra and Southbank (which is south). What we would call downtown in the US stretches over both sides of the river with Southbank being pretty much all new….like the Wharf in DC but several times larger with 100 story buildings. Some pictures attached of both areas – including my Thai BBQ dinner – a combination of Korean BBQ and Japanese Shabu Shabu. Essentially, you cook your meat on a steel grills surrounded by water – the fat comes over and you cook your noodles and other vegetables in the broth. I didn’t really figure it out – but noodles are mildly flammable.
Being a former British colony, people drive on the left side of the road. Unlike, Britain, they constantly walk on the left, escalators are on the left but they do not have the handy “Look Right or Look Left” when crossing streets. So far so good for me and I haven’t stepped in front of a car or tram yet, but I did have a mishap – automated rotating doors rotate clockwise (e.g. to the left), not counter-clock wise like in the US. So I walked into one that was not moving heading the right side – and it engaged and rotated into me. Luckily my head shielded my shoulders and wrists from the impact.
Did some walking a little different direction on Saturday – towards the bay and the Docklands. Melbourne is the 24th most vertical city in the world – to put that into context – it would be the 4th in North America – behind New York, Chicago, and Toronto and just ahead of Miami. I moved into an AirBNB that is in the tallest building – I’m on the 66th floor. Highest apartment that I have stayed in….I have to get that out of the way before Sharon arrives as she is not a fan of “living in a shoebox in the sky”.