Today was my last day here and it rained nonstop. I think the city is inconsolable that I am leaving.
It’s bittersweet for me too.
Even though I have always known that my “real” destination was Sydney, there is still something special about the first place that you call home when you venture into something new and unknown.
This is the city that introduced me to Australia, one that I immediately felt comfortable in and for which my affinity only grew stronger and stronger as time went on. I like it here. It’s cool and charming and, perhaps, the most interesting place that I have lived (of LA, DC, Miami, Vancouver).
I will miss this city.
I will miss…
- the 19, 78, 79, 96, 86
- the Bourke Street Mall
- the Sandringham and Upfield lines
- the laneways
- the street art
- Spelt Quinoa
- Rathdowne Village (particularly Tre Bicchiere with their flourless tortinas and No Doubt and Black Ruby with the best GF bread ever)
- The toilets at Flinders
- Back of Chapel
- Fed Square
- My flat (that used to be a brothel! A fact that you would think meant the walls would be better soundproofed.)
- The Prahran Market
- The American store on Greville with the proprietor who told me that I shouldn’t go to Sydney because I couldn’t get Flamin’ Hot Cheetos there before giving me some free Tootsie Pops. I told him that was the single best argument I’d heard as why I should stay.
- Sunsets at St. Kilda
And of course all of the lovely people I’ve met who I couldn’t even begin to list without fear of forgetting someone.
I am so excited to get north and answer the Sydney question in my mind, but I am sad that there are ways in which I didn’t fully engage with this city: subconsciously, because I knew I was leaving and consciously, because I kept thinking, “Well, I’ll do [insert cool, interesting thing] when I have a job.” I wish that part could have gone differently. I know that I have only just scratched the surface of what is on offer.
The tourism campaign here is the Land of In-Between, owing to Melbourne’s beneath the surface allure, and I guess that is what it has been for me: a bridge between LA and Sydney. A place to discover hidden things, both about the city and myself.
It’s ironic that I want this traveling lifestyle when I attach so easily to people and places. I wear my heart on my passport.
Maybe it’s not that I want it. Maybe it’s it that wants me.
I don’t know.
It’s late and I have a long drive ahead of me tomorrow.
So long, Melbourne, and thanks for all the fish.