Friday, June 20, 2008

Into Winter in a Day

photo of foggy Melbourne in winter by deezmon

I'm here!

After many obstacles overcome and a seven hour flight, I am finally in the southern hemisphere. From the muggy, humid tropical heat of the resurgent summer in Manila, I am now shivering in the foggy, grey winter of Melbourne, Australia for a four day pit stop before I start my on-my-own saga in far away Perth.

Although I've been here a few times, it was never in winter. And while winter here is not as hardcore as what they have in other temperate countries, for a girl weaned under perennially summer weather of the Pinas, this kind of cold is a bit of a culture shock. To wake up at eight only to find the sun barely up is disconcerting, to say the least.

Of course the weather is not the only change I have to deal with.

I've been here only a couple of days, and already I have swung into one "nosebleed" moment to the next. It's tough speaking in straight English! And don't let people who say Australia is an easy destination because everyone here speaks English. English, when spoken with the broad Oz strine, sounds quite foreign. I've also been steering away from shops - because aside from having very little to spend until I start work, the prices when converted from dollar to pesos is quite enough to keep me away from any form of retail.

This short visit in Melbourne is more of a vacation rather than a real part of my adventure. But I can already feel just how very different everything is going to be for me in the next few months. Yet there is comfort in this unfamiliar because over here I am still surrounded by extended family - and in easy touch with home through email, Skype voice calls, and telecommunications.

Thank goodness for amazing technology that has shrunk the world - that allows one to travel from summer to winter in a day and back home in the space of a few seconds with a few clicks of a mouse.


Ness said...

OMG you really are There na. Brrr. Parang giniginaw ako dito, ah, reading your blog. Take care and Enjoy your new adventure.

Manggy said...

Gosh, Dr. Claire! I'm so freaked out/ happy for you! Treat us all into some virtua-celebration when you get your first Au$tralian paycheck!! :)

Panaderos said...

Best of luck! I'm so glad that you're finally there. Show them what you're truly made of! You can do it! Take care. :)

Abaniko said...

Hey, enjoy your stay in Australia. I bet you'll start saying "I'm happy to die (today)" or the likes. Hehe.

Lincoln said...

Wow, they have snow in Australia???? It looks awesome!!

Today on the other hand is the first day of summer for us. :-(

Hmmm, maybe I'll set up residence there for our summer months and then come back in October when it's cool again. I've never have to be hot again! =D

megamomph said...

You'll get used to winter, Claire, trust me. :-)

Melb in 4 days? Wow, that is more than I ever got every time I was there. You must see the Melb Aquarium, the arts center (there's an art gallery there) and the street market on Sundays along the river. Just browse, maaaliw ka na, even if you don't buy anything.

Stay warm. Oh, that reminds me, if you are to spend anything - buy the Hot Dark Choco from Koko Black! mmmmm...that should keep you warm for a few days.

dr_clairebear said...

@linc: no snow in the cities, but they have in the mountains. :P it does get quite cool - i think it's less than 10 C outside tonight...

@everyone: thanks for the good wishes!

I've always enjoyed my visits to melbourne - I go very five years or so - it's a very pretty place. I've never gone in winter before, though.

in a couple of days, i will be off to perth...! and alone... but i'm gritting my teeth and making it. stay tuned for more posts!

Anonymous said...

Good luck!!! I had moved to the US at least 2 decades ago. It was much more of a change than I had ever imagined, and I must have cried buckets of tears for years. However, it is something that I do not regret doing and would do the same thing , if I were given the choice again. I have kept in touch with friends and family back in the Philippines and feel like a "native" whenever I am there. So hang in there... Keep an open mind, pray a lot, enjoy yourself and laugh often...Philippines will always be in your heart and soul. God Bless...

y V o N n E said...

congrats dr claire!
i soo want to go to australia too.maybe when im married :D hehe

enjoy ur adventure!looks like a lot of fun :D