Two terms out of the way and I am somehow sitting in the middle of a park, under a tree that is somewhat shading me from the soft pierces of what winter sun that Melbourne could offer. Two terms, eight months, ten subjects, two apartments and many ponderings after I stepped my foot in this country. This country that back in the days used to be oh so very unappealing by the contradictory or complementing fact that there were just too many Indonesians residing here due to political turmoil in the homeland, and that the country was deemed to be the racist one when compared to its neighbor, New Zealand. And how more wrong one could be, I can’t begin to start. Perhaps it was the continuous ten years of salts and grits and countless cups of tea drunk in the midst of differences and pain that had squashed my expectations of what an ideal society should welcome a foreigner should be. Perhaps it was the sheer amount of rejection that the neighboring country actually project when I was at my most impressionable stage of life, that any other slurs of dejection just pales in comparison. Perhaps it is my way of coping and moving on with my life. And how fitting it is that I am currently taking a class on Managerial Judgment that delves into the depths of one’s brain, dissecting biases, tendencies and pre-built notions. More on that later.
Right now, may I please still your 5 seconds of attention span and put it out there that “I absolutely heart Melbourne.” And if any of you high politic power suit out there happen to read obscure invisible blogs in your spare time, please keep me in your country. Will work for.. almost anything really. Fear not, it’s not the business school that have made me a slave of the worldly but that is however how much I feel in tune with the vibrancy that Melbourne is. And if my previous posts have not done the telltale, my experience was not all rosy either! But hey, scumbags are scumbags wherever they are. There are still many other incredulous things to gripe for beyond my inability to keep my hands out of biting cookie jars. And oh how they bite.
So what do I love about Melbourne? Well, well if not for the said scumbag, that I must convince you I say with the most adoring purr and positivity you could attach to a scumbag, I probably would not have met Melbourne the big M herself. There was once upon a time when in the midst of all things that goes on in Melbourne, and there are many I kid you not, I would always ask the said gentleman to come and enjoy his own city with me. Sharing and experiencing the world is my way of living and deluded that I was, I would love to spend just even a fraction of them with him. And so the wake-up call in the well meant comment, Oh I am an optimist at heart, trust me, “Why are you keep asking me to come to do stuff with you? Don’t you have any other friends?” Bzzzz. Yessir. Awake. And raring to go.
Right. On to the mission then. Find a friend. In this big bad world…. That’s full of pedophiles, rapists and self-justified criminals (oh how I miss Dexter). Well well well. That was eight weeks ago. And how a lot could happen in eight weeks. I somehow found myself pouring messages after messages post in the Melbourne Couchsurfing forum, clicking mindlessly through events and profiles, unconsciously judging and weighing the most expected outcome of my appearance in one of the events. It came to one windy and chilly and showery Sunday morning where I bundled up, put my red flats on and brave it alone to the bi-weekly breakfast meet up. This specific one was held at World Restaurant by the Yarra river, stone’s throw away really. It figures, if all I feel is awkward, awkward, awkward, which happened a few times in the past when I used to do the same up in the UK, all I lost is a couple of hours of my life and a new restaurant to sample. Not so bad. While the upside? I gave up on expecting the upside of life at that point, really.
And what surprise life throws at you when you least expect it. The breakfast was okay. A table of eight friendly faces from multiple nationalities and background greeted me straight away. Conversations ebb and flow as they wished. One-on-one conversations, threesomes, a group discussion, where ever the wind blows really, which perfectly describes Couchsurfing in my humble opinion. And that was the seed to what turned out to be the few strings of friendships that later twined into my life in its very intricate design throughout the weeks riding up until the day I am to leave the town for the next chapter of my MBA. And yes I did ended up stealing a lot of time getting to know people from various places, flirting with the city and what it’s got to offer from my studying time bank. Gigs, hikes by the coastal line, natural springs, food, singing round the fire, dancing in the dark, sharing, sharing and sharing. Generous hearts, openness and traces of humanity that drips all over the place. I am in no way a hardcore Couchsurfer, but I must say the people I met have been a breath of fresh air amongst the cold shoulders I’ve gotten accustomed of receiving, and I am now recommending the site to anyone who could get rid of their presumptions and judgment to just give it a go.
And what about my grade this term? It could have been better, obviously. But I’m not complaining. Much.