The tales of my first days living down under
“What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.” (Woody Allen)
It takes a ridiculous amount of stupidity to move to a city 17756 km away from home without having a plan. It’s heroic when you have Ford Prefect or Gandalf guiding you out but when you’re not a Hobbit (and you don’t have a job or a place to live) it might get tricky.
After watching a great episode of Rick and Morty, Descartes questioned everything around him — “Is my mailman real or just a product of my imagination? How can I be sure that I’m not living in a computer simulation? Paul isn’t dead, is he? Why is 42 the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything?”
He then tweeted “Cogito ergo sum (ROFL) #deepthought” and afterwards “Now in english: I think, therefore I am #LT”.
I remember my philosophy teacher explaining Descartes’ train of thought: if you’re in Portugal, how can you be absolutely sure that Australia is real? You’ve heard stories about it and you’ve watched Nicole Kidman’s movies but how can you be 100% positive that Australia isn’t a lie?
A few years later I applied for an australian visa and sold my car. After a 23 hour flight I was 99% sure that Australia is real.
Coming to Australia
Some conversations are arbitrarily beautiful (especially the ones inside of a cab)
— Do you like living here?
— I love this city. I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me the same thing in a few days. This is a place for everyone!
— Are there a lot of religions here?
— I love God. Some people tell me that they don’t believe in Him. I do. And what if I’m wrong? When I die, I’ll be as dead as anyone else.
This was the first conversation I had with my first australian friend: Nishan, The Cab Driver. He looked a lot like this:
I’m a Dudeist so I felt a strong connection with this guy. And Nishan was quite right — Melbourne is not only the world’s most liveable city: it is also lovable-at-first-sight.
It’s absolutely ridiculous to take big conclusions about a place after being there for 5 minutes. Having said that…
Melbournians look freakishly happy, healthy and chilled. This is the kind of civilization that makes you feel a real idiot for being stressed over slow walkers or people who take too long to order in coffee shop lines. The first words that babies learn in here are “no worries, it’s ok” and “is this gluten free?”.
Everybody enjoys casual elevator chit-chat and there’s a tangible sense of community and moral fiber in the air — it’s no surprise that this city was almost called Batmania.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Growing Up
After 15 days, 2 hostels, 1 Airbnb and 100 house ispections (house hunting is savage in here), we finally found a permanent place to stay. It’s not more than a really small hole in the ground. “Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it’s a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort”. (J.R.R. Tolkien)
The fact that I was capable of making arrangements for the seting up of all the utilities (electricity, water and heat) in a country so far away is the biggest accomplishment in my life (it doesn’t matter that all I needed to do was to make a 5 minute phone call). After this I feel that there’s nothing I can’t achieve.
It’s now time to find a job. The best part of not having a plan is the wide range of possibilities lying ahead of me. This is a great opportunity for me to decide who I am and which side I’m on.
And now for something completely different
This adventure is not being comfortable. I miss my room in Portugal and my mother’s cooking. I’m tired of waking up at 5am to watch the portuguese football league and I would kill for some lulas grelhadas.
But I’m loving every single moment. In the wise words of Mr Louis CK:
May we never be bored again!
Things that really matter
- McDonald’s is called Macca’s and Burguer King is Hungry Jack’s
- Nobody in Australia has died from a spider bite since 1979