I really dare anyone to find a bad cup of coffee anywhere in Melbourne!
Even in the middle of the Queen Victoria Market, the street vendor style coffee baristas will serve up a wonderful cup of joe!
My personal preference is for the Flat White (Expresso with steamed milk), but there are plenty of different ways to make it!
The Australian Lingo is definitely something you will have to pick up on as you enjoy your time in Melbourne. One thing you need to make sure is to not turn down a man's snag, as it is his way of saying you are welcome here!
While at the MCG, you can enjoy snags from our own local vendor Jarrod! One of my co-workers bring his whole family to the footy, and therefore also needs to bring his own lunch, so he is not eaten out of house and home! A Thermos is the perfect heater for Australian Hot Dogs, or Snags as they are called here!
So get out there and enjoy a Snag!
In the spring of 1895 Mark Twain visited Melbourne at just the right time - Melbourne Cup week. Even then, it seems, it was the highlight of the city's social calendar.
"The Melbourne Cup is the Australian National Day," he wrote. "It would be difficult to overstate its importance. It overshadows all other holidays...Overshadows them? I might almost say it blots them out. Cup Day, and Cup Day only, commands an attention, an interest, and an enthusiasm that are universal - and spontaneous, not perfunctory. Cup Day is supreme. It has no rival."
Except, perhaps for Fashions on the Field at the Caufield Cup, or Oaks "Ladies" Day at Flemington, or Victoria Derby "Blokes" Day.
Yes, the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is full of fabulous excuses to show off that hat you wear but once a year, and that gambling streak in you let loose for the race that stops the nation. And it's great time to celebrate the one major sporting event that doesn't involve kicking, pushing, showing or obscene language - well, not much...
In Australia, when you are talking about sports and which teams you support, PLEASE remember that you do not "root" for a team, you "barrack" for a team. When you "root" for a team, it means you are having sex with them (or for them, I guess), as in "I rooted her."
If you want to play a joke on someone you are traveling with, don't tell them what "root" means in Australia and get them into a deep conversation on sports with a native. Then just sit back and wait for the laughs.
Remember (as an example): You don't root for Collingwood, you barrack for them.
As many of you have seen on my other pages, I like to give a little credit to the hometown brews available.
In Melbourne, you will enjoy many different drinks, but one I tried today was Melbourne Bitter. This drink seems mysteriously close to Victoria Bitter, and that is because they are from the same brewery.
Tipping isn't really expected anywhere in Australia. If you do tip, it will most likely be for great service in a nice restaurant. 10-15% is good.
If you come from a society that tips 15-20% like mine, it is not easy to get used to not tipping someone. If you decide a tip is deserved, just go with your instinct about how the service was or the type of place you are at.
It is very important that all visitors to Melbourne know what Aussie Rules Football is and what team they follow. If you need to research look at www.afl.com.au. A quick tip, don't pick Collingwood as it tends to envoke hostiltiy among the natives. You can however refer to Eddy McGuire in every conversation as most natives will know this bloke.
PS Bloke means man and Shelia means woman.
If you watch a local at sometime they'll be heading off to a park with a pick-nic basket, hamper and almost certainly an Esky (cooler). There will be meat and sangers (sausages) packed away along with cutlery, plates and tongs - but they won'tneed to pack a BBQ as most of the parks in and around Melbourne have electrically operated and FREE (yes I did say free) BBQ's
The kids will be in tow, there will be a cricket set or a footy and maybe even a frisby. The dog will almost certainly be coming along and no doubt will get his fair share of sausages.
OK that's the locals - what about visitors. Stock up at a local supermarket and head for the local parks for an el fresco meal - enjoy.
BBQ photographed is at Ruffey Creek park in Doncaster with a nearby bridge that spans the creek and part of the walking trails within the park.
Web site below is for Albert Park, however check with local councils for parks in the area, or check the Melway Street Directory.
One of the major changes in attitude that I faced moving from Austin, TX to Melbourne is the difference in business fashion. People have mentioned to me that Melbourne itself is so much more formal than any city in Australia, and you can definitely tell just by the time and effort people put into their business attire. My first week here, I actually thought it was like a big movie set, where they were filming a sequel to the 1992 dark movie by Quentin Tarrentino 'Reservoir Dogs'.
Recently I took a quick snapshot of a few of my co-workers walking down the street....sure enough, it looks just like the cover of the movie!
Don't believe me... click on the link!!
Melbourne does not require people to tip for services... Our wages are reasonable and only tip if you feel you want to.. You will get the same service and employees are not going to treat you like a leper like some parts of the world, and you know who you are lol
Keep abreast of all the current eventst in Melbourne by reading the daily newspaper, The Age, which you can purchase just about everywhere for only $1.00, or you can do what I am doing over here in France, and read it online everyday... :)
When in Melbourne be sure to take plenty of time out for coffee and the accompanying danish, muffin, bagel or whatever you fancy. There are squllions of options from cafes in the department stores to grungy spot in the back streets - all serving a good cuppa (esp the grungy spots!!).
Melbourne is home of one the most bizzare road items - the hook turn. Cars turning right on some of the busy inner city streets all line up on the far left of the street until the lights change then rapidly turn right as the oncoming traffic starts to move. Looks quite bizzare but seems to keep the traffic moving!!
Its a real institution the AFL or footy as we Melbournians know it. Many locals entire existance revolves around the game of Australian Football and in particular their own team. The season runs from March/April through to September, the Grand Final being typically played on the last Saturday in September. Many locals including me, ride the rollercoaster that is their favourite teams success and failure over the 6 months of the season.
The two stadiums hosting Footy in this city are the MCG and the Docklands Stadium, both located close to the City of Melbourneand easily accessible by public transport.
The good news for visitors is that they are large stadiums and aside from games palyed on Big Occassions like Anzac day (April 25th) you can generally buy a "walk up" ticket for around $16 and get a reasonable view of the game. You need not worry about rival supporters waging violent war on each other apart from accosianal friendly verbal stoush, so it is very family friendly.
Visitors to Australia can reclaim any GST on goods purchased over $300 from a single store no more than 30 days prior to departure. Refunds are payable at the designated refund facility located past Customs up to 30 minutes before flight departure. You will need your tax invoice and goods to obtain a refund.