I have been delighting in the combination of being a tourist, living in Patti Stiles‘ house and having her amazing generosity and insight about what we should do and see, and the whelmingly loving arms and cars and spirits of the Melbourne impro community. It makes reflection quite difficult because we are living so actively, and although I have a million thoughts and impressions pounding through my brain I can’t seem to concentrate for five minutes to put it all down. Enter iPad? (A different discussion)

Melbourne felt like a kind of home after just one day. Its sights are strangely familiar; I keep thinking of Australian Master Chef every time we go somewhere to eat, and I am often reminded of how much like Cape Town it is. It is winter green like home, with the real gum trees (as opposed to our Australian versions) and it sounds the same somehow, except for the birds.

Wow, the birds. I fed magpies yesterday. The female took meat covered with insect dust (Patti gets it from the vet specially) out of my fingers! This morning the white cheeks were waiting for their seed. Every time I see a Gallah with their perfect combination of pink and grey I am breathless. And a flock of the big white cockatoos is hilarious. Not to mention the bizarre sounding Kookaburra.

Melbourne is coffee city, starting at Patti’s house and then in every cafe and eatery. Big Friendly would be very, very happy with the standard and quality of it. Melbourne is also trendy, quaint, easy to learn, accessible, sexy and fashionable. Like Cape Town, only not.

Seeing a city with a group of newly made local friends and other visitors has been a great way to do it. We have moved like a pack in a very organic way, and this has meant mixing most meaningful improv workshops (thank you magnificent  Jill Bernard), a performance with cheeky young impro group Exploding Heads last night, getting to do must-see tourist stuff like the Great Ocean Road and Healesville Sanctuary (Koalas, Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, giant bats, Wallaby, bird show, Quokkas and more), shopping, eating and even being very silly at karaoke.

Tandi left in the early hours of this morning and I am a lone traveller briefly today, until I catch up with Candice again later. I am taking my time this morning, since we didn’t get much sleep, and then I will catch the train into the city. To be honest, that gives me the most joy; I get excited every time I use efficient, safe public transport. Melbourne this might be the beginning of a little love affair. Are you my Australian City? We fly to Sydney tomorrow, which is a whole new exciting thing to look forward to. In the meantime, thank you Melbourne friends.