When somebody asked me about what’s the weather like in Melbourne, there are three definite answers that I need to tell them: one, that no, it’s not snowing here in Australia, well, maybe yes in Mt Buller and Falls Creek and other ski resorts but not in Melbourne. Two, that yes, there are flies and mosquitoes in Australia and the weather is not as nice as once dreamed. And three, that no, Australia doesn’t have four seasons in a year, it has four seasons in a day.
Most Melbournians would agree with me (fingers crossed).
My first exposure with Melbourne weather was in March last year. I was two weeks late for my uni because of my Visa (and yes, I missed the orientation week and the first week and most of the second week!), but the weather was quite nice. It was autumn.
However, being a naïve and innocent first year student, I had the most terrible timetable ever. An Arts student, with 14 hours contact hours, having no day off, one 8am class, and one 6.15pm class. Life was hard.
Plus, last year, I lived in Bulleen. For those of you who don’t know, Bulleen is a suburb in zone two.
Autumn was quite okay, but when it got to winter, it was killing me.
I need to get a 20 minutes bus ride to the train station, a 40 minutes train ride to Melbourne Central Station, and another 15 minutes tram ride towards uni. And if I’m unlucky, another 15 minutes towards my lecture hall.
Imagine waking up at 6am in the morning when it was still pitch black and the moon was still out. Imagine taking a shower when it was 4 degree in the morning. Imagine waiting for the bus when it was still foggy. Imagine the pitch black night, walking home from the bus stop at 8pm, and if you were twice unlucky, imagine that it was raining.
Well, that was my first year winter, yet I was not sure if that was worse than not being able to prepare for what kind of weather yet to come.
The point about living in Melbourne is, to adapt with the four-in-one weather, you need to bring a jacket, an umbrella, a pair of sunnies, and a scarf, or a combination of the four, all in the same day. If you wake up one morning and find it very sunny, don’t get fooled, the weather may be very unfriendly during the night.
I have countless experiences of being underdressed and overdressed. The times when I put on my shorts and thongs and it turns out to be freezing, and the times when I put on my boots and jacket and it turns out to be hot.
And yes, it attacks my skin. I’m the type of person who rarely wears body lotion, but I guess I need to learn from the hard way. My skin has gone from cracked, burnt, to dry, and I really feel sorry for it.
I have even made peace with the weather forecast – I have stopped complaining and updating my Facebook status when the weather doesn’t go along with the forecast. They are the guidelines – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Even now, when it’s supposed to be summer, you still have those freezing and windy weather not once out of a blue moon, but literally everyday. I still remember the day when it was unexpectedly cold. It was Wednesday, and it was the day when I have my last exam paper. My friends and I were heading to have dinner after the paper, and by the time I got home, I was freezing. It was 4 degree celcius (I made this up, but it was freezing!), and I was wearing sandals, t-shirt, and luckily long pants (I almost wore my shorts that day). I caught a bit of cold the next day.
Back in my home country, it was always hot, and we know that it will always be hot, and we don’t have to worry on what comes next.
People used to say that Melbourne’s weather is like a girl’s mood. I’m not keen with justifying the stereotype, but I got to say that it has a point.