People from Melbourne always have the impression that Australia is a lot like Canada. My response?
“Well Canada is a very large Country so that’s not really true.”
That being said, there are similarities between Vancouver and Melbourne. Since it’s a common perception, I’ll pick what I think are 5 commonalities between Vancouver and Melbourne.
1. People like to talk about the weather
The weather in Vancouver is known to be hard to predict. Combine that with the long rainy season and short summer and you get Vancouverites who never stop talking about the weather. Melbourne on the other hand has its own crazy weather. With days frequently bringing the four seasons all in a span of hours, the topic of weather comes in a different tone but nonetheless, people comment all the same.
2. It’s expensive
Both cities are well-known for being expensive. Perhaps a price that you pay for being on the list of the world’s most livable cities. Which one is more expensive? It’s a close contest. While Vancouver’s recent real estate surge brings it closer to Melbourne’s cost of living, Melbourne is about 5-10% more in most other categories.
3. Asians everywhere
Arriving in Melbourne you will immediately notice an Asian diversity similar to Vancouver. Perhaps the demographic breakdown is different, but there will be no shortage of Asian culture and influence in both Melbourne and Vancouver. Melbourne carries large populations of Vietnamese, Malaysian and Chinese whereas Vancouver has a predominantly Chinese community.
4. No shortage of great food
I guess it’s tough to ignore food anywhere you go in the world. Where in the world doesn’t have good food these days? Sure, different cities will have different strengths when it comes to food, and the same goes for Vancouver and Melbourne. I may love Melbourne’s breakfast scene, but I can’t say I don’t miss Vancouver Japanese food while I’m in Australia.
5. Inconsistent transportation
Vancouver loves to bash Translink for its incompetent skytrain breakdowns, late buses and terrible decisions making. At first I thought both shared this commonality but it seems that Melbourne has really improved in this area over the past year. While most trains seem to operate at ~90% punctuality, infrastructure is receiving continual improvements and the city even offers 24 hours transit on major routes on weekends; a huge win for public transport in Melbourne. Nonetheless people like to chirp about transit regardless of which city you’re in.
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