Brenda Alexandra Munoz won the English Language Training Category of the 2019 Melbourne Writers Festival's storytelling competition 'Love & Melbourne' .

Falling in love with a new city, Melbourne

By Brenda Alexandra Munoz (Colombia)

Arriving in a new city where you do not speak the native language perfectly is one of the strangest sensations in the world. You feel fear but at the same time excitement to start a new experience that will enrich your life. And that’s how I came, with a basic level of English and with many fears accumulated, because not only did I enter into an adventure as an international student, but I also moved with my boyfriend of two years in the process without knowing how life as a couple would be.

Since I got off the plane in Sydney to catch another plane to Melbourne, I have found a beautiful environment. I have felt very comfortable in Australia even though my English is not the best. Its people are warm. After weeks of living in Melbourne I define it as a magnificent city. Every day I am renewed as a person and it makes my relationship one of the most beautiful. Each corner is special to me: breathing the fresh air; walking streets that are full of colour and energy; feeling the good vibes of the people that, every time you need help, are aware that you do not speak English and give you a smile and make up signs so that you understand what they say. It is the seagulls that chase you and form groups around you when you are walking on the beach and you sit down to eat chips from Chicken Bar. It is the beautiful green gardens where you can look anywhere and find a diverse range of cultures of almost everyone and go on the train after a long day and listen to more than three languages ​​at the time making you feel that you are not the only one living an experience in this country. Going to Victoria Market can drive you crazy with the great prices and variety of products. Everything is upside down and makes you feel lost but at the same time it is exciting and gives you joy when every day you discover something new about the way of life of this city.

Wow is something crazy, but without a doubt I would repeat my choice, it is the simplest and most beautiful way to make you think that you are in love but this time of a city, of its diversity and complexity, because every day you learn something new that, in your country, is handled totally differently and that, on many occasions, does not even exist. As in all the stages of falling in love there are highs and lows of emotions. In my case a wonderful city that often makes me feel like a little girl full of curiosity and enthusiasm, but that sometimes fills you with a quick nostalgia when you look at reunited families and you would like your family to be with you discovering this beautiful city.