Me and Melb – My First Ever Play
By Xinyi Wu
Xinyi Wu: An overseas student from China who came to Melbourne about three years ago
Heesung (Hannah) Kim: A local student who moved to Melbourne during primary school
Ms Broadbent: Year level coordinator and teacher
Ruilin Cai: An international student and Xinyi’s best friend
Neighbour: Xinyi’s neighbour
The lights rise on XINYI.
XINYI: This is what it was like. Melbourne made the invisible visible.
RUILIN: It was a particularly sunny morning.
XINYI: Care, culture, confidence and clouds – the elements that have made me fall in love with the city.
HEESUNG: Near her house, Xinyi was walking on the street. She smiled at her neighbour when she saw him walking out of his house just to show courtesy, and then…
NEIGHBOUR: (Smiling back enthusiastically) G’day!
XINYI: (Surprised by the enthusiasm; trying to utter the contracted version of the words)G’day too!
RUILIN: She thought of the old couple she bumped into when she was jogging yesterday afternoon, who also smiled at her and said ‘Good on you!’ although they didn’t even know her.
MS BROADBENT: A feeling of warmth surged from her heart. Translated into a big warm smile which she carries every day.
XINYI, HEESUNG and MS BROADBENT at school.
MS BROADBENT: Presentation Night is next week. Let’s do a quick rehearsal. Now Hannah, would you prefer the name Heesung Kim or Hannah Kim when we announce the award?
HEESUNG: (With a polite yet confident smile) Heesung, please.
XINYI: (To the audience) I would have said my English name if I were asked question before her. But instead, I said…
MS BROADBENT: Cathryn, would you prefer your Chinese name as well?
XINYI: Yes, please.
MS BROADBENT: (Smiling warmly) Of course. You have to be my Chinese pronunciation teacher then. Xinyi. Too hard for me.
RUILIN: It was at that instant that Xinyi suddenly realized how well respected all different cultures and culture inheritance are in this city.
XINYI: No, not only the culture. But also every other type of difference. We celebrate Harmony Day. We celebrate IDAHOBIT day. We, as Melbourne citizens, celebrate diversity and embrace them all. Warmly and proudly.
Light shifts. XINYI and RUILIN walking towards home.
XINYI: Yeah I don’t know whether you should…
RUILIN: (Waiting) Can you finish the sentence?
Beat. RUILIN turns around.
RUILIN: What are you doing there?
XINYI: Shh. Come, come.
RUILIN walks to where XINYI stands.
RUILIN: The sky is just beautiful.
XINYI: I know, right? Look at the clouds.
XINYI: You know. I can literally stand here for an hour, just looking at the white floating marshmallows. Watch how they move, how they change and not think about anything else.
RUILIN: Nothing else.
NEIGHBOR: Except the warmth of care.
HEESUNG: Except the diversity of culture.
MS BROADBENT: Except the smile of confidence.
XINYI: Except me and Melbourne.
RUILIN: The city that makes the invisible visible?
XINYI: (With conviction) Yes. And the city I love.
They exit. Lights rise on the curtain: