One Day in Melbourne

The time I discovered my English was improving, I was very delighted and even hysterical. It is ironic that about one year ago, some of my friends felt it was hard and painful to listen to my spoken English. For example, once one friend suggested us reading an English novel together. He added that it should be he that reads the novel verbally while I should keep silent.

In October 2015, I met a fan of classical music, John, after a concert in the city, who invited me to his apartment after Christmas. I still remember after a heavy shower, my friend and I knocked at the door nervously, and reckoned what mysteries behind the door were in store for me. John, like a hermit, opened the door calmly with a grin on his face. His living room is filled with albums and books, simple but full of wisdom. He offered us a cup of tea and we had some discussion about philosophy and classical music, neither of which am I familiar with. He sent us a disk of recordings of his favourite pieces. It was lucky that we picked a bottle of Shiraz which he is fascinated with in return. We listened to the disk, enjoying the tranquility and peace the music brought us. He covered a range of philosophy genres. Surprisingly, he even studied Chinese philosophy – the Analects of Confucius. He was working on his book about philosophy.

I was very grateful that during the visit, he pointed out my problems in English, that I would put some extra syllables into the middle or end of words, and incorrectly stress a word or sentence. I gradually overcame the problems and picked up new skills via participating in a host of meet-ups and English classes.

My friend once said to me that perhaps when he gets old, he would live like the hermit John. I made fun of him that it might be an illusion.

I do not know why I do not want to say goodbye to this city. Maybe there are too many memories in Melbourne. Maybe it is because of its multiculturalism, the relaxing ambience and the vibe of art. Maybe it is due to the flat white, gardens, pets as well as Penfolds. Maybe it is for the reason there are so many beauties around, hot gorgeous blondes and brunettes. Actually this city has taught me a lot. To be honest, I have been wandering astray for a long time. Perhaps it is time to start a new life with more confidence. Because time is limited. Love Melbourne, seize this moment.

Ting Miao's story was a finalist in the English Language Training Category: By students studying to improve their English.