Melbourne is awesome... beyond awesome it's everything I would've wanted when I came to Australia and I look forward to spending at least six months here (minus my month trip to asia). The comparison I heard before I came here was Sydney is New York, and Melbourne is Chicago, and that definitely holds true (without all the black on black gang shootings that happen in Chicago). The city is super spread out, everyone is very friendly, and even though you're in a big city it feels much more like a small town. Anyone who's reading this who might be thinking of coming to Oz... skip Sydney. Go there for the sights and what not, but after a week or so, GTFO! It's overcrowded (and full of asians, I've got nothing against asians but it's like walking through downtown Tokyo) and too hustle and bustle. If you want something that's more fit for backpackers Melbourne is definitely the place for you.
The crazy thing I've noticed here is how bars work. In the states if you're starting out somewhere even if you have a lot of experience you usually have to work weekdays and earn your stripes before you can get a shot at the weekends and more money. Here there is no BIG Money day, the place I'm working at Saturday pays $24/hour, so people work weekends to work up to working during the week where they don't have to do shit. It's been a little perplexing because with the experience I have it's been almost impossible to find casual work during the week. Everyone sees my resume and wants me to work the weekends, which again would be great in the states but here it's more work for the same pay. I mean I love bartending, and nothing passes the time like being busy, but it's crazy to realize that the casual shifts you want to get are kind of impossible to come by, essentially from the way it looks now I'm gonna have to cram, 40 hours a week into the weekends otherwise I'll have no income.
I'm not opposed to this except for the fact that five days off means more free time, and more free time isn't always a good thing if you're trying to save money, especially in this industry. I think at some point I might just have to go into some slow bar and say I have no experience so I can "train" on the weekdays, and not constantly be working the crazy busy shifts. But in all honesty if I can find some place that will let me work 10 hours a day Thursday throught Sunday I won't obviously be mad. Who wouldn't want a three day weekend every week, even if it is a mid-week weekend. We shall see, for now the jury is out, and I have three jobs, and am homeless in two days... wish me luck!