(2/3) Australia took some getting used to. There were many foods that I’d never seen before – avocados, mangos, zucchinis… and it was strange to come from a small, mountainous village to a flat city like Melbourne. There were also cultural differences. For example, in Portugal, it didn’t matter how much money you had, you always put such an effort into getting dressed up, to have your hair done, and to be well put together, but people here at that time were so much more relaxed, and would look at us like what the heck are you doing? Are you going out to a party or something?

I also went to a very anglo saxon school and the children there were not very welcoming of people from other cultures. I got teased a lot about not speaking English well, and for having a strange accent. There were only 4 other migrant kids in the whole school and we congregated together – the misfits. Sometimes I would think – is this what I’m going to have deal with for the rest of my life? And that thought was really frightening.

But then luckily my school merged with another school which had a lot of migrant Greek children. After that, it became much easier. I found myself doing well at school. I even won a competition and used the prize money to buy my first bike.

Arrived 1990

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