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I’m sure I’ve mentioned about this a bit before, right here in this blog. Yes, it was when I told people about how I had to find a new place to live in, while I was also initiating this project – codenamed “Project Eyes”.

And now, the project is finally settled. I mean, the first edition of this brand-new Continue Reading »

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The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games was officially closed tonight – I mean last night since this is already Monday, August 25. I didn’t really follow all the actions, not even watched a single game or any match perhaps. Not because I don’t like sports, and of course not by some reasons based on political or humanitarian Continue Reading »

It’s been almost a week actually, since the real [holy] date of our country’s Independence Day, August 17. And this year in Sydney, it is quite more exciting for me, compared to last year since I didn’t attend any celebration or ceremony back then.

Yet, what I really want to post here, perhaps is a couple of songs (or videos to be exact), of which I use to “re-engage” my mind and feeling towards this Independence Day’s moment the whole week. My fellow Indonesian friends would be familiar with them, I believe.

And don’t want to write any longer, here they are (all copied from Youtube). Enjoy! 😉

Bendera – by Cokelat :

Indonesia Pusaka (instrumental/guitar) – by Prisa Rianzi :

Satu Nusa Satu Bangsa – by Cokelat :

Sorry, but I’m not trying to be a smart guy, or some kind of a tourism expert here. No, because I don’t know this city that well. I haven’t even been in Sydney more than a year. And I’m just here to study (yeah, right).

Well, this is just a kind of personal notes, based on my own experience, especially when I have to accompany some of my [mainly Indonesian] friends – from other cities in Aussie or from overseas – when they’re visiting Sydney. And that’s where the rank came from.

So, don’t take it too serious, OK? Better yet, if any of you – perhaps Sydneysider – has any suggestion about any other places, please, help me and put it up here. I’d really appreciate it, as well as my friends which are probably still more to come.

So, here it goes:

1. The Opera House

Sure. No doubt about it, since I guess every people who visit Sydney must go there.

2. Bondi Beach

Such a famous beach. This is an almost sure as well.

3. Paddy’s Market & surrounds

This includes the Chinatown, the Entertainment Centre and so on. So the probability is big, considering whether you come to the area to see any performance, to buy some merchandises, or just to walk around, you’d be there.

4. Darling Harbour

Including the Chinese Garden of Friendship, the Tumbalong Park and Sydney Aquarium & Wildlife World. But some of my friends didn’t actually enter the Chinese Garden or the Aquarium & Wildlife World. Mostly they just walked pass the park, and to the wharfs on the harbour.

5. The University of Sydney

Now this is [perhaps] a bit rare for people from other countries. But I guess the reasons why my friends like to visit the place are because it has such a beautiful scene and that most of them are uni students like me.

6. Manly Beach

Need a bit time to get there – as well as money – but most of my friends have also checked it out. Except that only a small number of them perhaps had really explored the greater part of the area.

7. The QVB, Town Hall & part of George St

Maybe it’s just an unavoided aspect of being in a metropolitan city – or maybe because some of us are still attracted to crowded places? Nevertheless, the buildings there are really beautiful.

8. The University of New South Wales & Kingsford

This is just another ‘effect’ of being Indonesian and as students. There’s a lot of Indonesian food in Kingsford, and the UNSW is a famous educational institution with big campus.

9. The Royal Botanic Garden & Mrs Macquarie’s Point

Some went to both, some just went to one of them. The Garden is just beautiful with all those plants, while Mrs Macquarie’s Point is a great spot to get nice pictures of the two famous landmarks [the Opera House and the bridge].

10. Hyde Park

It’s unavoided when you’re cruising in the city. And of course, it’s beautiful and a bit relaxing.

A few more famous places and the not-so-famous ones

Some of these places are actually listed in most of Sydney’s tourism guides. However, not all of my friends went there when they’re in Sydney. Plus, even I haven’t visited all of them during my one year here in Sydney, though I consider myself enjoying this city.

On the other hand, for places like the Circular Quay and The Rocks, they were obviously visited, but perhaps not really intentional as most friends were mainly going there to get to – or when they’re visiting – the Opera House. While in the case of the Harbour Bridge, I guess none of my visiting friends has really been there. They just took some pictures of it from a distance.

So, here are the rest of them. There are these other beautiful beaches nearby Bondi, like Bronte, Tamarama, Coogee and Maroubra. Further South, there are Little Bay and La Perouse, or even Brighton-Le-Sands, and of course Cronulla Beach.

On the other direction, there are Watsons Bay and The Gap. There are also other bays, like Rose Bay, Double Bay, Elizabeth Bay, then the Taronga Zoo, and Milsons Point [where the Luna Park is]. In fact, there are probably some more good places to visit along both sides of Parramatta River.

Back to the city area, a few of my friends have also taken the chance to visit the Fish Market, the Olympic Park (a bit out of the city), the State Library, or tried the monorail, lightrail, and hung around Central Station (of course). While there are some more highly promoted places around the city such us the Sydney Tower, Pylon Lookout, or the Star City, I believe more friends have visited Macquarie University on the North rather than those sites – with similar reason for visiting Usyd and UNSW.

And there are still more. Other [supposedly] interesting places are some museums, starting from the Australian Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Powerhouse Museum, and a few other buildings under the Historic Houses Trust including the Museum of Sydney, The Mint, the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, the Justice & Police Museum, etc.

Done? Not quite yet. The Centennial Park and Moore Park are perhaps of interests as well for some other people. Also the nearby Randwick Racecourse. Out of those, many people are also interested in specific suburbs and areas such as Newtown, Kings Cross, Darlinghurst & Paddington, or Bondi Junction, and even Parramatta on the West. Oh, and yes, sometimes a few of my friends – especially Muslims – also like to visit Lakemba.

Um… now I don’t have any more places to name on. Any help?

Great. Now this blog looks like has been abandoned for years, or at least for months. I almost doesn’t realise it’s been nearly four weeks since my last post (on July 4). And now, to be honest, I still don’t really know what I’m going to write here at all – right on the day when the new semester of my study is starting.

So, as some friends who regularly check out my blog would ask: what happened? Been busy working? Or enjoying holiday perhaps? Or maybe I’ve been on some kind of special duty, or winter-course? Nah! None of those actually.

The one that’s right is: I’ve been really having trouble to write anything on this blog, or to do any other writing, because I’ve been distracted by some matters. Not just writing any post, I sometimes didn’t even have the chance to check out WordPress site for a couple of days. How ‘pathetic’… (especially for a guy who claims he likes writing).

But anyway, no time for whining, or self-reflecting like this. Who cares anyway, right?

On the other hand, well, perhaps I just need to spell out what mostly was the distraction I’ve been through in the last few weeks. And what I can tell here is: there were three main ‘mind-occupier’ that I had at the same time.

First, it was the obligation to finish one of my final study assignments from last semester. It’s an investigative story about Indonesian illegal logging, to be exact. And it was kind of hard for me – at least regarding my ‘style of work’ – and guess what, I’m still not done with it yet until now.

The second thing is this idea we call “Project Eyes” – the code name. Now, about this one, I’ll probably write something more detailed in the near future. So, just stay tuned if any of you really like to know.

But perhaps, the most time-consuming, energy-sucking and mind-distracting of all the three matters, was my personal agenda to move out from my previous place, to another place (still in Sydney though). And it was just yesterday, when finally the new place where I’d live for the next couple of months was settled.

For me personally, this kind of ‘nest-seeking’ activity (especially in Sydney) is a new experience. Lucky you who has experienced this, but for those who hasn’t, don’t under-estimate the complexity.

I was a bit lucky when I settled my self the first time in Sydney, in a 2-bedroom flat in Surry Hills, about a year ago (I’ve written before about the place … I mean the balcony). I didn’t even have to search for other options, because after I contacted this friend who lived in the flat that time, and checked it out on the same day, I simply moved in the next day.

But now, I mean, in the last few weeks, I had to search for room or share-house ads, contact the owner or people who placed the ads, check it out if it’s available for viewing (inspection), or look for other options if the answers are “Sorry, the room is taken!”, “It’s gone.” or “Sorry, it’s not available anymore…”. And that would just make it become more stressing.

Well, anyhow, enough about my personal business I guess. Just to put some kind of reference for my point here, this problem probably has become a similar problem for a lot of people in Sydney lately. It’s a typical metropolitan city problem, like the one mentioned in this Sydney Morning Herald’s report.

While many ads provider, including website such as the Gumtree, might help in terms of finding available accommodation, some other factors would still make it hard. Let’s say for example, the price (main factor), the quality of housing, or the good location to have while the city becomes ‘wider and wider’, etc.

Still, lucky for me, finally I found the most suitable place – at least for now on until a few months ahead. It’s in Ultimo, and it’s just a room, a single room to be exact. Not a big house, not even a spacious shared flat. But it’s good enough for me, and the most important thing is: I like it.

This is simply my kind of “compilation” of some recent news on Indonesia – some of them are from Sumatra as the place where I came from – that I browsed and checked out just a few moments ago, which are probably of interest as well to other people:


Indonesian president to launch massive Total gas fields (by AFP)

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is due to inaugurate Friday a massive new gas operation off Borneo by French giant Total, the company said… (to read more, click here)

Indonesian shares higher at midday on rebound led by coal miners (by Forbes)

Indonesian shares closed the morning session higher on Friday, mainly supported by a rebound in coal stocks after Thursday’s selloff… (to read more, click here)

9 Terrorism Suspects Detained in Indonesia After a Raid Uncovers Bombs (by The New York Times)

Indonesian police transferred nine terrorism suspects, bound and wearing black hoods, to the capital, Jakarta, on Thursday after their arrest in southern Sumatra… (to read more, click here)

‘Tempo’ loses legal battle to RAPP (by The Jakarta Post)

In what was called a “grave for press freedom” in Indonesia, a court here ruled Thursday in favor of a pulp and paper firm in a long-standing dispute with Koran Tempo daily newspaper… (to read more, click here)

Antam projects start OZ Minerals (by The Sydney Morning Herald)

OZ Minerals – the newly merged Oxiana/Zinifex – has outlined plans to increase its exposure to Indonesia after signing an agreement to co-operate on projects with a major Indonesian miner, PT Antam… (to read more, click here)

Indonesia among 41 countries applying for inclusion in Unesco’s heritage list (by Antara)

Indonesia is among 41 States Parties to the World Heritage Convention which will present properties for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List During this year’s session, hosted by Canada to coincide with the 400th anniversary celebration of the founding of Quebec City, on Wednesday (July 2)… (to read more, click here)

Well, it’s simply the lyric of an old popular country song that I just found a few moments ago.

But why I put it here? Maybe because I consider it as a “reflection” on my birthday (within the next few hours)? Umm… maybe not.

One thing for sure, when Hayes released this song in 1995, he was at the “appropriate age” for the song. And I am definitely older than he was… (but yes, I don’t care).

……

Old Enough To Know Better

(by Wade Hayes)

Neon lights draw me like a moth to a flame

Mama raised me right that just leaves me to blame

When I get a little sideways on a honky-tonk tear

I’m old enough to know better but I’m still too young to care…

Cowgirls with an attitude boots and tight blue jeans

Take my mind off doing right and doing other things

When the weekend’s gone I won’t have a dime to spare

I’m old enough to know better but I’m still too young to care…

Monday morning I wake up with a hammer in my hand

The boss-man yelling something at me that I don’t understand

I don’t know how I got to work but I sure know I’m there

I’m old enough to know better but I’m still too young to care…

When the eagle flies on Friday well he barely leaves the ground

I’ve got just enough left to get dressed up and head back to town

Boss says, ‘Son having all that fun won’t get you anywhere.’

I’m old enough to know better but I’m still too young to care…

Monday morning I wake up with a hammer in my hand

The boss-man yelling something at me that I don’t understand

I don’t know how I got to work but I sure know I’m there

I’m old enough to know better but I’m still too young to care…

I’m old enough to know better but I’m still too young to care…