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Posts Tagged ‘Sydney’

In Australia, this year it was officially started at 2.00am (normal time), about 12 days ago, or on Sunday, October 5 to be exact. I was actually in Melbourne around that day, so I adjusted all my devices’ clock at a friend’s place where I stayed. This is my second time having it (the Daylight Saving Time or DST), and so I’m fully aware of it.

However, interestingly on Friday before the starting point of time, when I was just arrived at the Southern Cross Station, Melbourne, that beautiful morning, (more…)

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I found a note. A one piece of paper hand-written note. There’s no name on it, so I think it’s just OK if I publish it here. After all, I won’t mention anyone either if there’s any name.

So, here’s basically what on it: (more…)

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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?

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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.

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This picture is an old view of Bon Jovi’s original line-up. From left: David Bryan, Alec John Such, Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi, and Tico Torres (taken from a personal MySpace page).

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It was about a few weeks ago, while I was a bit bored and depressed with the whole study assignments, when I browsed and found these groups of Bon Jovi fans on Facebook. There are probably more of them, but these four – each with more than a thousand members – were what I finally joined in (just with an interest to get in touch): Bon Jovi, Admit it… Deep down inside you love Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi – Enough said!, Sexiest man alive – Jon Bon Jovi (you can’t view them unless you’re log in to FB).

Anyway, enough said indeed! There’s probably nothing left to say about the band, which during their 24-year existence had already produced 10 studio albums (and some extras) with more than 120 million have been sold all over the world. And yes, of course 100,000,000 Bon Jovi fans can’t be wrong! 😉

Currently, as you may see on their official website, they’re still on tour in Europe, including in Norway and Denmark (18-19 June), before continuing to the UK (21-28 June), and fly back to the US on July (with a stop in Ontario). On the site, you may also check a lot of things, including purchasing all of their songs in MP3 formats. Or you may join the official fans site if you like.


This is part of the actions when the band performed in Sydney, 22 Jan 2008, which I managed to come (but this picture belongs to Hariklia Stournaras from the FB fans group).

Well, what I’d like to share a bit more here is about the first moment when I heard the songs of Jon, Dave, Richie, Tico, and Alec (the bass player who left the band in 1994). And it was in 1988 during my first year in Junior High School, through a cassette of compilation songs (pop and ballads), when I firstly heard this song: I’ll Be There for You. It’s a love song alright, was newly released, and it wasn’t actually one of the popular songs of Bon Jovi, since previously they’ve had three albums with a couple of smash-hits like Runaway, You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin’ On A Prayer, or Wanted Dead or Alive.

And again, enough said… here’s a lyric of another good song that I like:

– Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night –

Hey, man.. I’m alive. I’m takin’ each day and night at a time. I’m feelin’ like a Monday but someday I’ll be Saturday night

Hey, my name is Jim, where did I go wrong. My life’s a bargain basement, all the good shits gone. I just can’t hold a job, where do I belong. I’m sleeping in my car, my dreams move on…

My name is Billy Jean, my love was bought and sold. I’m only sixteen, I feel a hundred years old. My foster daddy went, took my innocence away. The street life ain’t much better, but at least I get paid…

And Tuesday just might go my way; it can’t get worse than yesterday. Thursdays, Fridays ain’t been kind; but somehow I’ll survive…

Hey, man.. I’m alive. I’m takin’ each day and night at a time. Yeah I’m down, but I know I’ll get by.

Hey, hey, hey, hey, man.. I gotta live my life. Like I ain’t got nothin’ but this roll of the dice. I’m feelin’ like a Monday, but someday I’ll be Saturday night…

Now I can’t say my name, and tell you where I am. I want to roll myself away, don’t know if I can. I wish that I could be in some other time and place. With someone else’s soul, someone else’s face…

Oh, Tuesday just might go my way; it can’t get worse than yesterday. Thursdays, Fridays ain’t been kind; but somehow I’ll survive…

Hey, man.. I’m alive. I’m takin’ each day and night at a time. Yeah I’m down, but I know I’ll get by…

Hey, hey, hey, hey, man.. I gotta live my life. I’m gonna pick up all the pieces and what’s left of my pride. I’m feelin’ like a Monday, but someday I’ll be Saturday night…

Saturday night… here we go..

Someday I’ll be Saturday night. I’ll be back on my feet, I’ll be doin’ alright… It may not be tomorrow baby, that’s OK. I ain’t goin’ down, gonna find a way.. hey, hey..

Hey, man.. I’m alive. I’m takin’ each day and night at a time. Yeah I’m down, but I know I’ll get by..

Hey, hey, hey, hey, man.. I gotta live my life. Like I ain’t got nothin’ but this roll of the dice. I’m feelin’ like a Monday, but someday I’ll be Saturday night… I’m feelin’ like a Monday, but someday I’ll be Saturday night..

Saturday night… all right.. all right.. Saturday night.


Picture courtesy of Bonjovi.Com.

Have memories with Bon Jovi or their songs too? Or have any other comment? Like? Dislike? Why don’t just share it here then..? 🙂

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Since July last year, this is one of my favourite places to hang around. Yup, it’s the outer part of home for me, but probably also the cosiest spot of the unit I live in.

It’s not just because I have my cigarettes here, but also as the place when I like to do other stuff. I often read my newspapers here, along with a cup of coffee. Or sometimes, just sit and looking around. Yet, some more of my serious activities like writing the assignments or calling my news sources, have also been happened here.

And it is at this balcony, I regularly think about lots of things. About love and life, about study and work, about myself and other people. I think and write, or just thinking while having a wide open sight.

From this balcony, I see life. I see movement of people’s daily life. I see examples of human being and their time, their activities and even their feelings. Their sadness and happiness, their joyfulness and loneliness. All the things that I’ve ever feel in my own life actually.

Sometimes from this balcony, I can see somebody who’s having problems with their partner, with their family or friends. Sometimes, I might see a group of people having a party, or just chilling out talking to each other. But every time for sure, I would always see somebody’s busy doing something, anything that becomes part of the advanced life of this big country.

Once, I saw a group of official city workers cutting the trees. And they did a very efficient work, with a number of machines were also there to help them.

Lately, since a few weeks ago, I can also find a similar view right in front of me from this balcony. A group of worker is working on a renovation project, or probably building something new, in the small block of buildings across the street. And again, in every single day of their work, I make a lot of thinking.

I think about how they’re doing their job. Moreover, about how the similar view might look back there in my home country, where some rare and unique things could be found. In a development project like this back there, I won’t just see the workers or their supervisors and the material suppliers come along. I can also see some government officials come once in a while, to talk about paper works and maybe to get some kind of retribution. And they’re not the only one who would ask for retribution from the project, as the local gang would want ‘a taste of it’ too.

Well, that’s just a tiny example of what use to happen in my country. Of course, it’s not happen all the time, but enough to say it as a common activity. So, is it a prove of what’s called a corrupt-mental-attitude there? Unfortunately, yes, that’s one of them. Although I should say again that not all aspects in our country’s life are surrounded with corruption.

And so, finally, I would say that it is from this cozy balcony too, I sometimes think about – or dream of – the positive change that could happen to my home country in the future. Maybe not in the near future, but hopefully we’ll get there sometimes. And I would really love to be part of that change. I would love too … just as I finish my homeland’s cigarette here and put it off in my ashtray.

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Just wanna reflect some feelings of my days in life here, guys…

These days, the weather in some regions of Australia has became very cold. In Sydney, yesterday and today at least, the minimum temperature is below 8 Celsius degree. The other part of the country even get below zero degree. Freezing, that’s for sure.

It’s still autumn, but surely, the colder weather of winter is coming on very soon. Kinda strange for me actually, since within a week I got the chance to taste different weather conditions. And actually before this cold, I’ve just got back from a trip to an area that’s still a bit warm.

Yeah, it was the ‘paradise’ on the Gold Coast, where people still able to walk happily on the sand just like in the summer. I was there last weekend to spend the rest days of my mid-semester’s break. And I guess I was lucky to have the chance just when everybody else in Sydney – and other regions – was already struggling with cold.

I even enjoyed all other aspects of the ‘paradise’ as what a vacation is supposed to be. I hung out with cheerful people, and even involved in a street music performance, playing tambourine for three songs with a couple of hip-artists. It was really cool.

But now, it’s cold..!

Still, luckily there’s no more rain these days. And hopefully not in a few days to come when I have to get back in focus on my study. I’ve been through that wet days a couple of days ago, just at the time when I departed from Sydney to Queensland. It was rainy and really, really wet!

From wet, to warm, and then got into a cold weather, is a very extreme change of conditions to me. Yet, what can I say. Weather changes. In fact, everything in this world is always changing. And we‘re living on it. That’s the point.

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