Monday, December 27, 2010

Amateur Farmer

Alright, so far I have harvested dwarf bean not long ago, and today I proudly harvested my first lettuce. The lettuce is a bit different with what you find in the shops but it's not too bad. 

Maybe I should wait a little bit longer so it will grow beautifully like the ones you find in the shops, but maybe this is the best that the lettuce can do in the steamy, humid, hot and very wet weather like Pohnpei.

Lights in Pohnpei

This is my first Christmas in Pohnpei and I am impressed with how the shops and some of the houses decorated their splace with lots of lights. 

I have to admit that trips to downtown Kolonia at night time became very joyful, you can feel that the Christmas spirit is here. And I know some parents are using this opportunity to treat their children, yes a trip to down town with full of lights can be amusing even for adult like me.

So, on Thursday I decided to take some photos of the Chirstmas lights downtown, but I choose the wrong date because ACE Hardware & ACE Offices decided to have midnight shopping from 7pm - 12am, hence there were alot of people doing shopping and also some of the shops were doing final SALE too.

One thing for sure that their electricity bill for this month must cost them a fortune with all those lights, but hey it's just one month a year event, so why not?

Btw, I used the wrong lens 50mm so I can not capture the whole ambiance as I have limitation on the focal point.

 Palm Terrrace shop

 Super Savers, second hand clothing shop

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Let's do some serious gardening

I have been posted about my veggie garden in Pohnpei,  I was inspired by Huyen's veggie garden at the US residence compound so here is my effort to do more serious gardening.

Oh did I tell you about the bleach effect? Yup, this is what happened with my beans :((

Brocolli and one healthy looking Lettuce


Walk to Nett Point

It was the easiest hike of all, that's why I called it walk not hike :)

It has been pouring rain on Sunday morning but since it's an easy hike/walk to Nett Point a man made beach popular swim destination for locals we decided to give it go anyway.

We were car pooling at PCR hotel and meet the others there before we walk down the street. The road is paved and just a little bit of dirt around the Nett Point it self. It was a good walk with a good length and little bit of hills but no steep at all like our last hike, so I still got the sweat on this walk.

We pretty much just follow the road until we reach Nett Point.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

My first harvest

My veggie garden is not the spectacular ones like some of the garden in Pohnpei, after seeing two awesome veggie gardens at the US residence compound I feel ashame about my veggie garden which just contain of  eight pots and two small patch gardens.

But anyhow I just harvest my first beans last week, well it actually force harvest because the trees look dying from the bleach's smell the workers used to clean up the outside part of the house.

not bad from just one tree eh

Just one lettuce looks promising and the rest look sad, it won't grow tall I don't know why. But my brocolli, capsicum, parsley and mint look promising. I try to grow more basil by cut the stem and grow it in different places. And since I got more seeds from Louise so I have decided to be more serious in gardening, I just need to get more pots or maybe even utilize available patches and spots around the house.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Potluck or Bring a plate

According to uncle Wiki, a potluck is a gathering of people where each person or group of people contributes a dish of food to be shared among the group.
The word pot-luck appears in 16th century England, in the work of Thomas Nashe, and was there used to mean "food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot". The sense "communal meal, where guests bring their own food", appears to have originated in the late 19th century or early 20th century US, particularly in the Western United States, either by influence from potlatch or possibly by extension of traditional sense of "luck of the pot".

You can read further explanation about Potluck here

The term potluck is quite common in Indonesia and sometimes we have potluck dinner at a friend's house. Potluck makes the host's life easier because the host doesn't have to cook the whole dishes for everyone. 

In Australia there is a common expression called "Bring a plate". When you got an invite with note bring a plate doesn't mean that the host doesn't have enough plate hence they want you to bring a plate from home. 

Bring a plate means to bring a dish of food to share with your host and other guests. Take the food to the party in any type of dish, not just a plate, and it is usually ready to serve. This is common for communal gatherings such as for school, work or a club. If you are unsure what to bring, you can ask the host.

You can find more common Australian expressions here

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hike to Pahn Tikai

We went on a hike to Pahn Tikai last Sunday. This hike considers as easy-moderate and not a long hike too so that is one of the reasons we did it. The hike only took 1 hour, plus time to climb around the bat cave and/or watherfall.

The hike involves a very steep climb along a paved road, once the road ends, we follow the dirt path to a well-maintained jungle path. When the path forks, we follow the upper trail. The jungle portion is relatively short and will end at an eerily dry overhang under the waterfall.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boat trip to Pakin

We finally out on the boat last Thursday, we went to Pakin atoll to visit one of the projects that the Australian Embassy funded. I was excited and a bit nervous at the same time as that was my first boat trip in Pohnpei and I heard people talking that November and December the wave is really rough hence all the surfers are here at the period of time. That was not my first boat trip, I went on a boat trip from Jakarta to Thousand Islands for work, yeah working in an advertising company can take you to exotic places for work, sometimes I miss those good old days. And my second boat trip was in Manado to Bunaken for diving and snorkling, I snorkled not diving by the way. I didn't recall to have any sea sick but I thought maybe the wave back then not as rough as in Micronesia so I call Heather to get the sea sick tablets just in case.

The schedule was to get in the boat at 8am because the boys want to do some fishing along the way, yes sure why not we're on the boat anyway. We went on the Embassy boat so it should be safe as people were saying that the boat is probably the safest boat in this island, but still, I was nervous.

 The boat "Three years in the making"

There were seven of us on the boat, Beru the driver, mr. husband, Glen from Fishery Commission, and three Pohnpean who were involved with the projects.

At 8.15am off we sail. The view was beautiful as we sail off from Pohnpei.

  Pohnpei from the ocean

Monday, November 15, 2010

Waterfall hike in Madolenihmw, Pahn Sile

This hike labeled as "easy to moderate", and is about a mile in each direction.  The swimming is supposed to be good.

Well, the information is right it was not a hard hike but since the pathway really muddy we have to concentrate and looking down all the time to see if there are any rocks that we can use instead of stepping out feet into the mud. Someone was saying  that eventhough Monalisa passing by we won't notice her as we all so busy looking down lol. So by the time we got home we were really tired, yeah all those concentration really took its toll.

But the view was worth it. It's a beautiful waterfall and there is somekind of wall that you can climb, Sam was trying to climb it up but I guess it is too slippery so he settled just swim. It was a good day for swim especially to get rid off the sweat from walking to the waterfall, so everyone except me and 2 others jumped in and swim. Me happy just to watch and take photos :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Hike to Sokeh's Ridge (Pohndollap)

There are 2 types of hiking to Sokeh's island, one is a moderate 1.5 hours not include the exploring and one is strenuous. Since we are new to this hiking club so yeah we choose to do the moderate ridge of course :).

Here is what Emily said on the hiking club blog: The ridge is a very convenient hike for people in Kolonia. It's walkable from anywhere in town and offers both a good workout and a good view. You'll walk along a paved road, then along a dirt road, and come to a first scenic overlook. This is a good place to stop if you're looking for a very easy trip, but if you continue up up up you'll have even better views.

Following the steep section after the first overlook, the trail will head to your right, becoming very flat for a while. If you walk straight past a small building instead of following the trail to the right, there are at least two WWII-era guns and bunkers to visit. Following the trail will lead you to a final steep push, at the end of which you'll find a weather station platform and a nice view of Kolonia town and the airport.

Up until the first overlook is an easy hike, and yes the view is amazing. This is what I see:

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My First Halloween Party

Since Halloween is not a big thing in Indonesia and Australia so I never went to one, I guess recently people in Jakarta are celebrating Halloween holiday just like in America as I saw some of my friends Halloween photos in facebook.

We were excited to finally experience Halloween holiday in Pohnpei, although it was a bit of challenge to find the costumes that we want. We went to Super Savers on Thursday to look for costume but no luck, so we settle with what we have in our wardrobe.

Me in school girl outfit

Monday, November 01, 2010

Driving in Pohnpei

It's relative easy to drive in Pohnpei, everyone drives really slow and the fastest speed limit is 25miles/hour but people mostly drive 20miles/hour, the school zone speed limit is 15miles/hour with caption if children around, so when there are no children around the school you can actually speed up a little bit. You can tell if the driver has been drinking sakau because one will drive really slow, yes it's like 5miles/hour slow.

But driving in Pohnpei can be really tricky because we drive on the right side of the road like in America, so came from Indonesia and Australia where we drive on the left side of the road it takes a while for me to get used to driving in Pohnpei. But most of the cars here are Japanese cars so it's right hand drive including our car which just arrived yesterday. For me is easier like this because I used to drive a right hand drive car so I just need to get used to with driving on the right side of the road. I just have to remember that when I'm driving my side is on the gutter side not the other way around. But for mr. husband is kinda tricky because he has to drive the office car everyday to go to work which has left hand drive and switch to right hand drive car on personal car, but I thinks he gets the hang of it.

Other thing about driving in Pohnpei is that all cars only have one number plate and mostly they put it at the back of the car, I don't know the real reason for this.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Barbie Girl" Stamp

I was intrigued with Santi's status on facebook, it says: Santi still feeling hysterical with the 'barbie girl' stamp :D.

The term came from after chatting with moms at her kids' school.

And of course I was curious and want to know what is "barbie girl" stamp, so here is the definition:

Wives who follow husbands moving around the globe have the tendency to live like happy go lucky girls forever. In a sense that those wives never really touch the reality of the local culture, hardly ever need the urgency to earn money. When...ever they start doing something, it's time to pack and usually it shatters their focus, which, most of the time changes their initial goals when arriving at the next destination.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I miss you all, heaps

Nearly 2 years since I left Jakarta my home for 30 years and move to Canberra, it has not been easy but I have to admit it that it has not been that hard too because not long after we arrived in Canberra we joined the AIFA (Australia Indonesia Family Association) which has been great to help me settling in. And voila I met new people and make friends.

The hardest part living in a new place is leaving your comfort zone, family and friends, I really miss my friends in Jakarta and it's hard. But I am grateful that I met new friends well in fact good friends in Canberra, yes you know who you are ;).

Shinta's Arabian birthday celebration, Canberra. I wish I was there with you ladies

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hike to Liduduhniap Twin Waterfalls

We join hiking club in Pohnpei so every Sunday afternoon we gather at the appointed place to meet up with others before we head off to the hike destination.

Today is our second hike, we gather at the movie theater parking lot (oh yes in case you are wondering Pohnpei has cinema and the movies are quite up to date Wall Street is playing there now) at 1pm and wait for the others before we head off to our hike destination. This is an easy hike to Liduduhniap Twin Waterfalls in Nett, those waterfalls are on Nanpil river. The administrator of the hikers club will inform on the email about the difficulty level on each hike and as this one is easy so we are eager to go and also our hiking shoes just arrived on Friday. In this hike you can swim in the pool at base of one of the waterfalls.  We carpool part of the way up the road and walk the rest.  

This time no guide is needed, but there is an entrance fee of one dollars/person charged by the family that stays near the waterfall. 

Well to be honest this time is not actually hike as we parked way too close with the waterfalls, so we just walk for 5 minutes and we have arrived at the first waterfall yeah it was a hard work :p. Some of us are really eager to get sweaty so we decided to walk further down to the second waterfalls, it was a bit slippery and steep and the result I fell on my bum, hard. Guarantee of sore bum tomorrow :(

It was a good day to swim on the base of the waterfalls.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tour to the Pohnrakiet Nahs village

Two weeks ago Saturday, October 2nd, We were invited to attend and ovserve the cultural weaving, carving and ivory nut jewelry making at the Pohnrakiet Nahs village with the FSM Vice President's wife and other diplomatic corps. It was an interesting experience to know their culture as We are new to this island.
The Polynesian moved to Pohnpei in 1918 brought by the Japanesse administrator because the island that they used to live in experience drought. Now the Polynesian live side by side with the Micronesian in Pohnpei.

My Project Update - Grow babies grow

This is dwarf bean 1 week old, it's growing and looking good.

The Iceberg Lettuce 1 week old

I think I mixed up the Cos lettuce seed with Broccoli, let see when it grows which one is this one.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Project Update

Sam helped me to do the dirty job, preparing the potting mix in each pot and plant some seeds. I also started to plant more seeds yesterday so hopefully in couple of weeks I can see it grows, fingers cross.

Saying goodbye in Pohnpei

This post triggered by my book club reading last night about the Grief Ministry, so We shared about what We know about death and how we handle the funeral as the last effort to say good bye to the deceased.

In Pohnpei, the funeral feast is the largest and most important form of feast held on the island today. Interment usually takes place within twenty-four hours of death. The funeral feast lasts for four days. Family members, fellow clanmembers, and close friends remain together for an additional three days of feasting.

One good example of Pohnpeian culture is funeral or "mehla" in their language. When a person dies, the family has a lot of responsibility to do. The family with some members of the community will get together to set up their place before the big crowd comes in. They will clean their place, set up the cooking place, etc,etc. In the meantime, somebody representing the immediate family will go to the radio station and put up an announcement of the deceased. Some men will go to the king or "nahnmwarki" for invitation or "luhk". This invitation goes to the nahnmwarki of the place the funeral will be held at. For example, if the funeral will be held at U municepality, the invitation will be given to the nahnmwarki of U.

Friday, October 08, 2010

My Project

As you know from my previous post that finding fresh produce is a challenge in Pohnpei, so I decided to start veggies garden.

I have brought over the seeds from Australia: cucumber, capsicum, iceberg lettuce, cos lettuce, italian parsley, curled parsley, tomato, oregano, corriander, thai chilli, broccoli & dwarf beans.

The gardener has cleaned up the 6 unused pots I found in the garden, what I need to do is to buy the soil and the potting mix from Ace Hardware and it ready to go. The soil around the compound isn't good for growing things as it full of rocks, well maybe if I go to the drive way and get the soil from there it could be work but I'm too lazy to do it so I will settle with buy the soil instead. Another thing I need to buy is the glove for gardening, mind you that I don't like my hands to get dirty with soil :)

I have succesfully grown chilli and basil back in Canberra but no luck with the tomato, I don't know what went wrong with the tomato. The basil and chilli has grown beautifully, but when the Winter is approaching I have to give up my basil and chilli before it all freeze and dead from the cold.

Let see how it goes this time, hopefully I will be success with my veggies garden. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Flower Power

 Enjoy the flowers that grow in my garden, you will see that there are some flowers grow in Indonesia.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

My First Book Club

I went to my first book club tonight and it was fun eventhough I haven't read the story but the ladies were welcome and nice.

The Book club started in February this year if I'm not mistaken and become regular activity for some women who like to read and interested to get together and discuss about the reading. The book club is a regular meeting every week on Wednesday night. Since we would like to meet more often than once a month so the administrator choose short story instead of a book for the reading material. But usually in every book club meeting we are not only discuss about the reading but we also talk about anything. Mind you we are women, we like to talk!

Tonight's story is about Cactus. Don't ask me about the story because I haven't read it yet, because PW told me about the book club at 4pm when I was in the middle of my exercise and since we're going tonight so I have to cook dinner earlier. Yeah that was my excuse :)

Mr. Husband and I have different interests in what kind of book we read, yeah of course I like to read girly book (his nick name for my books) because there are no car chasing or fighting or blast or whatever men like to read. So this book club is a good opportunity for me to meet new people, share thoughts about the reading itself and about any things related to living in Pohnpei since I'm the newbie.

So who said that living in Pohnpei is boring?

It's so far than boring, there are a lot of stuff that I can do. Book club every Wednesday night, volunteer at the public library every Thursday, tennis lesson every Saturday, hiking every Sunday and functions yes lots of functions.

I will write more about my other activities in the coming posting, it's my bed time now. Ciao!

Monday, October 04, 2010

It's a tough life

Living in a small island in the North Pacific like Pohnpei can be a tough experience.

Especially if the scenery you see is something like this on a daily basis ;)

Week 3 in Pohnpei

Time flies and it's week 3 already, We have moved to our house for 2 or 3 years and our personal affects have arrived from Australia.

I worked really hard for 3 days to unpack and arrange our stuff so We will feel at home at last. With our stuff inside this house We defenitely feel at home. Before come to Pohnpei I have printed and framed some Canberra photos I took, those photos will remind us on our home in Australia.

I'm still adjusting and settling in but so far I can say that it's been good. Although there are compromises and sacrafices that We have to make, well it's a small island in the North Pacific after all it's not developed country like Australia.

Fresh produce is a bit hard to find, the supply depends on the shipment came to this island which is every 2 weeks. Sometimes the shipment didn't bring any fresh produce but something else like canned food and other stuff, then We have to wait until the next shipment comes. There are local produces like cabbage, eggplants, banana, cucumber, papaya, kedondong (I don't know what you call it in English but the locals call it toys) that We can find all year long. Apples have steady supply so usually in the big shops you can find it everyday, but with variety quality some are good some are bad. Good tomato is really hard to find even after the shipment came, usually the tomatoes are moldy when it gets here. After the fresh produce shipment came the shops will be full with fruit & veggie like lettuces, capsicums, red cabbages, broccoli, nectarines, peacheas, carrots, celery and bakchoy and etc. I went to the shops last Tuesday after heard the news that shipment came on Sunday, and when I walk in to the shop I was in panic mode seeing all those fresh produce, I want to buy it all :D. Easily available doesn't mean the price is cheap, some are bloody expensive some about the same price with Australia. A big and beautiful looking nectarine cost $5.75/pounds so when I pay at the cashier I was in shock to find that 4 nectarines cost me $14.70. Sometimes I just don't care about the price and just buy it because I really want it and I don't know when that stuff will be on the shelves again.

Meat & chicken supplies mostly frozen, so there is a special trick to see which one has good quality and edible. The fish mostly fresh and the best place to get fresh fish is Simon market. We can not scale & gutted the fish so when I go for fish shopping I always ask Simon to do it for me, I miss fish fillet like in Australia. I bought yellow fin tuna once and ask him to fillet it but when I got home I find that he cut it in big cube. Canned fish like tuna sardine and mackarel are everywhere, so we stock that up too for alternative of fresh fish.

Most food in this island came from America which I find it too sweet for my liking. All the cereals are American products with full of sugar, even the baked bean is sweet. Good thing We brought over 12kg of weet-bix from Australia. Even the bread is sweet here, but the good thing is we can go to Grace's bakery and order wheat bread without sugar, although you have to buy more than one for special order like that.

There is no fresh milk here, but there are heaps of long live milk. There is an Australian and New Zealand brands like Pauls and Anchor milk. We have 2 cartons of Anchor milk to stock up because people keep saying that stuff can dissapear and won't be back until God knows when.

Doing the groceries shopping is an adventure because you will not find everything you want in one shop, usually I have to go to 4 different shops for every groceries shopping, it's fun hey. The trick is grab and stock up. When you see something you like just grab it and stock it up, because if you think that it still be on the shelves next time you go to the shop you are wrong. Well you might be lucky if they're still there but mostly they won't be there. I was looking for canned mushroom the other day and can not find it in 3 shops, so I have to go to every shops just to get canned mushroom.

Good cheese is really hard to find and really expensive too. Like other stuff most cheese are American's product, the cheddar is in orange color which we're not used to. And no blue cheese :((.

There is one asian store called Yoshie, but they sell mostly Japanese products.

It takes time but I am sure that we will used to this stuff eventually, bear with us.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Journey Begins

Alright I know that I have been really slacked in updating my blog but hopefuly it will change soon, so please bear with me :)

My journey to Pohnpei begins on 9th September, our flight was at 1.35pm Jakarta time and then transit at Singapore for 20 minutes before finally heading off to Manila. Flight from Singapore to Manila was 30 minutes late, We were thinking yeah We still have enough time as the time gap is 2 hours. We arrived in Manila at 9pm local time and our connecting flight to Guam is at 10.55pm.

How We were wrong. The international departure is actually in different location from international arrival! The stress starts to kick in, because We have to wait for our luggage before We head off to the terminal 2 (if I'm not mistaken). It took forever for our 3 big suitcases to arrive, I was praying to God to let us be on the connecting flight, because if We misses the connecting flight to Guam that means We are going to miss our flight to Chuuk & Pohnpei. There are only 2 flights in a week to Pohnpei from Guam so if We missed it that means We have to wait for 3 days for the next flight. We need to take taxi to go to the terminal 2, so after got out suitcases We were waiting at the airport shuttle and after 5 minutes passed there is no indication that the shuttle will arrive soon. We asked the guy what time is the schedule for the shuttle, and He said there is no fix schedule. Oh right, perfect!

Now the stress has really kicked in. We were so afraid that We couldn't make in on time. But then the guy said "oh you can take taxi and it cost 100 pesos", but We don't have peso so We ask the guys if We can pay with USD and he say yes absolutely, just pay US$5 phew We relieved. But the drama is not yet over. It took 10 minutes to be at the terminal 2 so We only have 1.5 hours until departure, ticking ticking ticking. There was a long line for the xray because they do body check too but the good thing that the girl who checked our tickets told us that We need to check in first as it's only 1 hour until departure. So I was running to the Continetal counter to check us in while Sam still at the xray machine.

There was another drama at the check in counter as the guy won't check me in because I don't have return ticket. There is no problem with Sam because He's using the diplomatic passport and me, of course I'm using my Indonesian passport, what else and there is no diplomatic stamp on my passport. According to the rule I need to have return ticket because they are worry that I may be working in Pohnpei and I won't be back. We have explained to them that We're going to Pohnpei for official work (Sam) and I am his wife, We also provide them with our marriage certificate but they won't let me on board the plane arghhh... So finally We have to buy $700 return ticket, they guarantee that the ticket is fully refundable, ah well let see.

After We checked in then We walk down to the gate and OMG We found another security screening. This time they take everything out from the bag and investigate each stuff carefully. They even do body check and We have to take off our shoes and hat, dear oh dear talking about high security. Mind you that We have 2 carry on bags and 2 laptop bags, so it took awhile for them to clear us out.

Oh and when We were in Manila, every single person that We met was talking to me in Tagalog :)). I have to explain to them that I'm Indonesian and I don't understand Tagalog, I guess my face can be mistakenly as Philippino :)

The flight arrived in Guam at 4.30am local time or around 9am Jakarta time, so We're pretty much dead tired and feel like zombie. Guam airport is small and at that hour not many shops open so We hang out at the food court until departure time at 8.30am. The airport was full with Japanese tourist who will catch early flight home (I guess) and I feel like I'm the ugly duck seeing all those Japanase women in full make up and dress up. Thank God the Continental in Manila has checked our bag in thorough Guam so We don't have to go thru Guam security which I'm sure even worst than in Manila.

On the way to Pohnpei the flight from Guam has to transit in Chuuk. And finally We arrive in Pohnpei at 1 pm or 10am Jakarta time.

What a long flights and dramas that We have to go thru to get here, but We are so happy that We finally arrive in our home for the next 2 or 3 years.

And the journey begins......

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Let's pack and send it

The uplift for international was on Aug 2nd, Allied Pickfords came, pack our stuff and send it to Pohnpei. I know it's still 2 months away why on earth we send our stuff that early, well since they'll send it thorough sea freight it will reach Pohnpei in 2 months if we're lucky or 3 months if we're not lucky. So you know why we are willing to sacrafice living in Canberra with limited stuff until the day we leave the country on 19 Aug.

The Allied Pickfords team came at around 8am and only 2 guys showed up, I was a bit pesimistic that they will finish at around 12 noon as there were about 20 people showed up when we move from Jakarta to Canberra and it took 2 days. Can you believe 20 people and they need 2 days to pack 3 bedrooms apartement? We had 79 boxes back then.

These 2 men from Allied Pickfords worked really fast and just before 12 they were almost done, ah well before they forget 1 or 2 cupboards with full of stuff in it. But still, just before 1pm they were all done with the packing, I'm in awe.

In total we have 74 boxes to be sent to Pohnpei, from 1 bedroom apartment.

Now we are living in an empty apartment with only basic kitchen utensils and 4 person dinner set. And we will move to mum in law's house next week after the uplift for storage.

It's getting real... I'm excited, a little bit sad, happy and nervous at the same time...

Friday, August 06, 2010

When passions collide

Thanks to Mr. Husband who got me early birthday present although it was 3 weeks early. So I can take these nice photos of delicious food I ate during my "transition" time from Canberra to Pohnpei.

Yes, my latest passion is photography and my old on going passion is food, meaning I like eating them not making them ;).

So, enjoy the combination of my old & latest passion: food & photography. Mind you that I still have a lot to learn as a photography enthusiast, so your comments are welcome.

Bon apetite....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Make the best out of it

I remember there were mixed reactions positive and negative about our move to Canberra. Most if his friends said that Canberra is a shit hole, boring place to live in, no beach nearby, it's colder than some of Australian cities and they say I wouldn't like it here and my friends think that it will be good to get away from polluted and crowded Jakarta.

Shinta Benilda, a good friend describes Canberra same as Klepon. She thinks their impression of Canberra is as if you just eat the outer part of the klepon and they didn’t really try the middle part of it. If they try to live here, then they’ll find out that Canberra is a very easy city to live in. It has gorgeous lakes, easy road to travel with no traffic jams, which makes our life more manageable and allows us to spend good quality time with our family & friends.

Indeed, Canberra is like a klepon where one has to taste it wholly in order to love it. I couldn't agree more with her :).

So I'm not complaining about Canberra, the only thing that I complaint about is the cold weather during Winter. I was born and grew up in a tropical country so the -3 degrees Celcius during Winter is an absolute torture for me, but I started to handle it better than the first time I got here. The key is to keep myself warm, stay in a warm place like my apartment and rugged up when I'm going outside and I'm good.

I have been living in Canberra for 16 months in August 2010 and we have to move again to Pohnpei.

Where the hell is Pohnpei?
Pohnpei "upon (pohn) a stone altar (pei)" (formerly known as Ponape) is the name of one of the four states in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), situated among the Senyavin Islands which are part of the larger Caroline Islands group. You can read more about it here and here.

So moving from Jakarta (Jabodetabek) with population of over 23 million to Canberra with population of 351,200 as at the end of June 2009 was surely create a culture shock for me. And I'm going to move to Pohnpei with the population approximately 34,000 well hellooo... no doubt that there will be another huge culture shock.

But I'm not going to complaint and bitching about it (hopefully I can keep this promise for 2 years while we live there), because: 1) I also responsible with the decision to tick the place and put it on the list of 10 places that he can apply for, 2) I choose to be with him, which his work requires him to move country every 2 years of less and back to Canberra after that, 3) I want to challenge myself out of my comfort zone.

The attitude that I will carry is I am going to make the best of it. The Belgian diplomat I met on Saturday inspired me that attitude. She has been living far from home for years and sometimes she has to live at places that comparatively bellow standard in compare to Belgium, but she always make the best of it.

I like that positive attitude. The key is don't compare to my comfort zone and acceptance. If I keep comparing then I will be bitching about it no doubt and it will be never ending complaint.

Here is a glimpse of what I will be facing in Pohnpei:

The view

One of not many clothes shops in the island

One of the lunch spot with good view

The breathtaking sunset

One of the wet markets where we can buy fresh fish

I'm praying there will be decent beauty salon there :)

Pohnpei photos taken by Peng Wee Tan, sunset photo found on internet.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Autumn, Canberra at its best

I know that I have been slacked updating my blog, lack of idea and time to write are to blame on my slack :D.

Anyhow, here are some photos around Canberra.

Lake Burley Griffin

Weston Park, Yarralumla

Lake Burley Griffin

Lennox Garden, Yarralumla

Weston Park, Yarralumla

Commonwealth Bridge, Lake Burley Griffin

Lennox Garden, lake Burley Griffin

Lennox Garden, Yarralumla