Thursday, 18 November 2010

The new house

The downside of moving house from one country to another - you realise what is unusual about where you are living and you go on a shopping spree in order to purchase all those cool things that are cheaper here. Why didn't I buy half this stuff years ago?
The packers come on Wednesday. I am going to Bandung tommorrow - (factory outlet clothes shopping) - Yes Jen - I just might see a Herme's bag for you (do you realise one of my bags has a certificate of authenticity - I found it the other day when I was putting it back in it's cover?). Saturday will be spent trying to get all the last minute stuff organised (still waiting for 2 chests of drawers, some metallic prints and some frames).
On Saturday I am also going to go to my favourite shop - Massimo Dutti (Italian), where I can pick up some fashionable winter clothing (think Munch wasn't born last time I bought winter clothes (other than ski clothes). My sister in law has convinced me that Australia is over the top expensive and although there isn't a sale, the prices there are reasonable in comparison (I usually wait for the sale so this green light is a welcome).
This is a room divider - yes, I haven't bothered to untie it. First saw it at least 2 years ago...... bring some metallic energy into our new home (that is vey water and fire).
Got a waterproof cover made up for our new day bed .....

I love the colours. It fits both J and I. Could have used it at least 3 years ago. It's over 2m long and 1m wide. Very comfortable place to lie when kids are in the pool (ok - I've never done that - but I will when it's not 100% humidity okay).

Got some waterproof covers for our rattan outdoor lounge. When we get a new puppy it will hopefully save the lounge from being eaten when teething hits (I said hopefully).

Clock from Ho Chi Minh (that's why it's US Navy) - sorry J - haven't taken it to Roberts yet for the wooden back plate - hopefully will do that on Saturday.

Picked up this clock from Bogor today - what the relationship is to England I don't know. Got it at an antique/light shop today on the side of the road when I was a little sick of my kids whining over who's turn it was on the stupid ipad (what's that - it's my own fault for allowing it - well when traffic varies from 1 - 4 hours and the car with the dvd player is taken off you because your husband has left the company/country -well a bit of backup entertainment never hurt).
I picked up the new curtains today for the house in NSW. J saw it in person the other day and it has the verdict of "all ok". I would have liked a little bit more enthusiasm since we are still to see this house in person and we take ownership of it in less than 2 weeks. Hopefully I haven't mucked up too badly with the curtains - but comes into the "too many choices, I hate being in shops where people are smoking" category.

My big girl is becoming a girly girl all over again. You will notice some beading lying over it. It's to drape along the top, Munch has some beading that is green and pink. Why - I don't know. Just felt like it (I went back a second time for the beading/cushions).

C girl's room is the current spare bedroom (so boring) - so we don't have a feature wall to begin with. Will work out when we get there what colour this room will become. Something with a bit of personality. Feature wall behind where the bed is in this photo - am thinking either bright purple or pink.
These orange curtains will make Munches bedroom - along with either lime green or light blue walls (leaving the feature wall pink obviously).

It has a little personality already - but I can't live with carpet/walls blending into each other.
These curtains will liven up Bear's bedroom - not great I know, but there was nothing really boyish and as I said - I was over it all by then.

We haven't decided on the other walls yet - lime green, yellow or orange for the currently "brown" walls in Bear's bedroom.

These curtains will liven up our dull bedroom. I think the walls are a similar colour to the cushion in the above photo (the downside to never having seen the house in person).
Our furniture is much browner than the current owners - so it needs a bit of brightening. Not too worried about the colour matching ultra close - the curtains aren't really going to be against the wall. If the one in the far corner is, then we will draw it the other way. No big deal. This is a room I won't paint before the furniture arrives. I've never had a room that wasn't blue before. it's going to be a bit weird.
Either way, it's going to be a much brighter house just with us moving in.
But I have packed 5 old workshirts of J in the airfreight - that way we can use the time the house is empty to paint all the kids bedrooms - at the very least (maybe the rumpus room too).
Can't wait to get to this new house and more importantly - see a fully stocked western supermarket - you thought I was going to say something about missing my husband and father of my children didn't you? It's okay -we have max J headroom - you know, the video linked smiling head of their father via gmail chat. The only downside is the four hour time difference.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

What's to miss????

So, we have less than 5 weeks to go. J left 2 weeks ago, the house will be packed up in less than 2 weeks.
It is all coming to an end. We will miss somethings - we will grateful to leave others.
But the experiences we will miss the most (not in order (except the first) ) ....

Really great friends ......

Being able to take a photo like this, which was taken in a normal department store (by one of the people working there ) .....

When your kids are part of a great team (which is part of school) - even when the colour of your football team is what is used to describe you for the next year (yes, red is best).......

When a night out leads to a nightclub at 3am - and you are over 35 ......
When a weekend away with a view of an active volcano is commonplace....

When the resources of your amazing school seems perfectly normal (can't say I haven't always been acutely aware of how lucky my kids are (or us for their behalf)).......

When this is a perfectly normal set up to have in your house for a 5th birthday party ....

When this is a normal hallway (after now buying a house in Aus we realise that not all hallways are 3m wide - but they should be).....

When a holiday to another country is no big deal (Langkawi - Malaysia - Bear's 8th birthday) ....

When your child goes near an active volcano on a camp and it doesn't even get mentioned until you see the photos.....

When this is just another normal night out with ANZA (I would hate to imagine Jakarta without ANZA - you need to be with other people from your own culture at least once a month - it's good therapy)......

Where great friendships are made and exciting adventures are undertaken (Sentosa - Singapore - long weekend in May 2009).....

When a visit to the zoo makes the kids beg to never return - and a photo is sent to an animal rescue program (ok - won't miss the zoo - but still miss these kids)......

When this becomes an acceptable toilet (Barito river - Borneo 2010).
We are still awaiting Mt Merapi to give a big blast - Australia is not reporting anything and the only world media covered was while Obama was coming/here/just leaving. Guess 300,000 people displaced is not really a big news item.
Mr Obama - I would have voted for you if I could have and I love that you are doing your bit to save the world without a care of being voted in for a second term. But your visit to Jakarta caused my normal Wed morning trip to work to be extended from 40 minutes to just over 2 hours - and the last 15 minutes was spent walking 300 m (otherwise it would have been another 1/2 hour) - where I counted 63 motorbikes coming towards me on the footpath (yes - very lucky all were coming towards me and none were coming from behind). Unfortunately I felt it my obligation to pass on my english language - where I had to yell / gesture wildly along the lines of - "this is a footpath - get off you "@****#&LF." Definitely a fine example of showing restraint - you have no idea how much you want to not TRY to push a motorbike rider over. Such satisfaction will never be achieved - but I am sure it would be VERY satisfying.
Don't judge unless you have experienced it - and if you do experience it and don't get fustrated - what is your secret.

Won't be missing the traffic. Still got another 33 days. 10 days of going to work.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

India, Vietnam and Life in Indonesia

The last two months have been very busy. I spent nights in India with my sister in law on a really lovely holiday exploring Delhi and Agra. We travelled by car between the two - and unlike what I thought before going - life in India is not 100% worse than life in Indonesia (for the poor people I am talking). Even the road from Delhi to Agra (4 hour drive = 200km) was not much different than driving around Indonesia (in fact in a lot of places it was a lot better).

So India was a pleasant surprise - yes it helped that we stayed in incredibly fantastic accomodation where everyone spoke very good english and all modern conveniences were there - but we ate locally and managed to not get delhi belly - so all was good.

I know we don't look that happy in this photo - but this was just after we entered - and there were actually tears in our eyes - not just from fighting off other tourists from this spot - but from finally seeing this amazing - muslim, hindu combined burial plot - a place that is so not over rated - it is breathtaking a true engineering masterpiece - so symetrical and clever.

After taking the tour with our guide - we spent an hour just people watching - oh, so much fun.

In September we went to Vietnam - only Ho Chi Minh City (Siagon) and the mekong delta. It was a brilliant holiday. Direct flight from Jakarta and our first flight on Air Asia - really great airlines - mostly on time, clean and easy (you can book and pay online - unlike some others in Indo).

We had a fantastic Tour guide - Sonny - a lovely 25 year old who knows her way around and organised everything. We don't usually do that - but we only had 3 days of tour guide stuff (C girl was going for a sleepover with a friend (the reason we picked Siagon instead of Hanoi) and so we had to squeeze everything in.

We went to the Chi Chi tunnels and the war museum during one of the days. It was a very different experience for the kids to be from the country of the enemy. What I had always heard as the Vietnam war is known there as the American War. The weapons that they made (from used US ammunition) to maime soldiers was amazing and unbelievably imaginative- the tunnels they lived in were fascinating, how they lived there without being spotted etc - we went through a slightly larger tunnel - C girl lasted 10m - then she was screaming hysterically - they did used to put pits in these tunnels with trap doors (and she'd just seen all the types of traps they used to maime - as it was pointed out - to kill a soldier only stops one soldier, injure a soldier and you tie up two soldiers).

Yes it was traumatic - but kids need to see what people are capable of and what war is about (which is why they have been to Dachau concentration camp in Germany 2 1/2 years ago). These are the places they shouldn't forget.

This is the little boat we toured the mekong delta on. Yes, it wasn't a bad way to travel. The kids don't believe me now when I tell them I travel in a dodgy boat for 2 hours up the Barito river with work - they think I mean a boat like this - I wish.

J left last weekend for Australia and started his new job on Monday - which thankfully he likes. We leave in just under 6 weeks (last day of school semester).
C girl has just finished a weekend in Phuket at a football tournament (where they came second) - last night we heard that the flights into Jakarta had been cancelled due to the Merapi volcano ash - just waiting now to find out if they are flying again. She left on Thursday - but she might not be back today after all. She is with teachers from school so they will be well looked after - even if it's in Kaula Lumpur for a few days (This is where Phuket flight goes to before flying to Jakarta - there is a great adventure park there with amazing rides, pools and slides). This is the first sports trip I've missed, but I'm the coach of Bear and Munch's team and we had a football tournament here yesterday (5 games - and we won overall), so I couldn't take them away from that to go to Phuket - plus I couldn't not be there for my team etc. Big decision - but if I was away now and couldn't get back - I'd be freaking out for the two younger ones (plus I've got to go away with work on Tuesday and how unfair would that be on those two???).

Anyway - we are on the countdown now to pack up and leave. Got a list of jobs I still need to do before they pack up the house in 2 1/2 weeks. Trying not to freak out.

J saw our house in person on Friday - he says it's "all ok". What a Man comment. The only extra I got was - 4 walls, a roof, some windows and a few doors.

Just missing the vital ingrediants to make it a happy home - US!