A Trip Home
It’s been some time since I last post here. Well, I was actually overseas for several weeks and had been back in Melbourne for few weeks as well. I’ve been looking for a job as well, and so far I only landed being a part-time employee in Swinburne University (which is great, in my opinion).
So today’s post is only a catch-up post on what’s been happening to me in the last few months. Obviously, I graduated at the end of 2010, and since I love living in Australia, the next logical step to do is to apply for permanent residency. For those who don’t know (or don’t even bother about it, or even didn’t know that it exist), it is a very time consuming (and money consuming, ya know, since time is money) process. There are a lot of legal documents to submit, and of course administration fees in the process. And they still could reject your residency if you were seen as unsuitable.
One of the legal documents that I need to submit, is a police clearance statement from every country that I’ve been living in the last 10 years. Obviously, my home country Indonesia is one of those countries. A little background to Indonesian bureaucracy culture, when there’s money there’s a way. Therefore I had two choices, to go the unofficial way by trying to arrange for my Indonesian police clearance to be sent here. Or I could go the official way by going back to Indonesia and take care of it. It’s a no brainer, really. I’m living at another country, and the last you would want is not to abide the law.
At any rate, my family also wanted me to go back, so there I was, going back to Indonesia. Although I won’t comment on the police clearance, there are a lot of things that I’ve gained during my short trip in Indonesia. So this is my trip home, back to my home country, my home town, and to some extent, my ancestor’s home in China (I’m a third-generation Chinese Indonesian).
My family planned a family holiday to Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macau. Of course for me, I’ve never set foot outside Indonesia, Singapore, Penang (Malaysia) and Australia, and it would be great! I really wanted to see what’s happening in China, and see things for myself, since it was always my girlfriend who told me how things are going there.
So we went to Hong Kong for our first stop. If I could explain it, Hong Kong is a metropolitan city, much like Sydney, but it’s busier, more crowded, noisier, and of course, dirtier. I’m not saying that their air quality is bad, it’s still superior compared to Indonesia. But the streets are dirty, and well, in some places you could smell foul stench as well.
We didn’t get the chance to go to Disneyland Hong Kong, but we did go to Madame Tussaud’s Museum. Madame Tussaud’s Museum is a museum dedicated for wax figurines of many (and when I say many, there are LOTS) of public figures, both from eastern and western world. From Lady GaGa (yes, she’s there as well) to Ayumi Hamasaki, from Obama to Jackie Chan, they’re all there (at least their wax figurine are). I didn’t take a lot of pictures though, since my sister did almost all the photo-taking.
Wax figurine of Yao Ming, the tallest Chinese basketball athlete
at more than 2 metres height
Guess who? It’s William Shakespeare
The next destination was Shenzhen. Now a bit of geography, Shenzhen is located in southern China mainland, therefore it was not that cold when I got there (it was winter in the northern hemisphere). However, we went to a place called OCT East resort. It is a resort built on top of hills, with overall area of 9 kilometres. Yep, 9 kilometres of fun. And I have to tell you, it IS a beautiful and soothing place. I did take a lot of picture here because I like the scenery and the soothing nature of the place.
Believe it or not, this is already on top of a hill
This is the largest pumpkin in the world, weighing roughly 250kg
Unlike most resorts though, OCT is divided into several sections. From the two pictures above, it was the main entrance hill section, and the botanical gardens. There are also other sections themed individually such as wetlands, where you can see tropical fish, Christmas town, where everything is covered by (fake) snow, and some others. There’s even a fantasy-themed town, making you feel like you’re in Traverse Town or something.
The aforementioned fantasy-themed town, called Interlaken
On the back is the Interlaken Hotel, which will cost you
like probably HK$10,000 per night (unconfirmed)
To tell the truth, there’s so much you can do in only ONE day exploring OCT. In the end we didn’t get to explore all the three mountains (yes, it spanned across 9 km on top of hills, what do you expect?), but I can guarantee you that, should you have the chance to go to Shenzhen, by all means you have to drop by to OCT East. You won’t regret it.
Our next destination was Macau. For those of you who never heard of Macau, let me put it in a simple way: it’s the Las Vegas of the Asian world. People would come to Macau solely for gambling (not me and my family, though), and there are several big casinos in here like the MGM Grand, the Sands, and some other casino franchises. The biggest one is, the Venetian. Boasting more than 3000 rooms (at least that was what the tour guide said), this sort of mega-casino-mall-hotel combination is the main attraction in Macau. And their interior is designed like Venice, complete with the canal and waterways!
Attention: this is NOT Venice, this is the Venetian in Macau
The interior is decorated even with faux sky
Overall, I really enjoyed my trip home. It was pleasurable, enjoyable, and although I did get some rashes on my scalp (my girlfriend said China’s water is not that clean, so yeah), it was amazing. But my trip did not end there, for sure. I still had some time in Indonesia before I went back to Melbourne. However, considering this post is quite long now, I think I’ll have to postpone it, until the next post…!