Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Remember a few weeks ago I posted a picture of cockatoo on a pine tree in Australia?

This is the Indonesian version.

Being caged.

This cockatoo, though, can say "Kakak.. Kakaktua" (kakaktua is the indonesian word for cockatoo). He displayed his feathers when he saw me taking picture of him.

I feel sorry for him. Though perhaps he will make an interesting evolutionary branch compared to his Australians brothers.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Take down Obama statue!

So here it is, the Obama statue! It is a bronze coloured statue of Obama as a child with a medal on his neck and butterfly on one hand, erected at Taman Menteng (Menteng Park), Jakarta, Indonesia.

The statue has lately taken on the hype ever since a facebook group "TURUNKAN PATUNG BARACK OBAMA di TAMAN MENTENG" (take down Barack Obama statue in Menteng Park) was created.

Personally? I wasn't as much interested to see the statue. However because of the hype, I think it has created more interest and expose which has made it more famous than it probably were meant to.

So my family helped me to locate the statue for the day because I want to take a picture of it before it has to be taken down.

It is indeed rather strange that we were so happy about Obama just because he has spent some years when he was a kid in Indonesia. We were almost proud of it, while he, himself, probably never really have a strong attachment nor memories of his time here. I like what was written in the introduction of the facebook group:

"Kami tidak membenci Amerika atau Obama, meskipun juga tidak mengidolakan Obama atau mencintai Amerika. Kami sekedar ingin menegakkan kepala sebagai bangsa yang berdaulat sepenuhnya dan menghargai para pahlawan yg berjuang demi bangsa Indonesia...."

"We do not hate America or Obama, but also do not idolize Obama nor love America. We just want to held our heads high as a fully independent nation and appreciate the heroes that has fought for Indonesian"

On the other hand, it is just an art. Perhaps an art that would be better placed at his former primary school though (my dad said that the school even can get more funding by charging tickets to see the statue to tourists). Another friend said that there are much better things to protest about like the flood in Jakarta. While my mum said that perhaps rather than taking down the statue, it is better to erect more statues of world and local leaders in that park.

I'm happy with whatever going to happen. Perhaps the best thing is to take it down honourably (not being molested.. don't want to molest a kid, right?) and relocated somewhere else, perhaps inside the his school. That way perhaps this picture will worth more when no one else in the future can take similar ones!

So there, that's our views of it. To make it complete, my dad posed in this last picture. He tried to take it down. Very appropriate dad!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The encounter with the huge rabbit

Sitting in the back of a car can be quite boring, especially in Jakarta, raining, with the traffic crawling solid (padat merayap.. hehe). But not anymore when I spotted this huge orange thing in my view finder.

It's a huge rabbit! Famous Sanrio rabbit "My Melody" from the time when I was a still kid. They were selling this on the street on Jakarta streets. Inflatable rabbit made my day. Soon, creativity flows.

And I am back happy again trying weird stuff including panning inside the car with this motorbike :D

Wedding cakes

Thinking of getting married? Perhaps if you haven't got your groom you can entertain yourself in shopping for the perfect wedding cake! The cake, which used to be overlooked by many wedding couples in the past, now has become the centre piece of the wedding.

I walked around Mangga Dua plaza and stumbled upon this Harum Sari cake shop. Specializing in cake decorations.

Yes it is that high and no, it's not real! Unlike in the olden time where the cake is all real here they only serves as a 'decoration' with the actual cake already cut and prepared, behind the curtain, or sometimes only occupies the last 3 layers on the top, while the rest are just structured foam covered by icings.

5 layer costs about 150 dollars.

No doubt the decorations are very nice, with equally nice shades of green, maroon or the colour of your choice. I tasted the samples of the cake, and it was very delicious. I personaly love this maroon coloured one.

I do wonder though of what is the purpose of it all. I think it is breathtaking when the cake is real, but when you know it isn't real, and all you need is just some money to buy it... for me, somehow it takes a lot of the magical feeling out of it. What do you think?

Seafood Christmas

Firstly, Merry Christmas everyone!
So while you are celebrating your christmas with your family under the tree, opening presents,
I took a 7 hours flight to Indonesia!

Obviously besides visiting my family, food is the other motivation.

Surely enough, my parents took me to a seafood restaurant called Sampan.

We had a very yummy crab with salted eggs (as pictured). This is my first time of eating this style of crab cooking. Normally I'd go with black bean or smoked. But it was a very good choice indeed. No regrets there, the crabs were very tasty and filling.

We also ordered fried butter prawn. Two small crabs, prawns, grilled fish and drinks, all for about 15AUD! Now isn't that a perfect way to spend christmas?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Cakes, anyone?

December week 3 christmas challenge is Christmas Food, constraints: photo must be unadultered (ie. straight jpg and no tweaks whatsoever). Food should also be self made if possible. I think I failed for this week challenge because I haven't cooked anything yet, christmas or not christmas food, during the last week!

Ok, fine I thought I'd take some pictures of nice christmas cake I found on the shop. But then I forgot to change the setting from RAW to JPG! Grrrrr! Anyway, here are some that I took. The first one is RAW but without any other change besides adding borders and signature.

This second one was taken at a cupcake shop in Sydney city. I brightened the exposure a bit. I think my Canon 30D does have a slight darker metering in most cases.

Third picture, from the same shop. Aren't these cute? It cost 3.50 each. Quite cheap, but no nutritional content is guaranteed.

Crazy Wings!

A sign of a good asian restaurant is if they're full packed of asian.

And this restaurant was! Located in chinatown Sydney, Crazy Wings really were jam packed last Sunday. With asians!

So my friend and I took the pain and waited for available table. It was worth it!
We ordered some honey chicken wings, chili wings some chili spiced lamb, and a honey bread.

The chili wings were too spicy for me but I looooooove the honey chicken wings. I didn't know wings can be so tasty!

The bread turned out to be just a toast of 1.50AUD. It was nice, but I think I can make it my own.

And here he is, my friend. A long time friend since primary school back in Jakarta. Finally after all these years we had the time to catch up.

View Sydney in a larger map

Sunday, December 20, 2009

More Christmas stories

Going home from Carols at the Domain, me and my friend went through the city and capture the christmas projection lights on the town hall building.

There were twelve kinds of display for the twelve days of christmas.  A lot of people were taking pictures. We decided to go back home soon and went to the Town Hall station just in front of it, but then there were fire alarms ringing in the station! People were evacuated outside, and the station was closed.
Soon enough, some fire brigade came along to the scene. I still don't know what happened then.
We were forced to wait but luckily while waiting we noticed this cool car with christmas light.
It really is fun to see the spirit of celebration!

Christmas at the Domain

I have never seen so many people in one place with Santa's hat before. Domain (Sydney, NSW) was packed last Saturday during the christmas carol celebration.

Food stalls were expensive as usual, but it didn't stop people from coming and spending the day with the family on the grass.

Using my big 70-200mm lens, I excuse myself to walk on the isles of the sea of picnic rugs to get closer to the stage and take a few snapshot.

I like this photo. I think the telstra red candle light holder does give a nice ambiance to the celebration. The kid is adorable!

Asian couple looking romantic. I think they know their picture was taken. Hard to take candid metal protruding 30 cm out from your face!

The music and the dancing gets even better when The Wiggles came on stage! Ah yes, they are Macquarie University graduates.

Finally, I will leave you with this artsy photo. Taken with longish exposures and moving the camera randomly. Kinda cool, I like it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Early xmas gift

Today santa came at about 10.30 am in the morning. Mispronouncing my name as Ching Chong Ung, he gave me my 3 plastic bag of christmas gift because I have been a nice girl this year. Really!

And this is what I got.. 10 original flavoured Mi Goreng, 5 Satay Mi Goreng, 2 Aeroplane jelly, 2 packs of Dark Tim Tam, 2 Toblerone, 2 Continental Chinese chicken and corn soup and 1 big jar of Nutella!

Just what I need. Thank you Santa, and Merci to the Canadian Supersanta ;)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas decorations with 70mm

The 2nd week of December challenge was Christmas decorations with a 70mm lens. This first picture was taken in a dollar shop in Burwood shopping centre, NSW.  My model of the day helped me to arrange the stuff in style. It has red,green white and gold. But in the end I decided to make the photo sephia coloured,  to hide all the stuff in the background that was to distracting. All well, except then my friend Agman said that what would be the challenge if it is arrange? Well well.

So here is the 2nd picture, my 2nd entry 'without arrangement!'  It is taken from the window of a jewelry stall, also in Burwood. I turned the temperature a bit to give a more bluish colour.

What do you think? Which do you prefer?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Smart, dude!

Spotted in Circular Quay, Friday Dec 11, 2009, a pink shirt guy trying to break in to a police car while his friends are having a gathering at across the street. Why?  That's what I want to know.

Well he succeed. Succeed to get arrested soon by the police. Heck the police quarters was about 7 meters away from the parked car.

Smart, dude. Real smart!

Christmas tree with 50mm?

So after spending last Christmas in a country that doesn't celebrate it even as a public holiday, this Christmas is a welcomed change.

As as result of discussion with several photographer friends, we decided that it would be cool to have weekly photo challenges starting December. The first week in December was Christmas Tree. The challenge? getting a picture of one with 50mm lens. Pictured here was my entry for the pool.

Now considering we all each has a cropped body camera, 50 mm translates to 75mm full frame. Did you see the difficulty yet?

First, finding a Christmas tree. Too small, and the decorations won't be as nice, medium sized tree will only give you the very top end of the tree. Big trees? you need to find a public one and get really far, and therefore might have obstacles people walking in between your lens and the tree.

After going around the city and several shopping malls. The one I choose was from Martin's Place, Sydney. It's a big 21m tall tree with 1.5m southern star at the top. As you can see i only got about 1/4 of the tree there. It helps that there is a city hall (?) clock nearby it.

Obviously I prefer getting the shot with a wide angle lens. Like this.

The silent problem

Yes, the last Dark Chocolate Tim Tam

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shoe talk

Speaking of shoes, this is the one tango shoes that I designed and custom made for me from Argentina. This was perhaps 4 years ago, when there aren't so many option of tango shoes, especially here in Australia.

There weren't any white shoes then.
Also sandal type were just beginning to be more popular. What I've got here is the old tango shoe style, closed toe with criss-cross strap.

It's all fine, except that they got my size wrong! The most fundamental information. Goodness! I ended up selling this for about $90 CAD, which isn't too bad.

These days tango shoes are worth over 200$
Maybe it is a good investment just to buy some and store it, and then selling it later. That's an idea!

Baby Shower

Last week (or was it the week before?) my housemate held a baby shower party. She is expecting a baby boy by end of December! Exciting!

So I hop along in the social fun games. She came up with loads of entertaining games and the international mix of friends were very supportive.

One of the games is tying shoe laces with blue balloon underneath our shirt as a pretend belly (1st picture here). It turns out to be not as easy! Lesson learned: wear lace-less shoes during pregnancy!

Another the game of guessing the perimeter of the belly with toilet papers. Each guest have to guess how many squares, and in the end we tried it on her belly. I over-guessed by 5 squares!

Then the classic put the pacifier on baby mouth blind folded, followed by Pictionary! The hardest game was about guessing popular songs played in baby lullaby style with xylophone. You'd never guessed some are songs by Cure.

It really was a fun afternoon, Thank you Agny & Koko! We are looking forward to a healthy baby boy soon!

The rest of the pictures are available here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Australian wildlife

Going to fetch the newspaper today, I went and saw these lovely creatures greeted me along the way.

You only see this in Australia. In where I came from: Indonesia, free flying birds? Not a chance. Only those brown little church bird (burung gereja).

Roses in Indonesia? Not only that the climate is wrong, but any flower too pretty will soon be snipped away, way before it gets to full bloom. I remember my dad used to shoo away little kids who climb our guava trees on the yard.

This little cockatoo was busy eating fruits from the a fragrant pine tree. The amazing thing is that these guys live freely. You won't find these in Indonesia for sure! They will be captured, caged and sold. Their diet changed, from pine trees to banana and sweet condensed milk. They will be given chili so that their voice sounds like Krisdayanti, or their tongue scraped by a ring (it works and affect the voice they say). They will be taught not only "hello" but various swear words and soon conditioned to dancing if they hear Michael Jackson's thriller.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My latest sin

Ah yes, if diamonds are girls best friend, heels are our support!

For a girl who doesn't normally wear high heel on normal days, heels are luxurius items. I pulled the plug to get my first Comme il Faut. These shoes are really hard to get outside Argentina.

They are made to dance tango with, but I believe you can also wear them on the street. I've only tried once, not with this one, but the result is dents on the leather sole. So I think I will stick with wearing them on the dance floor or perhaps cocktail party indoor at most.

I wasn't big on animal prints, but hey, with the shiny heels, they look stunning and different from the normal street heels.

I soon will be posting some of my old sins too.

Cake, coffee and an old friend

An old friend came to stay over the night with me last weekend. It was great to catch up with her again. And since I don't really cook breakfast, we decided to go to Gloria Jean's near Epping Station for a bit of a bite.

I had ricotta cheese cake with a bit of choc on top, while my friend Cenly had her choc muffin.
I realized that nothing beats cakes, coffee and a good friend.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ja Jang Myon anyone?

This chinese derived korean black bean noodle jajangmyon looks ugly, but is absolutely delicious!
I first heard about it from the korean drama series Couple or Trouble (환상의 커플 "Hwansangui keopeul"), where the girl always eats jajangmyon. Curious on how it tastes, i bought a couple of instant one few months earlier. I didn't like it much. However when I taste the one made in Arisun restaurant, Strathfield. I love it!

My friends and I ordered salt and peopper chicken to go along with it. And it is such a perfect combination. YUM! Pictures speak a thousand words

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Outdoor Bondi Beach Milonga

Good tango music, dance, and the beach is an absolute winning combination. Held outside the Bondi Beach Pavillion, this milonga provides the opportunity for Sophia and Pedro Alvarez from Patio de Tango to introduce tango dance to the public. And of course for us, dancers, to show our skillz of giros, enrosques, and boleos.

It was especially good to see the dance in a totally different background: the beach!

It was great for me, because I do not need to worry about shutter speed and aperture to give enough light for the photos. On the other hand, having a big metal thing stuck in front of your face doesn't encourage guys to ask me to dance! I got a good tanda. I was happy.

I had the enjoyment of being their Sophia and Pedro's level 4 student since I came to Sydney. I've been trying to catch Sophia in one of my pic, because she said she haven't had a really good picture of her doing Tango. It's not easy! She moves fast!

Lastly I think I will leave you with a slightly different photo style. The original (and the rest of other pictures) are in my picasa album here What do you think?
Related Posts with Thumbnails
ss_blog_claim=68529a9c63b9aa5aa8d9b7c74f046429 ss_blog_claim=68529a9c63b9aa5aa8d9b7c74f046429