Category Archives: travel

pantai kuta

i wish i was here right now.

[dont you reckon its really annoying when people try to show just how ‘international’ they are by throwing uncommon foreign words into sentences, especially in titles]

[btw paintai = beach in indonesian]


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vacation reading recommendations

having recently returned from a couple of months hanging about in warm places, ive had the good fortune to read some stuff that i would not be caught dead being seen with in melbourne. 

[when you work at a public library, your borrowings are everybody’s business and everyone has the right to comment on them. like the time a while back i did some testing of the library management system book requests function and requested for myself a whole lot of self improvement books to see if they would be delivered to me.  the books were delivered to my office, several of them accompanied by notes from staff commenting on my choices…]

for the purposes of being a good librarian and being able to recommend new titles or genres to you, i have the following comments for these classic vacation authors that you could possibly never read because your reading tastes are too ‘highbrow’ for the likes of them:

jackie collins: the queen of chick lit.  over the top stuff that we love to read about such as shopping for diamond earrings and driving bmws and dating movie stars/gangsters who kill prostitutes for fun.  all the characters are totally unrealistic, but why on earth would you want to read anything in this genre about normal people anyway. you are on vacation to escape from your normal mundane life.

danielle steel: you dont need to study history if you read a couple of ds novels set across various world wars/national conflicts.  seriously, i think i know everything there  is to know about the russian revolution and the great depression now.

tom  clancy: just. dont. go. there.

james clavell: shogun, tai-pan, gai-jin, king rat…  orientalist sagas where the chicks are hot asian babes for western military men to rescue from their oppressive lives as prostitutes/concubines.  read in conjunction with danielle steel you get the his and hers versions of history.

of course there are many more, but these are the ones that i had the opportunity to read.

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rafflesia flower







the rafflesia flower is the largest flower in the world, found only in sumatra borneo and the philippines.  the bud [see right of image] takes 9 months to open, and then after 7 days it begins to rot.

apparently humans are not meant to touch the buds before they have opened, because the body chemicals react with the plant and destroy the bud .

i only wish that the park ranger had told me this BEFORE I went into the rainforest to check the flowers out.  i now have a guilty feeling that i touched some of the buds that the rangers had been carefully cultivating over the past 9 months.

so this post is the confession that i would make if i believed in a god that required me to make them. i really dont wish to go to hell for destroying a whole year’s worth of rafflesia flowers. i need forgiveness so i can move on with my life, never knowing the fate of those buds that i left behind in that national park.

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nagambie is a country town in the goulburn valley. it is famous for fruit and also for a lake by the side of the highway. 

one of the joys of my job is getting to travel to different parts of victoria to attend meetings at different library services. it was nagambie library this week to discuss our library computer system.

it’s not a joy, though, when you get TWO SPEEDING FINES IN THE  SPACE OF FIVE MINUTES travelling back to melbourne down an unfamiliar freeway ( i was going about 120 in a 110 zone im certainly not a speed freak).

in retrospect the signs were all there but i didnt notice them.  nagambie library was closing at 1pm and as the doors were being locked some weird guy wandered in, not to borrow anything but to tell the staff that he had spotted a speed camera on the road nearby. we thought he was a local freak. 

if only i had taken more notice of his words.

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the bride wore hot pink

hardly the bogan wedding that i was expecting, all of the guests ended up travelling to donnybrook from melbourne or the uk anyway.

had never been to donnybrook before, and i dont think i ever will again. not sure what one does when they go on vaction to places down that way. apple picking??

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i visited tibet less than two years ago. despite the growing dominance of the han chinese community, the tibetans still lived relatively peacefully, albeit as the poor cousins.

right now the capital lhasa and other towns in tibet are in lockdown as riots between ethnic tibetans and chinese occur.  apparently no foreigners especially journalists are being let in and tourists are being told to leave.

i dont admit to knowing much about human rights in china, however, from my own eyes,  the way that tibetans have been treated is not right.

more information

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the dirty mile


Come on a walk through Fitzroy’s Indigenous history to experience Indigenous peoples’ strong and continuing historical, cultural and emotional connection to this place – from its Woiwurrung beginnings right up to the here and now. Follow Doug Nicholls to footy training; listen to his sermon; meet our Returned Soldiers, our female WW2 Munitions Workers, Atherton Estate locals before the High-rise, our sporting heroes – the Indigenous Fitzroy residents – in the pubs, organisations, churches and back lanes.

i saw this ilbijerri theatre company performance the other day with some library staff. im fortunate to live and work in such culturally diverse* community, with history on every street and corner.

since the performance is in a public space (ie down gertrude street and on corners outside pubs) you get members of the public – and their pets – wandering through the scenes. and this just adds to the entertainment. a regular library patron wandered past and his dog got lost in the audience. after a few c words directed towards us the dog was retrieved and we all moved along.

as a point of interest the token white guy in the performance is the long standing policeman in Neighbours. I knew I had seen him on some tv show.

*though the latest stats show a strong community trend for a reduced migrant population and more high income earners – the only reason I know all of this as I have been reading ‘library trends’ documents all week for our strategic plan.

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