25 April 2009

Anzac Day

Many argue that the Gallipoli campaign was where Australia forged it's identity as a nation, and I would tend to agree. However, this leads to the quintessential question for most Australians; What makes us Australian and how do we become Australian?

Anzac Day has always had a special place for me since I was a youngster. Yet, it has taken on more significance I think since my younger brother, Brad, joined the Australian Navy. We owe a great debt of gratitude to those who dedicate themselves to the service and protection of others.

I am as anti-war as can be. I do not believe in war, I do not see it as a means to resolving conflicts, and I specially do not see it as a means of achieving lasting peace. Nevertheless, there are those who dedicate themselves to ensuring that conflict and war is a part of our existence and until the forces of good overcome those dedicated to the perpetuation of evil then this will surely be our lot. Yet, I digress from the point.

Anzac Day has taken on much greater significance for many Australians and the fact that we trek across many continents in our thousands to get to Gallipoli and places on the Western Front such as Fromelles, Pozieres, Bullecourt, Dernancourt, and Villers-Bretonneux to name but a few is testament to the increased awareness that we have as a nation of the sacrifices of our fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers, and our mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers too.

This post is not intended to be a history lesson. If you want that there are plenty of good sites you can check out for yourselves. I found one here, but a simple Google search with the terms Anzac Day history will get you about 1.4 million hits.

The Ode of Remembrance from the poem "For the Fallen by English Poet Laurence Binyon best says what must be remembered:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

It is the young men and women who sacrificed so much, including their lives, so that the rest of us could live in relative peace.

The photo of Anzac Cove is courtesy of this site and can be found there.

Coogee Beach

My apologies for not taking the camera however the plan really was only to go to the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia at Maroubra. Nevertheless, after what was a longer than necessary process at the Consulate albeit painless this lengthy process meant that it was close to lunch time and warranted a detour.

So, from the Consulate we continued up and along Maroubra Road and ultimately arrived at Coogee. Dyah wanted some fish and chips and we found a little joint that seemed to sell such fare. We opted for the Barramundi and chips for AUD 9.00 and then crossed the road and ate in the park in front of Coogee Beach. It is autumn and the temperature is noticeably cooler. However, this doesn't seem to stop people getting into the swimmers and going for a dip or just doing some sunbathing to pass the time.

Eating in a park close to the beach always attracts the birds. The birds in this case are seagulls and pigeons. Be warned that if you feed the birds this only brings more birds.

It is school holidays in this part of the world so there were lots of kids and their parents around. It also seemed as though there were plenty of people taking flexi-days or people who have flexible work schedules that allow some midday day beach time.

A good morning and afternoon was had by all. Will enjoyed the park and seems to enjoy the noise. However, most of all I think Will enjoys the car seat as he goes straight to sleep no matter his mood.

Same Same but Different...

Yesterday, the family took a trip across to Maroubra as this is where the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia is. The reason for the trip was that Dyah wanted to register, and if I am not mistaken registering your existence with the Consulate is supposedly compulsory.

I have not been in or to Maroubra for at least eight years and probably should have consulted the map, Internet or other, to make sure that I was going to be heading in the right direction. However, the man in me got the better of me and I wanted to see whether I could get there on memory. I did not discuss this manly plan with the Missus and Will was in for the ride no matter what.

As it turned out everything was still the same in terms of getting there. The scenery was a little different by the route was the same. Although, it must be said that a lot of the roads are now 50km/h zones as opposed to the 60km/h I remember. All-in-all it took about 40 minutes to get there from home.

The Consulate itself I know pretty well from the outside have stood there many times protesting all manner of things from Sabang to Merauke and all points in between. I had never been inside. That said I was not expecting much considering the drab and dreary out shell of the building. I am not going to report that I was pleasantly surprised, as it was nothing to write home about. Next time I will take the camera and take some pictures.

You always have this idea that once you get the opportunity to visit an Indonesian mission overseas that they will be places of great order and tranquility where they are staffed with individuals seeking to serve the needs of Indonesians abroad. It hardly ever turns out this way.

It must have been Friday-itis as the Consulate seemed to be severely understaffed considering the number of "clients" or more aptly citizens endeavouring to obtain one of the various services available. It is also interesting to see expat Indonesians themselves in operation.

One of the many things that I noticed in my many years was the inability of many Indonesians to understand the idea of a queue and waiting one's turn. So, I was not surprised to see this inability in operation here as well. I guess you can take the person out of Indonesia but cannot take Indonesia out of the person ;) (no offence intended)

Finally, Dyah got to the window to register and was thrust a form and told to fill it in. Once the form was completed it just needed to be left on the counter and someone from behind the window would presumably come out and collect it. Dyah handed over her passport and it was officially stamped as having registered and told to come back in six months when she had a permanent address. Any protestations that a permanent address already existed seemed futile and remained silent.

I guess Dyah will be heading back in six months to hand over the information that she could have done on the spot.

Such is bureaucracy. And hence the decision to come back some other time to ask questions about getting Will an Indonesian passport.

With the form filled in we headed out into the bright sunshine of the world outside.

19 April 2009


After a relatively short flight of six hours and a little bit Dyah, Will, and I arrived safe and sound in Sydney. We flew Qantas as it was the cheapest fare on offer and a direct flight. My last flight on Qantas was woeful in terms of service however, I must say, the service this time around was excellent. It is good that Qantas seems to have made some inroads on this front, as I am a patriotic little bugger I would probably fly the national carrier in preference to others.

We have been out and about a little bit, doing plenty of walking from home to the local shops, and enjoying the cooler autumn weather.

Will is doing well and also seeming to enjoy the cooler weather. Although, I think he enjoys the attention he is getting from new faces just as much as anything else.

I am now sorted out with a broadband and wireless Internet connection. So, I will be able to work pretty easily from home and perhaps post a little more regularly to the blog.

We are now enjoying a very bright and cool Sunday morning.


For a different take on Qantas go visit my good friend The Stump here.

14 April 2009

Home Is Where The Heart Is...

They say that home is where the heart is. My home for many years has been Indonesia and I must say that I have enjoyed each and every minute. That said, it is also true that my heart is no longer in it for the long haul. In many ways it is hard to explain and any explanation would not do the complexity of the emotions justice.

This needs to be read in the context of being born and raised in Australia. Australia will always be home. I am sure that there would be the odd person jumping up and down questioning my Australian-ness or right to call Australia home. Therefore, it is in this context that I had made a life in Indonesia that until recently I had really been enjoying.

It is said that a change is as good as a holiday. So, it is a change that I am making. The Wife and Kid are along for the ride. I am not sure that there was much choice on that front.

I am looking forward to going "home" to Australia and wiping the slate clean and starting out afresh. Perhaps these changes will see me moving in a completely different direction that is not related to the practice of the law or writing about it in any other way than as random unanalytical blog entries.

Life is like a box of chocolates, just as Forrest Gump so eloquently said in the film, if you just dive in and go for it you are never quite sure what you are going to get. This has been my Indonesian experience. This chapter of my life will close tomorrow night around 9pm local Western Indonesian Time. But, I will have a lifetime of memories to cherish through the remaining chapters of my unfinished life.

To all those family and friends that I / we are leaving behind, you will not be forgotten.

Good luck and may all your own dreams and hopes come to fruition.

See ya later alligators...

A Small and Unexpected Surprise...

This post follows on from the earlier posts on the Jessup Competition. I have enjoyed, thoroughly, the past two years working with and coaching the UPH Jessup Moot Team (in the photo: Johan, James, Pricilla, Yours Truly, and Nenda). It is always nice to see a group of dedicated and committed students willing to go the whole ten yards and sacrifice a little bit along the way to achieve their goals.

A long story short, they invited me out to dinner last night. I am thinking this is just a chance to say our goodbyes as they are moving on to new and different things in their university careers and me and mine are pulling up stumps and heading back to Australia. This was very much how the evening was going. However, when we were about to call it a night, they surprised me with a cool little book that had photos of our journey over the last two years and a personal note from each of them.

This was a very nice gesture and much appreciated. However,there was more to come. They also gave me an iPod touch. Now, this was not just a nice gesture but also very cool. I am so technologically challenged that it is going to take me some time to work it all out. Yet, it will be fun in doing so. It also happens to be the first Mac thing that I have ever owned.

Now it is off to iTunes and download the necessary software to get started on this journey.

Simon Cowell -- Leaving American Idol...

This is just a random post on a topic of little global relevance.

It is being reported that there is talk that Simon Cowell might be leaving American Idol to work on his other projects in his ever-burgeoning empire.

If this turns out to be the case then this may just be the death of American Idol. Despite the perverse enjoyment people like me get in watching the train wrecks that think they are singers auditioning for the show, the show just would not be the same without Mr. Cowell and I am not sure that the train wrecks would be enough to hold my interest.

All things must come to an end, right?

Counting Down the Hours...

Even though there is still more than 24 hours before Dyah, Will, and I depart for the land downunder, it suddenly all seems so much more real. The morning has been spent tidying up the last remnants of required packing and loading stuff into a truck to be transported to Tanjung Priok for sea freighting to Australia.

On the sea freight, I will let you know. If all the stuff that we packed, some 33 boxes, all arrives then it will have turned out to have been a cheap deal.

I am actually looking forward to getting "home". I have not been home for many years and it is time for a change. It does not matter whether it is temporary or more long term. But, the reality is that I am hoping that it will refresh me. I also hope that Dyah is looking forward to the move. It is a big step for anybody to just up and move their life from one country to another, particularly when you are moving away from friends and family that are your usual safety mechanisms for dealing with life's little torments.

For Will, it is just going to be another adventure with different people to play with and carry him around and to give him goodies and spoil him rotten.

I am guessing that I will probably write more about Indonesia when I am not here than I have been writing of late while I am here. Who knows.

Later alligators....

10 April 2009

Women and My Life

Two of the four women who have had a significant impact on my life and what I am today. The picture is of my Wife and my Nan (if you're wondering, the other two are my Mum and my Sister).

The Jessup Follow-Up

This is just a short post to note the success of the Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) effort at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition.

The Team ended up being ranked 13th out of 120 teams. This is an impressive effort and highlights once again that Indonesian students can compete and succeed against the best in the world. The picture shows the team at the "Go National Ball" with team members from the University of Hawaii.


05 April 2009

Sexual Barrier Protection Devices.

The Internet is a great repository for all kinds of stuff that can be used as base materials for teaching. I teach the odd legal drafting, plain English legal writing, and English for Lawyers courses, and have found some more material for this subject.

A bill to be entitled

An act relating to state inmates; authorizing a nonprofit or public health care organization to distribute sexual barrier protection devices to inmates in the state correctional system; requiring the Department of Corrections to develop a plan to properly dispose of used sexual barrier protection devices; providing an effective date.

I have the Silent Majority to thank for the link.

This is a piece of legislation that is on the cards for Florida. I am actually not so much against the legislation and do not have any moral or ethical issues with the provision of sexual barrier protection devices to inmates of correctional facilities. There are good reasons for the provision of these devices, such as seeking to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in jails, including HIV, among others.

I was intrigued by what a sexual barrier protection device is. Unfortunately, the bill does not specify in the limited extract I have as to what might be included. It does mention condoms, but I get the distinct feeling that there is more to this than just condoms. Nevertheless, it is still a good lesson in legal drafting.

When one wants legal certainty then it pays to be specific or in this case explicit. It is worth noting that a simple Google search turns up a lot of hits for the term but not a lot of definitive answers.

A Trip To The Doctor -- Will and His Dad...

Photos taken on a mobile phone...

01 April 2009

Business Class

Just a short note.

I am now back in Jakarta and will probably endeavour to write a few more frequent posts.

However, I did want to note that anyone thinking of flying where they conceivably could take a Qatar Airways flight, then I would highly recommend them. As I posted previously, the International Airport at Doha leaves a little room for improvement, but the flights and service were excellent.

I was surprised to be upgraded on the flight from Doha to Jakarta from cattle class (aka economy) to business class. The seat converts into a bed and after the almost 13-hour flight from Washington DC to Doha it was nice to be able to stretch out and sleep.

Anyways, back to work.