March 25, 2015

something with flowers and bunnies perhaps?

the latest album by Smashing Pumpkins is definitely okay. but feels like i would get tired of it if i listened to te album a few times, it reminds me of teenage angst for some reason (eh...) and Corgan's voice is kind of squeaky which enhances the feeling.

i bought Dawkins' God Delusion from a 2nd hand market, i think i had a copy of it in finland, and definitely have read it, but it can stand another read :) Dawkins has gotten active on social media in the past years but i am not sure its the best for him...  while he is so smart and has good ideas, he seems to get into petty arguments a lot (on twitter) and generally waste time with being offended or arguing over something... then again who am i to say whats time waste? i do feel bad though when gets shit for his blunt statements, which i think have been technically solid (the ones i know of; down syndrome abortion, bad rape vs worse rape) but emotionally charged people want to understand them wrong. suggesting that aborting a fetus with a genetic disorder is the same as hating all those with a genetic disorder or that once born, they should not be part of the society. aborting a fetus is just aborting a fetus. and the rape thing, im not even gonna go into it...   now that i google, i do find some other slightly questionable thing, mainly related to islam, and i remember disagreeing with one o them a couple years ago...  anyway, i dont like when rough sounding but truthful statements are distorted into something else just because people want to feel offended and are passionate about their causes.

i just remembered my tattoo "situation" again. the arm thing needs an update of some sort, and i want new stuff around it. ive been struggling to get to it for a few years now, i just dont know what exactly i want so i havent been able to make a move. also in turkey the language barrier is an issue when communicating with artists. i now decided to look into Melbourne artists. i think i want to extend my current "half sleeve" with something modern, like watercolor painting style maybe with etching. thats the conclusion after looking at whats going on in tattoos in the recent years and what i like and what would maybe work with the mixed styles i currently have.

Buzzfeed's list of 28 waterpainting tattoos - not all of them are to my liking but many.

so i then find a great artist in Melbourne (Kel Tait), but she is booked until, like, the end of the year and very specific about what she does and doesn't do (i received an automated, long, somewhat confusing email "rider", written in 1st & 3rd person, etc) - i dont think i'd qualify as her customer anyway :D so i kept looking, now im gonna contact Mel Wink. she has a very similar thing going on stylistically, but i should be prepared that she is quite booked too....i know, the good ones usually are. while googling for talent, i came across istanbul based Koray Karagözler. turkish artists are usually not very booked, there are so many tattoo artists there and many people are not educated enough to go after the good ones, more interested in the price tag...  so i am hopeful that he could be my artist if Mel doest work out. there is then the question of if Koray knows any english, but i could try to push and manage a turkish situation too if i really want to make it happen and get a feeling that he is on the same wavelength. then, if that doesnt work out... there is Petra Hlaváčková in Prague.

March 24, 2015

Hobart & Ararat summary

Tasmania done. starting today i have full week of holiday and we will go to Sydney for a long weekend. yesterday i worked my ass off, in a good way, a clients website is going through some changes and i always love those, a testers paradise. actually im really bummed that my holiday is right now, if i had known much earlier, i wouldve wanted to be there for the rest of the week too. im just a little obsessed that perhaps some bugs will make it to production because i wasnt there. maybe thats a little too narcissistic view...

so we were not too happy with Tasmania. BUT i totally recognize that if u have a car and a week or so, and maybe love hiking/trekking, and prepare for windy weather, it could be pretty awesome - the nature is obviously impressive. this was not the case with us and i take partial responsibility for going to places where maybe i shouldnt go. next time ill google before buying flights? :D but im still entitled to an opinion. i dont regret going but the one word i have is 'meh'. bloody cold freezing wind, empty center (because car city - ppl live in suburbs), nothing much to do, expensive. we thought about going on a tour to an animal sanctuary but they mostly just host the tassie devil, and maybe a couple marsupials... overpriced tour to see a black rodent like animal with a funny name? yeah no. of course once i gathered that im not fond of Hobart i was psychologically preconditioned to dislike everything, im still interested in going to see the animals in sanctuary near Melbourne. but honestly, kangaroos and koalas win tasmanian devil any day.

enjoying a wine INSIDE in a WARM cafe by the docks, planning our Hobart days.

a free concert at a small courtyard next to the arts center, every friday. it was very cute. but again, we were freezing.

Tasmanian art museum was actually more like a history museum, or perhaps we just saw that part. but it was free entrance and very nice! educational regarding Tasmanias history (TL;DR the british and dutch settlers came and killed all the locals and populated the island) and with a small natural history museum with local animals etc.

the art museum courtyard.

the botanical garden was huge beautiful . getting back frm there to the city...not so great, walked on the side of the highway forever and then waited for a bus for nearly half an hour. freeing, naturally. fuck that shit...

asian food in Hobart. i was lucky that the only restaurant open at 7pm on a sunday was an asian place.

rules for home delivery :D i DO understand why these things are so "difficult" in countries like australia or finland, but its still an amusing comparison to istanbul. the latter obviously has its benefits, from a consumer perspective anyway, maybe not the delivery guys'...

okay then, we stayed in a motel slightly outside the center. good quiet sleep and nothing special, fine. interestingly the place was full of asians. like, fully booked full, i didnt know they had so many rooms full. when we arrived before check-in, we sat in the lobby just watching these people come out with their luggage, and then more came, and more, and it didnt end. obviously a group that were all departing that morning. and why does it matter? it doesnt. they couldve been bikers or scandinavians. just an odd feeling watching what seemed in the end like hundreds of people belonging to a 'specific' group, walk past with almost identical luggage (the big hard case type). we thought maybe they walked out and then to the back of the building and kept coming out again, in a circle...  (okay we were tired from the travel, it does not seem as amusing now as it did then).

finding a cafe or a place to eat in the weekend especially was hard, all the places were closed. shops and bars there dont even display opening hours on the window, and i came to understand that its probably useless as they are almost never open anyway. otherwise it would say something like "open from 2pm until late". asking one of the places about late, they estimated 8pm.


center of Hobart:


the week before, me and doctor made a day trip to Ararat. a real aussie small town. wayyyy smaller than Hobart but we still had a great experience. but the day was warm and we had zero expectations. and it was  a DAY trip after all.  

i think i also understand why the town got so overweight - there are practically only unhealthy options for eating out. and while the park was beautiful (like all parks weve seen here!), i dont think there is anything that motivates people to exercise outside. i know small towns must mostly be like this, a couple of chinese places, a burger-cafe-deepfriendstuff-place, a restaurant cafe thats open sporadically and maybe one italian. most of these were not open on the sunday we visited, anyway.


the cafe-fast food joint. not very busy (a few teenagers were sitting in a remote table, they left soon after we arrived).
there was a vintage car & rock festival though (Jailhouserock festival). meaning a field next to the park where people gathered to listen to rockabilly music and look at old fancy cars. we visited. i think (ok, i know) there was an entrance fee of 25 aud, but we approached the area from the park and just walked over a knocked down fence. there were other entrances too, but the ticket booth was by a road entrance where you enter with a car. this city was NOT for pedestrians, we were most of the time the only people around by foot.

(people dancing to rockabilly in the tent)

the people i talked to were not somehow happy about the Biggest Loser past of the town, they seemed uncomfortable with the whole thing. i tried to make them feel better by saying it was quite inspiring (which is true), but it didnt help.

Ararat art museum was for some reason open on a sunday, and free entrance (okay there are 2 rooms, i dont know how many people would pay for that). anyway saw stuff by local and non-local artists.
Ararat town hall! i remember seeing this on the show :)  hah

March 22, 2015

Hobart, Tasmania

Hobartin  Heinolan kokoinen kaupunki ei ole miellyttänyt jenniä. kokemukseen on luultavasti vaikuttanut hyinen sää joka ei laisinkaan tunnu mittarin lukemilta (12-20c). pieni kaupunki on Amerikan malliin rakennettu autoille ja näin liikkuminen on haasteellista turistille. ymmärrän nyt hyvin autonvuokrausmainonnan joka alkoi jo reissua varatessa. rehellisyyden nimissä tajusin siis jo silloin ettei täällä hirveästi tekemistä ole ilman autoa, ja vuokraustakin harkittiiin mutta päätettiin yrittää kuitenkin nauttia mitään tekemättömyydestä. ei olla nautittu. olihan täällä eilen markkinat ja ilmainen museo, ehkä vaan Melbournen jälkeen tuntuu vähän mitättömältä? ja hinnoissa on n.+20% vielä jotain Tasmania-lisää. kaupat on pitkälti kiinni viikonloppuisin ja keskusta tyhjenee Illalla. nyt kun olen avautunut Hobartin surkeudesta niin voin sanoa että illalla on lento takaisin Melbsiin. 

huomenna töitä ja sitten pidän viikon loman...ja mennään käymään Sydneyssä. totta puhuen en jaksaisi, mutta ehkä jälkikäteen kiitän itseäni että vaivauduin?? alunperin piti mennä itsekseni uuteen seelantiin, se oli syntsälahjani lääkäriltä, mutta jotenkin en pystynyt siihen sitten ollenkaan (syy: tuntematon ahdistus). muutimme sitten lahjan yhteisreissuksi Sydneyhin. 

minä elän hiukan tulevaisuudessa kuten on tapana  ja mietin jo Istanbuliin paluuta. en pelkästään hyvällä mutta ihan yleisesti. eniten on ikävä kavereita ja ihmisvilinää, ei niinkään mitään muuta ehkä :D mutta kun kesä saapuu niin kyllä kelpaa taas. 

lähetin lääkärin kiipeämään Mt Wellingtonille ja nautin kahviloiden antimista sillä aikaa (niiden jotka auki, aika rajattua siis).

March 14, 2015

35

we have been chatting and hanging out with a chilean erasmus student named Rodrigo who lives in the house and occasionally brings his chilean friends over. we decided to have a party together tonight, cooking and having drinks. the shared living room was perfect for that. i guess i also treated is as an unofficial birthday party for myself? i cooked macaroni casserole, a finnish dish.

tomorrow we are heading to Ararat, small town a couple hours from Melbourne. we need to catch an early train so we can spend about 6 hours in the town that doesnt have much...  not to be rude. but, yeah. someone i spoke to nastily called Ararat the 'fat capital of Victoria'. apparently it was the 2nd fattest city in australia a year or so ago when they decided to focus the whole season of Biggest Loser to that town.i figured we should go see some obscure small town just for the sake of it, and once i realized Ararat is a couple hours away, there was nothing stopping me. i recently saw this season of BL, so i somehow feel like its "familiar".

 federation square's book market;

on my actual birthday on thursday we both worked, i got a haircut in the afternoon and then we met with doctor for an early dinner. tapas and other spanish things with wine in central Melbourne. then we headed to the royal botanical gardens and boy was it nice there, like an extra beautiful, fancy park. there we relaxed on bean bags, enjoyed snacks and sparkling wine (you can bring your own) while waiting for the film - how come i was so lucky= they were showing Breakfast Club on my birthday??! i knew like every line by heart cos id seen it 5-7 times before, in the 90s. thats the most times ive ever seen a film. anyway moonlight cinema starts after sundown so around 8:20 the inflatable screen was erected and it was massive (covering the lake view below).


for my birthday, doctor gave me a gift card to H&M and said he would send me to New Zealand. so i started looking at 3-4 night trips. but somehow i feel meh...  its a long flight and i dunno. but i really should go, its a thoughtful gift cos i was not planning to go without him at all.

i havent had much space for deeper thoughts lately, its just work & seeing things and such. i got Dawkins' God Deusions pocket book from the flea market so i am reading it again here and there. something relaxing. and last night we watched Birdman with doctor (it was okay).

Bachelor season 19 just finished. its great entertainment but still, pretty awkward. i dont think i would fit in that culture. i know tv is tv but it does reflect reality, no one can deny that.

random chinese/japanese restaurant menu;



March 12, 2015

wines

my feelings while in Melbourne have been overall positive but there is turbulence as well...some days are just 'blah'. but okay so maybe thats normal. overall im good, i have my rhythm, getting up around 9, working more or less (being part time, usually less...). watching a bit of tv on my computer - i tried the tv in our room but the reruns of Frasier and Friends get tiring and the rest is shopping channels and other horrible shit. when doctor and melis get off work we either cook at home and eat hang out in the common area, or go out for dinner & drinks, not all together all the time though, maybe 60/40 me and doctor spending more time together.

on monday we went to a vineyard tour in Yarra Valley which is known for producing most of the premium wines in the area, i learned. the area is focused on chardonnay and pinot noir, which are still just words for me...  but it was an educating day, i took it all in and smelling and tasting wines side by side or one right after another really made their differences obvious.

tasting bars were nice, just point at things in the menu and have a sip. i smainly ampled the sweeter white wines of the 4 wineries we visited.

i was quite excited abut the sparkling wines of Chandon winery since its a company under Moët & Chandon. certainly tasty stuff and great views from the property.

rose bushes are planted in front of rows of vines to indicate if there are problems like fungus or something - cos they hit the roses first.
actual grapes. not the same u buy from the supermarket...

it was a very cool experience, i could certainly smell, and even taste, differences. but its not stuff that i can remember and refer to, nor do i need to. at one of the boutique wineries the owner went on to a long speech about how properly aged wine develops in the grape, oak barrel (MUST be french oak) and the bottle, and how a 15 dollar (10 eur) wine has certainly not seen a real oak barrell nor aged naturally - and thats an atrocity. made me think of the 4 liter 9 dollar (6 eur) box wine i had waiting at home in the fridge. to be honest, coming home it still tasted just as delicious. i guess it didnt have that oaky smell but i dont really mind...  its really fruity & easy!

i did ask what would happen if the oak came from the belgian side of the border, they must have some of the same oak breeds over there. but our wine expert could not say. so i remain a little bit skeptical about this 'special french oak'. and overall, us humans have made probably all of our guilty pleasures into an art form, from cigars to whiskeys to wine... sure, things can be developed and varieties tweaked, buuuut...  i mean, yeah wines taste different, but it is known that even sommeliers can mix a cheap wine to an expensive one, and peoples image of a wines taste if affected by the bran/price/label and whatever else. i think its just important that you find what u like and go with that. and if all the options seem bad or you cannot tell the difference, then picking the cheapest is good option...

great sceneries no question.

wagyu beef cheek lunch at a winery restaurant. huge piece of meat. huge. i dont know what this 'wagyu' is, but it seems popular here.


Queen Victoria market also has wineries selling their products. u can try and test and there ar liqueurs and whatnot. in finland it would never be allowed because RULES. and omg what would happen? u know, something terrible could happen, so, lets just not, u know, allow anything. hehe.

anyway we go a small bottle of honey vodka, it was really tasty :D
 Moomba festival last sunday by the Yarra river.


 the bar under the bridg is cool. and packed on sunny days.

love locks on the bridge!

its been a month now since we arrived. another one to go...and we still have quite a few things on the to do list. we better utilize the weekends to the fullest especially. i think some of the things will be left out but ideally this is the to do list:
-beach trip somewhere
-great ocean road
-Ararat
-Melbourne museum
-state library

today is my birthday and we r planning to go to an outdoor cinema in the evening, there is one that is showing one of my all time favorites; Breakfast Club. hopefully it wont rain...

March 07, 2015

its getting chilly at times

i did some groupon shopping today;
-me & Melis will go see a male striptease show... pretty self explanatory
-haircut (way overdue!)
-all you can eat indian restaurant night (im giving indian food one more chance...  if i still dont like it after, ill never eat it again)

melbourne is quite eventful. literally, there is always a lot of stuff going on.  its really nice, u just open your Timeout app or whatever you prefer and then head out. im not really one for going to places every day, but i am trying to see and experience things while here. talkative locals are an added bonus - whether ordering chinese or just sitting in a tram, they like to have a chat and that makes me happy.

yesterday we went to a weekly couchsurfing event at a bar. nearby on Gertrude street. plenty of people there, from Korea to Estonia, and a few locals too. me and doctor had a good time chatting with people. some facebook friends were made, lets see if it leads to anything...connecting with people while you are traveling for a short while only seems a bit challenging.

earlier this week we scoured shops in Fitzroy and enjoyed happy our drinks and dinner... there are a lot of design shops with oh so cute things...  im in home making mode i guess...


view from Naked for Satan rooftop bar during our Fitzroy day. it was a sunny day and boy does that city look flat! (the skyscrapers are on the other side...but even so)
the holy-crap-how-tender steak at a bar in Fitzroy.  it was huge and amazingly delicious. and half price!



my random menu photo:


today we tried kangaroomeat  (they grow wild & on farms so no guilt at all for eating). it was nice & tasty but nothing special to be honest. it was served with sweet potato puree and pepper berries (wtf?)
outside this kangaroo meat restaurant in Docklands the wall featured some quotes.
 Docklands views...  its a sought after area to live i understand, the water provides a nice view, the restaurants are fancy and here is a nice wooden picnic place for for the public to enjoy!



theatre lobby. we really liked the  comedy show by Bianca Del Rio. (heh, ran into her best of compilation video from Drag Race)



what is this movie, lol. Big Game. a finnish director gets his hands on hollywood actors. hah, well, im game for watching this.




some confusing and annoying Melbourne things listed:
there are several identical street names, there are like 2 Smith streets, 2 Vale streets, 2 Williams streets and so on. then, there is a district called Fitzroy, and a Fitzroy street in another district, and a district called Brunswick, and naturally a Brunswick street in another district...    i know i sound bitter as if i had gotten lost because of this, but thats not the case. ive merely observed the phenomenon and find it stupid.
this queen Victoria lady seems to be everywhere. i know, every country have their kings, queens or presidents which lent their names to buildings, i just find the Victoria worship a bit excessive.

to balance it out, some positives on Melbourne:
1. there are public benches everywhere, on the streets, at the parks. for someone who needs to sit down every now and then to rest her feet, this is heaven sent. overall the green-ness of the city is sweet :)


2. melbourne officially supports street art - and i support that!
3. there are plenty of nice buildings, i really enjoy just looking at them. i am clearly more into the modern ook although i can appreciate the old stuff too (hat tip to istanbul). this must be one of my favorite building combos.



after settling down, this is my home office now.

our saturday brunch, kindly made by doctor while i slept an extra 15min...


tomorrow is sunday and we are looking to hit a fleamarket in Fitzroy, the Queen Victoria market (again, the food stands are great for exotic nibbles) and the Moomba festival which i know nothing about but there is a big water ski contest or something.. i think we will just go and enjoy the atmosphere :) monday is a national holiday and ive booked us a day tour to Yarra Valley wineries. a wine tasting day! visiting the Chandon winery which is a part of Moët & Chandon excites me of course - although i humbly admit i know nothing about wine and probably never will but this is an experience and thats all :)

March 02, 2015

well this should be fun

i booked flights & hotel in Tasmania for 3 nights, 2 weeks from now. and now...is the perfect time to find out that there is virtually nothing there...lol. unless u want to drive around 10 days and see all the amazing nature stuff. im thinking booking 3 nights was a bit excessive...  not to be rude, but it does seem like there is nothing of interest unless youre into trekking and driving. i realize the amazing sceneries cannot be just in front of a hotel balcony but i was hoping to have something else to do perhaps. doctor asked me if booked the trip and then "so whats there in Tasmania?". i think we should take it as a break from city life and just relax and do nothing. MAYBE book a 1 day tour somewhere close by. or MAYYYYBE hire a car for a day, if doctor thinks he can handle the opposite lane traffic (im sure he can). hmm, upon further googling there appears to be an art festival in Hobart during that weekend. i dont care for art usually but perhaps i can be open minded as this is our free time away from everything else...   also i think if i contact locals via couchsurfing or something, they would have good tips for spending time...   it should a fun weekend :)  i do know how to get a bus card in Hobart, what the bus costs and which lines go to our hotel, but somehow the big picture is more fuzzy.

tonight we are going to see a drag queen comedy show - i was really excited when i was browsing Melbourne events and saw Bianca Del Rio's name. she was on Ru Paul's Drag Race season 6 and i just recently watched it. super funny.  and as a guest star the show will have Courtney Act - also familiar to me from the same show. ive never been to see anything like this, not what i usually do on my free time but Melbourne is very effective in making me try different things...  the selection of events is just too inviting :)


March 01, 2015

smooth sailing

we finally moved to our "steady" accommondation, staying here for the rest of Melbourne time. near the city center (walking distance even by standards - so we are talking about a few hundred meters), the shared house is at the edge of Carlton (1 Drummond st, FlexiStayz). near restaurants, 7-11, etc. i only wish there was a supermarket closer by. doctor can go to his hospital easy with one tram, i think it should be 40min door to door, i guess we will find out tomorrow...
so we have our own room and the common areas are shared. then u pay for using the washing machine, internet etc... even sheets and a duvet! we managed the sheet situation in another way but i am going to ikea tomorrow to buy a duvet, god dammit. i checked the website and its way cheaper to buy one than "rent" it from these guys. i think its pretty cheeky of them to charge for everything like that.

anyway, the room is fine, nothing fancy but has everything we need and windows for light and so. so we are feeling good overall, spirits are high.

 fridges have shelves for each room.



yesterday we went to a small, free music festival by the docks, the weather was really sunny and it was a good afternoon. then we sat down to eat indonesian (which was AMAZING) and suddenly there is a huge storm and things flying in the air. a huge trash bin almost crashed into us (but hit the wall instead). it felt surreal.

i took a pathetic and short video on my phone (at the music fest).



and our indonesian meat dish. there were truly flavors i had not tasted before, we were all pretty surprised.


this week i went to the city library too. found some cool books, took them to a reading room (of which they have plenty) and enjoyed my time. very pleasant atmosphere and a great selection of books, i found it really inspiring and have to go again!
 a kind of reading/hang out area at the library.
 


just people in a bar. the bar was called Ferdydurke. very cozy & nice, reminds me of some places on Kadiköy's bar street.

just a bar.

notes on aussies:
  • they still watch DVD's... we've seen rental shops and shops selling them
  • they belong in different kinds of social or hobbyist groups and enjoy meeting in group, parks are always full of meetings & you see joggers on the street with matched sportswear, restaurants booked for groups, people with name tags getting together and so on...
  • most common sentence is "no worries"
thursday night me and doctor did barbecue on the rooftop. he also went swimming of course, me, not so much.
 the view was great. we really enjoyed the evening with our self made steak dish and red wine (in a coke bottle, because alcohol was officially ot allowed in the pool area)
 

random lunch restaurant type of area. its the business & law district so very formally dressed people...

a luch last week. paste of the day for 13 aud/9 eur + a glass of wine for 4 aud/2.5 eur. taking notes in my little notebook and people watching. and internetting with the free wifi of the supreme court.