JetLag Jane

Ukraine

Cricova, Chișinău and a lot of cheese: A day trip to Moldova (and a self-declared republic along the way.)

On a warm midsummer day, three Australians and an Odessan made the day trip to Moldova to do a little sightseeing and wine tasting. This little landlocked country, wedged between Romania and Ukraine, has known many masters in its history and is today one of the poorest and least visited countries in Europe. The day we spent there has stayed in my memory for its brooding realist architecture in the capital, the lonely expanse of a patchwork of farms, the fruit trees lining the main roads and  ...

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Bali

Kembali ke Sanur…at last!

‘Welcome home!’ called out my driver as we searched for his smiling face amongst the languid sopirs (drivers) waiting outside the arrivals gate at Ngurah Rai. We embraced- I had not seen him since we left in March 2020 to see out the pandemic in Australia- and this is the first time we had been able to return. Even if just for a two-week holiday. I needed to be back in Sanur to heal my tired body and mind. My second home- oh, how I have missed you! It has taken a week of massages  ...

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Australia

The Big M: notes on a weekend in Melbourne

Some of my closest girlfriends live in the suburbs of Melbourne and at least once a year (before the terrible early 2020s) we converge in the CBD for eating, shopping and lots and lots of talking. It’s been a few years since I have been there and this time I took Miss E, now 14. So I have a few new perspectives on this glorious city. Shopping: Finding your own style Kinki Gerlinki has an understated eccentricity- playful, elegantly vintage looks. They find a fabric and then create  ...

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Australia

O Tannenbaum: the delight of the German Christmas tree in Barossa homes and churches

A Short History of the Christmas Tree Christmas trees probably began as a European pagan tradition long before the coming of Christ: homes were decorated with the branches of evergreen fir trees in order to bring colour and light into their dull winters. The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was also a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. The modern Christmas tree originated in western Germany. Candles, symbolic of Christ as the light  ...

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Australia

The Magic of Memory: in the footsteps of Colin Thiele. Eudunda, South Australia.

(This blog post contains images of the late actor David Gulpilil) We had to leave the house last Saturday. It had only been a week of lockdown but the four walls seemed to be closing in on us. The winter weather had kept us indoors anyway. Too cold and rainy and windy to even get to the park for our ninety minutes of fresh air. Where to go? It couldn’t be too far, as the winter days are short and we had already slept in until almost lunchtime… We decided to drive to Eudunda, and then  ...

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Jetlagjane's journal

Christmas traditions from far away: how to find more joy at a busy time of year

The weeks leading up to Christmas were, even in the time of COVID, a flurry of activity: the end of school, food and gift shopping, cooking and baking and the end of year catch-ups with family and friends. By the time we all finished the last of the pavlova at Christmas lunch, we were exhausted and some of us had to retreat to the cool of the lounge room for a little nap. I’d had my booster shot on Christmas Eve so felt lethargic and no fun at all anyway. The Festive Mental Load: Are we  ...

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Bali, Indonesia

Auto culture: finding Holdens in Indonesia

As our car crawled along the narrow roads between Yogyakarta and Surakarta, I stared out the front passenger window, marvelling at the everyday lives of the locals as they milled about the roadside stalls; billows of steam were coming out of the big pots of the warungs, and children, chickens and scooters were weaving around us. My husband Mr J and daughter Miss E were sitting in the back seat: bored, with headphones on. Scrolling through something on their phones. They were over the great  ...

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Indonesia, Wunderkammer

Wunderkammer #3: Piggy tales: The Chinese zodiac and Balinese Babi Guling

I bought this dear little piggy at Bali Domestic airport before heading over to Solo (Surakarta) in East Java. It was 2019, the Chinese year of the pig, and I wanted a little piggy dressed in Balinese batik to have as a memento. I still remember buying him in the little gift shop- as he was ridiculously expensive- and I keep him as a talisman of my time in Bali and being able to remember that feeling of excitement and anticipation about revisiting the beautiful city of Solo. The Year of the  ...

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Bali

Searching for the Starman in the Sideman Valley: morning walks and the curious tale of David Bowie’s Bali connections

Away from the bustling bars and restaurants, yoga temples and beach culture in southern Bali is a beautiful little valley, inhabited by earnest farmers and artisans, wandering dogs, and a lot of ducks and dragonflies. And in the 1980s, it was a retreat for one of my favourite artists, the late Mr David Bowie. Where is Sideman? The Sideman (pronounce sid-ah-min) Valley is around an hour’s drive from Sanur in the regency of Karangasem. It is on the Klungkung- Besakih Temple route when  ...

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Jetlagjane's journal

The 2020 Chronicles: Part One

The global pandemic has affected most souls on the planet; we have collectively encountered so much change and uncertainty in such a short time frame. When the world has normalised after these times, we will all have our tales to tell. This little section of my blog is a reflection of my experiences, and what I have learned about my place in the world. January: Nongkrong, fireworks and a warning As we celebrated New Year’s Eve 2020, setting off fireworks on Sanur Beach on the east  ...

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