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  ...

Continue Reading

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  ...

Continue Reading

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  ...

Continue Reading

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  ...

Continue Reading

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  ...

Continue Reading

Ukraine

The Cats of Odessa

In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this. Terry Pratchett Cats are worshipped, or at least revered, in the beautiful Black Sea city of Odessa in Ukraine. Cats really are the embodiment of class and cool- they are entirely self-obsessed, utterly aloof and invariably gorgeous. As we wandered through the cobblestone streets, market places and boulevards of Odessa, we came across a feline fiefdom which is fully endorsed, encouraged and indulged by Odessan  ...

Continue Reading

Australia

Walk The Line: A Wander on Angaston’s Railway Heritage Trail

A blue-sky day in Angaston, the crown of the Barossa Valley. The air is crisp and still; the cool of the morning has not yet been warmed by the spring sun. After two cups of tea and a cursory read of the weekend papers, I embark upon a little wander to stretch my weary body. With an elevation of 347m, Angaston is one of the highest points in the valley, yet the town is nestled in a sort of hollow, which made it one of the last places in Australia to be able to get good reception for digital  ...

Continue Reading

Taiwan

Cats, Cabbages and Chiang Kai-Shek: Reflections on a week in Taipei, Taiwan

My affection for Taiwan developed slowly- and sadly, retrospectively- from the week we spent there last spring. At the time, the city was a glitzy, modern, homogenous experience, and for the first few days we couldn’t find a place to sit down and have a beer after a day’s walking. By looking through our photo gallery and recalling the long, languid days of wandering the streets and the underground train tunnels and discovering artistic little communities tucked behind the grand, wide  ...

Continue Reading

Recipes

Vegetable Stock

COVID19 and some health problems have grounded me at home in the Barossa Valley of South Australia for the foreseeable future. There is more to Jetlagjane than the ability to write about far-flung and interesting places. I can also be a bit of a homebody. The Barossa is the natural habitat for foodie types and wine-lovers. There are plenty of blogs about the lovely food here, my favourite being Sophie Zakola’s blog. She is super fastidious and fancy and clever and inventive. I am just a  ...

Continue Reading

Ukraine

Abandoned Utopia: a visit to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Ukraine.

Why visit Chernobyl? I have a fascination for Soviet history and abandoned human environs- and luckily a Ukrainian friend who suggested his homeland would be a good place for a summer holiday- and he was right! I hadn’t watched the HBO series before visiting- I only knew about it from documentaries, books and sadly, an episode of Top Gear. I can guess what you may be thinking- isn’t it dangerous to visit a place that is radioactive? The standard line from tour operators is a day  ...

Continue Reading