Packing [again] to Melbourne

October 16, 2016

Good Day all,

One thing that I have to face from my Long Distance relations is that we can't meet everytime, everyday. Especially if the distance is really really long. Different countries. Lucky me, Indonesia - Australia is not too far. If you read my first journey to Melbourne need a one day trip, I can't imagine how long I will have if it's America or Europe.

My boyfriend and I already have plans until April 2017. After Bali in January, Melbourne in May, our next plan is bringing him to my hometown in Jogjakarta or bringing me back to Melbourne.

After all the talks which one is good which one is not, and even I want both of it, but my boyfriend said we can't have all. Means I have to choose beetween Melbourne or Jogjakarta. At first, I do really have a plan to come to Jogjakarta at November, and if he's not come with me, that would be fine, because we also have plan to meet again at March 2017. This is the cause if you have LDR, even for meet up, we have to put a plan.

One day, my boyfriend decided to bring me back to Melbourne. But I still need to go back home at November. Because that month my little sister having her 17th birthday. He knew it, so he offer me to come back at Melbourne in September. Beside this months is the end of winter and still some snows left (I really want to see snow) and September is also his birthday month. It would be great and special for him.

So we started looking for visa and ticket. But when I looked at the flight ticket to Melbourne, the price at September is ridiculously expensive, and I don't want to fly with another airplane except Garuda Indonesia.

At the end, we postpone my visit to Melbourne in October. Because we still can't get the price that we want for my flight, and the time for waiting the visa to be approve will be lots of longer. In October we had our ticket price fix and I have my visa. Of course I fly with Garuda Indonesia again.

End of September I applied my visa at Dwidaya Tour and Travel. Same documents needed, same price, and also still want to help me. I asked them to help me to get multiply entry for my Visa. But they said they can't help me for that.

Ticket search is a little bit pain in the arse. I loved to fly from Denpasar, faster (it took only 5 hours from Denpasar to Melbourne). And when I arrived at Melbourne, it is still early in the morning, I don't have to line up longer at the immigration. Five days before my visa accepted, the price for Denpasar flight is suddenly up, makes me stressed up. At the end, I had the same price from Garuda Indonesia, but I have to fly from Jakarta, and it was one day faster than our last plan.

Passport, Visa, and ticket + hotel voucher from Dwidaya Tour and Travel
At the end, I have this flight: Balikpapan - Jakarta then Jakarta - Melbourne; and Melbourne - Denpasar, then Denpasar - Balikpapan. But still I have no information about my visa. I was so worried that the Australian Embassy will reject my application. But thankfully at the middle of October, the travel agent told me that the Australian Embassy approved my Visa application, unfortunately I just only have single entry, instead of multiply.

Of course my boyfriend disappoint about the result. He also hopped me get the multiply entry. But, the visa already approved, what can we do. Beside, my plan to move to Melbourne is after I finish my contract with this company first.

Buying gift is easy but difficult. Especially if you want to find the traditional gift of Indonesian culture, like Kalimantan. These are some tips for you who want to buy gift for your friends or family aboard, some of this things are better avoid:
  • Big and heavy gift. Country like Australia doesn't used to see people bring boxes at the airport.
  • Glass made gift, but not packed safely. Try to find a glass made gift that already have safety packed, so it won't be broke and scattered.
  • Gift made from the wood, and not smoothly sanded. Because Australian Imigrations really tight about this kind of gift. Beside the smoothly sanded, it also have to be varnished to avod all the bugs inside the wood.
  • Gift made from animal or animal organ. In Kalimantan you can find lots of necklaces or bracelets made from animals teethes, but you can't bring it to Australia.
  • Better not buy gift with the size, like clothes, because our size and their size is different. Our large size could be only medium size for them
  • sharp objects, or sharp weapons. Even it's just a souvenir, but it's a big no to them

In Samarinda, there some places you could find to buy gift. Beside shopping mall, they have place call Citra Niaga. In this shopping area, you can find lots of traditional dayak gift. From clothes until accessories. Some of my friend said that Citra Niaga price is expensive, but I think it will be not too expensive if you bought the same thing at the shopping mall. Beside, I always came into this place every time our company have events. In this shopping area, you can't use your card, they just accept cash money.
Citra Niaga at Night
This shopping area was the winner of the Agha Khan Awards, because its architecture. If you at Samarinda and looking for lots of variants of gift, you can visit this place at Jl. Yos Sudarso No. 59, Pelabuhan, Samarinda.

You can also find one store that sells Kalimantan gift, even it's not as complete as Citra Niaga. But this place can be another alternative for you who want to find gift. The store name is East Kalimantan Center. Standard name, but it help us to know that this place sells Kalimantan gift.
East Kalimantan Center Gift Center
Unfortunately this store not sells traditional weapon. But we can find a cute local animal like orng utan, or local dolphin. They also sell traditional snack, Amplang. This place is really cozy, because the airconditioner that always on. They also accept card so don't worry about not bringing lots of cash money. You can find the store here: Jl. Pangeran Antasari No. 1, Air Hitam, Samarinda Ulu. P.S. because the street is not too big, only enough for one and a half car, if you bring a car, please park right in front of the store, and save place for other car to ride.

Gift for my Australian family

I decide to buy at the East Kalimantan Center store. And the picture above is the gifts for my Australian family. Purse, handbag, and shawl for my boyfriend's parent, a wall accesories for my boyfriend. 

Mas Pacar favorite Snack, which is not so Indonesia LOL
Since September is his birthday, I also add more gift from him. He is really like KitKat Greentea and Pocky. So I bought it for him. And also Indomie goreng with different flavour. I also bought present for his birthday, and made a handmade card for his birthday, and also our anniversary this October.

gift and hand made cards for Mas Pacar
Gift, check, presents, check, visa check, ticket, check. Melbourne, here I come again.

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