Thursday, September 25, 2014

Perth - My Kick-butt visit to Aussie pt.1

The family and I went to attend Karina's graduation ceremony from Curtin in Perth on September 8th, and we thought; "hey, we've got the visas, why not stay a little while longer and see Australia for a change?". Not to mention, We wanted to take my Auntie to her son who lives in Melbourne later on.

The hay street mall at a Saturday night
I arrived in the evening in Perth and we didn't have much places to see around town because most businesses close at 5. Fortunately most restaurants and food joints are open until around 8 p.m. I've heard stories from My uncle that Australia is cold in September, even though it is actually spring there.

He is right, it was really cold out after Maghrib when I decided to take a nice evening walk and get some food. Most of the central business district lights out, the mall is closed, but fortunately we found a triple threat fast food joint which sells kfc, hungry jacks, and a kebab place. We stopped by the kebab place because the seller was making funny eyes with My sister and so are the majority of the guys at the kebab place.

Karin was not the only one getting attention in Perth. I was getting compliments from the girls everywhere in Perth. Let it be Australians, and possibly some drunk Indonesian girls because when I was walking through a pedestrian crossing, some girls in a car yelled out to me in Indonesian before speeding off into the night.

The Freemantle "round house"

Less traffic in Freo than downtown Perth
One of the places that is one of Perth's attractions is Fremantle, where the Fremantle prison is. Honestly, I agreed to go here because I just like sight seeing, I didnt care much about the prison. After We were politely declined by one of the cruises bound to Freo (Fremantle's nickname made by the locals), We decided to go there by train. We took the transperth train from Wellington street and rode it all the way to Fremantle (Make sure you buy the 2-zone ticket if you are taking the same route as me). I learned a lot on a single train ride, one of them is that you can bring almost anything on board with you. Some dude brought his bike in, and an old couple brought their luggage with them.

I had a quick conversation with the train station officer at the Fremantle station. He showed me some spots to hit during my day visit to Fremantle. He showed me a nice fish and chips place by the coast, the market near the roundhouse which he says "... sells cheap t-shirts from thailand...", and more importantly the Fremantle prison. Turns out that there are 2 places he considers prisons. First is the first ever prison in Freo which is called the "roundhouse". And a second one (the one you see on the Perth tourism brochure) is the old fremantle prison.

The roundhouse is cool but it is actually very small. It only has 5 abandoned cells and a well, not to mention it was near the beach so it was very hot and windy. I didn't visit the big prison because my dad thought that it was still an active prison when We walked there and turned back before seeing the front entrance (don't worry, it is an actual attraction. So it is safe to visit there). I did not spend more time in Freo afterwards because we were tired and had things to do back in city.



Now what would be a great thing to do while in the city where one of Karin's University campus is located? Visiting it and buy some merch that's what. The Curtin Perth campus is very big, so big that it is bigger than my campus back at Binus. We took a walk around campus and even stopped by the school store near the students guild, that is where I got my cool blue hoodie in the picture.

After seeing most of campus and the commerce building, took a little peak in the engineering lab. Boy do they have some cool stuff going on in there. They apparently like to keep the building secure by having a keypad in front of the entrances, and some with keycard clearances. So only those who have business with the campus laser robot can enter the pavilion.


Later that Evening is the big event. The main reason for this whole Australian trip, Karin's graduation! The graduation ceremony is held in the esplanade plaza near Barrack street, so it is easy to get there once You get on one of the free CAT buses bound for the Barrack street Jetty. There are a lot of happy faces in the auditorium including My sister's, because who else would not be happy to get their degrees right?

The ceremony opens with a traditional aboriginal welcome (In Australia, I believe it is customary to kick start any event with an Aboriginal greeting) and a traditional didgeridoo dance. Then it is time for the doctorates to receive their degrees. I am surprised there are many non-Australians who completes their doctorate degree in Curtin, there is even a couple of Indonesians. After the doctorates, the post-graduates and undergraduates get their degree's. Karin got called near the 1/4 of the end of the attendees, which is quite a long time to wait for, but I am happy that she finally finished her undergraduate studies and can finally get a job.

Karin later met up with some of her friends after the ceremony. They decided to go for a late dinner and I wanted to tag along. One of her friend brought her brothers, so I had someone to talk to that night. Because most places close at 9 p.m, it was difficult finding a place to eat and hang around after 10. So We had to drive around Subiaco and Victoria park with Karin's Friend's car, finding a place to eat. Luckily We found a fast eddies place... near Barrack Street!








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