Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Barossa Valley 2

Steven and I went around Barossa Valley and took pictures of vineyards. He also took me to a mausoleum which inspired me to come up with another photography theme. That will come out soon.

It is NYE and we will spend it with some gay friends and probably watch fireworks in Elder Park afterwards.

I hope to see all of you guys in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Barossa Valley

My 4-day stay in Nuriootpa with the Pope family was very good. They were all very nice to me, especially Steven's parents. It was nice being "adopted" to their family during the holidays. I missed my own family a lot that I found it difficult to sleep on Christmas Day. I just have to keep in mind that I have my own life now.

Nuriootpa is a beautiful town that actually resembles a city. The only strange thing about this place is its rows and rows of vineyards as it is very popular as a wine-growing valley. Many tourists come here to taste the wine but I do not drink alcohol so I was not able to taste that.

Steven and I visited Menglers Hill where they have very beautiful sculptures. It also displayed the beauty and vastness of the Barossa Valley.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Petting My Food

I am sorry if my postings have been delayed. So many things have been happening. One of which is my files getting corrupted. I was about to post photos of the Lobethal lights that remind me a lot of the Philippines. But then my digital camera acted up and I was not able to copy the photos to my computer.

Anyway, here is a photo of me petting an orphan joey. Steven's cousin found the dead mother on the road and was surprised to see this little cutie inside the mother's pouch. Fortunately, Steven's aunt is licensed to take care of kangaroos.

This animal is actually very gentle and friendly. It just loves being cuddled. There is one uncomfortable thing about it though--the anus keeps on closing and opening like a chicken's. I thought it was going to poop on me.

I will post more photos in the coming days. Nuriootpa is a wonderful town.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Murray Bridge, Karoonda, Lameroo

Remote towns in the Philippines are surrounded by crops like coconuts, rice, pineapples and hemp. Many people have a hard life because of the typhoons but they stay resilient and very warm to guests. They value their families and their friendships a lot.

Steven took me to the small towns in South Australia and I was surprised at how different the lifestyle is. People are very insular and very conservative. They do not like homosexuals. They do not comb their hair or press their clothes. And yet there is something there that attracts me towards them. They are real, extremely warm and very generous. They open their arms even if it is their first time to see you. They offer everything that they have to make you comfortable.

The landscape is absolutely amazing. I saw farmlands as far as my eye can see. We drove really fast and yet the farms were still there. Very fierce sunlight showed the blue sky hugging the yellow landscape.

This is the real Steven Pope and not the one who is in Adelaide. He is very warm and generous. This is where the love of my life comes from.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Lights Along Torrens River

It was nearing 10 PM and Steven pulled me away from the computer for a drive. He said we are going to see some Christmas lights. I was not that excited because Adelaide is devoid of Christmas compared to the Philippines.

So we went to Torrens River where a huge crowd was moving about.

We read "Merry Christmas" in different languages but it did not have one in Tagalog. That was disappointing. Anyway, it was fun seeing people with their young children wearing pyjamas and eating cotton candy.

I know it was very late but then it does not get dark here until 9:30 PM.

I miss the Christmas that we have in the Philippines where everything is lined with Christmas lights. Every street lamp is adorned with a star-shaped lantern. Every store is playing a Christmas song. Every house is filled with people smiling.

I miss the Philippines.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Career Limbo

I am doing well in this new country in many ways. I have rekindled very old friendships and establish new ones. They are keen and very helpful in helping me find my way here and I will be forever grateful to them.

I have a new love and my first ever partner in life. I actually hope that it will be the last one. I am learning new things from him and I hope he is learning new things from me. I am on my way on building our home.

The people here are very different from me but not indifferent. They are people that I can learn a lot from. They are people I do not mind changing me. There might not be much of a gay life but the other aspects of my life is being fulfilled.

But I am in a career limbo. My professional growth is very slow right now. In time, I will be back on my feet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quarantine (2008, movie)

Again, I was surprised at how small the cinemas are here in Adelaide. Steven told me that cinema 15 in Marion Mall is supposed to be the smallest. But then it is only the size of a conference room by Bangkok and Manila standards. The seats do not recline as well.

Steven asked me to watch this a few weeks ago. I researched online and I read some good reviews. I should have kept my expectations really low.

Jennifer Carpenter is amazing. I thought I would see Dexter's sister on the big screen but I was mistaken. On the other hand, Jay Hernandez is painful to watch. He is very handsome but he does not know how flirt with a woman. Of course, his portrayal of fear is a few wrinkles on his forehead and water sprayed on his face.

The story and the concept are OK. The portrayal of the characters just suck. It is hard to relate to them because they are merely stereotypes (especially the African migrants). The token zombie girl looks funny.

The CGIs are very convincing though. It is used in many of the stunts including a zombie dog attacking a man. The sound effects are OK.

I still like Blair Witch Project. I do not think CGI or special effects can top it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Taking Certificate IV in TESOL course

I came to Adelaide to look for a job as an ESL teacher but it became very apparent that I need a certificate IV in TESOL to be considered for a teaching position here. I immediately signed up for an online course with an in-class component.

As I expected, I am not learning anything new because I have been doing the same thing for 2 1/2 years as an English instructor. One of the schools that is discussed in this course is actually the school that is still technically my employer and it is the biggest one in the industry.

I am not yet sure if I want to ask for an exemption by gathering documents to prove to them that I am worthy of the certificate without going through the course. Or maybe it is easier and more practical for me to go through the course.

It is strange that all of my classmates in this course are Aussies who are inexperienced and who want to teach overseas and I am an Asian who want to teach here.
Anyway, it is just one hurdle among the others that I have to face until I reach my goal.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Adelaide's Picnic in the Park 2008

I was very excited to be in this event and my expectations were met. Holding hands with Steven and kissing him did not grant us extra attention. We saw other people kissing and cuddling and nobody cared. We felt normal as we are supposed to.

Steven and I met some of our friends. He saw some of his straight friends. In fact, there were a lot of straight couples going around. I guess it is because there is nothing much to do in Adelaide so some people just go to places where they can just relax.

Even before entering the venue, dogs caught our attention. There was a dog show and we were very ecstatic to see the wonderful dogs. Included in this posting is a photo of us holding a Jack Russell. Her name is B and we got a lot of attention because of her. She is just lovely.