Thursday, 9 October 2014

Little India, Singapore


On our second day in Singapore, we jumped on the MRT and headed to Little India. I didn't know what there was to see in Little India but I knew there were brightly coloured buildings and I knew I had to see them! 

Little India is only two stops (4 minutes) from the Clarke Quay MRT station yet feels like you've left Singapore and travelled to Delhi (albeit a very quiet Delhi). As soon as we got off the train, I noticed that almost all of the passengers who alighted with us were Indian, the advertisments along the MRT walls featured Indian models and as we headed up the escalator to street level, we saw a group of women shuffling along in wearing brightly coloured saris.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Matisse Beach Club, Scarborough

I was really disappointed to have missed a blogger event at Matisse Beach Club because of this so when an email arrived inviting me to arrange a visit, I jumped at the chance.

Matisse is in the location where the Lookout used to be and has been setup up by the same group who are behind the Breakwater. They only opened about six months ago but with their bright neon colours and beach-side location, have been attracting quite a bit of interest. Inspired by the beach clubs in Miami and taking inspiration from places like Potato Head and Ku De Ta in Bali, Matisse is one of Perth's first venues to offer bottle service.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Maxwell Road Hawkers Centre, Singapore

After a morning of shopping, we decided to head to the Maxwell Road Hawkers Centre in Chinatown for some lunch. Everyone from Anthony Bourdain to our taxi drive had recommended we order from the Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at stall 10, so that was our plan... Find a table and order chicken rice from Tian Tian.

I had read that people flock to the centre especially for Tian Tian and that you should expect to wait for 30+ minutes just to place your order. This wasn't what we experienced.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Life of Pia's chorizo, mushroom and sundried tomato pasta

After a gorgeous warm Saturday, Perth's weather turned and we were issued with a severe weather warning the next day. I don't know about you but for me, cold weather  = comfort food.

Looking in my fridge, I found a Barossa smoked chorizo sausage and a wedge of romano cheese that I had picked up from my local continental deli Smoult's, as well as a bag mushroom and a jar of semi sundried tomatoes. Success... Instant meal! It took less than 15 minutes to throw together and about the same amount of time to eat. ;) 

Friday, 19 September 2014

The Bodhi Tree Cafe, Mt Hawthorn

I visited The Bodhi Tree Cafe with my Mum during the week. It's become a bit of a tradition. We visit the Ruah Op Shop (formerly Daughters of Charity) and then head across the road for a drink.

With the gorgeous spring weather Perth has been blessed with this week, I decided to skip the hot drinks and have a fresh juice. The sign had a list of different juice combinations, or you could make your own. I decided to make my own and I did so in every sense. After paying, I was given a plastic cup and sent over to the juice bar along the window to select my ingredients to juice.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Cafe Smorgas, Sanur Bali

Photo credit: Little Bali Love
Cafe Smorgas is on main street in Sanur, Jl Tamblingan  and right next door to a massage spa (Healing Hands). On this trip, Healing Hands was the massage spa that we visited daily, so after a morning massage and seeing that they were popular, we decided to give them a shot for brunch.

Emigrate: to leave one's place of residence or country to live elsewhere

I recently found out my biological Mother emigrated from South Korea in 1999. 

This information was supplied from the adoption agency I was processed through in Korea to the government department in my state who deal with post-adoption.

The email didn't say where she had immigrated to, just that she had left Korea and as a result her Korean registry had been closed. I'm not sure if they know where she immigrated to and couldn't/wouldn't disclose this. They ended the email saying that they had no further plans for the case.

The department that I'm dealing with at home haven't made this process any easier. While the people who are helping with my case are lovely and have been very efficient with their replies, their lack of knowledge and experience gives me very little confidence. I asked them if there is anything that can be done to re-open my case. They don't know. I have requested that they send an email on my behalf (because I have to go through them to communicate with my adoption agency) asking for more information. Where did she immigrate to? Can they provide her name in Hangul and her Korean ID number? (I know that they can't/won't do this but I thought it might be worth asking). Is there any thing else that can be done from here?  I have also contacted two groups in Korea who help adoptees with birth family search with the hopes that they can assist. 

What's really frustrating is knowing that there's information in my file that I can't have access to. When I was in Korea in May, I was told the reason behind this is that they can't guarantee the accuracy of the information. The ironic thing is that it's very unlikely that the information in my Initial Social History that I have copies of in Korean and English is accurate; I've never met anyone whose reality matched their Initial Social History document. I was also told by the Korean Social Worker that there laws in place that prevent identifying information from being shared with me without the consent of a biological parent. It's a catch-22... I can't locate biological family independently from the adoption agency without this information but can't get access to it without permission from my biological Mother or Father.

Family search via email is difficult and people with more complicated searches usually have better success by being in Korea; visiting the hospital they were born in, getting assistance from the police, submitting DNA etc. Knowing this, when I submitted my forms to find out more information about my biological family, I also applied for a 'return home' program run by my adoption agency. They contribute financially towards your airfare and provide accommodation for a week in the adoptee guesthouse they operate. On the same day that I found out about my biological Mother emigrating from Korea, I also found out that my application for the program had been unsuccessful. The program is for adoptees who have communicated with biological family but had not been able to meet them due to financial hardship. The guidelines also said that if there were unoccupied places, adoptees "who are hard to find birth family" were able to apply. I don't know if all the adoptees selected met the first round criteria and even though I didn't, I had thought that I might still get a place. If there are applicants who are still searching who were successful, I can only assume their the rejection of my application came as a result of their decision to have "no further plans" for my case. I am still pretty devastated by this... I wanted to be in Korea in November. 

As I drifted to sleep last night, I wondered why people search for biological family and why I was doing this. Part of me thinks that it makes no sense to want to meet someone who knew me for less than a day but just happens to share my DNA. The other part of me still wants to search...

I've gone from feeling shocked, to curious, to frustrated, to downright angry. Right now, I am feeling despondent by the lack of information about the search process and the fact that there is information available that I can't access. I may never know more than what I know now and this is something that I must accept.

A note from Pia: I have written and deleted this post so many times. Re-writing the post didn't make it any easier to write, nor did it make my writing any better (damn!). I know my friends, colleagues and family read my blog which sometimes makes it hard to write without feeling inhibited. Today is "R U OK?" day and truth be told... no, I'm not OK. It's hard to feel happy at the moment. It's not that I feel sad... I just feel confused, overwhelmed, distracted and not quite myself. I know that I will be OK though. Pia xx