continue from Perth in Adventure, part c..
When I enter the Monastery, I found 2 men talking behind a big van. While waiting they finish their conversation, I looked around the Monastery. It is quite big with yellow brick fence. First thing you’ll see is not a Monastery but a house and a workshop. I guess this is where the Anagarika live. Anagarika is people who take care of Buddhist monk. Buddhist monk is not allowed to bring money and non-needed possession.
I walked close to a man wearing a white shirt and trousers. Because I was still in overwhelmed state, first thing I ask was “Is this Bodhinyana Monastery?”, he replied, “Yes, it is as seen on the gate.” Oh, silly me.
The next question came was “Is Ajahn Brahm here?”, he replied, “No, he is currently teaching Meditation Retreat in other place.” Actually he mentioned the place but its not familiar and I simply forgot.
The last question was, “Can I meditate in the meditation hall?”, he replied, “Yes.” And later on he show me the way to the meditation hall.
Before i start exploring, i take a look on my watch. My train was leaving on 16.15. I can not miss the train, I need to get out before 14.00 the latest. Means that i only have 1 hour maximum.
I arrived on the center of the Monastery. From here we can find the Meditation hall, gazebo, path to the living space, and also the toilet.
There were some people at there. Some just visiting, and the others are meditating.
I walked as quite as i could since there was some people meditating inside. In the inside, i felt the similar feeling as i was inside the Vimala Dharma Monastery in Bandung, Indonesia. It’s a simple altar but meaningful. It was no lights except lights on the altar and a dim light from the windows. Its a perfect place for meditation. It’s very tempting to take a photo, but i respect people who was meditating inside. I believe that they can hear a “click” sound from my camera. I was in meditation hall only for half hour.
In another remaining half hour, i walked inside the complex and rest a while, preparing my self for another 1.5 hours walk back to train station. I didn’t bring any lunch, but luckily i have Gatorade and chocolates. So, that was my lunch.
While i walked inside the complex, i found 2 cute wallabies!! This shows that Bodhinyana Monastery is really in the middle of the forest. At that time, i understood why in the books Ajahn told us about fire fighting with bush fire. It is really possible. The other thing that really impressed me is the Monastery rely on the solar panel system. I don’t think there is electricity wire come inside the Kingsbury Drive since i didn’t see any power pole on the side of the road.
While i left the Monastery, i found something interesting. There is a kind of cemetery on the fence, the yellow brick. I prayed for a moment, i went to the gate, and said goodbye to Bodhinyana Monastery.
Walking back to the train station wasn’t that bad. Maybe because i already familiar with the road. My first destination was the grocery stop. I wanted to say thank you again to the shopkeepers. But, when i reached there, the shop was closed. Then, i went straight to the train stop.
I was arrived early. The train stop has bench with roof, so i just resting at there, tried to straighten my tired foot. I met local men that walked their dogs near the train stop. He asked me the background of my trip to Serpentine, and i answered, i just wanted to do it. It was a nice accompany from strangers.
I once worried that the train won’t stop to pick me up. But, they came. I bet the people in the train were questioned who got in to the train from Serpentine. Because i was too tired, i just sit wherever it was empty. I believe that there was only a slight chance that there would be people get in the middle of the train lane, since i was that slight chance. I was ready if someone ask me to move.
45 minutes later i arrived back in Perth. I was aiming to go to a famous Japanese restaurant to get some take away dinner, since it was on the same track back to hotel. Unfortunately, it was closed during the Easter Holiday. I was too tired to get another alternative, so i walked straight to hotel and order a room service [again].
Shower was the first thing i did when i reached my room. While waiting the dinner, i took a look on brochures that i took in information area in the hotel. I got one day left. So, i started to do window shopping on the possible list. There was some day tours provided, such Pinnacles Day Tour, Margaret River, Winery, Wave Rock, York, Fremantle, etc. I browsed for the availability online, but nothing available for the next day.
Then, i decided to go with Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) bus. In such a short time, HOHO bus is the best option to do inner city sightseeing. I did HOHO in Paris before, and it was very good. It is easy, i just need to make sure that it is operating on Easter Holiday, and buy ticket on the next day.
At the end of the day, i was very tired and straightly fell asleep at 21.00. Another surprise of the day was not finished yet. I woke up on 22.00, just one hour after my beauty sleep, because i heard some hard explosive sounds. Woke up in such condition is never a good thing.
I really thought that there was a bomb or something. I looked up to the window and i saw fireworks!! I remember how disappointed i was when i didn’t see any fireworks on New Year’s Eve. And, suddenly i’ve got two amazing fireworks so far. One in Sydney during Australia’s Day, and this was the second. After enjoyed it for 10 minutes, i went back to sleep, i really couldn’t stand it.
I started the next day with waking up a little bit late, as per expected. Since i still need to recover my sore leg, i decided to have breakfast in the hotel, the hot one. I grew up in Indonesia, lived in Asian culture. Since i was a kid, breakfast is usually a hot meals, like rice, noodle, porridge, etc. This is one of most things that i miss when i went to Western countries.
I found many things that i really wanted to eat there. I got scrambled eggs, hash browns, noodles, porridges, and a cup of morning tea. I were there around 1 hours, not having breakfast, but brunch, breakfast plus lunch. Not taking so long after that, i was ready with my comfy walk shoes, hit my feet on the street.
First place i found was the Perth Mint. Honestly, i didn’t know what was this place. It seems very authentic and i saw many people in there, taking pictures. Then i think, this might be one of tourism area. Let’s give it a try.
Perth Mint is an oldest and the only operating mint in Australia. It is a legal tender of gold, silver, and platinum coinage that appointed by Australian Government. Inside, we can find the coin’s collection shop made of gold, silver, and platinum. Beside that, they have jewelries and gift shops. They also sell gold ingot stamped by Perth Mint initial.
The most interesting thing was its museum and mint guide. With the tour guide, you will be explained on Perth Mint history, Australia’s gold journey, and also on how they cast a gold brick. They still have one crucible functioning for demonstration purpose. They demonstrate how to refine the gold. I am not kidding, they use pure gold. The tricky part is, they use the same gold again and again. After the demonstration finished, the gold will be placed back inside the crucible, with minimum 1000 degrees Celsius inside. If you think of stealing, please don’t, they have cameras in every corner, believe me.
The next destination was finding the HOHO stop. And guess what, it is in front of the Perth Mint. For your information, Perth Mint is one of most visited tourist attraction in Perth. It’s just me that didn’t know that.
HOHO ticket is valid for 2 days. So, if you plan to visit Perth City’s attraction alone, this is a very good option. Since i didn’t have much time, i straight stopped on King’s Park, the one that i most interested in.
Why a park? It’s just me, i like nature. My favorite activities during summer was laying dawn in the park. King’s Park is located the heart of the city, very near with Perth CBD. Its up in the hill, so we can see Swan River and even Kwinana Freeway. It is a huge park with a lot varieties of plants. Based on the government data, the total area of the park is 400.6 hectares with 3,000 Australia’s species inside.
It was a sunny day, a very good time to be there. Inside the park, we can find bridges where we can see the Swan River without any plant block our eye. However, if you have a fear of heights, i don’t recommend to walk across the bridge. It is very high and only have glasses on the both of the sides, so you can see through what it is below. I have fear of heights but i am crazy enough to challenge it sometime. And, it was worth for the scenery.
I spent 2 hours inside the park, it was so beautiful in a beautiful day. The last spot i visit was the state war memorial. It was placed in a perfect spot of the park. As many memorial in the world, there is a kind of flame torch to respect people who die in the war.
I couldn’t stay longer due to the bus schedule. I catch the last bus that drop me down town. I went to big supermarket to get dinner then went back to hotel. I need to pack my back and sleep early to catch flight on 5.30 a.m in the morning.
There was no much hassle going back to Melbourne, place where i currently live. I arrived in my apartment safe and sound.
It was quite a journey. For some people, traveling is just escaping normal daily life. For me, it is one of the way to finding ourselves, exploring our possibilities in life. I may not met Ajahn Brahm, but the journey itself was a teaching in many ways. Start with independencies, and a lot random acts of kindness.
Some of you may not believe, but i’ll just say, life is similar with two sides of coin toss. There is possibility that we’ll find bad things when we step out from our home door. But, do we sacrifice all the good things for that one bad thing? 🙂