Indonesia

 

Life in INDONESIA

This is one of the Gili islands in Lombok, Indonesia. I escape the busy city of Jakarta to decompress in places such as this one.

 

 

Sept 22, 2016

Here we go…

I just moved to one of the top 10 fastest growing megacities in the world…Jakarta. To express the radicalism of it all, I came from living in the beautiful Alps of Gruyère Cheese and Riesling Wine that is Switzerland. @%$^#%!!! Yes, the shock. Jakarta is what I call an explosion of hungry people trying to find their way into making money one way or another, full of Chinese descendants flashing their money accompanied by complete impolite rudeness, not to mention all of us expats that have been sweetly accommodate to the comforts of fine living surrounded by the slum settlements which sums it all up to what I have become to call it…a luxurious prison. I will get over it, and move on.

October 4, 2016

JAKARTA, JAKARTA, JAKARTA….what can I say?

For the next year, I will be posting pictures here that will document my life as an expat living in the capital of Indonesia. I will also try my best to illustrate the challenges that Indonesia currently face in 2016-2017.

To give you a heads up:

  • Poverty is prevalent everywhere.
  • Inadequate infrastructure is a pain in the butt.
  • Corruption is practiced at all levels of society.
  • Pollution wins in popularity.
  • Diseases will…well…you know.
  • Natural disasters are our enemies!
  • And I can go and on and on…about the rain and…oh my gosh!
  • Hygiene? NO!

In other words…Third World Country. 

A picture can speak louder than words. They can ignite some of the best arguments in history. It can also provide us with emotions that sometimes are hard to express. But just to be fair, I will post pictures with a little note on them, ok? Speaking of pictures…I kick off this PAGE with the following ones!

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On a “smokey” night. Hampton’s Park Apartments in Terogong, Jakarta Selatan. Even the smog lures above the city of Jakarta at night.

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On a cloudy day. I took this picture at the same spot I took the one above, but during the morning. Soon after, the smog dissipated as the clouds rolled in with some heavy rain.

 

October 5, 2016

Traffic in Jakarta is ah…is…well…a disaster. Not only it becomes a determining factor when it comes to going about your business on a daily basis, but if you don’t know Jakarta, you will get lost immediately.  Let me put it this way, if you hate traffic in New York, you will go nuts in Jakarta. Roads flood in a matter of minutes when it rains. Space is an issue here too. In some cases, only one car fits on the road yet you have 2 vehicles squeezing thru, barely touching the walls. Better be on motorbike! That’s what the majority of the population rides on, if they can afford it. You’ll see 1, 2, 3, even 4 people in one motorbike. In some cases, none of them are wearing helmets.

 

 

There you have it…party of 4 on a motorbike!

 

 

Did you notice the tiny spaces? 

 

October 9, 2016

Today is a very memorable day for me, but I’m not here to talk about that. Instead, check out this picture…

There's construction going on around the toll ring road of Pondok Indah. This is part of Jakarta's Outer Ring Road.

There’s construction going on around the toll ring road of Pondok Indah. This is part of Jakarta’s Outer Ring Road.

 

Instead of taking the trucks back to their place, they leave them there overnight, hence, backing up traffic that exits the toll, and you get the idea. Sometimes, the traffic to exit the toll is about 15-20 minutes, and one time that I was in it, we were backed up all the way to where we enter the toll. Nobody does anything. You have to wait.

 

October 14, 2016

It has been raining a M O N S O O N…for the past week which means that there’s not much to do in Jakarta because the streets have a tendency to flood in a matter of minutes. However, on a not so rainy day, I was able to snap a picture of this man. He picks up trash for living.

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In JL. RS Fatmawati, Jakarta Selatan

 

October 23, 2016

We live in Cilandak Bawah I. On August 17, 2016, Indonesia celebrated its independence. Outside our compound, they were having an activity for the kids. Although we didn’t know our neighbors, they made sure that our daughter could participate in these events. She had a lot of fun.

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October 26, 2016

It’s Cultural Week at my daughter’s school, and today they had a demonstration of traditional Indonesian Weaving. It’s a very long process to weave one throw for a sofa, for example. I asked her how long it would take her to make one, and she simply said..months. I believe it. 

Oh, but look how beautiful they are…

October 31, 2016

United Nations Day at my daughter’s International Elementary School. There are 65 nations represented at the school! Can you guess what was the last country to waive its flag on THIS UN Day?

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It is also Halloween night! And would you believe it if I told you that not only Americans love to celebrate this holiday? Well, it’s true. The reason behind this? NO CLUE! Maybe because there aren’t too many things for expats to do here in Jakarta. Maybe because there are too many Americans wanting to celebrate Halloween and their friends join them! Or could it be that it’s JUST PLAIN FUN!!!! I’m gonna go with the last arguable explanation. 

November 1, 2016

I was on my way to pick up my daughter from school, and I saw this. He’s cleaning what appears to be a container by using water coming from someone’s water hose. I see this a lot on the streets; you see people cleaning stuff and leaving trash out there. 

 

 

November 3, 2016

One thing to know about living in Jakarta…anything can be fixed! Or so they say! I found this place in Cipete, South Jakarta for fixing picture frames.

 

November 9, 2016

Monggo Chocolat!!! Monggo in Indonesian means “si vous plait”…that’s the name of this ridiculously amazing Indonesian Chocolate. This is a masterpiece, and I do hope to eat more of it on a regular basis!!!

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November 21, 2016

I was walking my dog around the Pondok Indah neighborhood, and you will always see them on any street…at any given time…the mobile broom vendor. That’s what I call him. I always see him around the corner of our street around the same time…every day. 

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Hello January…welcome to 2017!

It’s the first week of January 2017. The holidays have past and, of course, I’m about 5 pounds lighter, I mean heavier. So yes, the holidays were so great that I forgot we had to come back to Jakarta, Indonesia. That’s why there have been about, I would say, close to, maybe…0 posts??? But now we’re back, yep…to here. And that’s why I posted the following pics. On our way back to the house from the airport, I realized how dangerously organized the cables are, and when I say cables, I mean these ones…

 

They always seem to amaze me…a work of art its in own right. Or maybe it’s because infrastructure here kinda sucks. Either way…I call it a work of art. 

January 27, 2017

The most popular SOTOMIE is from BOGOR. I should try it. Umm, Yummy! Especially that growing brownish-green side order below the stack of noodles…can’t wait to eat it! Let’s do this!!!

 

 

February, 24, 2017

This is Kali Grogol, the river that cruises under Jl. Terogong Raya. The water is polluted yet slum settlements where there’s water because poor households rely on groundwater or ground pumps formed in their informal but settled communities where the levels of waste contamination in the water is evident. 

I’ve seen people wash clothes here. I’ve seen people “clean” their hands and feet here…so far. 

 

March 6, 2017

I live near the Pondok Indah Mall 2 in Jl. Metro Alam which is about 2.5 kilometers away from Terogong Raya. I go there for Starbucks and to do groceries. It normally takes me 20 minutes to get there from my house, on a “traffic is moving” day.

On a “gridlock day” it can take up to 2 hours! You get there faster by walking. No joke. I  didn’t walk back home because I had my 2 year old in the car without a stroller. Mind you, walking can also become a difficult task. Nobody stops when you cross the street. You take out your hand and wave it in hopes that they slow down as you attempt to get from point A to B.

 

 

March 9, 2017

This is the expat neighborhood where I reside near Pondok Indah Mall 2. I call it  “my pretty prison”. It’s definitely my birdcage because I can only feel safe within the parameters of my comfort “living” zone.  I know my boundaries. Some might say I’m exaggerating, but I already had my share of scares, so I’m sticking to it.

 

 

March 17, 2017

The disparity of rich and poor people in Indonesia is black and white. So, when my daughter’s school does a Walkathon to raise money for the Kampung Kids Foundation, nobody hesitates to participate. Besides, the school gets to have a day of fun! What kid says NO to that? What teacher says NO to that? What parent says NO to that???? WHO SAYS NO TO THAT? Ok, don’t answer that…

 

 

 

 

April 26, 2017

We just got back from Bali, and yes, it’s true. The beaches due get dirty with rubbish. From the distance, all the beaches look beautiful! They are incredibly beautiful. The breeze is amazing. The sound of the waves will bring you peace and tranquility. You lay down on the beach chairs and hours will pass without you noticing it. It’s an island!

The resorts do try their best to clean them every morning, but the tides bring rubbish continuously throughout the day. The resorts should have nonstop management of their resort beaches to keep them safe as well. I went running in the mornings, and that was the only time I saw them with their big tractors cleaning and grooming their beach. This was at the Grand Hyatt in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Nusa Dua is located at the Southern region of Bali. The beaches are beautiful, but the tides carry rubbish to the shore. You must watch out.

 

 

April 28, 2016

Did I mention how much it rains in Jakarta? I keep forgetting…yep. This happened in a matter of 15 minutes if I’m not mistaken? Flooding in South Jakarta is pretty much part of our lives.

 

May is here!

I love May in Indonesia. All but one of the weeks in May have a public holiday. This is great if you’re trying to do a quick getaway somewhere. We did! We went to Bogor. Actually, I signed up for the 21k run in Bogor, so we had to go. Here’s a pick of that finishing moment…

 

Taman Safari Bogor!

Anyone that has been to this Safari will let you know. You see the stickers posted on the back of almost every vehicle that you see in Jakarta. Really! It is truly an adventurous place. Who doesn’t love having a close encounter with a hippo? Ok, don’t answer that.

 

June 1, 2017

Have you ever heard of the Thousand Islands of Jakarta? Now you do. They are a bunch of little islands off the coast of North Jakarta. You can do a day trip, or you can do a vacation trip, depending on your preferences. We stuck to the day trip.

“Good bye, Jakarta”…!

 

Hello, Pulau Perak! Pulau means island.

 

Paradise. The 1 day trip started at 6:00am when we left Jakarta. We stayed in the island until 4:30pm. So worth it!