Life in INDONESIA
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 extraordinary careless beauty with hungry people trying to find their way into making money one way or another. It’s full of Chinese descendants, also known as Chindos, flashing their money accompanied by complete impolite rudeness. We all expats have been sweetly accommodated 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. It’s a shame. Indonesia is a G E M. It’s people have not been educated enough about the importance of environmentally protecting it. This is what’s really hard to swallow here.
I will get over it, and move on.
October 4, 2016
JAKARTA, JAKARTA, JAKARTA….what can I say?
For the next 2 years, 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!
Let’s just say that the dirty beaches of Bali do not scare me anymore. In other words…Third World Country. As pictures can speak louder than words, they can also ignite some of the best arguments in history. It even can 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. Speaking of pictures…I kick off this PAGE with the following ones.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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?
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!!!
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.
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 are built where there’s water because poor households rely on groundwater or ground pumps formed in their informal but settled communities. The levels of waste contamination in the water is evident.
I pass it almost everyday. I’ve seen people wash clothes here. I’ve seen people “clean” their hands and feet here. I’ve seen people bathing. Yes. Bathing.
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 do 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.
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 21, 2017
I ran a 1/2 marathon…the Kebun Raya Bogor 200k run at the Botanical Gardens in Bogor, Java. It’s a beautiful place to visit, stroll and enjoy a morning or afternoon walk with family and friends.
May 27, 2017
At Sentul. The guides will meet you at a parking place. From there, they take you to the basin of their starting point. You go hiking thru their rice villages. My daughter went there with some of her classmates to celebrate her friend’s birthday. Great idea.
June 1, 2017
Our first trip to the Thousand Islands, yay! We went aboard the Columbus, and despite the heavy price tag (of about 20,000,000 IDR), we split the total amongst families because we were a group of 20 people which was the maximum capacity for this yacht. So worth it.
June 25, 2017
It’s Ramadan week in Jakarta. No traffic. No bad air. No expats. No locals. Nothing. Nada. It’s empty. But I stayed. Never doing that again. What to do? What to do? Oh, I don’t know….Bali? Of course! This time, we were in Candi Dasa (or Candidasa).
July 3-31, 2017
As I said before, Jakarta is a ghost town during summertime. Despite this little known fact, we still managed to get along and find a little bit of fun.
August 5, 2017
In Bali! We are in Bali. We still have 10 days before school officially starts, and we really are up to our wits in Jakarta with our two girls that have been going to the same places for 2 whole months. Bali is always a nice escape! We went to Dreambeach. This one is clean. It’s a surfer’s paradise, so watch out for the strong current. The waves are merciless!
August 15, 2017
First day of school year 2017-2018 at JIS, Jakarta. My daughter is very excited to start 4th grade and to see her friends once again. Some have already left us, but new ones are in. After all, this is an EXPAT life.
August 26, 2017
Rugby tryouts! So, we took our daughter to Jakarta’s Komodos Rugby Club to see if she would take a liking for the sport, right? Well, she’s in the team. She’s officially a Komodos!
August 27, 2017
I volunteered my time at the Roshan Learning Center today. We tried to give the classrooms a fresh look by painting them with a bright yellow color. While we painted, my daughter played with some of the locals that were there to help.
September 9, 2017
Hurricane Harvey flooded the east coast of Texas, USA. Since we’re from Texas, we decided to raise some relief funds for the people of Houston. We did it at Star Deli Bar. It went pretty well. Here’s a little peak at that.
September 23, 2017
We’re in Bali for the first Junior Rugby Tournament. My daughter’s team won the cup! First place! Stunning Success for them! Woohoo!
October 4, 2017
My daughter headed out together with her classmates on their first field trip away from home! I confessed it was hard, given the fact that we live in Jakarta, it was hard to let go. Everything that could go wrong popped into my little head.