Jakarta | BigFooty

Jakarta

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Faithful Hawk, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Faithful Hawk

    Faithful Hawk Club Legend

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    Just wondering if anyone has lived for a sustained period in Jakarta and can give me any advice on the pro's and cons.

    I am considering a transfer with work and taking my young family up there( Wife & 2 young girls). Work provide a very attractive package including housing, driver & maid.
     

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  2. Eagle87

    Eagle87 Brownlow Medallist

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    I visit regularly and have a couple of mates and a number of clients who live there.

    One has lived there for 8 years but his wife and teenage kids returned to Oz several years ago after the bombings in Jakarta.

    I can get you heaps of info but it might help if you could mention what your wife does now and whether the kids are school age or not? It makes a difference.

    Working women in Oz sometimes find the expat lifestyle less than exciting (not all, many really like it) because they can't work. Also schools can be an issue and they are damned expensive for the good ones - something you need to consider in your package.

    Also, do you have any experience working in Asia?

    *feel free to PM me if you'd rather take those details off line*
     
  3. WeetBixKid

    WeetBixKid Club Legend

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    I was there for about 2 weeks. For a single guy it's an absolute playground. The expat lifestyle is luxurious (the ones I met, doing all kinds of different jobs all seemed to have their own guards, drivers, cooks, cleaners etc) & lived in huge houses in fenced off neighbourhoods. Lots of Australians, they have an Aussie Rules team there. Your stomach won't like it, mine certainly never came around ... not one solid shit the entire time I was there unless taking immodium. You get used to it though apparently.
     
  4. Eagle87

    Eagle87 Brownlow Medallist

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    What??

    Never had an issue in Jakarta... perhaps you just have a soft constitution? :p
     
  5. Faithful Hawk

    Faithful Hawk Club Legend

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    My wife is a Primary School Teacher (10 years), so if worse comes to worse with the schools she can always homeschool until we come back. She is also considering the possibility of either tutouring or teaching english while we are there.

    Kids are currently 3 and 20months so not going to affect there schooling to much.

    I have considered the Schools and will definately be taking that into consideration when finalising package with work.
     
  6. Faithful Hawk

    Faithful Hawk Club Legend

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    Food won't be an issue have been to Bali a lot and never had any problems, also have a very strong stomach...:)
     
  7. Leper

    Leper Premiership Player

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    Come in spinner.... and greetings from Sumatra.

    I've lived there 2005-2009 with wife and 3 kids; and now just visit part time (a couple of weeks a month) as a semi-retiree. Generally we all loved it; moving back has actually been much harder than moving away.

    The expat female is the highest evolution of the species. Though some can't become accustomed to it due to things like the traffic, crowds and pollution, most love it for the social life (which mostly revolves around other expats, having coffee morning, massages, etc) and niceties like generous housing allowances; driver; maids; good schooling etc. You really can't beat it.

    As E87 has said, try to negotiate schooling into your package. You may not need it now, but once your kids are 5 good schooling is upwards of $20k/year.

    Your missus shouldn't have trouble finding work at the schools, BIS (British) and JIS (American) being the best. There is also an Aussie school and NZ one, but IMO they are shit by comparison. They don't pay a lot to what they call "local hires".... my advice would be to try and get a shoe in from home (but get in quick - they are probably already hiring for July)... you may even be able to double dip on things like travel and housing allowances.

    I have to run (it's makan time here... Friday... prayer day.... which means things are a little slow), but I can give you more advice on things like where to go out; attractions; housing options etc (and how to work with Indonesians!). I'd be curious to know who you'll be working for.... maybe PM me if you want.
     
  8. Rod Stroker

    Rod Stroker Brownlow Medallist

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    I've actually just stepped off a plane from JKT. But yes, have spent a lot of time there, Mrs is from that part of the world.
    If it was just myself then I'd probably put up with moving back if the package was attractive enough, but with kids in the picture I'd pass.
    Memories of my own childhood include easy access to beaches, parks, bike tracks, etc, all enjoyed with the family. Jakarta doesn't offer that, and we didn't want our kids to miss out on it.

    So quality of life should be an important factor in your decision, don't just base it on the package alone, because you can't put a price on your family's happiness. This is particularly important if you'll be traveling or putting in long hours for work where the wife and kids will be on their own a lot.

    If you haven't been there yet I'd suggest you take a survey trip before making any decisions. If possible bring the wife as well.

    On the plus side, the people there in general are great, very hospitable. For a society with so little they are remarkably happy people. And the food there is awesome!
     
  9. Leper

    Leper Premiership Player

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    Agree with most of the above. Particularly the advice to do a reccie - you need to get the wife to "sign off" on this above all else.

    The bit about kids / open spaces also rings true - it's the main reason we moved back to Aus in '09.

    Each to their own, but the only thing I've never understood is why in the hell anyone would want to marry a local girl there. As I said, each to their own, but personally Indonesians generally frustrate the shit out of me - which may seem an unusual comment given that I spend so much time here (maybe I'm just having a bad hair day with a couple of them this morning!). A little off track, but those who think Indonesia are one day going to invade Australia need to spend some time in Indonesia - piss ups; breweries; roots and brothels all come to mind. Friday would come around and they'd all be lying around sleeping or smoking Gudang Garams or off in some seedy cafe negotiating a kickback with the ammo supplier and half their gear would be rusak (broken) because some bright goldfish forgot to change the oil.
     
  10. Leper

    Leper Premiership Player

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    Much if this won't make sense unless you've spent time in Indonesia, but here goes.... my personal favourites bolded, but all of them so true!

    You know you have been in Indonesia too long when……

    • You can kill cockroaches with your bare feet;
    • The footprints on the toilet seat are your own;
    • You no longer wait in line, but immediately go to the head of the queue;
    • You stop at the bottom of the escalator to plan your day;
    • You habitually punch all the buttons as you leave the lift;
    • It has become exciting to see if you can get on the lift before anybody else can get off;
    • You're willing to pay to use a toilet you wouldn't go to within a kilometer of at home;
    • It is no longer surprising that the only decision made at a meeting is the time and venue for the next meeting;
    • You rank the decision making abilities of your staff by how long it takes them to reply "up to you mister";
    • You no longer wonder how someone making US$200 per month can drive a Mercedes;
    • You accept the fact that you have to queue to get your number for the next queue;
    • You have considered buying a motorcycle for the next family car;
    • You accept without question the mechanic's analysis that the car is "broken" and that it will cost you a lot of money to get it fixed;
    • You find it saves time to stand and retrieve your cabin baggage while the plane is on final approach;
    • You think the Proton and Kijang are stylish and well built cars;
    • You walk to the pub with your arm around your mate;
    • You answer the telephone with "Hello" more than 2 times;
    • You are quite content to repeat your order six times in a restaurant that only has four items on the menu;
    • A T-bone steak and rice sounds just fine;
    • You believe everything you read in the local newspaper;
    • You regard traffic signals, stop signs and copy watch peddlers with ignorance;
    • If when listening to the pilot prove he can't speak English, you no longer wonder if he can understand the Air Traffic Controllers;
    • You regard it as part of an adventure when the waiter exactly repeats your order and the cook makes something completely different;
    • You're not surprised when three men with a ladder show up to change a light bulb;
    • You think it is normal to wait six days to get your laundry back or pay 50% surcharge for same day service;
    • Taxi drivers understand you;
    • You own a rice cooker;
    • Due to selective memory you honestly believe you could return to the western world;
    • You can shake your hands almost perfectly dry before wiping them on your pants;
    • When crossing a busy street you believe that a limp wrist motion with your right arm creates a force field that repels oncoming traffic;
    • Suitable family entertainment for Friday night is to dress the whole family in dark clothing and dash back and forth across Jalan Sudirman and other busy streets;
    • You think it's logical to dry your hands with Kleenex;
    • When dining with your family at a Mexican restaurant, the table next to you is occupied by an overweight, bald, fifty-something Australian petroleum worker who has each of his arms around a teenaged Sundanese girl;
    • While at an indonesian night spot you listen to the FEMALE singer singing "honky tonk woman", and she appears to be unaware that she just sang the line "I met a gin-soaked bar-room queen in Memphis, she tried to take me upstairs for the ride, . . ." ;
    • You find that you are now depraved enough that you just spent a minute or two visualizing the female singer mentioned above going "upstairs" with the gin-soaked bar-room queen;
    • You find yourself getting upset with inflation because the price of the buffet in a five-star hotel is now nearly ten dollars;
    • Going out for a drink with your coworker, he shows up with his girlfriend, even though you are on a first name basis with his wife;
    • Someone tells you that 10 kbs is a "pretty good download speed";
    • There is no discount for what is clearly a demo model;
    • A gaggle of teenage girls swoon as you walk by;
    • The cute looking girls in Singapore seemingly pay you no notice whatsoever;
    • You find yourself looking at a photo of Demi Moore in a half naked pose and find yourself thinking that she looks rather unfeminine and unattractive;
    • McDonald's is out of hamburgers and KFCs is out of chicken;
    • You ask a person taking your order, "Do you have cheeseburgers?" and the server responds, "Yes, we do." And so you say, "OK, I'll order a cheeseburger." And the server says, "I'm sorry, we're out of cheeseburgers.”;
    • You can walk into a five-star hotel lobby unshaven, in jogging shorts, ratty t-shirt and flip-flops and DON'T get an awkward glance from the management;
    • A bathroom with four attendants is so disgustingly filthy that you wouldn't step into it back home ... and one of those attendants sole job is to hand you flimsy, single-ply toilet paper to dry your hands;
    • and if ... YOU UNDERSTAND ALL OF THE ABOVE REFERENCES!
     
  11. Rod Stroker

    Rod Stroker Brownlow Medallist

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    Mine isn't "local", she's Chinese Indo, although she's spent half of her life living abroad anyway so she hasn't resided there for years.
    For me the frustration arises from a lack of motivation and drive to get things done. The wheels turn very slowly over there, and in many cases if you don't grease those wheels then they don't turn at all.
    They would be too lazy to invade, couldn't be bothered.
     

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  12. rdhopkins2

    rdhopkins2 Carpe Diem

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    I haven't worked in Jakarta but did live there with my family when I was younger. About 1992-95 between the ages of 10-13. Went to an international school.

    Pros:
    -Amazing experience living in another culture, learning the language and traditions, sampling local food etc (to an extent anyway).
    -Expat lifestyle (servants, guards, drivers etc). My one comment on servants though is treat your servants with respect and you won't have a problem with them and infact will develop relationships with them and their families.
    -Not that far from Aus if you want to head back home to see the family. Check out some of the other islands whislt you're there, W Java etc and make sure you make the most of it.


    Cons
    -Security will always be the main issue. The people are awesome in general but like anywhere you need to keep an eye open to security.
    -Homesickness

    Any questions, ask away.
     
  13. Faithful Hawk

    Faithful Hawk Club Legend

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    This is something we are definately taking into to consideration, if we do go it will only be for 2-3 years max. My wife can only take that long off until she loses her permanent teaching position at the school she is assigned to, and I don't want the kids to miss out on what we both treasured when growing up.
     
  14. Rod Stroker

    Rod Stroker Brownlow Medallist

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    One of my colleagues there at the time had a nightmare experience. He was abroad for work and while he was away his house was broken into and his wife and kids were bound and gagged while their place was burgled. Jewelery, cash, paintings, electronics, crystals, etc, were all taken. Turns out it was an "inside job" where their maids and guards were in on it as they had arranged for the burglars to strike when my colleague was away and allowed them into the house one night. Scary shit!
     
  15. arads

    arads Club Legend

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    It's sad to hear about things like this but the fact remains that incidents of a similar nature could (and do) occur anywhere in the world. I know it probably wasn't your intention, but I'd hate for the OP to be put off by negativity regarding security. Most Indonesians are absolutely fantastic (albeit lazy) people but as is the case in any society, there are always a few rotten apples. At the end of the day, you just have to trust your instincts and hope that something wont happen - wherever you go, whether its New York, Sydney, Moscow etc., if you live in fear, you won't enjoy the experience. Most expat areas are fairly secure, especially estates. If you live amongst the locals, then security will be more of an issue, even if you have your own guards.

    Indonesia is a fantastic place, with so much to see and do. Jakarta can be frustrating, with its pollution, traffic and crime rates in certain areas (not to mention its massive population), but I'm hoping to go back at the end of this year or next. Given the OP has said that he would only consider a 2-3 year package, I'd say go for it. You don't want to look back in 30 years time and wonder about what might have been. If your a person who loves a bit of travel and culture, you'll love it imo. It will be fantastic for the kids (no matter how young), to get experience with another culture. The expat community will make you feel comfortable no doubt. Oh, and did somebody say Bintang? :D
     
  16. Rod Stroker

    Rod Stroker Brownlow Medallist

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    For middle class families to have full time maids, drivers, guards, etc, is quite rare in most countries. And then to have those workers do a job on you is even rarer. So I don't get your line about incidents of a similar nature occurring anywhere in the world.
    This was another factor that got to me there after a while, locked up living in gated compounds. Goes back to my previous point about quality of living.
     
  17. arads

    arads Club Legend

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    Ok, when I said incidents of a similar nature can occur anywhere in the world, I was not referring specifically to the incident you mentioned - sorry for the confusion. My point was more about the fact that break and enters in a broader sense can and do occur anywhere. But if you want to get down to the nitty gritty, I reckon its a pretty fair chance that if you surveyed all the expatriates that have lived in Jakarta over the past two decades, the amount of people that have fallen victim to the type of thefts/burglaries/attacks etc encountered by your friends family would be in a slim minority when compared to the total number of expats. Just because it happened to your mates family does not mean it will happen to others. Back to my original point - (again, not specifically referring to families who employ maids), there is probably a greater then even chance that multiple break and enters will occur across Australia tonight. The fact is that there's risk anywhere you live.

    Not all expats live in gated compounds, and many who don't live their day to day lives very much incident free. Jakarta isn't Baghdad. Crime is an issue (and terrorism/anti government protests have been known to occur) but the majority of people are not affected directly by crime (eg: direct targets of robberies). It isn't the safest in the world, but it also isn't the most dangerous. It's the unfortunate stories such as your friends that give the city a bad reputation (perhaps not undeserved). But again, for all the expats living there, only a very slim percentage would encounter a problem such as the one faced by your friends family so to the OP, please don't let bad stories such as the one mentioned sway your opinion. If you were selling any city to a foreigner and mentioned incidents of crime, it would be very easy to make that city sound a lot worse then it actually is.
     
  18. Hap Hapablap

    Hap Hapablap Que Pasa? Ole...

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    looking to work here for a while s my missus is living there temporarily.

    been there numerous times and will probably need a driver.

    finding a job there though seems like a long stretch any advice?
     
  19. rdhopkins2

    rdhopkins2 Carpe Diem

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    What do you do for a living mate?
     
  20. Hap Hapablap

    Hap Hapablap Que Pasa? Ole...

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    Im a contracts engineer/quantity surveyor. in the construction industry. slowed down a bit here in perth as everyone knows and really want a new experience overseas. As the missus is currently working in jakarta itll make our lives a lot easier.
     
  21. SHAKESPEARE

    SHAKESPEARE Brownlow Medallist

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    **** me this place sounds like Syria.

    Please tell me i'll be okay for 3 weeks
     
  22. Hap Hapablap

    Hap Hapablap Que Pasa? Ole...

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    youll be fine

    beside the traffic issues the city's pretty good plenty of things to do, plenty of places to drink and eat and shop. if you have a chance go to bogor as well

    this is coming from someone who isnt indonesian

    as for my previous posts i didnt end up moving there but spent some time there especially after getting married, good place if you live in the high end areas like kemang, kuningan and menteng.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
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  23. SHAKESPEARE

    SHAKESPEARE Brownlow Medallist

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    Cheers.

    I am working quite a lot so won't be much other than going from hotel to office, and i plan to use this as a 3 week health kick by using the hotel gym.

    But i would like to watch some AFL at some point, and not die ;)
     
  24. Hap Hapablap

    Hap Hapablap Que Pasa? Ole...

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    WatchAfl app will save you but there is a few places you can watch it at some pubs and whatnot

    which side of the city will you be staying at if you dont mind me asking. PM if you want to keep it more discreet.
     
  25. SHAKESPEARE

    SHAKESPEARE Brownlow Medallist

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    Ok, first week nearly down and I love this place.

    Helps we have a driver for work, and everyone wants to pay for our dinner every night.

    Amazing place
     
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