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Greetings from Jakarta, Indonesia.

Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.

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Greetings from Jakarta, Indonesia.

Postby ladislav » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:28 am

I decided to take a break from the Philippines and also, to renew my visa and well, bought a ticket to Indonesia to check the place out. Since the Philippines used to be richer than Indonesia until only recently, I expected to find a poor Muslim country with dingy buildings and dirt strewn around and beggars all around. Nothing prepared me for the shock I got when I arrived here. It was like someone hit me over the head with a granite slab! OMG!!! OMFG! Jakarta ROCKS! Skyscrapers reaching to the skies, wide avenues with flowers on the dividers, all drowning in greenery and tropical vegetation. Enormous office buildings and humongous hotels made from very good materials, solid construction and really high quality architecture. It looks like Dubai + gardens and flowers and trees everywhere. And because of the greenery and also, because it is on an island, the air is so fresh, you do not feel the pollution.

And the malls, the freaking malls- they look like the Trump tower in New York only five times bigger.

And I saw Mercedez Benz taxis and the majority of the cars are new with mini SUVs ( brand spanking new) being the most popular vehicle. And the food is great! For two-three dollars you get huge portions which will keep you going the whole day.

The insides of buildings and stores are all solid with good furniture. The hotel I am staying at is only $11 a night but the building is new, the furniture is new, there is satellite TV, WI FI and air conditioning. The bathroom is modern and clean, the water pressure is strong. Wow!

What are the minuses? Well, the traffic here barely moves so unless you get a driver who knows side streets, you are stuck. You need to leave in the off peak hours which do not allow for much flexibility or get someone to take you through the back streets.

I saw residential areas that looked like Beverly Hills with huge mansions surrounded by lush greenery. The roads have no potholes, everything is well taken care of. Looks like a great place to live and work. And it is not as crowded or chaotic as Manila. There is enough walking room, the density of the population is about equivalent to LA, the selection in restaurants is good, there are ATMs on every corner and the city planning is intelligent and is well carried out.

So, what is the catch? Well, it is a Muslim country, a liberal Muslim but still Muslim. Girls here, unlike in the Philippines do not make eye contact with guys, and strangers ( including the women) do not return nods. Now, it is the Ramadan so the people are fasting and many places are closed until sunset. There are go go bars here but I have not been there and I will give my report if I get there on Sunday. Visas for a long stay are hard to get unless you work there. Non Muslims are not allowed to marry Muslims by law so I think you need to convert. And even if you do, there is no spousal visa that your wife can give you like in the Philippines.
There is VERY little English and people speak to you in Indonesian and you are expected to learn it. It is virtually impossible to live here without knowing the Bahasa. The people do not kowtow to foreigners but just treat them as anyone else.

I am embedding a few videos to give you an idea and a feel of Jakarta.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UsHJyhhicE[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FXXe7qYEdk[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1SQHUWeC74[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBU5dFRouqg[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDXSzH4wUSQ[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq-C8OmbB98[/youtube]

Indonesians ( unlike Filipinos) do not like to emigrate and live abroad; just travel there on vacation and for study. The economy and infrastructure is strong and the currency is strong as well. This looks like a very healthy and prosperous nation.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgytlLIqPOM[/youtube]

I will keep you posted on what happens next.
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Postby Rock » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:38 am

Read global nanapa's blog entries. He's an international playboy who focuses on Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines. He's had a lot of great things to say about Indonesia too. Check out the hot 176 cm Chinese model (around July 2009). This guy hangs-out with lots of hot women, especially in Bangkok and Jakarta, and also does a lot of P4P. He stays in the top hotels and resorts too, really does it all in style.

http://www.globalnanpa.com/blog/?paged=19
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Postby Rock » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:45 am

Its amazing how much its changed. JK used to be a true 3rd world shit-hole with throngs of people walking among speeding traffic on roads and highways throughout. If there's a lesson to be learned, its probably, as long as you have some hope in the longer term prospects of a country, to go in and invest 1-2 years after it suffers a massive financial crisis, currency devalues dramatically, and real estate plus stock market collapse.
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Postby NorthAmericanguy » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:43 pm

Awesome ladislav! Thanks for the tips.
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Postby NorthAmericanguy » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:45 pm

ladislav what about the food?
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Postby E_Irizarry » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:40 pm

Careful with how much and what kind of information you are rendering about ID (Indonesia).

You still have amass a lot of trolls lurking in this parts, guy.
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Postby ladislav » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:49 pm

The food is way better than Filipino food but not as good as Thai or Japanese; about as good as Korean. Lots of liquid yellow curries , chicken and fish. Street food is just as good if not better than mall food and 10 times as cheap. Lots of medium spicy and pungent stuff. It is a marriage between Chinese and Indian.

http://www.google.co.id/search?tbm=isch ... 4.6.2l14l0

Image

Image

Image
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Postby momopi » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:23 pm

An interesting coincidence -- my father used to work in Indonesia (import/export), and my GF's father also used to work in Indonesia with Tatung Electric when they built power plants there (back when TW built power plants in Philippines and Indonesia in 1970s). My GF's mother said she packed her husband's suitcase with a large box of condoms for his work assignment, just in case. LoL.

If you find the spicy food disagreeable with your stomach, try mie ayam / mie ayam jamur (chicken and mushroom noodles).

Those in Los Angeles area can visit Duarte Inn in Duarte on Saturday mornings, for the weekly Indonesian food fair. On weekdays try Janty Noodle in West Covina.
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Postby newlife » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:06 am

It's a really exotic country. Indonesians have class. Seeing the malls and such you would never believe it to be a 3rd world country.

Can't wait to return one day.
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Postby Winston » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:21 am

Wow that's neat. So will you go anywhere else in Indonesia besides Jakarta? Check out the historical sites and beaches too.

How do you get around? Do they speak English there?

Are there red light districts there? If there are, you can find out about them on WorldSexGuide.org or InternationalSexGuide.info.

Keep us updated.
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Postby ladislav » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:46 am

Well, yesterday, I took a tour of the old Dutch part of town. Here are some pictures:
The owner of the hostel/hotel where I am staying is taking us around. Very little English is spoken. People talk to foreigners in Bahasa. They expect foreigners to speak it. Unlike in the Philippines where adjusting to foreigners is the norm, in this country foreigners are expected to adjust. I use google to translate into Indonesian and also signs. They are patient and understanding enough.

A cocky white man who speaks only English will not go down well with the locals.

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Postby ladislav » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:13 pm

Leaving tomorrow if all goes well. This has been a very refreshing experience and something very different. I have added Indonesia to my bouquet of countries. Could not visit any of the nightlife because it is the Ramadan so apparently everything is closed. Better luck next time.
The people here are not as friendly as Filipinos but at the same time, much more privacy minded and respectful of your space. It is not polite or normal to smile or nod at strangers here. Just like it would not be in the US. The people are not arrogant but at the same time not obsequious. Foreigners are expected to speak Bahasa if they are here. Sooner or later. The " I am an American/British, f#ck you, I speak English" attitude shall not be brooked here.

I have seen young people waving the National flag from the car- not very common even in the US- and they all seem to be very patriotic.

Have not seen even one young white man with an Indonesian girlfriend although have seen some white guys with mixed kids. Where were the wives, is a mystery. Some girls smiled at me, but this is not the Philippines and I get like 5% of the attention I get in the RP.

The Philippines is a harmonious combination of Three in One- Spanish, Malay and Anglo-American. Here it is another exotic mixture- Dutch, Malay and Arab/Muslim. And you can see it everywhere. Sometimes, I feel that I am in the Bahamas or Curacao, sometimes, that I am in Dubai/Abu Dhabi and sometimes, that I am in Malaysia. Or I feel all three at the same time. It is very enriching feeling-wise.

The malls are sparkling and the wealth is overflowing. The country has a great future.

Long term resident visas here are a major headache. It is like they make everything as difficult as possible for you to stay here as they can. But the good news is that English teaching jobs are a plenty and tourist visas are easy to get for a month or two.
Last edited by ladislav on Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby manly5000 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:53 am

ladislav wrote:Leaving tomorrow if all goes well. This has been a very refreshing experience and something very different. I have added Indonesia to my bouquet of countries. Could not visit any of the nightlife because it is the Ramadan so apparently everything is closed. Better luck next time.
The people here are not as friendly as Filipinos but at the same time, much more privacy minded and respectful of your space. It is not polite or normal to smile or nod at strangers here. Just like it would not be in the US. The people are not arrogant but at the same time not obsequious. Foreigners who expected to speak Bahasa if they are here. Sooner or later. The " I am an American/British, f#ck you, I speak English" attitude shall not be brooked here.

I have seen young people waving the National flag from the car- not very common even in the US- and they all seem to be very patriotic.

Have not seen even one young white man with an Indonesian girlfriend although have seen some white guys with mixed kids. Where were the wives, is a mystery. Some girls smiled at me, but this is not the Philippines and I get like 5% of the attention I get in the RP.

The malls are sparkling and the wealth is overflowing. The country has a great future.

Long term resident visas here are a major headache. It is like they make everything as difficult as possible for you to stay here as they can. But the good news is that English teaching jobs are a plenty and tourist visas are easy to get for a month or two.



Thanks for your report from Indonesia as well as the great pics! My mouth is seriously watering all over my keyboard looking at those pics of the food... lol.

Indonesia seems like a very interesting and mystical place. When I begin my TEFL career I'm strongly considering starting out there. Hopefully finishing a Bachelor's degree and having a CELTA will still be more than enough qualification to be competitive and get a good gig in the next 2 or 3 years.
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Postby E_Irizarry » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:15 pm

manly5000 wrote:
ladislav wrote:Leaving tomorrow if all goes well. This has been a very refreshing experience and something very different. I have added Indonesia to my bouquet of countries. Could not visit any of the nightlife because it is the Ramadan so apparently everything is closed. Better luck next time.
The people here are not as friendly as Filipinos but at the same time, much more privacy minded and respectful of your space. It is not polite or normal to smile or nod at strangers here. Just like it would not be in the US. The people are not arrogant but at the same time not obsequious. Foreigners who expected to speak Bahasa if they are here. Sooner or later. The " I am an American/British, f#ck you, I speak English" attitude shall not be brooked here.

I have seen young people waving the National flag from the car- not very common even in the US- and they all seem to be very patriotic.

Have not seen even one young white man with an Indonesian girlfriend although have seen some white guys with mixed kids. Where were the wives, is a mystery. Some girls smiled at me, but this is not the Philippines and I get like 5% of the attention I get in the RP.

The malls are sparkling and the wealth is overflowing. The country has a great future.

Long term resident visas here are a major headache. It is like they make everything as difficult as possible for you to stay here as they can. But the good news is that English teaching jobs are a plenty and tourist visas are easy to get for a month or two.



Thanks for your report from Indonesia as well as the great pics! My mouth is seriously watering all over my keyboard looking at those pics of the food... lol.

Indonesia seems like a very interesting and mystical place. When I begin my TEFL career I'm strongly considering starting out there. Hopefully finishing a Bachelor's degree and having a CELTA will still be more than enough qualification to be competitive and get a good gig in the next 2 or 3 years.


It will be sufficient enough, dude. Go for the gusto and you'll end up in Indo land for a long time, and if applicable to you, leave your mangina juices at home. I have began to smell a lot of vuh-jay-jay on this forum lately.
"I appreciate the opportunities I have in America. Opportunities that allow me to live abroad." **Smiles** - Have2Fly@H.A. (2013)

"The only way to overcome that is to go abroad to get a broad."
- E. Irizarry (2009)

"MGTOW resilience is the key to foreign residence. You better muthafuckin' ask somebody!!"
- E. Irizarry (2012)

"I rather be ostracized by 157.0 million (27.3% of the US of Gay pop), then to appease 1 feminist." - E. Irizarry (2013)

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Postby ladislav » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:14 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyDsLDtz ... r_embedded

A typical ride through Jakarta. And also, let your mouth water over this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wuhf5Xz- ... re=related
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