Showing posts from January, 2012

About Jakarta and my time there

As soon as you get off the plane in Jakarta, you instantly smell something. That's the smog, cigarette smoke, un-MOT'd vehicle emissions that come out of the exhausts like the black monster from LOST, and cut-open fruit in the air of the Big Durian, all mixed in to give you a warm, musty welcome.

Over the past four years, I've seen the corruption at the base level fall a lot. For instance, when I arrived, a man at the immigration office wanted my boarding pass for leaving the country ON ARRIVAL, and said he would charge me $30 if I didn't produce it. I said to him, "you get that on the way out" and he said "that's not my problem. What a dick. But these days, it's much better, you can expect to be through Imigrasi instantly.

The people of Jakarta are the poorest yet the happiest people I have ever met, as a whole. The richer ones are extremely westernised and integrate with westerners in school, usually going to Australia, the US or the UK for un…

On being an Expat

Being an expat has definitely given me a wider outlook on life. With all the people I’ve met and good friends I’ve made, I can definitely see a life with a lot of opportunity ahead of me: Not solely because of the connections I’ve made and people I have met, no, it’s much more than that. It’s the intrinsic vision in which you can value yourself, and know that there are more possibilities out there. No one should be tied down to one idea. That’s the same as the “put your eggs all in one basket” mistake.

In Kuta, you can do something nice for someone, but it will cost you your phone and anything else in your pocket.

As we arrive into Kuta on the night before New Year's Eve, the first thing we see is a
man laid unconscious on the ground. He actually looks quite comfortable, as if he was
sleeping. Maybe that's why hundreds of Aussie tourists walk past him with less than a
thought. Upon closer inspection, however, we see that he has been beaten up pretty badly.
There are cuts all over his face and when we notice this, we create quite the scene; after a
lot of shouting from everyone, my friend picks him up and puts him in a chair, out of the
way of the pedestrian traffic; another sends a girl to the shop to buy him some water, while
I run around Jalan Legian using my best Indonesian to find out the number for the
ambulance. My questions are met with looks of confusion.