July 27, 2009


I have not updated my blog for a while. The main reason is the lack of internet connectivity. I mean I have now a monthly mobile internet connection package which performs a lot under its declared speed and it has a monthly cap which prompts me to stick to work rather than play.

We have started the house hunt about ten days ago. We have so far seen more than 15 houses and closing in on one. Meanwhile we have traveled around Jakarta a bit. Went to the Ancol Theme park and the beach and rode on the cable car. (Pics coming up)

Meanwhile our main source of entertainment is the Indonesian language TVs, and we don't understand them. Its good that a couple of channels show English movies (with subtitles) during night. And the Indonesian soaps are also interesting - more complicated than Hindi serials The women are the villains and the men are a naive lot. I was informed by Aparna that some of these soaps are written by Indians - so you get the drift.

Jakarta can be expensive and inexpensive at the same time, depending on your lifestyle. Here riches (and expats) have a completely different lifestyle, close to the Europeans- fully air-conditioned houses and cars, living in good neighborhood, groceries from Carrefour, snacks from Mcdonalds etc and its really expensive in local standard. In Carrefour we did some grocery shopping for the home including fruits and it was almost 50 dollars (500000 Rp)! But again the local wages here is so cheap (a maid at around 100 dollars per month, which is the minimum wages). I wonder how local people survive with this in this expensive city!

E.g. I bought pomfrets from the clean Carrefour at 100000 Rp (10 dollars) and from a filthy local market 25,000 rp per kilo. But I went to the later with one local person who did the talking and bargaining for me and I reckon no western expat goes there. So you see why the knowledge of the market and learning of the local language is crucial.

It rained heavily in Jakarta and some streets were inundated with 1 feet of water. Drains clogged with rubbish-familier scenes I was told. We are of course looking for our houses in flood free areas.

Will keep you posted.


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