Living in Indonesia

It is easy… Living in Indonesia is easy. Public transporation is easy to get, food seller is everywhere, plenty of malls and relatively affordable.

I lived in Bogor where their main public transportation is angkot. They are numbered according to their route. And there are a lot of them. I mean a lot, they passed by every five minutes, maybe even less than that. Angkot is the main cause of the traffic jam in Bogor. They are everywhere and they don’t care about rules. They park wherever they want, they drop passengers off as well as pick them up anywhere they like. There is  no ‘angkot’ stop.

But despite the messiness caused by angkot, Bogor is a good city to live. It is not as crowded and as polluted as Jakarta, but it is not too far from Jakarta where everything is happening (1 hour train ride will get you there, you’ll get depressed going to Jakarta by car. Just saying).

Indonesia has many beautiful beaches. My favourite is Ujung Genteng. It is secluded, beautiful and so peaceful. But it is very hard to reach. It took about 9 hours ride from Bogor and the roads were bumpy. To be honest, I hated the ride, but I do love Ujung Genteng.

When I first came here, lots of people stared at me. I did not understand why at first, I always thought I had something on my face. Hahaha… turned out, some of Indonesian people were fascinated by my white skin and light brown hair. To them, I was a rare creature. Some of them even asked me for a picture. It was really weird. I got used to used eventually, but still, sometimes, it was annoying.

One thing that I don’t like living in Indonesia is they charge me for a ‘bule’ price which can be 3 times more expensive than a regular price, especially to get into a tourism area. I went to Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java with my wife in 2015. They charged my wife for IDR30.000, but they charged me for IDR 180.000,six times more expensive! The only difference was they help me put on a sarong, which is mandatory to enter Borobudur, while my wife put it on herself. So if we went shopping, my wife walked a few steps in front of me to get the best price.

The traffic here, I must say, is a mess…. motorcycle everywhere, angkot everywhere with not so little personal vehicle. So the traffic is always busy. Motorbike is the worst. They just do not care about others. They ride on a sidewalk, they ride on the other side and get angry if someone tells them off. Only in Indonesia I have seen motorbike can do so many things. I’ve seen it with 4 people on it, carry a lot of goods (from fridge to boxes of shoes), only the driver wears a helmet, and many more.

But everything is so simple here. We didn’t have to go through a long and tiring process to rent a house, food seller everywhere, public transportation available anytime, especially now they have online public transportation (my wife loves them), and the people are friendly and helpful (at least my co workers, friends and neighbours are).

I do love living in Indonesia with all the complications.


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