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.

The First Time I Saw Her

My wife is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. She simply is.

It was love at first sight for me. The first time she walked into the front desk, I couldn’t help staring. She didn’t see me as I was in a room opposite the front desk. Her hair was short then, later I know that she said she had it cut because her son was only about 3 and was very active so she didn’t have time for a good hair treatment.

She smiled at one of our receptionists, who smiled back at her, and off they went. I didn’t where they were going, I thought she was a friend of our receptionist and I continued with what I was doing.

About 10 minutes later, I finished with my work and went to our meeting room. To my surprise, she was there. My boss introduced her as a new staff. My heart leapt.

She was in our meeting that day. I really couldn’t take my eyes off her.  I barely remember what we talked about in the meeting, al I could remember was how eager I was to start the next day, so I could actually get to know her.

Bogor

Indonesia is a beautiful country.  with a lot of white sandy beaches and picturesque mountain views. Indonesia only has two seasons, rainy and summer.

I lived in a town called Bogor, about 60 kms from Jakarta. Bogos is a town with a lot of rains, that’s why it is called Rain City. It rains almost everyday. It can be shiny and hot during the day and suddenly it rains in the afternoon..

My wife loves rain. rain has never stopped her from doing anything or going somewhere. She is used to it. She was confused the first time I cancelled our plan to go out because of the rain, as I was confused she still wanted to go out eventhough it was raining… It was really funny. She was having shower and ready to go, while I was still in my shorts and t-shirt. She looked at me and asked whether I remembered our plan to go out and I looked at her and answered that it was raining. She looked at me and said,”Of course it is raining, it’s Bogor.”

I laughed. But she was right, if you let rain stopped you from doing anything in Bogor, you wouldn’t get anywhere.

I loved living in Bogor It isn’t as crowded and polluted as Jakarta. Bogor has plenty of culinary places to explore. it has varieties of so many different foods, local and international.

I don’t like spicy food, but my favorite Indonesian food is Rendang. I think it is fantastic. I could eat and eat and eat if rendang was served. I didn’t care that I was sweating so much, my eyes and throat were burning, Rendang is simply the best..

Image resultRendang (source: http://www.indonesia-recipe.com)

One food that I can’t eat is Satay. I got food poisoning every time I ate that. It was only twice, but for me, that was enough.

Image result for sateSatay (source: http://www.indoindians.com)

Other than satay, everything is ok. Noodle, soto, soup, all kinds of chicken (they have plenty, trust me), gulai (food cooked with coconut milk), pepes (not a big fan), all kinds of rice (uduk (cooked with coconut milk), yellow rice (cooked with tumeric), fried) and all Indonesian star, tahu and tempe. My wife loves them and eats one of them everyday.

 

Before her…

I was married to an Indonesian before I met my wife now. I have got to admit that Asian women are very attractive. They look younger than their real age.

Before my ex wife, I had a relationship with a Philipines who lived in England. It didnt work between us because I was addicted to games. I spent most of my times playing games and it made her sick, so she left me. Things was actully ok between us, because she has lived most of her life in England, she understands my cultures. It was my fault for not paying enough attention to her.

Life with my ex wife was totally different with the life I have now.

When I first came to Indonesia, everyone treated me like a god. simply because I have brown hair white skin. Everything I wanted was granted, I got the best of everything and was always first served. Life was good.

My ex wife didn’t speak English well. She had limited knowledge of grammar and vocabulary and she barely understood what I was saying. She only understood half and guessed what the other half meant.

I honestly thought her bad English won’t be a problem. Love is going to conquer all, isn’t it?

But turned out, it was a problem. I had told her a million times, if she didn’t understand. she had to ask me, and I’d explain in a way she’d understand. But no….

Misunderstanding happened all the times.

And she was a very jealous woman. She stalked my facebook every minute. She checked my ‘recently added friend’ religiously. She commented on every status I posted with annoying comment, for example:

I posted “What a beautiful day to play golf.”

Then a friend of mine, a woman commented,”Yes, it is. Are you playing today?”

Then my ex wife would reply,”Yes, (the name of the woman) my husband thinks it is a beautiful day.”

Annoying isn’t it?

She added all my women colleagues and “interogated” them, which made them very uncomfortable and complained to me. I asked her not to do that, but she just couldn’t stop. I didn’t understand, she had all my user id and password of all my accounts so she could actually check what I was doing. All my salary was transfered to her account and I only asked enough money to buy gas and meals. So I have limited amount of money, but it wasn’t enough.

In a way, living with her wasn’t that bad. she was a good cook and she and her family treated me like a god. But, because she didn’t dare to say anything offensive to my face, she posted her complains, with her broken English, on facebook…. which is a thousand times more annoying.

(PS: In the end, I knew that she was a laughing stock to my colleagues beacuse of her broken English and her constant complains about me)

Finally, I just ignored her. I let her do whatever she wanted to do. I went to work earlier and spent more time at work, which was really bad for our marriage. And finally I filed for a divorce. Thank God, I was on a work permit when it happened, so she couldn’t anything with my KITAS. I left her and moved out to a small house near work. And then that beautiful woman came into my life…

Let’s begin…

I have never written any blogs before and had no interest in it. But, while I was browsing through the internet about mixed marriage, I found that most of the writing about mixed marriage b;ogs were written by women. There were few written by men.

So, I thought a different point of view will bring a different perspective.

Here we go..

I am a British citizen and my wife is an Indonesian. We first met when we worked together.

It was love at the first sight for both of us. Well. she said that to me. Yet, she never showed any signs of interest in me. She only talked to me when I asked her a question. She answered my questions nicely, but never tried to engage in a conversation with me. So, I thought she wasn’t interested. Plus, I thought I were twice her age…