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Old 02-07-2013, 11:05 AM
 
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I haven't had time yet to go through this forum for info on Jakarta, so please excuse if it's already posted on here. My daughter just accepted a teaching position in Jakarta, beginning this summer. She will be living with other Americans and teaching English at one of the international schools there. I'm wondering about the attitude toward Americans in the region and any other info about lifestyle, etc., that might be useful for a newcomer. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iagal View Post
I haven't had time yet to go through this forum for info on Jakarta, so please excuse if it's already posted on here. My daughter just accepted a teaching position in Jakarta, beginning this summer. She will be living with other Americans and teaching English at one of the international schools there. I'm wondering about the attitude toward Americans in the region and any other info about lifestyle, etc., that might be useful for a newcomer. Thanks in advance.
International schools, in general, pay exceptionally well. Especially comparitive to the cost of living. So, she'd, by default, be living extremely well.

Jakarta pretty much has everything you can imagine, and exceptionally cheap. It appears that she already has housing, but one unique thing to me, that I saw in Jakarta, is that some of the shopping malls also have large residential skyscrapers....so that residents in them, can basically just take the elevator down, and be directly and immediately walking around a very large mall.

Not only are there large malls all over Jakarta, but a ton of international food everywhere as well. There is certainly poverty in Jakarta, but I have a feeling that if she's working for an international school, she'll easily easily be able to seclude herself from it as well.

Regarding attitude towards Americans. It's generally Australians that muddle around in Indonesian affairs. America generally keeps a 'hands off' approach with Indonesia. That being said, it does seem that some Indonesians associate Americans/Australians as more or less the same. But, it's more policy and such. Individually, most Indonesians will probably be extremely proud that Obama went to school in Indonesia and such, etc.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:45 AM
 
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Thanks for the info. Good to know. I'm sure I'll have more questions as time goes on. She is getting her room and board paid for and will be taking a bus provided by the school to their facility every day. She was told to be prepared for the poverty they will see on the way to school. Thanks again.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:09 AM
 
Location: VA
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Ah the Big Durian, I use to visit my relatives there almost on a yearly basis and lemme tell you no matter how many times I've gone back the heat or I should I say humidity and insane traffic always gets me every time. I try to spend as little time as possible in that city before high tailing it out of town to Bandung. But I digress, Jakarta does have everything you might ever need and on a fairly reasonable price too. It's a good thing the school is giving her a bus because I am not exaggerating about the traffic, Jakarta makes Los Angeles during rush hour look sane in comparison.

The poverty is very noticeable though, you could have a gated compound for millionaires on one block and on the very next block over some of the most impoverished slums you will ever see. I've never had any issue as an American, probably helps that I look like your typical Chinese Indonesian, but it becomes apparent I'm not a local when I try to speak a language that I no longer have fluent command of.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:03 PM
 
Location: NoVa
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Your daughter will live extermely well for Jakarta standards in a posh neighborhood. The Jakarta residents who live in your daughter's area are most likely well to do folks who won't care one way or the other about having a westerner living among them since the area already has plenty of expats living there.

About lifestyle, they may be predominantly muslim, but they're not Arabs. Therefore, she won't see any woman with Burqa walking around in Jakarta. The devout ones may cover their hair with head scarf but they don't wear veil to cover their faces like Arab women do. Still, she should dress modestly out of respect and self preservation - if nothing else. As long as her upper legs and shoulders are covered, she should be fine (Jeans & T-Shirts, knee length summer dresses, capri pants, bermuda shorts are some safe examples. Avoid tube tops and revealing clothes, etc). She can still get alcohol for social drinking in a bar (wine, etc), but they're expensive even for US standards (imported alcohol drinks are heavily taxed).

Advise your daughter to learn Indonesian language while she's there.. it's very easy since it has no complicated grammar or 1st person / 2nd person rules, etc.. like the English language. She doesn't have to be fluent in it, but at least a few sentences would go a long way. She would have a much richer experience that way and the Indonesians will appreciate and welcome her even more. From what I've observed when I was there.. most expats stuck to themselves and rarely did they venture outside of their comfort zone. Very few of them bothered to learn Indonesian language since the locals would bend over backwards to practice their English on them. I've never met anyone who's so eager to please than Indonesians.

I noticed you're in Iowa.. her biggest adjustment will be dealing with Indonesia's humidity, which is 100% (or close to) every day year round. It's like Florida summer, except worse.

Last edited by graceC; 02-14-2013 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:16 PM
 
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graceC: Thank you so very much for all the helpful info! I will definitely pass it on to her. She was especially concerned about dress code, customs ... that's good to know. My daughter actually lives and works in Kansas City, and spent some time in Florida, but it sounds like Jakarta is year-round humidity. Is the language very similar to French? Thanks again!
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:38 PM
 
Location: NoVa
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OP, the language is not like French. They use western alphabets, and most of the pronounciation is pretty much the same as how it's spelled. So for example: Jakarta, well, it's pronounced Jakarta. As a starter, she can just get herself some English - Indonesian simple phrases dictionary. I'm sure they have it on Amazon or elsewhere online.

One other thing about Jakarta weather, it's very stable due to its location that straddles the equator. No hurricanes, no tornados, and no crazy storms. Sunrise roughly at 6am and sundown at 6pm everyday (well, give or take a few minutes off). Dry season starts pretty much from May through November, and then rainy season from Dec - April. The heaviest rains typically fall in Jan & Feb, which can cause severe flooding everywhere. Luckily the heavy flooding cycle happens probably once in 3-4 years and they just had their big flood last month.

She should bring a small fan with her to give her some 'air' to breath when the humidity gets to her (trust me, it will get to her.. my husband took showers 5-7 times a day when we're there because he couldn't handle the humidity and the constant sweating). Or duck into an air conditioned room

As long as she goes with an open mind and uses common sense whereever she goes, she should be fine.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Work in NYC - Live in Philly - Transplant from Miami
2,304 posts, read 2,194,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceC View Post
Your daughter will live extermely well for Jakarta standards in a posh neighborhood. The Jakarta residents who live in your daughter's area are most likely well to do folks who won't care one way or the other about having a westerner living among them since the area already has plenty of expats living there.

About lifestyle, they may be predominantly muslim, but they're not Arabs. Therefore, she won't see any woman with Burqa walking around in Jakarta. The devout ones may cover their hair with head scarf but they don't wear veil to cover their faces like Arab women do. Still, she should dress modestly out of respect and self preservation - if nothing else. As long as her upper legs and shoulders are covered, she should be fine (Jeans & T-Shirts, knee length summer dresses, capri pants, bermuda shorts are some safe examples. Avoid tube tops and revealing clothes, etc). She can still get alcohol for social drinking in a bar (wine, etc), but they're expensive even for US standards (imported alcohol drinks are heavily taxed).

Advise your daughter to learn Indonesian language while she's there.. it's very easy since it has no complicated grammar or 1st person / 2nd person rules, etc.. like the English language. She doesn't have to be fluent in it, but at least a few sentences would go a long way. She would have a much richer experience that way and the Indonesians will appreciate and welcome her even more. From what I've observed when I was there.. most expats stuck to themselves and rarely did they venture outside of their comfort zone. Very few of them bothered to learn Indonesian language since the locals would bend over backwards to practice their English on them. I've never met anyone who's so eager to please than Indonesians.

I noticed you're in Iowa.. her biggest adjustment will be dealing with Indonesia's humidity, which is 100% (or close to) every day year round. It's like Florida summer, except worse.
I agree with graceC.

Make sure your daughter try to learn Bahasa. I partially grew up in Indonesia and am still going there to visit often.
Alot of people in Indonesia will be excited just to talk to somebody from the western world; especially when she can speak the language! I am talking about people she will encounter on the streets, malls , etc. But alot of educated ones can speak English.

There would be some (moslem) extremists who dislike "bule" (term used to describe westerners) and chinese. But it will be very rare; especially in Jakarta.

She will be well-off. Living in luxury. I promise. A lunch in a food court in one of the malls in Jakarta cost around Rp. 30,000. Thats about 3 dollar-ish. So she can expect to go out all the time and eat out! ;D
This is another adjustment she needs! Most malls in Jakarta are bigger than Mall of America and more lavish. Anytime I went to Indonesia and brought a friend or two, their mouths went agape 2 feet down anytime I took them to one of the malls.

Beware though, most international merchandise will cost a bit extra. (A NEW Ipad 16 gB there cost $150 more).

Pollution in the city is horrible. Anytime I went there, I always got allergy reaction to something. I used to have chronic asthma as a kid. Anytime I went there, the asthma would come back!

I would disagree with graceC about the weather though. See I grew up in Indonesia and Miami so I know there are differences in the heat. It is indeed humid, but the heat goes under your skin in Jakarta. I don't have any better way to describe it. I guess because in Miami I lived by the beach, so there is always sea breeze blowing.

There are alot of bribery everywhere (you get traffic ticket, just pay the police and the ticket gone "poof") , and people can be unruly (some dont understand the concept of waiting in line). BUt those are things she would be able to adjust.

Well I hope she has a nice time there. And you should visit her!
In fact, I am going to go there in 2 months to visit my ailing grandparents.

I can give you and her some tips as where to go. Sightseeing and all, where you can see beautiful sceneries just like on the calendars!

Last edited by asiandudeyo; 02-14-2013 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Work in NYC - Live in Philly - Transplant from Miami
2,304 posts, read 2,194,238 times
Reputation: 2599
Quote:
Originally Posted by graceC View Post
OP, the language is not like French. They use western alphabets, and most of the pronounciation is pretty much the same as how it's spelled. So for example: Jakarta, well, it's pronounced Jakarta. As a starter, she can just get herself some English - Indonesian simple phrases dictionary. I'm sure they have it on Amazon or elsewhere online.

One other thing about Jakarta weather, it's very stable due to its location that straddles the equator. No hurricanes, no tornados, and no crazy storms. Sunrise roughly at 6am and sundown at 6pm everyday (well, give or take a few minutes off). Dry season starts pretty much from May through November, and then rainy season from Dec - April. The heaviest rains typically fall in Jan & Feb, which can cause severe flooding everywhere. Luckily the heavy flooding cycle happens probably once in 3-4 years and they just had their big flood last month.

She should bring a small fan with her to give her some 'air' to breath when the humidity gets to her (trust me, it will get to her.. my husband took showers 5-7 times a day when we're there because he couldn't handle the humidity and the constant sweating). Or duck into an air conditioned room

As long as she goes with an open mind and uses common sense whereever she goes, she should be fine.
About the language. Again I'm agreeing with graceC.
We use western alphabets. Pronunciation is exactly the same as Spanish. In fact some of the words are identical. When we moved from Indonesia to Miami, it was piece of cake for me to learn Spanish.

And to add more about English-fluency of some of the natives: Like what I said in my earlier post: if you are educated, you can speak and understand English more less. Educated there means high school.
English is one of the mandatory subject taught in schools.

Last edited by asiandudeyo; 02-14-2013 at 03:33 PM.. Reason: Additional Info
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:41 PM
 
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My daughter is very excited about all of this ... she's been wanting to go overseas since she graduated from college 2 years ago, and decided now is the time to do it with almost 2 years of teaching under her belt. We just didn't know where she would end up until recruitment weekend (2 weeks ago). Her former professor from college is hooking her with some people she knows in Jakarta so that will help ... and be reassuring for mom

Good to know about the allergies ... she does have a problem with that.

Thanks everyone.
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